Tag Archives: Christmas market

It Ain’t Christmas Season Without a “Christkindl” Market


With the second Sunday of Advent upon us the holiday season is in full swing. What about a ‘Christkindlmarkt’ that many of us expats remember so fondly?  In Austria, Germany,  Switzerland and actually many other countries in Europe, Christkindl Markets or Christmas Markets are a tradition not to be missed during the Christmas season. Very often these markets start on the first weekend of Advent.

What about Christmas Markets in California? You might be surprised, but a few do exist.  Below please find a compilation of them. Pay them a visit and enjoy breathing in the spirit of Christmas…!

Northern California

Sacramento Turn Verein -Christkindlmarket

DECEMBER 5 + 6, Saturday & Sunday – Join the Sacramento Turn Verein at the 17th annual Christkindlmarkt and view the Turn Verein decorated for the Holiday Season on Saturday December 5th & Sunday December 6th. Enjoy Christmas Music, Christmas market, and delightful Holiday Season food and drink. Even catch the Alpentänzer Schuhplattler with the Alpentanzkapelle performing on Saturday at 2pm.
St. Nicholas, Glühwein, German Food, hot cider, roasted almonds, and holiday booths galore is waiting for you.
Bring a “Coat for Kids” to get in free!

Time:                                                                                                                        Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location:                                                                                                          Sacramento Turn Verein – Turner Hall
3349 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816


Mountain View – German Holiday Market “Weihnachtsmarkt”

DECEMBER 12, Saturday – German Holiday Market “Weihnachtsmarkt” in Downtown Mountain View
Join the family fun at the Mountain View’s Civic Center Plaza, which will transform into a bustling holiday market, where various vendors will be offering traditional foods, holiday accessories, arts and crafts, decorations, and much more.

Time: from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Civic Center Plaza
500 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA 94043
Contact: GISSV Office 650-254-0748
Host: German International School of Silicon Valley (GISSV)


Cambria Christmas Market

November 27-December-23rd – The Cambria Christmas Market is open from 5 pm – 9 pm at Cambria Pines Lodge, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

It’s an Outdoor Market in the German American Tradition. Food, drink, music and gifts.Vendors feature locally made items. Ornaments, toys, jewelry, woolen goods, hand blown glass, candles and more! There is nightly entertainment.
For more information contact: 800-966-6490

Admission prices range from $3-$10 depending on the night. Kids 5 and under are always free. Please view our calendar of events for pricing on our   Web site: http://www.cambriachristmasmarket.com


Southern California

Alpine Village Christmas Faire in Torrance

DECEMBER 5-6, 12-13, & 19-20 – Alpine Village Christmas Faire is a fun-packed holiday festival that will take place over the first three weekends in December. It’s inspired by the traditional outdoor markets that can be found across Germany this time of year! Also here you will find plenty of free or inexpensive activities that the whole family can enjoy.

The market is open form 4:00pm-8:00pm and the General Admission is Free. An “All access pass” (kids 12&under only) is: $5
Santa Photo only (all ages): $2

Location: Alpine Village at 833 W Torrance Blvd. Torrance, CA 90502         Parking is Free

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC:                                                                       Entry into the Christmas Faire
Live music and snowfall in front the Market
Second music area in the Village
Meet and greet the Snow Queens
Access to all shopping areas

High resolution digital photos with Santa Claus emailed after event
NEW! Indoor Snow Zone with real, ice-cold snow
Kids Craft area with ornament and stocking decorations
Train ride around village (ticket covers includes accompanying adults/family)


Old World German Christmas Market

December 6th, 13th & 20th from 11am – 4pm – Enjoy a German Christmas Market with German Food, Bratwurst, Arts & Crafts, Handmade Gifts, Gluehwein and Christmas Cookies at Old World Huntington Beach. In addition the popular food truck The Curry Wurst Truck will take care of some food specialties, and of course the Old World Restaurant.

Activities: Take Photos with Santa Claus, Get Face Painting and craft a Christmas ornament for the Christmas tree.

Location: 7561 Center Ave. #49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647


Image: ©“ChristmasMarketJena” by ReneS at flickr – Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons –



Get To Know German Schools in California


Open House Events and Lantern Parades

Fall is a great time to check out new schools for the next year without pressure. Some German schools in California offer great opportunities for students and parents alike to tour their campus this fall. Taking advantage of traditional seasonal events that are open to the community, or attending an Open House gives you a good idea what a particular school community is like, and let’s you connect to teachers as well as the school’s community at large. You can form a first hand opinion of whether this school is right for you, and can be ahead of the race once the application process starts in January and February .

