The popular Christkindlmarket, the authentic German Christmas market, has made their way to Aurora! With 2 locations in Chicago, the market, featuring food, drinks, and unique gifts, has been a holiday tradition for many. But if you’re looking to enjoy the tradition without making the trek out to the city, you’ll love this option. Located at RiverEdge Park in downtown Aurora, we absolutely loved this year’s suburban market location.  Ready to make the most out of your visit? Here are tips to enjoy your visit at Christkindlmarket in Aurora.

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Tips to Enjoy Christkindlmarket in Aurora

Grab free parking

There are paid parking spots ($10) closer to RiverEdge Park but I would recommend what we did. Park on the other side of the river on River Street where there is a HUGE parking lot for free. We crossed the pedestrian bridge which gave us great views of the river. It was just a short walk to the festival entrance.

Head to Timber Tent first

If you have kids, then head to the Timber Tent and grab a Kids Club Passport and a Christkind crown. The passport includes a scavenger hunt for letters located around the market. Perfect to look for while you are perusing. If they find all the letters they can win a prize! And, if you are waiting in line –which you most likely will, the kids can fill out the activity sheets.

Eat (and Drink) Your Heart Out

We LOVED checking out all the food vendors. You cannot leave without getting hot chocolate from Bob’s Hot Chocolate. I also recommend getting a Raclette sandwich from Baked Cheese Haus. If it drinks you’re looking they have a few spots located throughout including the heated Timber Tent. Get the mulled wine and German beer, of course.

Find the perfect gift

Stay warm

Head to the heated Timber Tent to stay warm!

Say Cheese

Looking for photo ops? Head to the Timber Tent where they have a decorated Christmas tree and a few cutouts. Outside, on the walls of the bathroom building, you’ll find a few selfie spots. Make sure to tag #thechristkindlmarket and #christkindlmarketmood.

Get Christkindlmarket Mugs

Every year, the Christkindlmarket has a new featured mug. When you are buying from a food vendor, it will be included. FYI, if you want to save a little money, you can bring your own Christkindlmarket mug and just pay a refill fee. We did love the new penguin mug though! So cute! You can also purchase a mug at the Timber Tent’s info booth ($8).

Dogs and strollers are welcome

On our visit, it was a bit busy so it was a bit tricky to navigate with a stroller.

Be Prepared

Bring your patience for food lines and cash in case some vendors don’t accept credit card. Be sure to check out the map of vendors beforehand.

Check their schedule

On November 26th and December 12th kids can participate in a Lantern Parade and meet Christkind, the fairy-like version of Santa all dressed in gold.  Make sure to double check hours too as the Aurora market has different opening days and times than the Chicago ones.

Bathrooms

I was so happy to find that there were real flush toilets and they were fairly clean! Plenty of stalls too.

FINAL THOUGHTS of Christkindlmarket in Aurora

We’re fans of the Christkindlmarket at Aurora. A bit more spacious than it’s Daley Plaza counterpart, plenty of food and drink, and a beautiful location by the river.

NITTY GRITTY

Website: https://www.christkindlmarket.com/aurora/
When: Open Thursdays to Sundays. Check website for special hours.
Location: RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505
Cost: No admission cost