The Carmel Christkindlmarkt has quickly become a favorite holiday tradition for many families in central Indiana and beyond.
The festival features foods, beverages, gifts and experiences similar to those offered at holiday markets in Germany, which inspired the creation of Carmel’s event in 2017.
Carmel Christkindlmarkt CEO and Market Master Maria Murphy works throughout the year with vendors and artisans in Germany and the Hoosier state to ensure the holiday festival is as authentic as possible. She strives to create a spirit of Gemütlichkeit, a German word used to describe feelings of warmth, peace of mind and good cheer.
“I can’t think of another place that I’ve been in Indiana that really has that warm, fuzzy vibe,” Murphy said. “The Christkindlmarkt should have Gemütlichkeit, and I think we have achieved that. It’s a really special feeling that you get when you’re at the market.”
In continued pursuit of that vibe, the Christkindlmarkt has added several new food offerings and experiences this year.
Food offerings debuting this year include:
- Baumstriezel (also known as chimney cakes), a pastry roasted to a golden crisp and dressed with sugar, cinnamon or nuts
- Lángos (also known as Hungarian fried bread, a common street food featuring deep fried dough adorned with savory or sweet toppings, such as garlic butter, cheese, cinnamon sugar or Nutella
- Käsespätzle, a dish featuring egg noodles and melted cheese, often garnished with crispy fried onions
- Tartiflette, a potato casserole-like dish cooked in a paella pan and topped with meats and cheeses
New gift and vendor options include:
- Kinderboutique, which offers heirloom-quality clothing, toys, books and accessories for children up to eight years old. Goods are imported from Germany and the surrounding region.
- Werkstatt Souvenirs, which sells an array of gifts and crafts made by German artisans, including wood toys, traditional bells, snow globes, finely carved wooden sculptures and more
- Lichterwald, a hut specializing in lights, including Herrnhuter Sterne (also known as Morovian Stars), traditional German paper lanterns, candles and candle holders
- ChocoIdea, which offers high-end chocolate and chocolate sculptures imported from a German-owned company
Visitors can also enjoy traditional food and beverage favorites, such as raclette sandwiches, Belgian hot chocolate, Bavarian pretzels and Glühwein served from the market’s iconic pyramid. Several gift vendors are also returning, as well as the Kinderecke, which features children’s activities, and the Kulturecke, which includes exhibits about German holiday traditions.
As the market has grown, Murphy said the growing number of families returning annually is an indication that the event has inspired Gemütlichkeit for many. She is eager to see that continue.
“There are children in Carmel and in Indiana and the Midwest who will grow up experiencing the Carmel Christkindlmarkt and German traditions as part of their memories from childhood,” she said. “It will always be a part of their Carmel culture and their Indiana culture.”
The Christkindlmarkt, which operates at 10 Carter Green in Carmel, is open 4 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 30. It is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and has special hours on select days. Learn more and see a full schedule of events at the market at CarmelChristkindlmarkt.com.