Saturday was supposed to be the start of my winter hibernation. I woke up to see it had dropped into the 30s in Chicago and the forecast called for flurries that morning. I wanted to stay in bed all day, but the chance to grab coffee with Jessie (Just Jessie Blog) got me out of the house. Besides an Orangetheory class afterward, the weekend was about staying inside for the most part. That was the plan … until I realized the Christkindlmarket Chicago was opening over the weekend.
Graham, Victoria and I made our way down to Daley Plaza with hopes of finding some ornaments for our Christmas tree. Graham and I have collected ornaments from places we have visited since we first started dating, and the tradition continues with our little addition.
We slowly made our way through the market crowds, pushing a stroller at a glacial pace. A toddler carrier would have been the smarter way to go, because people cut in front of us every 5 feet or so. Patience is key if you bring a stroller.
Our first order of business was buying a hot pizza pretzel ($5) to warm up. The ATMs at the market were out of order, so I then walked across the street to a bank at Clark and Washington for cash; most of the booths were cash only. Next we warmed up with hot chocolate with whipped cream ($3) and hot apple cider ($3).
Ornament options are abundant at the market; it was overwhelming. Nutcrackers, angels, snowmen — you name it and you can find it. A heart-shaped bark ornament caught my eye at one of the booths ($9), and then we bought more food. That became our main focus; Eat as much as we could. Perhaps some hot spiced wine or beer can warm you up as well. Be sure to get it in one of the market mugs ($8). We also picked up potato pancakes ($6), milk-chocolate rice crispy treats ($4) and bourbon chocolate balls ($4). We came, we saw, we ate.
Had the weather not been so cold for my Arizona blood, I would have wanted to stay longer. But I couldn’t take it anymore. I haven’t taken my coats out of storage because of wishful thinking. I mean, it was just 70 degrees a few days ago. How did it go from summer to winter overnight?
We left with full bellies, one ornament and plans to return on a day when we are dressed more appropriately. I hope to pick up some goodies for loved ones next time I go.
Get more information about the market on its website. It is open until Dec. 24.
Have you been to Christkindlmarket Chicago? What did you buy?