The Best Christmas and Winter Markets in California

Christmas market Ι © Susanne Nilsson/Flickr
Christmas market Ι © Susanne Nilsson/Flickr
Photo of Deanna Morgado
7 November 2017

Although Christmas and winter markets began as a European tradition, more and more countries are adopting this outdoor holiday festival. California is no different. These Christmas and winter markets are growing in popularity throughout California, as they bring together loved ones as the holiday season sets in.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

What makes this San Francisco Christmas market special is that it celebrates the works and life of the great Charles Dickens. You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time to London in the Victorian era. Roads lined with old-time street lamps will light your way to shops, pubs, and restaurants. Many even dress up, so make sure to bring your derby and dress to really get into character. There are live performances and actors around for impeccable entertainment. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is open for five weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, The Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City, CA, USA, +1 415 404 4100

Cambria Christmas Market

Market, German
Map View
Glühwein | © ume-y / Flickr
Experience a traditional German winter festival at the Cambria Christmas Market. Light up displays comprised of over two million lights will dazzle you as you walk the market. Artisan stands and vendors offer lovely gifts and ideas for loved ones. There are traditional German foods for all visitors, as well as the traditional glühwein, a hot German wine. The Cambria Christmas Market really feels like you’re celebrating the holiday season in Germany.

German Christmas Market

Map View
Christmas market
Christmas market | © Susanne Nilsson/Flickr
Hosted by Old World, the German Christmas Market gives a truly authentic winter market experience. There are celebrations held all year round by Old World, but right around the holidays is when the festivities really take flight. Enjoy a German dinner in the Old World Festival Banquet Hall, the Orange County Christmas Fair, a Christmas and nativity play, and so much more. The German Christmas Market will knock the Scrooge right out of anyone.

Sacramento Christkindlmarkt

This winter market in the state’s capital really sticks to the authenticity of this German outdoor festival. Visitors can create their own Christmas ornaments and other crafts, listen to holiday music fill the streets, and try some traditional German holiday snacks and other food. The Sacramento Christkindlmarkt is full of 28 vendors offering all kinds of holiday fun, play, and shopping.

Sacramento Christkindlmarkt, 3349 J St, Sacramento, CA, USA, +1 916 442 7360

Calistoga Christmas Faire

Dive into the holiday spirit at the Calistoga Christmas Faire. With plenty of live performances, costumed characters wandering the grounds, and Christmas music filling your ears throughout the evening, it’s impossible not to want to join in on the celebrations. Situated in lovely wine country, the Calistoga Christmas Faire has fun and festive gift-making stations for kids, holiday baking and canning opportunities, and plenty of food and drink to help get merry. The grounds transform to look, feel, and even smell like Christmas.

Calistoga Christmas Faire, 1133 Washington St, Calistoga, CA, USA, +1 707 942 6333

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