event-info.01The popular Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem holiday marketplace is set to return for its 23rd year, with more than 130 artisans and vendors and a plethora of holiday activities guaranteed to put everyone in the holiday spirit. Tickets for the festival, which takes place at SteelStacks weekends Nov. 20-Dec. 20, are on sale now at www.christmascity.org  and 610-332-3378.

Twice recognized as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, Christkindlmarkt is a one-of-a-kind family event that brings the spirit of Bethlehem alive with the season. As they stroll down aisles featuring handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, guests can listen to the sounds of live Christmas music, enjoy delicious strudel, or even make their own hand-blown glass Christmas ornament.

There’s also plenty for children to see and do at Christkindlmarkt including the annual Breakfast with St. Nicholas. This fun-filled event features a delicious hot breakfast, photo with St. Nicholas, admission to Christkindlmarkt, arts & crafts, a goodie bag, and more. Tickets are $16.95 for ages 11 and older, $13.95 for ages 2-10, and $8.95 for ages under 2. Breakfast dates are Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 12 and 19 at 9 a.m.

New this year, the Nazareth Ceramic Center will help children create their own handprint ornament, perfect for gift giving to families and loved ones. The Ceramic Center staff will customize the ornament with polka dots, the child’s name, and the year in a black dimensional glaze. In addition, Ebru Richsilk Design is offering patrons the ability to make their own marbled silk scarves. Cost for the ornament is $20 and cost for the scarves is $35.

An annual highlight of Chriskindlmarkt, Germany’s Käthe Wohlfarht is also back with its quality handmade ornaments, nutcrackers and collectibles. Preserving and supporting traditional German craftsmanship since 1977, Käthe Wohlfarht captures the spirit of time-honored, beloved German Christmas traditions including nutcrackers, incense smokers, pyramids, Schwibbogens (candle arches) and more. At this year’s Christkindlmarkt, attendees will find more than 2,000 handmade items at Käthe Wohlfarht from which to choose.

Among the many new crafters this year are High Strung Studios of Bradley Beach, N.J., which creates jewelry from guitar strings; Breezy Meadow Farm, which crafts felted holiday items featuring wool from the sheep on their Perkasie, Pa. farm; Loophead Duudles of Muir, Pa., which offers unique pen and ink drawings on paper and ceramics; and Big Belly Banks of Elizabethtown, N.Y., which makes fun, colorful children’s coin banks featuring clear centers to see inside.

Christkindlmarkt dates are Nov. 20-22 and 27-29 and Dec. 3-6, 10-13 and 17-20; hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Regular daily admission to Christkindlmarkt is $9 for ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free. For more information, visit www.christmascity.org or call 610-332-3378.