I was thrilled when the folks at Target asked me to write a post about one of my favorite Chicago area holiday traditions. After they provided me with a gift card to purchase items that I thought could enhance the fun, they just turned me loose and let me do my thang. (Thanks, Target! This was fun!) All words and opinions are mine, as usual! Oh, and stick around for the end: I’m giving away a $75 Target gift card to one of you lucky readers!
Chicago has all kinds of special activities going on during the holidays. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a biggie, as are the New Year’s Eve fireworks from Navy Pier. I found a great list that details holiday activities in this area “From A To Z”; we certainly can’t complain of boredom this season, that’s for sure! My family’s personal favorite? The Christkindlmarket.
The Christkindlmarket, which has taken place at Daley Plaza every year since 1997, starts right after Thanksgiving. It is an open air Christmas festival inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. Visitors enjoy entertainment, traditional German food and drink, and great shopping. This is no “wannabe” German Christmas festival, either; most of the vendors actually fly in from Germany and spend the month selling their authentic products to excited (and cold) Chicagoans.
I absolutely adore visiting the Christkindlmarket in the city every year but I admit it’s a little bit of a haul, not to mention the crowds, which Jim despises. We got some great news this year, though. For the first time, a suburban extension of the festival was planned for the middle of Oakbrook Center. We jumped for joy! I mean, fifteen minutes from home, fewer people, AND free parking? SIGN US UP. In fact, I’ve been there twice already! That was unheard of in past years when I had to make the trek all the way to the city.
The Oakbrook Christkindlmarket is much smaller than the Daley Plaza version, but I prefer it that way, especially since all of my favorite vendors are represented!
Here’s how I recently took Target to the Oakbrook Christkindlmarket with me:
You know how I love lists, right? Well, I have three MUST-DOs for a Christkindlmarket visit, and I kept track of them (along with a gift giving list) in my Molskine notebook, which is sold at Target in lots of colors and sizes.
If you know me at all you know that I am nearly always connected. If I’m not on my laptop, I’m on my iPad. If I’m not on my iPad, I’m on my phone. The problem with Chicago winters and texting or emailing (okay, or Facebooking) is that well, your fingers could freeze and fall off. I picked up some Impressions by Isotoner gloves (guess where?), and they pretty much saved the day–and my fingers.
Lastly, I picked up a super cute bag by Toms in which to carry all of my purchases.
The Toms for Target Collection is awesome because for every Toms + Target gift you buy, they’re giving shoes, a blanket, or meals to those in need. Getting something for yourself AND someone else? Hard to beat.
If you live anywhere near a Target store, you probably already visit on a regular basis.
I actually have three within a few minutes’ drive of my house so I’m there CONSTANTLY OMG.
If you haven’t visited in a while, go back and check it out: it really is one-stop shopping for your holiday needs and your year-round needs. But I bet I don’t have to convince you, do I?
Now, let’s have some fun. I’m giving away a $75 Target gift card to one of you lucky people! It’s super easy to enter, too. Just leave me one comment telling me that you want to win. That’s it! You have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 23 to enter and I will pick the winner from a random drawing. The gift card won’t help you for the holidays but it’ll certainly improve your January! (P.S. Target sells mittens, hats, scarves, shovels, hot cocoa, warm blankets, and all kinds of other dead-of-winter stuff, of course!) Good luck!