The ambiance has changed.
1515 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80202
(On 16th St. Mall, across from the Clock Tower)
The first time we went back in 2000, I swear it was in the Denver Pavillions and far more festive.
From the Friday before Thanksgiving through December 23 every year.
The Cristkindl Market is an annual event that is said to bring German and European holiday traditions to Denver. I’m not sure how accurate that is. There are vendors that sell various trinkets, ornaments, and German food. One vendor sells beer steins. That’s pretty German, but it’s not unique to holidays and neither is the food. Maybe the tradition is the street market itself.
Weekday visits are lackluster. You’ll miss live entertainment by various artists inside a very large festival tent, of course, Christmas lights. Inside the tent, there’s a bandstand, dance floor, full bar, loads of picnic tables, and even a standing breathalizer to help you determine whether you can drive or should use Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
German Christmas markets have been a thing since as far back as the 14th century. Food and practical winter supplies were provided at the markets, and they became a holiday tradition. It’s a way to get into the holiday spirit.
I don’t know about holiday spirit, but it looks like there’s enough beer and treats to lift your spirits overall.
Something newish to the market is vendors selling CBD & hemp products. I get it … Colorado … but it doesn’t give a holiday vibe at all. Picture it. You’re walking along looking at hand-blown glass ornaments, Christmas villages, those cute nesting dolls, and all of the sudden (cue record scratching sound), BAM! CBD products in your face (booths not even decorated for Christmas).
If you don’t have anything to do and want to get out of the house, Christkindl Market is an idea. I just can’t tell you that it’s a great idea anymore.