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Always Free Admission


356 Days until our festival of German Christmas December 3 to 6, 2020


Plan Your Visit - Getting Around

VENDOR MAP LINKS:    Outdoor Village of Huts     Inside Kitchener City Hall (1st Floor)       Inside Kitchener City Hall (2nd Floor)

PARKING MAP LINKS:    Parking Downtown Kitchener incl FREE (PDF) 

TRANSIT LINKS:  Via Rail      GO (Train & Bus)        ION (Kitchener Waterloo, Light Rail Transit)     GRT (Grand River Transit, Bus)


Here's what's new!

Kids - there's lots to do!

  • Join us inside Kinderecke (Kid's Corner) for entertainment: puppet & magic shows, storytellers, workshops & crafts.
  • Listen, sing along and dance to choirs, bands and dance groups performing on the main stage outdoors. Dress warm!
  • Visit Fred & Jenny's train room
  • See the blacksmiths demonstrations, live nativity and skating on the rink.
  • Join in our “Finding St. Nicholas’ Shoes – Scavenger Hunt.”
  • Check out the “The Season’s Greetings" postcard photo gallery from the early 1900’s.
  • Take a carriage ride through Victoria Park.
  • Select your Christmas tree to take home.
  • Pick up Christkindl’s 2019 collectible tree ornament.
  • Shop 100 vendors in Christkindl's Outdoor Village of huts and inside City Hall. Try all the tasty foods - from apple fritters and strudel to sausages and soup. 
  • Take a photo with one of our folklore characters who will have special treats.

Plan your Visit - Play/Eat/Stay

Come for a few hours, stay overnight, visit with your group or make it a weekend tradition. Use these links to help you plan your day and your stay in KW. Festival location is Kitchener City Hall. 

Places to Play:

Christmas Fantasy - Victoria Park Saturday December 7 - Lights on at 6PM

Drayton Entertainment (7 Live Theatres) 

Events | Downtown Kitchener BIA

Kitchener Events

Festivals & Events Ontario

Waterloo Regional Tourism

Places to Eat:

Proof Kitchen/Lounge

The Barrister's Lounge, The Lokal & TWH Social at Walper Hotel

Concordia Club, Kitchener (Schenke Restaurant) Specialty is German food, lots of free parking, near Mill Street ION stop) 

Stone Crock, St. Jacobs

Places to Stay:

Homewood Suites, by Hilton, Waterloo / St. Jacobs

Walper Hotel, Kitchener

Delta Hotel, by Mariott, Waterloo 


Media covering Christkindl Market:

CHIN Radio - Toronto & Ottawa 

More Places to Play:

THEMUSEUM

St. Jacobs Country Tourism

Kitchener Public Library

Schneider Haus, National Historic Site (short walk through Victoria Park) 

Woodside National Historic Site

Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Village 

City of Waterloo Museum 

Castle Kilbride 

Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery 

Homer Watson House and Gallery


More Places to Eat:

Concordia Club German Club, Schenke Restaurant (Thursday: 2 can dine for $22.00, Friday Buffet: $ 20.95, Saturday: Dine & Dance, Sunday Brunch 11:00am - 2pm $ 23.95)

Schwaben Club German Club

Two Goblets 

Metro Restaurant Specialty is Schnitzel - 168 Victoria Street North 519-578-9189

Restaurants within a few blocks:

271 West Restaurant    271 King Street West 519-954-8821
Yo Sushi    103 King Street West 519-568-7566
Bobby O’Briens    125 King Street West 519-743-5657
Kinkaku Izakaya    217 King Street West 519-208-2688
Union Burger    281King Street West 519-741-9900
Slices Family Restaurant     300 King Street West 519-576-3760
Subway Restaurant in the 200 block beside Shopper’s Drug Mart
McCabe’s Irish Pub    352 King Street West at Francis St. 519-743-3400
Queen Street Commons    43 Queen Street S. 519-749-9177
Northern Thai    95 Queen Street S. 519-745-4451
Farmers' Markets: Kitchener   St. Jacobs   Cambridge

Children's Workshop

Kinderecke (Kid's Corner) 

More Indoor Kinderecke, located behind the outdoor stage, features puppet shows, performers and crafts for kids to enjoy. 

