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Top 10 Christmas Markets in Pennsylvania: Must-Visit Festive Destinations

With the winter season nearly upon us, Pennsylvania comes alive with festive Christmas markets. These markets offer a delightful escape filled with twinkling lights, merry sounds, and the warming scent of holiday treats.

As you plan your holiday excursions, why not explore some of the best festive markets Pennsylvania has to offer?

Crowds browse festive stalls amid twinkling lights and holiday decorations at Pennsylvania's top Christmas markets. Glühwein steams in mugs, while vendors sell handcrafted gifts and seasonal treats

Ever wondered where you can find the perfect Christmas gifts while soaking up the holiday spirit? Look no further. In this article, you’ll discover the top 10 Christmas markets in Pennsylvania, offering unique gifts, delicious food, and unforgettable experiences.

From charming local crafts to dazzling light displays, each market promises to deliver a memorable holiday experience.

1) Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem

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Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is a must-visit during the holiday season. This German-inspired market, located in the heart of “Christmas City,” brings festive cheer to visitors of all ages.

Stroll through aisles featuring over 100 artisans, offering unique handmade items such as pottery, jewelry, and festive decorations. Don’t miss the chance to find the perfect holiday gift.

The market also features a variety of food options. Enjoy German specialties like bratwurst and pretzels, or try sweet treats and hot beverages to warm up on chilly days.

Live entertainment adds to the festive atmosphere. You can catch performances by local musicians, carolers, and other entertainers as you explore the market.

Christkindlmarkt also provides fun for kids, including arts and crafts activities and visits from Santa Claus. It’s an ideal spot for family outings during the holiday season.

Parking is available, but it’s advisable to arrive early, especially on weekends, as it can get quite busy. Advanced tickets can be purchased to avoid long lines.

Nov 30 – Dec 3505 Main St.Thurs & Sun: 10am – 6pmThurs & Fri: $10
Dec 7-10Bethlehem, PA 18018Fri & Sat: 10am – 8pmSat & Sun: $12
Dec 14-17  Children under 5: Free

2) People’s Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh

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You will love the People’s Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh. This market runs from November 17 to December 24, giving you plenty of time to explore. It’s closed on Thanksgiving Day, so plan ahead.

The market resembles a European-style village with wooden chalets. Each stall offers unique gifts, including handcrafted goods and festive foods. The atmosphere is magical, with twinkling lights and holiday music filling the air.

You can also enjoy live entertainment and special events throughout the season. From local choirs to dance performances, there’s always something to see. The lighting of the Pittsburgh Christmas tree during Highmark Light Up Night on November 18 is a fan favorite.

Santa’s House is a must-visit for kids. They can meet Santa and share their holiday wishes. Your photo with Santa will be a treasured memory.

When you need a break, warm up with hot cocoa or mulled wine. The food stalls offer a variety of treats to keep you cozy. From traditional holiday fare to international dishes, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.

Event Details:

Nov 17 – Dec 24Market Square, Pittsburgh, PA11 AM – 9 PMFree

3) Christmas Village in Philadelphia

A festive Christmas village with colorful stalls and twinkling lights, surrounded by snow-covered trees and bustling with holiday shoppers

Christmas Village in Philadelphia is a holiday classic. Located at Love Park and City Hall, it brings the charm of a traditional German Christmas market right to the heart of the city.

With over 120 vendors, you are bound to find unique gifts. From handmade ornaments to delicious treats, there’s something for everyone.

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The village is lit up beautifully, adding a magical touch to your shopping experience. It’s open every day from November 23 to December 24, so you have plenty of time to visit.

Take a stroll, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, and soak in the festive atmosphere. Make sure to check out the official website for more details.

Nov 23 – Dec 24, 2024Love Park and City Hall, PhillyDaily: 12 pm – 8 pmFree entry

4) Mifflinburg Christkindl Market

A festive market with colorful stalls, twinkling lights, and a towering Christmas tree. The aroma of mulled wine and roasted nuts fills the air as visitors browse handmade crafts and festive gifts

The Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is a festive event in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest outdoor Christmas market in the United States, bringing German Christmas traditions to town.

You’ll find the market running from December 12 to 14, 2024. During this event, Market Street transforms with lights, decorations, and stalls selling gifts, crafts, and delicious foods.

