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The 7 Best German Christmas Markets Across the U.S.

Anyone who hasn't visited a German Christmas market is seriously missing out. We're talking way better Christmas shopping than you'll ever see in a big box store or mall. They are full of unique ornaments and gifts from local vendors and obviously filled with German treats including mulled wine (called glühwein) to enjoy while you browse.

The tradition of Christmas markets originated in Germany as early as the 14th century during the four weeks of Advent. It is said that Dresden's Striezelmarkt, Frankfurt and Munich were some of the first in the world. Though replicated in other European countries, Austria's "December market" could actually be the oldest Christmas market since it is said to have originated in 1298.

Today you can visit some of Germany's most famous Christmas markets in Cologne and Nuremberg but we've gathered up some of the best Christmas markets across the United States. Originally these markets only featured food and supplies for winter but now they are straight out of a fairytale with gifts and treats galore.  Don't forget to grab some lebkuchen (German gingerbread) while you enjoy your Weihnachtsmarkt visit this holiday season:

1. Christkindlemarket in Chicago, Illinois

This is one of the largest Christmas markets in the country. Held in Daley Plaza, this market attracts over one million visitors every year. They even recently expanded to Naper Settlement, Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville and Milwaukee (2018 will be the first year).

Open annually from Nov. 16 to Dec. 24.

2. Christmas Market in Tomball, Texas

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This traditional Christmas market is located right here in the Lone Star State in Old Town Tomball. With that beautiful Christmas tree, this market draws in the crowds every year to visit their estimated 163 unique street vendors.

Open annually from Dec. 8 through Dec. 10.

3. Christkindlemarkt in Helen, Georgia

This Bavarian village provides the ultimate Christmas charm. Taking place at the Downtown Marktplatz, you'll feel like you stepped right into Berlin as you browse this year's 11th annual event. Try a loaf of stollen (German fruit bread) and enjoy the whimsical architecture and decorations.

Open annually Dec. 1 through Dec. 2 and Dec. 8 through Dec. 9.

4. Christkindl Market in Denver, Colorado

This market is put on locally every year by the by the German American Chamber of Commerce. This year they will feature a "Kinderpunsch," a non-alcoholic Glühwein, to make this market, even more, family friendly. You can even visit this market in late November, maybe to avoid the crazy holiday crowds?

Open annually from Nov. 16 through Dec. 23.

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Christmas City is one of the most famous Christmas markets in the county. They feature 150 vendors from all over the country as well as ornaments and nutcrackers from Germany. With ice carving and glassblowing presentations and holiday music, this market is not to be missed.

Open annually from Nov. 16 through Dec. 23.

6. Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt in Cincinnati, Ohio

Executed every year by the German Society of Cincinnati, this is the oldest traditional German Christmas market in the Cincinnati area. Bonus, it's held under heated tents! They offer a ton of festive entertainment including a petting zoo, carriage rides and a wide array of German treats and holiday drinks. You can also see Krampus, "the half-goat, half-demon" antithesis of Santa from German folklore if you're into that.

Open annually the weekend before Thanksgiving.

7. Old World Christmas Market in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Held at The Osthoff Resort, this is one of the most popular Christmas markets in the midwest. Guests can explore the heated tent that features Nuremberg bratwurst, handblown glass ornaments and more German treats (like strudel!) Grab a traditional Christmas pyramid ornament (Weihnachtspyramide) while you explore.

Open annually Nov. 30 through Dec. 9.

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The 7 Best German Christmas Markets Across the U.S.