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Set Up Your Very Own German Christmas Market


It’s our favourite time of year again, so let’s explore the festivities of the German Christmas market! Discover more about them, and what you’ll need to set up your very own...

For many, Christmas time is an excuse to drink and eat without guilt. We, at the Family Attraction Expo, couldn't agree more! Wrap up warm, and get the whole family along to your nearest German Christmas market for some festive, tasty treats.

Traditionally, German Christmas market stalls are filled with food and drink from the continent. That said, over the years, this has developed, and homemade crafts and gift ideas, alongside festive activities, have become the norm.

To find out more about German Christmas markets, and what makes them so popular, discover more here. What’s more, if you want to know the ingredients for setting up your very own Christmas market, stay tuned...

This group of people at a German Christmas Market waffle stand are patiently waiting for their delicious sweet treat

The History of the German Christmas Market...

During the late Middle Ages, when Germany was still part of the Holy Roman Empire, regular seasonal markets were all the rage. The first hint of, what we now call, Christmas markets was thought to have been Vienna’s Dezembermarkt in 1296. This originated from Emperor Albrecht I granting shopkeepers rights to sell the goods in a day-long market. This way, the townspeople could stock up on their necessities for the cold winter months.

The first known Christmas Market, reminiscent of what we have today, was Dresden’s Strietzelmarkt, dating from 1434. From these original winter markets came the Christmas markets we know today.

Now, in comparison to the fleeting markets of old, Christmas stalls line the streets for weeks during the build-up to Christmas. What’s more, copycat German Christmas markets have now expanded overseas, so are no longer focused on selling locally-based products.

In the UK, Christmas markets have been around for 35 years, and are a yearly source of income for many small businesses. In 2017, the total visitor spend at these markets was estimated to be around £500 million! With Christmas being a constant seasonal event, these stats increase every year.

The Best German Christmas Markets UK

The best German Christmas markets can, naturally, be discovered in the depths of Deutschland. That said, Britain does a pretty good job of replicating these amazing festive events. Some of the best UK Christmas markets include:

  • Winter Wonderland: everyone in Britain will have heard of this one, as it’s in the heart of London. Filled with German stalls and festive activities, like circus acts, a comedy club, and ice-skating, it’s the perfect pitstop for families and couples.

  • Bath Christmas Market: Bath’s magical history makes it the perfect setting for a Christmas market. With 150 pop-up stalls, it’ll have every Christmas treat you can imagine.

  • Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market: this is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Austria or Germany. It has 80 authentic stalls, selling German delights, including weissbier, schnitzels, bratwursts, and more!

  • Leeds Christkindelmarkt: Leeds’ Millennium Square is home to the aptly named Christkindelmarkt. This is a little smaller than most Christmas markets, consisting of 40 traditional wooden stalls, perfect for buying all your Christmas gifts.

  • Manchester Christmas Markets: This is one of the largest Christmas markets in the UK, consisting of 300 stalls! Get everything, including homeware, jewellery, food and drink, and quirky gifts.

A German Christmas Market Carousel is one of the great ways to get the kids involved in the festivities

Set Up Your Very Own German Christmas Market

The family attraction industry fuels family days out across the UK. With Christmas on the way, what better time to get some festive ideas for improving your family attraction offerings… How about setting up a beautiful German Christmas market in your local area?

The makings of a German Christmas market are simple, yet effective. You don’t need anything inventive or innovative; just some of the following basics:

  • Decorations: a large Christmas tree in the centre of a Christmas market is a surefire way to get visitors in the Christmas spirit. Couple this with beautiful warm fairy lights throughout, and the atmosphere is sure to be amazing.

  • Food and Drink Stalls: a typical German Christmas market will include food and drink stalls, filled with delicious treats like waffles and crepes, bratwursts, cheese fondants, steins, glühwein (German mulled wine), hot chocolate, and more!

  • Temporary Wooden Bars: many Christmas markets in Germany will have a temporary wooden building set up, which resembles a traditional German drinking spot. Along with collectible mugs, this is a really great way to entice people to buy a drink, and take a well-earned break from exploring the stalls.

  • Traditional Gift Stalls: alongside food and drink stalls come stalls filled with homemade crafts and decorations. Whether it be unique baubles to adorn your Christmas tree, or festive gifts for your friends, you’ll find some real gems.

  • Festive Activities: set up a temporary ice rink, some fairground rides, or anything else you can think of, to entice more visitors. Use your imagination; the opportunities are endless!

The Family Attraction Expo runs alongside three other amazing shows, which you’ll have access to with your free ticket. The Leisure F&B Expo is the place to discover brand new food and drink brands to fill your German Christmas market stalls.

What’s more, the Farm Business Innovation Show is the place to meet with companies who put together temporary buildings, which is ideal for an event like this. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet the companies who can help you out with a new venture, like a Christmas market, under one roof!

This German Christmas Market drinks stand is selling delicious Christmas punch for their visitors

Let’s Get Festive!

Feeling inspired with new ideas for improving your family attraction? Or do you feel as though you have something to offer our visitors to help with setting up a new venture, like a Christmas market? Then don’t hesitate to get involved!

If you want to exhibit at next year’s show, at the NEC, Birmingham on 11th & 12th November, then get in contact with our Event Director, Oliver Hayes:

Or, if you want to visit the Family Attraction Expo, then stay tuned for our FREE tickets, which will be available to apply for very soon! We can’t wait to welcome you to Europe’s largest exhibition of its kind, next year...