Though the weather this winter may not scream “Christmas!”, the Christmas Village in Love Park happily compensates.
This past Friday, we were invited to kick off the holidays with a tree lighting, then exploring the bites and festivities in the park. Each winter, Christmas Village transforms the park into a replica of a traditional German Christmas market to kick off the holiday season. This year they’ve reached 60 different vendors for food, sweets, drinks, and gifts. Craving a fresh waffle or bratwurst? Or maybe some mulled wine or hot chocolate? Whichever your preference, all are easily found here.
Christmas Village is also running wine and cheese pairing events every Tuesday for the rest of the month, and wine and chocolate pairing events every Thursday– tickets are $8, and the events run from 3 – 7 pm. Fridays, they hold free lunch concerts, and each Saturday celebrates a different theme.
For us, the party on Friday began with the tree-lighting, then moved to fresh warm food and drink from the market: apple and cherry strudel, fresh bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, mulled wine, hot chocolate, and enough candied nuts to tide us over before our tour.
Afterwards, we took a tour through the market and had the luck of trying the famous baked cheese from Brunkow Cheese, fresh grilled cheese from Wisconsin.
The cheese was followed by Aaother pitstop to grab pretzels from Pretzelphoria, which left us too stuffed to move– so we sat and took in the holiday vibe with another round of hot chocolate.
The Christmas Village will be at Love Park until the last Sunday in December; if you’re looking for fun holiday gifts or treats to take home with you, this is the spot.
–Sara Schuster, photos by Daniel Roberts