Downtown Market in GR is Hosting First Ever Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt

Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt

Christkindl Markt at the Downtown Market 2023

Get ready to experience the traditional magic of a open air European Christmas market right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Come November 17, 2023, be immersed in the family-friendly atmosphere of the new Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt at the Downtown Market.

Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt
Rendering of the First Grand Rapids Christkindl Christmas Market

Soak up the European charm, culinary specialties, and craftsmanship experiences of inaugural year of the Grand Rapids Christmas market while you shop for unique artisanal holiday gifts under the holiday lights.

What to Expect at Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt

Christkindl Markt at the Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503) is an open-air Christmas Village set up just steps away from the Downtown Market’s 20 indoor food merchants and full-service restaurants.

Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt

The outdoor Christmas Market, trimmed with holiday lights and decor, will showcase 30+ artisan gift and food vendors, live holiday entertainment, and festive family fun.

Based on Traditional Christmas Markets

Inspired by traditional European Christmas Markets, this winter wonderland is filled with unique Christmas experiences with a splash of international flair.

European Christkindl Markt

European Christkindl Markt – photo: Christkindl Markt GR

Mimi Fritz, President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, says, “Traditional Christmas markets are holiday gathering places and destinations where we as a community can gather amongst the backdrop of music, traditional food, and holiday shopping from local and regional artisans.

We honor the long-standing traditions of the Christkindl Markt, experienced by millions of people across hundreds of towns and villages in Europe, by selecting the finest local and regional artisans and vendors to highlight their interpretation of a German Christmas market.”

Indeed, the GR Christkindl Markt team visited European markets in the 2022 holiday season to research and bring authenticity to the Grand Rapids Christmas Market.

26 Days of Festivities

Grand Rapids first-ever Christkindl Markt is slated for November 17 through December 23, 2023.

It is put on by the Grand Rapids Downtown Market in partnership with the Grand Rapids Christmas Markets.

European Christkindl Markt - photo: Christkindl Markt GR
European Christkindl Markt – photo: Christkindl Markt GR

Open Wednesdays – Sundays, the market’s hours for November 17-December 23 are:

  • Wednesdays, 11 am-7 pm
  • Thursdays, 11 am – 7 pm
  • Fridays, 11 am – 9 pm
  • Saturdays, 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sundays, 10 am – 7 pm
  • The Christkindl Market will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Featured Attractions

During the 26 days of festivities, starting on November 17, visitors can experience all that the Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt has to offer. From handmade gifts and traditional Christmas Market fare to there’s something for everyone.

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment – both on stage and of the strolling variety – will feature holiday music and local talent on a daily basis.

Curling Lessons

Curling Lessons! Event attendees can pre-book their time to enjoy winter’s favorite sport, curling.

Lessons and competitions will also be offered throughout the event.

Children’s activities will include visits from Santa, a North Pole mailbox, and various children’s themed stage entertainment,

Beer Hall

Get your stein ready! The outdoor enclosed German-style beverage hall will be serving up mugs of Gluhwein (mulled red wine) in addition to steins of German style beer and other hot beverage options. Find it all in the German Style Beverage Hall.

Gift & Food Vendors

Unique vendor booths, decked out in traditional décor, offer both handmade gifts and traditional Christmas Market fare.

Kids Crafts & Events

Kids will also have their own area for take-home holiday arts and crafts and other activities.

Santa Visits

Vendors Wanted

Applications are closed for the 2023 season, but here’s how it works if you are interested in the 2024 show.

To become a Grand Rapids Christkindl Markt vendor, fill out an application. (Vendor fees are $3,500 (averaging $135/day) + 11% sales.)

The application deadline will probably be early May 2024. Vendors will be juried and will receive a response by end of the month.

Vendor applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • High quality
  • Traditionally German/European
  • Handmade/crafted
  • Holiday gift items
  • Ethically produced

No direct sales, multi-level marketing, CBD products, or weapons will be accepted.

For more information on becoming a vendor, email [email protected], or call Kendra Larsen, Festival and Special Events Manager, at 616-805-5308.

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