Trains

Model Railway

MoreKids of all ages will love spending the day watching Fred & Jenny's village of trains and collection of buildings and tracks!

Live Nativity

Live Nativity

MoreOn Carl Zehr Square, children enjoy experiencing the Christmas story, meeting Mary, Joseph and their sheep.

Blacksmiths

Blacksmiths

MoreTalk to Ontario blacksmiths. Interesting for all ages are the demonstrations and hand-forged items for sale!

Food & Shopping
Christkindl Market offers a one-of-a kind holiday shopping experience. We've grown to 100 food and gift vendors – many of whom are clustered within tiny huts in Christkindl's OutdoorVillage. 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 procession and sig-along, lighting of the Christmas tree, live nativity scene, and folklore characters passed down through generations. Take a photo with one of our folklore characters who will have treats - sponsored by Ritter Sport. 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 and relived year after year.

Entertainment
New this year... join us Friday & Saturday night for a free outdoor Christmas concert by "The Beyer's." Marion and Klaus Beyer are direct from Berlin, Germany. Throughout Thursday and Friday you can hear the unique sounds of the "Trillium Alphorns."  Over 35 performance on the outdoor stage by Choirs, Bands and Dance groups will move you to sway, sing-along, twirl or just close your eyes and feel their music - sponsored by Desjardins Financial Security, Independent Network SW Ontario. Take in Fred & Jenny's train room, blacksmiths demonstrations, live nativity and skating. There’s something new to experience almost every hour throughout the 4-day festival. 

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. Join us in the Kinderecke (Kid's Corner) for indoor programming, entertainment, puppet shows and workshops for children throughout Friday to Sunday - sponsored by W. Ristau Construction. Blacksmith demonstrations, live nativity and a Garden-scale model railway will captivate everyone. Come create family memories you'll cherish for years to come.

Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
It is a magical experience for me as a vendor and all the visitors that attend. Everybody is happy and excited and enjoying all the events, food, atmosphere, entertainment, and the unique vendors wares. Thanks to those that had the vision to start Christkindl 20 years ago, and all that played a role over the years to making Christkindl a success.
Love the market, reminds me of my time living in Germany
It is awesome! This reminds me of all of the traditional Christmas markets I saw in Germany. I loved the markets in Germany and miss them a great deal, how nice it is to relive a bit of the atmosphere here in Kitchener.
Kindling the Christmas Spirit -I remember the first year of the Market about 10 years ago. Snow falling gently, beautiful German music playing outside, high quality Christmas goods for purchase from friendly vendors, hot-mulled cider, the nativity scene, the skaters - what atmosphere!!! The magic has hooked me ever since. So much different from the mall! Thanks for kindling the Christmas spirit.
My husband's family is German and up until we visited the Christkindl Market a few years ago I only had stories and some samplings of the different Christmas foods from Germany from his family. Until we visited your wonderful market I never really understood the fascination my husband has always had for German Christmas. Since that first visit my husband starts planning our next visit in October! He wouldn't miss it for the world and I have come to appreciate his heritage even more through experiencing this bit of Germany in Canada! Every year we bring our teenagers and invite our friends. Thank you for all your hard work - Christmas isn't Christmas for us now without the Christkindl Market!
I just want to thank the team that sets up the Christmas Tree and oversees Christkindl. What a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour! I go every year on Thursday and Friday. I LOVE it! It just lifts the spirits and is so "magical"! Thank you for such a wonderful experience, every year!
"Homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany. I had been living in a small town in the Black Forest region while I was teaching on the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr. On my return to Stratford, I found the Kitchener Christkindl Market. Somehow, I did not feel quite as "homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany! It is a wonderful experience, one I look forward to every year.
I will be there again to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time.
We absolutely love it! It's been a family tradition to go to the German Christmas market at the Toronto International Centre since I was a small child back in the 70's and 80's. Now I have children of my own and we have been coming to the Kitchener Christkindl Market for the past 10 years. We stay at a nearby bed and breakfast go to the farmers market and then the Chirstkindl. It's a beautiful weekend that we look forward to all year long. I love the whole German feel. My mother was German from Darmstadt. We grew up speaking German with all the German customs and festivities. Christmas and Nikolaus Tag were our favourites. Your Christkindl still captures that traditional German feel with the products, food, childrens/adult choir and German people. The smell of the the roasted beer nuts, bratwurst, goulash soup, saurkraut, potato pancakes and blacksmith fire in the crisp, cold winter air creates a feeling in me that I cannot explain. It really makes me and my family feel wonderful and happy. With all the craziness in today's world, it's so good to know we can disappear for a weekend in the warmth and nostalgia of the Christkindl.
As the rest of the world gallops forward, there is a tradition that keeps people in Waterloo Region firmly rooted in the past, at least during Christmas. The annual four-day Christkindl Market opens Thursday in front of Kitchener City Hall, recreating a Bavarian tradition first officially recorded in 1310. The original market, called Nikolausdult, was designed as a temporary affair constructed from wood and canvas and erected in front of a church. Visitors from far and wide would arrive to both sell and purchase items, some from other countries, giving the market an international flavour. Then in a few days, it would all disappear. "It's about tradition," she said. "That's what people are looking for." The market features vendors, selling all manner of items: German-made toys, handcrafted jewelry, art glass items, gift baskets, beeswax candles, gifts, chocolate and marzipan, original art, music, leather, hand-painted wearable art, tree decorations, music boxes and everyone's favourite, apple fritters. Christkindl Market takes over much of city hall, both inside and out, with gift vendors indoors and food outdoors on Civic Square, where they will pander to anyone with a hankering for Germanic food, including schnitzel, marinated herring and Schinken on a bun as well as the regular crowd pleasers such as sausage, potato pancakes, stollen and waffles. This is no time to go on a diet. And for those needing a rest, the 10th floor has been turned into a place to sit, relax and eat your goodies.
Thank you, for bringing to our community the Christkindl Market, an event that has rekindled in the hearts of so many, the wonder and joy, the excitement and awe of those memorable Christkindl Markets in Germany so many years ago. Thanks for your vision, your dream and your spirit. You make it possible for people of another age, a new generation, and varied cultures to enjoy the magic. Our hearts quicken at the sound of the fanfare at the opening ceremony and our eyes grow misty to the sweet sound of the music and song that fills the winter air...
Can you please do a candlelight precession on Friday and Saturday nights too?
It is well organized
We love it! It gets us in the Christmas spirit!
Love it-part of my yearly Christmas tradition!
Great Job - Christkindl Market! Saves us a trip to Germany!
Wonderful - An annual event for myself!
Christmas spirit ... we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival
My two-year-old son, was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. A lady was watching my son's dreamy state. This kind-hearted lady said she wanted to buy it for my little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.