Some such upcoming events are listed below:

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley 

Starting this October, GISSV has several Open House Events scheduled during the 2013/14 school year. Find the one right for you. The school has three different campuses, Mountain View, Berkeley and San Francisco.

Mountain View Campus:

  • Saturday, November 16, 2013 (11am – 1pm)

Berkeley Campus:

  • Saturday, November 2, 2013 (11am – 1pm)
  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 (11am – 1pm)

San Francisco Campus:

  • Saturday, October 26, 2013 (11am – 1pm)
  • Saturday, December 7, 2013 (11am – 1pm)

Furthermore, mark your calendar for December 14th . GISSV has a special treat in store for you. The school organizes a traditional Christmas Market from 11.00am to 9.00pm right on Townhall Square in Mountain View with 10-30 stands for the typical Christkindl-Market Flair.

Albert Einstein Academies in San Diego

Lantern Festival, Saturday November 2nd from 3pm-7pm at AEA

AEA’s 12th Annual Lantern Festival is almost here! Is has become a wonderful tradition for the whole family to enjoy. Join AEA in celebrating a 100-year-old German tradition with food, games, fun activity booths, a vendor market, and entertainment, ending with a traditional lantern walk around the neighborhood.

An even bigger and better festival is planned for this year with more activities for the Middle School students. Great entertainment from the German Cultural Committee, traditional food, the carnival, Martins market, inflatable jumpers, and of coarse our traditional lantern walk. We will be adding special activities for the older kids that include a photo booth and a fabulous video game truck, so that all ages can participate and enjoy this great AEA tradition.

Kinderstube/ BAKS  in Berkeley

Kinderstube has a Lantern Parade on November 9 at 4.00 pm

Come and celebrate the German tradition of St. Martin’s Day with Kinderstube:
See a performance by our children, join us in singing songs and during our annual lantern parade. You can bring your own lantern or buy one from us!
Our preschool fundraiser includes the sale of Glühwein (mulled wine), hot chocolate, grilled sausages, Weckmänner (a German sweet bread), soft pretzels, and German children’s books.   Lanternenfest – Saturday, November 9 at 4pm

GAIS – German American International School in Menlo Park

The German-American International School in Menlo Park has a few dates to offer to get to know their school as well as student body including a St. Martin’s Laternenfest on November 8th!

  • St. Martin Lantern Parade – November 8, 2013                                     On Friday, November 8, 2013 at 6:00 p.m., the traditional lantern parade celebrating the legend of St. Martin will take place at GAIS. Martinstag is all about giving to others and shedding light in the darkness. The event begins with a “Shadow Play” and the lighting of the lanterns, followed by a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Monday, November 11, 8:30am – 3:00pm: Open Classroom Day        On this day, our classrooms are open for the public and anyone interested in our school. Join us for this day and get a glimpse of the daily life, the academic programs, the curriculum and much more at the German-American International School.
  • Monday, November 11, 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Information Evening & Parenting Workshop                                        There will be an Information Evening including a Parenting Workshop conducted by external presenters for prospective parents and families taking place in our library. 
  • Saturday, December 7, 2:00pm – 5:30pm: Holiday Winter Fest 2013                                                                                    Our annual and traditional Holiday Winterfest takes place on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 2:00pm – 5:30pm on our campus. The Winterfest will feature shops, café, baked goodies, food, hand-made arts and crafts, a visit from Santa, a raffle and much more…  In addition there will be again wonderful musical performances led by our Music Teacher. Join us for this wonderful event!
  • Wednesday, January 8, 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Information Evening & Parenting Workshop                                         There will be an Information Evening including a Parenting Workshop conducted by external presenters for prospective parents and families taking place in our library.
  • Thursday, March 8, 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Information Evening & Parenting WorkshopThere will be an Information Evening including a Parenting Workshop conducted by external presenters for prospective parents and families taking place in our library.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in Los Angeles

The Open House event with two different tours is schedule for October 30.

There will be two tours offered that day: 3:30-4:40pm and 4:30-5:30pm. Should you be interested in attending, please send an email to TivoliRainbowGarden@gmail.com so the school can plan accordingly. The German preschool has room for 13 children yearly within the age group of 2.5-5 and offers half day and full day programs. For more info please visit the website.

Die Rasselbande Preschool in San Diego

Holiday Bazaar – Lantern Walk on November 8th                                                            The school offers general Tours of the campus anytime even Saturdays, which can be scheduled at any time through the school office.

Kinderhaus Preschool in San Francisco

KinderHaus International Preschool in the Mission District of San Francisco hosts a Lantern Fest in San Francisco on November 15th. Please join families of the school at 5pm to go for a traditional lantern walk starting in Dolores Park and ending at the KinderHaus. There will be hot cider, wine & beer as well as a potluck with ‘Brezeln’ and sausages right after the walk. Suggested donation per family is $10. Handmade lanterns will be for sale in case you don’t have your own. For more information visit the website.

