Bringing the Christkindlmarket 'Home for the Holidays': Chicago’s beloved holiday tradition goes virtual this year

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Like many events this year, Chicago's Chicago’s most beloved holiday tradition - the Christkindlmarket - is going virtual for the first-time ever due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Christkindlmarket has been monitoring the health and public safety developments, travel regulations for visitors and vendors, and other guidelines throughout the past few months. Since the top priority is the well-being of market visitors, vendors, partners, and staff members, the tough decision has been made to cancel the traditional in-person Christkindlmarkets in Chicago, Wrigleyville and Milwaukee for 2020.

“It is difficult to imagine the holiday season without being able to come together at the Christkindlmarket. Although we are saddened that we cannot welcome our visitors in person for the first time since 1996, we are excited about introducing a new virtual experience that allows people to enjoy the tradition and celebration of their beloved holiday market in a new way”, said Maren Biester Priebe, CEO of German American Events, LLC, the Christkindlmarkets’ organizer.

The Christkindlmarket “Home for the Holidays" will feature an online marketplace, family-friendly events, and fun interactive activities.

Visitors from around the world can continue their annual tradition and shop their favorite Christkindlmarket products, including ornaments, gifts, sweets and treats from Germany and beyond, as well as special limited-edition gift box sets, featuring German holiday favorites and ‘must-haves' - all from the comfort of their homes.

Other special activities include live online events, prize giveaways, and intercultural storytelling. Visitors can also explore German customs and participate in giveaway events and a daily Advent Calendar. To complete the experience, the traditional Christkind will make virtual appearances.

The Christkindlmarket “Home for the Holidays" will be live from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 at www.christkindlmarket.com. Pre-orders for the limited-edition gift boxes will be taken through the website beginning on Oct. 1, with hundreds more vendor products being added to the shop on Nov. 1.