The market is inspired by a traditional German Christkindl Markt. Expect authentic German treats, handmade ornaments, and cheerful music that will get you into the holiday spirit.

Local churches, organizations, schools, and residents contribute to the market. This makes it a true community event, packed with local charm and festive cheer.

Plan your visit and enjoy walking through the market’s lively streets. This is a great place to shop for unique gifts or simply soak up the festive atmosphere.

December 12-14, 2024Market St, between 4th and 6th St, Mifflinburg, PAThursday 4:30pm-9pm, Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 10am-8pmFree to enter

5) Kutztown Christkindlmarkt

Colorful stalls line cobblestone streets, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. A towering Christmas tree serves as the centerpiece, surrounded by joyful shoppers and the scent of mulled wine and roasted nuts

Kutztown Christkindlmarkt is where you can get into the holiday spirit in a cozy, festive setting. This market is held at Renningers Kutztown Farmers and Antiques Market. It’s a fantastic place to find unique gifts from local artisans.

While you’re there, enjoy delicious food, live music, and maybe even a visit from Santa. You can find everything from handmade ornaments to homemade jams, making it a great spot for holiday shopping.

It’s a one-day event, so you’ll want to mark your calendar. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with decorations that make you feel like you’ve stepped into a winter wonderland.

Don’t miss out on this charming market that brings the community together to celebrate the season.

December 2, 2023740 Noble Street, Kutztown, PA 195309:00 AM – 4:00 PMFree Entry

6) Christmas Magic in York

Festive lights, snow-covered stalls, and bustling crowds fill the historic streets of York. The aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts fills the air as vendors sell handmade crafts and holiday treats

Christmas Magic in York stands out as a unique holiday experience. This annual event is held at Rocky Ridge County Park. It’s a magical walk that is perfect for families, friends, or even a solo stroll.

The event kicks off on Black Friday and runs through December 30th. The park closes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Expect to be dazzled by over 600,000 LED lights. The half-mile ADA-friendly path makes it accessible for everyone. The trail is decorated with animated displays, adding a whimsical touch.

Tickets are timed and priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 6-14. Early purchase is recommended as it can get quite popular.

You can walk through candy cane-lined paths and enjoy a small musical light show at specific spots. It’s a simple yet enchanting way to soak up the festive spirit.

Situated in the heart of York, getting to Christmas Magic is easy, with plenty of signs and ample parking space.

Nov 24 – Dec 30, 2023Rocky Ridge County Park, York, PA6-9 PM (Mon-Thurs)Adults: $10
(Closed Dec 24 & 25) 5-9 PM (Fri-Sun)Children 6-14: $5

7) Kennett Square Christmas Village

Don’t miss the Kennett Square Christmas Village. This festive market happens at The Creamery of Kennett Square, a setting that adds a rustic charm to your holiday shopping experience.

Explore dozens of carefully curated artisan and vintage vendors. You will find unique gifts and handcrafted items that make perfect presents for family and friends.

Live music sets the mood while you shop. Enjoy festive cocktails and food from popular food trucks, making the experience enjoyable for everyone.

Parking is convenient with a garage on Linden Street and a lot at 600 Broad Street. Plus, a free shuttle will take you straight to the market.

The Kennett Square Christmas Village is a must-visit for anyone wanting to get into the holiday spirit.

Market Details:

December 2-3, 9-10, 2023401 Birch Street, Kennett Square, PA 1934811:00 AM – 5:00 PMFree

8) Market Square Holiday Market in Pittsburgh

Experience the lively atmosphere at the Market Square Holiday Market in Pittsburgh. It’s an annual favorite, featuring Alpine-style wooden chalets that evoke the charm of traditional German Christmas Markets. This market is perfect for those who enjoy unique gifts, festive foods, and a warm holiday vibe.

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You’ll find a variety of vendors selling everything from hand-crafted ornaments to gourmet food. The setting in Market Square adds a touch of local charm and makes it a great spot for some holiday cheer.

With free admission, it’s easy to pop in any time. The market is open daily with special extended hours leading up to Christmas. Whether you’re shopping for gifts or just enjoying the festive atmosphere, there’s something here for everyone.

