The inaugural Carmel Christkindlmarkt in 2017 was a huge success by most standards, but there was one area that some felt was a bit lacking.
“Some of the major feedback that we’ve seen on social media and surveys that went out after last year is that guests would really like to see something more for kids to do,” said Sandra Richardson, who volunteered at the market as a translator and in other roles in 2017.
This year Richardson is working as coordinator of Kinderecke, a new area that will offer a variety of children’s activities. It will be inside a hut stationed near the Glühwein Pyramid.
During the first two weeks of the market, woodworkers from Seiffen, Germany, will be based in the Kinderecke hut. The woodworkers were a highlight for many at the 2017 market, including Richardson, who grew up in a German town an hour away from their workshop.
“They are definitely a household name where I’m from,” said Richardson, who first came to the U.S. 20 years ago as an au pair. “I was like, ‘I have to meet them! They are celebrities.’”
Volunteers from several local organizations will help run the hut in the final weeks of the market. Children can expect visits from the Christkind and other special guests, write letters to Santa and work on arts and crafts.
Throughout the festival, children can stop by the Kinderecke for a passport that can be stamped at certain market huts. Participants who collect at least five stamps from different huts are eligible for a prize.
The Christkindlmarkt will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and noon to 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23. It will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Learn more at carmelchristkindlmarkt.com/kinderecke.