Outdoor market shatters expectations

Updated schedule of activities planned through December 23
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A shopper buys a gift from a pottery merchant at the Christkindl Markt at Downtown Market, November 2023. Courtesy photo.

Fewer than two full weeks into its 26-day run, West Michigan’s largest traditional European Christmas market is proving to be quite the success story. 

“Our opening weekend shattered all of our expectations about attendance and vendor sales,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, where the seasonal popup market is located. 

According to event organizers, five years of extensive research and planning went into the endeavor to recreate locally the type of seasonal outdoor holiday shopping experience commonly found in Europe during the holiday season. More than 70 Christmas markets were studied for inspiration. 

The result? An illuminated winter wonderland full of international flair! 

The Christkindl Markt offers Grand Rapids Christmas shoppers an experience like no other; decorated vendor booths, a German style beverage hall, live entertainment, curling sheet rentals, and children’s activities are just some of what’s on offer at this unique seasonal holiday experience.  

“We’re eager to welcome our fellow fans of Christmas back for a second week of live entertainment, children’s activities and European holiday traditions,”  Fritz said as the second week of the inaugural Christkindl Markt kicks off with a full lineup of events: 

Wednesday, Nov. 29
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Grand Rapids Children’s Museum hosting activities

Thursday, Nov. 30
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Grand Rapids Children’s Museum hosting storytime
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Strolling Original Dickens Carolers (throughout Christkindl Markt)

Friday, Dec. 1
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
4:30. – 5:30 p.m. – Jenison High School Choir performing on the main stage
6-
 6:45 p.m. – Strolling Grand Rapids Caroling Company (throughout Christkindl Markt)
7 – 9 p.m. – River Rogues Jazz Band performing on the main stage

Saturday, Dec 2
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Grand Rapids Art Museum hosting activities
11  a.m. – 1 p.m. – Strolling Santa and Mrs. Claus (throughout Christkindl Markt)
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
Noon – 12:30 p.m. – Storytime with Mrs. Claus
4 – 4:30 p.m. – Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus performing on main stage

Sunday, December 3
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – I’m an Artist Community Studio hosts activities
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Strolling Santa
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Kev & Racquel Piano Show

Monday, December 4
Christkindl Markt is Closed

Tuesday, December 5
Christkindl Markt is Closed

Wednesday, December 6
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Grand Rapids Children’s Museum hosting activities

Thursday, December 7
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Grand Rapids Public Library hosting storytime

Friday, December 8
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Letters to Santa and holiday crafts
6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Villancicos Navideños performing carols in Spanish on main stage
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Dave Wells Strolling German Oompah Band performing on main stage

 Saturday, December 9
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – I’m an Artist Community Studio hosting activities
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Strolling Santa and Mrs. Claus (throughout Christkindl Markt)
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. – Villancicos Navideños perform carols in Spanish on main stage
Noon – 12:30 p.m. – Storytime with Mrs. Claus
1:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Izzy Wallace performing holiday hits on main stage
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids performing on main stage
5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Tony and Greg (piano and guitar) performing on main stage

Located at 435 Ionia Ave. SW,  Christkindl Markt is closed Monday, Nov. 27 and Tuesday, Nov. 28. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.’ and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., with the following events taking place through Saturday, Dec. 23. The full 26-day entertainment schedule can be found at christkindlmarktgr.com/entertainment.

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