November 15 – December 22, 2024Market Square, PittsburghMon-Thu: 11am – 8pm, Fri-Sat: 11am – 9:30pm, Sun: 11am – 6pmFree admission

9) Elizabethtown’s Holiday Market

Elizabethtown’s Holiday Market brings a festive charm to Pennsylvania’s holiday scene. This market offers a variety of local vendors, each showcasing unique crafts and culinary delights. Perfect for supporting small businesses, it’s a hub for finding one-of-a-kind gifts.

The market atmosphere is lively, with twinkling lights and cheerful music setting the perfect holiday mood. You can browse through stalls filled with handmade ornaments, artisanal foods, and festive decorations. It’s an ideal place for holiday shopping and enjoying seasonal treats.

Families will enjoy the community feel of the market. There are often activities for kids, making it a family-friendly destination. It’s not just about shopping; it’s an experience that captures the spirit of the season.

Be sure to check the schedule, as dates and times may vary. This market is a seasonal highlight in Elizabethtown, drawing visitors from all over Pennsylvania.

Date RangeAddressTimeEntry Price
Dec. 1-15Main Street, Elizabethtown, PA12 p.m. – 8 p.m.Free

10) Lancaster Holiday Market

The Lancaster Holiday Market is a must-visit. Located in the heart of Lancaster, this festive market offers a charming experience. You can browse through unique, handmade holiday gifts perfect for everyone on your list.

Enjoy the festive atmosphere as local artisans showcase their crafts. From jewelry to home decor, there’s something for everyone. The market also features seasonal food and drinks, adding to the holiday cheer.

Live entertainment and music add to the festive vibe. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a holiday outing with family and friends. Don’t miss the opportunity to support local vendors and find unique presents.

Visitors can also explore nearby attractions. Lancaster’s rich history and cultural sites are within walking distance, making it a great spot for a full day of holiday fun.

Nov 25-26, Dec 16Double Tree Resort, 2400 Willow Street Pike10 a.m. – 4 p.m.Free

History of Christmas Markets in Pennsylvania

Christmas markets in Pennsylvania have a rich history that highlights both their origins and cultural impact. Let’s explore how these markets began and their significance within the state.

Origins and Evolution

Christmas markets in Pennsylvania trace their roots back to the state’s German heritage. Many German immigrants brought the tradition of festive markets with them in the 18th and 19th centuries. This tradition included crafting, unique foods, and seasonal goods.

The markets evolved over time. Bethlehem, often called “Christmas City USA,” is especially noted for its German-style market, Christkindlmarkt. This market began in the early 1990s and has become a central holiday event. Similarly, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village started as a modest setup but grew into one of the largest festive markets in the state.

Today, Pennsylvania’s markets blend old-world charm with modern attractions. Many feature live performances, artisanal crafts, and a wide variety of local and international foods. The evolution has turned these markets into vibrant cultural hubs, drawing visitors from across the region.

Cultural Significance

The cultural significance of Christmas markets in Pennsylvania cannot be overstated. These markets are more than just places to shop; they are community events that celebrate heritage and foster a sense of togetherness.

In cities like Bethlehem and Philadelphia, these markets offer a glimpse into the state’s diverse cultural influences. You can experience traditional German holiday festivities, complete with seasonal decorations and festive music. Local performers often grace the stages, adding to the festive atmosphere and showcasing regional talent.

Moreover, these markets provide economic benefits. Local artisans and businesses get a platform to reach wider audiences, boosting the local economy. Events like the Pennsylvania Christmas and Gift Show offer an opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting local vendors.

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The markets also serve as cultural exchanges, where visitors learn about traditions from various cultures, all brought together in a festive setting. This blending of old and new traditions makes them a beloved part of Pennsylvania’s holiday season.

What to Expect at Pennsylvania Christmas Markets

At Pennsylvania Christmas markets, you’ll find a variety of traditional foods, handmade crafts, unique gifts, and live entertainment that create a festive atmosphere. These markets offer a perfect blend of holiday charm and community spirit that you won’t want to miss.

Traditional Foods and Beverages

When you visit Pennsylvania Christmas markets, expect to indulge in a variety of traditional holiday foods and beverages. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine, both staples of these seasonal markets.

You’ll find stands selling roasted chestnuts, freshly baked pretzels, and gingerbread cookies. For a heartier option, try bratwursts or locally-made pierogies. Lancaster County markets often feature Pennsylvania Dutch specialties like scrapple and shoofly pie.

