One of Colorado's most iconic holiday-themed events is already underway, Denver's Christkindl Market. Here's what you need to know to plan a visit:
1. A new location, operating hours, and parking
Denver Christkindl Market is taking place at a new location this year to better accommodate guests under COVID-19 safety measures. The market is already operating at Civic Center Park, 101 West 14th Ave., until Dec. 23, 2020. The market is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The hours between Dec. 17 through Dec. 23 are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Parking is available along the street at meters around the Civic Center Park or several parking garages are nearby including the Denver Post building garage, Cultural Center Complex garage, and Sheraton Downtown Denver. Read more here about how to get there.
2. COVID-19-related changes to expect
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of special rules and restrictions will be in place at Denver's Christkindl Market this year.
Visitors must check in via a QR code on their smartphones for contact tracing purposes upon entering. Guests can use the market's tablets if needed.
Once inside the event, masks are required for all visitors, staff, and vendors. The marketplace encourages those who don't feel comfortable wearing a mask to shop the market online instead of visiting in-person.
Visitors are also encouraged to stay with their group as they browse vendors by following the one-way flow of foot traffic that travels along a continuous loop throughout the marketplace.
Another thing to note is that alcohol sales will end at 8 p.m. on dates where the market is open until 9 p.m. due to Denver County's current 'red level' status on the state's COVID-19 risk dial. This may change if Denver's status changes.
Read more COVID-19 guidelines here.
3. Do you need to purchase a ticket?
The Christkindl Market will be open to guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not available. Visitors will have the chance to wait in line outside if the building reaches its capacity limit. The market recommends visiting during off-peak hours, which take place earlier in the week. Peak hours are typically Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
4. What's available for purchase?
Products offered by the many artisans in this marketplace include glass ornaments, Andean fleece products, Colorado posters, winter clothing, and more. Visitors can find mulled spiced wine, hot chocolate, and different styles of pastries from traditional European recipes. Sausages and other food will also be available to guests. The Festival Hall will not be open this year, but many stations are placed throughout the park for patrons to purchase beverages. Visitors are encouraged to eat and drink at a table with their group.
5. Look forward to live music
The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, German polka music, German traditional dancers, holiday hymns in multiple languages, and bluegrass music, along with other live performances, can be found at the marketplace on the Greek Theater stage (Click here for the full calendar). Wear your most outrageous sweater on Ugly Sweater Night (December 11) or swing by for Winter Onesieland on December 23. Find more events on the full calendar here.
6. Photos with the holiday favorites: St. Nik, the Christkind, & Krampus
The usual staples of the Denver Christkindl Market will make very limited appearances this year due to COVID-19 – we wouldn't want them to get sick before their big day! Keep watch for them while you're there for a chance to get a picture with them.