Magnet School Benjamin Franklin in Glendale

The school offers language immersion in German, as well as 3 other european languages. You can tour the school anytime with an appointment. Please go to the schools web page Franklinmagnetschool.com and find the link to sign up for a tour, or contact Ana Jones: Ajones@gusd.net  (818) 243-1809. To stay informed about their various community events please sign up for the weekly news-blast.

Ute’s Kinderschule in Irvine

Join children and their parents for a lantern parade on November 11th at 6pm in Irvine. For more information and RSVP please email: UtesKinderschule@gmail.com


The best German Christmas Markets on Video

English: Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in...

English: Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in Jena, Thuringia, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Article by our Guest Author Gabriele Utz)

Germany has the most beautiful Christmas Markets. I put together a little collection of German Christmas Markets Videos that you will love. Find out about how Germany really is. It is not what you might think. It can be very modern but also very traditional. It is a combination of both and this makes it unique. Old World charm combined with contemporary features. German Christmas Markets are in almost every big or smaller city of Germany. There are markets in Castles like the famous one at the Hohenzollern Castle in Hechingen or the castle Thurn and Taxis.

Find hand crafted Christmas ornaments like the Erzgebirge pyramid or the Herrenhuter Star. Find different kinds of Lebkuchen and home made cookies; honey candles and Gluehwein mugs.
Enjoy the good German food like Bratwurst, local specialties and Gluehwein or Feuerzangen Bowle. That’s how Germany is – More than what you might think. Enjoy!

 The best German Christmas Markets Videos

German Christmas Markets: Berlin

German Christmas Markets: Heidelberg

German Christmas Markets: Siegen

German Christmas Markets: Nuernberg


Article Source: MyBestGermanRecipes

—————————————————————————————————-         ABOUT

MyBestGermanRecipes.comMyBestGermanRecipes is the creation of Gabriele Utz. Interested in cooking and baking ever since she can think of she now has turned her passion into reality, and has started an online cookbook with authentic German recipes in 2010. The website offers more than 300 original German recipes.
website | Twitter | Facebook


‘Adventzeit’ and Christmas Season

die-schoensten-Christkindlm1Christmas Season officially starts on the First Advent in Germany. Since this year that day is actually on December 2nd,  children will also have already opened their second door on their Advent Calendars, a beloved holiday tradition that marks down the days to the highly anticipated Christmas Eve (Heiligabend).

The First Advent, when in November,  often marks also the first day of the Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt) which are then open until December 24, the ‘Heiligabend’. For the next few weeks visitors will enjoy hot and scented  Gluehwein, warm roasted chestnuts and all kinds of Lebkuchen (a variety of Gingerbreads ) while listening to festive Advent music and walking along little booths selling a great variety of Christmas decorations,  the real attraction for young and old.  Beautifully handcrafted wooden manger scenes (Holzkrippen) are usually also on display at bigger Christkindl Markets, and Saint Nikolaus is walking the streets to great little children.

Delicious Christmas Favorites for the Holidays

To ring in the holidays for everyone here in California, and fill your home with the delicious fragrance of freshly baked Christmas cookies, we have invited guest author Gabriele Utz, founder of MyBestGermanRecipe.com, to share some of her favorite German holiday recipes with us.

Gabriele, born and raised in Germany, lives with her family in Los Angeles and has always been interested in cooking and baking. After her move to L.A. she thoroughly missed German food, and thinking that other fellow ex-pats might feel the same, she founded MyBestGermanRecipes.com in 2010. The website has now more then 300 original recipes for German food lovers!

Look out for a new holiday recipe on each Advent Sunday. A special  “Silvester Rezept” will await you for New Year’s eve!

Christmas Markets and Events around California

Some German Christmas events around California are happening tomorrow (December 1st) to welcome the holiday season. Check out our Event Calendar for location and time.

christmas ornament on treeHave a wonderful Holiday Season !


Additional Reading:





Happy First Advent – Einläuten der Weihnachtszeit

With the First Advent today Christmastime has officially started.
Christmas markets in Germany traditionally open their doors on this weekend and it’s the cozy time of chestnuts and Glühwein.

Also here in California homes are being decorated with Christmas lighting and harbor cities are gearing up for the boat light parades. Christmas tree lighting events in malls have already taken place last week before Thanksgiving and winter festivals like the Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival in Laguna Beach do their best to get you in the holiday spirit. Take a stroll with us through Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival with our slideshow below.

Happy Holiday Season!

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