Desserts are plentiful with offerings like strudel, fruitcake, and various pastries. Don’t miss out on sampling different types of cheeses and sausages, many of which are made by local artisans.

Crafts and Gifts

Crafts and gifts are central to the experience at Pennsylvania Christmas markets. You’ll encounter vendors selling handmade ornaments, artisanal candles, and custom jewelry.

Many of the markets highlight local crafters, ensuring that each item you purchase is unique and supports small businesses. Pottery, textiles, and woodworking are commonly found, showcasing the craftsmanship of the region.

Farmers markets often feature homemade jams, honey, and other preserved foods. Textile vendors may display quilts, scarves, and mittens.

These items make great gifts or keep them for yourself as a memento of your visit.

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment adds a lively atmosphere to Pennsylvania Christmas markets. You’ll likely hear holiday music performed by local choirs and bands as you stroll through the stalls.

In some markets, like the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh, there’s a chance to see theatrical performances or carolers in traditional costumes.

Performance schedules can include everything from folk dancing to puppet shows, making it a family-friendly outing. Interactions with roaming entertainers, like stilt walkers or magicians, add an element of surprise and delight.

Planning Your Visit

Visiting Christmas markets in Pennsylvania can be a magical experience, but a little planning goes a long way. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your trip.

Best Times to Go

The peak times to visit Christmas markets are typically from late November through the days leading up to Christmas. Many markets, like the famous Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, start early and offer various activities such as live music and food stalls.

Weekdays are usually less crowded, making it easier to browse the stalls and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Evenings can also be magical with the lights and decorations fully on display. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as Pennsylvania winters can be unpredictable.

Transport and Parking Tips

Transportation and parking can be tricky during the holiday season. If you’re visiting a larger market like the Philadelphia Christmas Village, consider using public transportation such as trains and buses to avoid the hassle of finding parking.

Many markets offer dedicated parking areas, but they can fill up quickly, so arrive early. For smaller markets, like the Miracle on 24th Street Makers Market, local shuttle services or ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft can be convenient options.

Accommodation Options

Finding the right place to stay can enhance your Christmas market experience. If you plan to visit several markets, consider staying in centrally located cities like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, which offer a range of accommodations from budget to luxury.

For a more immersive experience, look into local inns or bed-and-breakfasts near markets like the Christmas Village at Kitchen Kettle. Many hotels offer special holiday packages that include market tours and other festive activities.

Booking ahead is a good idea, as popular areas can get fully booked quickly during the holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning to visit Christmas markets in Pennsylvania? This section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions to help you make the most of your holiday adventures.

What are the best Christmas markets to visit in Pennsylvania?

Some of the standout markets include the Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem, the People’s Gas Holiday Market in Pittsburgh, and the Christmas Village in Philadelphia. Each offers a unique blend of local crafts, festive foods, and seasonal entertainment.

Where can I find the dates for the 2023 Bethlehem Christmas market?

For up-to-date information on the Bethlehem Christmas market, you can visit their official website or check sites like Christmas Market Guides. They typically provide detailed schedules and any changes in opening dates.

Which city in Pennsylvania is renowned for its Christmas markets?

Bethlehem, known as “Christmas City,” is renowned for its festive atmosphere and vibrant markets. The Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem is one of the most popular, attracting visitors with its German-style holiday market.

Can you recommend some Christmas markets in Pennsylvania for unique gifts?

If you’re looking for unique gifts, head to the Mifflinburg Christkindl Market. This market features a variety of handcrafted items and local artisan products, perfect for finding something special.

You can also check out the Mt. Airy Art Garage Holiday Market. This market also offers a wide range of handcrafted items and local artisan products.

What are the features of the Christmas Village at Bethlehem?

The Christmas Village at Bethlehem features four large tents filled with crafts and gifts, entertainment by dancers in seasonal costumes, and delicious food options. The atmosphere is vibrant, creating a festive experience for all visitors.

Which Christmas market in Pennsylvania is the largest or most attended?

The Christmas Village in Philadelphia is among the largest and most attended in the state. It is modeled after traditional European Christmas markets. The market offers a wide array of vendors, performances, and activities. These draw large crowds every holiday season.

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