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November 21, 2016

Here's your ultimate guide to this year's Christmas Village

Market returns with more festive fun for 2016

Events Christmas Village
Christmas Village Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

The holiday market officially opens Nov. 25.

Planning on going to the Christmas Village this year? The open-air German market is a holiday tradition for Philadelphians. Many find their holiday gifts among the stalls selling international treats, festive decorations and handmade crafts.

Before heading to the market, read on to find out this year's hours, new vendors and specific events.

New Location

Due to ongoing construction at LOVE Park, the open-air German market will be located at the City Hall Courtyard and Northern Apron.

Courtesy of Kory Aversa/PhillyVoice

Christmas Village is at a new location this year. Find it at the City Hall Courtyard.


Christmas Village opens daily starting Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 24) and will remain open through Christmas Eve (Saturday, Dec. 24).

Daily market hours are:

Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Special market hours are:

Thanksgiving hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Black Friday hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free. Just pay-as-you-go.

Courtesy of Kory Aversa/PhillyVoice

Crowds gather at the huts in Christmas Village.

Quick Overview

Returning traditions include:

• Photos with Santa
• Lunch concert at noon on Black Friday (Nov. 25; Jennifer Logue will perform.)
• Themed weekends with live music and entertainment (Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-18, Dec. 24)
• Wine tasting with Chaddsford Winery on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Nov. 29 through Dec. 22; tickets required)
• Christmas Village’s Lantern Parade with the Philly POPS and the Walnut Street Theatre’s children carolers (postponed Nov. 30 due to weather; new date TBA)
• NRG’s annual Gingerbread Contest, plus meet and greets with official Eagles players (Dec. 9)
• Christkind opens the market during the Grand Opening Ceremony

Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

As a Christmas Village tradition, Christkind officially opens the market by reciting a speech before walking through the market.

New surprises for the 2016 holiday season:

• Opening Ceremony moved to a Sunday this year (Nov. 27)
• New holiday carousel as the centerpiece of the courtyard ($3 per ride)
• Pet photos with Santa
• Weekly themed Ho Ho Happy Hours on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. (Dec. 7, 14, 21)
• Official visit from Saint Nikolaus and Krampus (Dec. 6)
• New vendors
• The first annual Bratwurst Eating Contest from 5-7 p.m. (Dec. 21)
• New kids’ attractions and kids’ entertainment programs
• A dog fuel station in partnership with the dog treat vendor Kylie’s Canine Treats
• Special offers and discounts on food and drinks for students on Tuesdays
• Collectors Mug with a new design for 2016

Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

Christmas Village will get a carousel for the first time this year.

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Food and Drink

Since Christmas Village is set up like an open-air German market, many of the foods offered are German or inspired by the country's traditional dishes.

Look out for these favorites:

• Mulled wine
• German bratwursts
• Potato pancakes
• Schnitzel
• Belgian fries with a variety of different sauces
• Döner Kebab
• German sweets like gingerbread, stollen and chocolate
• Crêpes
• Waffles with speculoos dipping sauce

Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

Gingerbread is a delicious treat available at Christmas Village.

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More than 80 booths, plus a big vendor tent, can be found at Christmas Village. Many of the stalls sell gifts that can't be found at the mall. There are tons of German and international vendors at the holiday market.

The various booths offer unique toys, jewelry, pottery, fashion, art, handmade items, decorations and ornaments, among other goods.

Find the full list of vendors (and where they are located) here.

New vendors for 2016:

• Amazing Light – Shaped lights
• Chez Kikis – French soap and tablecloths
• Christmas Souvenir Ornaments – Holiday clay ornaments
• Jerky Hut – Jerky meats
• Just Makes Scents – Herbal packages
• Kylie's Pet Treats – All-natural dog, cat and bird treats, plus accessories
• New York Puzzle Company – Puzzles from 24 to 2,000 pieces
• Persnickety – Kids’ car toys
• Shane Confectionery and The Franklin Fountain – Candy, fudge, ice cream
• Steiff – High-quality plush animals from Germany
• Tommy Conch Designs – Sterling silver jewelry
• Torch Bearer Sauces – Tasty condiments and sauces
• Wagman Designs – Designer jewelry

Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

Find unique ornaments at Christmas Village.

Event Specifics

The full schedule can be found here. Entertainment -- including concerts, dance performances and children's choirs -- is scheduled daily on the main stage.

• The Grand Opening Ceremony will take place on Sunday, Nov. 27, this year from 3-4:30 p.m. As a Christmas Village tradition, Christkind from Nuremberg will once again officially open the market by reciting her opening speech before walking through the market.

In Germany, Christkind is the person who brings gifts to kids. Camden Catholic High School Band and Clearview Regional High School Choir will perform during the ceremony, too. 

• Christmas Village's second Lantern Parade (POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER. Check back for rescheduled date) will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30, beginning at 5:15 p.m. Participants are asked to meet outside Christmas Village's main stage at the Northern Apron to start the parade. Everyone is encouraged to bring homemade and decorated lanterns that use batteries.

Courtesy of Kory Aversa/PhillyVoice

The Lantern Parade, a family-friendly favorite, will return to Christmas Village.

After walking around City Hall, the parade will end with a performance.

• Visit from Nikolaus and Krampus will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Nikolaus will be giving out small treats between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

In Germany, kids clean their shoes and put them by the front door so that Saint Nikolaus can fill the shoes with candy and small gifts.

• NRG Gingerbread House Contest will take place on Friday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. Members of the press compete on behalf of local nonprofits. In the evening, after the contest winner has been chosen, NRG also brings an official Eagles player to Christmas Village for a photo and autograph session at 6 p.m.

• Ho Ho Happy Hours will take place on three Wednesday evenings: Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21. Enjoy deals on mulled wine and food from Chaddsford Winery and the German Grill as well as weekly changing tasting specials. The happy hour lasts from 5-7 p.m. and will feature a different theme on all three dates.

Ho Ho Happy Hour Schedule:

Dec. 7 - “Irish Christmas”
Dec. 14 - “Philly Christmas”
Dec. 21 - “German Christmas”

• The new Bratwurst Eating Contest will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 21. It is an amateur competition beginning at 5 p.m. with no entry fee. Each contestant has to eat as many bratwursts as possible in 15 minutes.

• Family Fun Kids' Corner will be open Saturdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be storytelling, caricature artists, face painters and music. The schedule will vary, but every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Santa will be inside his hut for photos. Pets are welcome to get their photo taken with Santa, too.

Courtesy of Christmas Village/PhillyVoice

Santa will be available for photos on weekends at Christmas Village.