I had the pleasure of being invited to this year’s VIP & Media event and had a blast getting a sneak peek into everything that’s been added to or improved from last year’s Carmel Christkindlmarkt experience. So much so, that it inspired me to write this impromptu blog post because there were a lot of things I’m excited to share before opening day this Saturday November 17th!
One of the biggest improvements, in my opinion, is an increase in food, both types and the number of vendors. There are a variety of new foods for sale, including more wursts, pastries, cheeses and the Walking Waffle Company — one of my favorite farmer’s market vendors in the area — has even joined the mix. I also spied a booth selling schnitzel, though that may have been offered last year.
Crowd favorites from the previous year, like Raclette and Glühwein, are back again as well. As far as the wine, there are SO many more options this year and I’m here for it!! Having had the red mulled wine last year, I opted to try the spiced rosé this time and it is my new all-time favorite. In addition to those, there are a few more flavors of wine and beer to try! These warmed drinks serve double duty as hand warmers while you’re out walking around too.
The drink options (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) can all be found in a cool new wine tower called the Glühwein Pyramid. It’s an impressive architectural feature for the market, as well as a fun photo op!
Another big improvement for this year’s market is the increase in heating! There’s really only so much you can do to warm people up when it’s 20 degrees outside, but I was so happy to see more fire pits and heaters around the market for this year. The fire pits and heaters all have tables or ledges next to them so you can grab a nice hot cup of cocoa or mulled wine and warm up as much as you’d like.
For reference, if you’re not familiar with these Christmas markets that have been going on for centuries in Europe, here is a photo below comparing a Christkindlmarkt in Germany to the Carmel Christkindlmarkt. The Carmel setup and feel is incredibly authentic. There were even some of the vendors who were conversing in German!
Surrounded by a combination of the Christkindlmarkt and the European-inspired architecture of Carmel City Center itself, visiting the Carmel Christkindlmarkt really feels like you’ve been transported out of Indiana and into a German town. The event promises to be even bigger and better this year, so even if you made it last year, this year’s Christkindlmarkt is worth braving the cold and the crowds to experience again!