Experience our award winning Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario! Kitchener City Hall has been home to Canada's original Christkindl Market since 1996. Every Christmas, since medieval times, towns and cities across Germany come alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas.
Come for an hour, stay for three, or make it a weekend tradition. There's a lot to do, a lot to see and a lot to taste! Be sure to check out the full schedule of events, and don't miss some of the family events like these below!
Food & Shopping
Christkindl Market offers a one-of-a kind holiday shopping experience and in celebration of its 20th Anniversary, it has expanded to more than 90 food and gift vendors – many of whom are clustered within tiny huts in Civic Square. Grab a bratwurst, schnitzel or pretzel and stroll the Square to find unique, European-themed gifts and decorations you won’t find in a chain store. Like the outdoor markets in Germany, the irresistible smells of fresh baked pastries, traditional mulled Glühwein and stick-to-your-ribs German cuisine cooked outside in the open air will have you drooling.
Culture & Traditions
Christmas markets in the central square of their cities and towns made of tiny wooden huts where cooks, artisans and merchants could peddle their wares is a 700-year old German tradition. As Canada’s original festival of German Christmas, Christkindl Market has honoured tradition with a candlelight lantern parade, lighting of the Christmas tree, live nativity scene, carol singing and classic European Christmas characters passed down through generations. Founded by Canada’s largest German community, Kitchener’s Christkindl Market is a rare and authentic glimpse of timeless European Christmas traditions to be experienced year after year.
With more than 30 entertainers there’s something new to experience almost every hour over the 4-day festival. From German brass brands and philharmonic choirs, to classical European folk dancing, there’s always something to see and hear throughout the day. This year, Christkindl Market is pleased to announce two special guest performances by Phoenix & Mercedes (members of the of pop group sensation Courage My Love) which will be sure to appeal to the teens in your family. Live blacksmith demonstrations add to the excitement each day.
For the Children
Christkindl Market is a wonderful venue to create lasting memories with your children and there’s so much for them to see and do. A puppet show, blacksmith demonstration, live nativity and a Garden-scale model railway will captivate everyone. Both parents and children will also enjoy the hands-on workshops that will be cherished family mementos for years to come.