The European Christmas Market

The European Christmas Market in St. Paul opens this Friday (Nov. 30)! 

It is SUCH a charming holiday gathering. 

If you're looking for a taste of Germany right in the Twin Cities -- or a #Christmasgoals snap for Instagram -- this is for you. 

This free event is based on the traditional open-air Christkindlmarkts that pop up across Germany during Advent.

Located at the East Plaza of the Union Depot in St. Paul, the market continues through Dec. 10, mostly on weekends.

It's a wonderful way to shop local, perusing an array of handmade gifts and decor. (Here's the vendor list.)

Our girls were fascinated by the vintage trinkets at last year's market.  

We bought a paper Herrnhuter star made in Germany. The vendor told us you can't buy these traditional stars on Amazon, and it felt like a more meaningful purchase than a Prime buy.

The Herrnhuter stars are perched atop each booth in the market. 

Sip some Glühwein (spiced mulled wine) and taste European-inspired food as you enjoy the people watching and pooch watching. 

Two cute humans. Two cute bulldogs. 

Both pairs clad in adorable winter wear. #thosetogglestho


The European Christmas Market is packed with festive entertainment -- from Russian folk dancers to an old-time organ grinder.

Local children's author Anne Brataas will be at the market every day leading a free make-and-take craft session for preschool- and grade-school kids. They'll make felt mug rugs and color ornaments.

Santa will pay a two-hour visit every day except Dec. 7. And there will be reindeer petting both Sundays. 

See the complete entertainment schedule here. 

The market opens this Friday in grand fashion with a 5:30 pm tree lighting ceremony at the Union Depot, a visit from Santa (6-8 p.m.) and a performance by the Hill-Mary School choir followed by an accordionist playing European carols.  

See you there! 


Friday, Nov. 30, 4–9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m.9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 2, Noon–6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 7, 4–9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m.9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9, Noon–6 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 10, 4–9 p.m. 

 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three children (and fourth on the way!) in Inver Grove Heights.