"I will be there again on the Saturday to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time."
Nice to preserve our cultural heritage. We really enjoyed the train room
Beautiful. Love the nativity and ornaments. Everything ist wunderbar
Santa does not have to be in a red suit The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener: My four-year-old daughter; two-year-old son, my Mom and I had gone to Christkindl on Dec 7. My son was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. To the right of me was a lady watching my son's gazing and dreamy state. The lady took a box with the toy inside and shoved it under my arm; my reaction was no, no, no. I looked at this kind-hearted lady and she said she wanted to buy it for the little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.
Think Oktoberfest, except that the beer is replaced with Christmas cheer.
If you can't be at a Christmas Market in Germany, the Christkindl Market in Oktoberfest City (Kitchener, Ontario), is the closest it can get. They even have real, hot mulled wine, a staple at every German Weihnachtsmarkt. For us, visiting the market in Kitchener was a few hours back home away from home. Very nice!
I took my daughter for the first time 5 years ago and what a special event this was for both of us. We visited the manger live nativity scene, it was beautiful. We listened to the Christmas music, I can't believe how just humming a little Christmas song can put you in such good spirits with yourself and others. Christmas is the one time of the year that people actually look at others and smile, wishing them the very best. It's a shame we can't be like this throughout the year.
Thank you all for making this German Christmas festival a reality so that we can enjoy the Christmas season and make many special memories for ourselves and more importantly for our children. To another 100 years of Christkindl Market, Kitchener! Frohe Weihnachten
Wonderful Tradition!
Ich Liebe Christkindl Markt
Wonderful! My husband is German- was like home for him! Visiting is becoming a yearly tradition! Thanks!
As we entered the building, we saw so many beautiful Angels, and so many beautiful ornaments, so unique to this event that you couldn't buy them anywhere else. What a memory. My daughter and I attend this event each and every year. It's like our own tradition, just for the 2 of us. It's a night out together to bond, celebrate the holidays and of course to look for that very special Christmas ornament for this year.
I'm now feeling the Christmas Spirit. Thank you!
Just like Germany! Love the organ grinder!
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener
Nice! I just moved back from living in Europe for 9 years, this was so nice!
Christkindl Market has a special place in my heart. I used to go every year with my Grandma as a little girl and now, I take my son every year. We look forward to getting our German cookies and treats and continuing a family tradition to officially start off our Christmas season.
It brings back memories of Germany during the Christmas season!
Love your market!!
Herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland - Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war.
Excellent community spirit and great event for family. Loved the food, gluhwein, apple fritters, sauerkraut..
The joy is yours!
...we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
Christmas spirit ...we like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
Love the Market! It's my first time here and it's been awesome! Thank you!
It was amazing what wonders it did for us! From the lights and the music and the smells and watching everyone smiling and laughing...it instantly lifted our spirits and helped us keep them there through the whole holiday. Now we can't wait year to year for the first ads and we rush to mark it on the calendars. We always go the Friday night, no kids or friends, just us - to sit and take it all in. You don't know what you are missing until you have been there!" - Letter from
The Christkindl Festival has been, and still is, a very special part of our Christmas celebration for the past 17 years. We always get excited and look forward to basking in the nostalgic glow of the warm hospitality, family atmosphere, fantastic food, great products and the angelic sounds of the Christmas choir. Thank you for all the wonderful, lifelong memories!
My mom has taken my brother and I to the Christkindl Market ever since it first opened. We felt surrounded by love and happiness and enjoyed being around the German community - especially because we could not be with our family in Germany at Christmas. I still remember and still feel the warm feelings I first felt when I visit the Christkindl Market. I always make sure I attend each year with my Mom and now take my daughter along as well. I hope she too will be able to attend for years to come and in the future, bring her children as well.
Love it. Traditional December event we all look forward to at our house. Thanks!
Love this festival - begins Christmas!
Every year the City Hall in Kitchener transforms into a German style Christmas Market complete with food, carollers, ice skating and lots more. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event and it did not disappoint. City Hall was decked out with vendors, food, Christmas decorations and entertainment to convince even the meanest Grinch that this truly is the best time of the year. WONDERS OF WINTER
Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war. Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
As always, our family enjoyed the Christkindl Market so very much! Thank you for nurturing this tradition in Kitchener - we hope it keeps going for many, many years... Thank you once again for a wonderful Christmas experience our family has made part of our yearly tradition!
Our family has been coming to the Christkindl Market in Kitchener for five years now. We absolutely love it there. The sights, sounds and smells really put us in the Christmas spirit. This has become a very cherished part of our Christmas traditions. Three generations of our family take part in it. What a special time is had by all. Thanks for the memories...already looking forward to next year.

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