Preview and photographs by Mabel Luong

What better way to kick off the holiday season than with a Christmas market?

The Edmonton Christmas Market, hosted by ATB Place (10025 Jasper Avenue), is an event that draws inspiration from German Christmas markets. True to tradition, this one is held in the heart of the town—in this case, the city—and has workshops, indoor and outdoor stalls selling food, drinks, and Christmas-y items. Like the German markets, it is also open from late November until December 21.

The food stalls have fare like Bratwurst sausages, pretzels, house-made charcuterie boards (supplied by Meuwly’s, a local business), and gingerbread. Their Christmas Spirit Garden—which is said to be in an igloo outside—has the famous Glühwein (mulled wine) made with citrus, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. They also have hot apple cider, which you can get with or without alcohol, beer, and coffee. There are plenty of food and drink options to keep you fed and warm as you explore the stalls.

Some of the stalls are true to the German Christmas Market tradition, such as JYJ Ceramics, owned by a local potter who started out taking night classes at the City Centre Arts, selling a beautiful assortment of ceramic plates, bowls, and Christmas mugs, which are sold at traditional markets. Tikko J Scrunchies and Hair Accessories is another Edmonton-based business, selling scrunchies and other hair accessories made from locally sourced fabric. Dr. Lele Skincare is named after one of the founders, who got her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Alberta and used her knowledge to create a line of skincare products that are completely natural and free of harmful chemicals.

Visitors can purchase clothing from KYN Apparel, a local business selling fashion made with unique and beautiful African designs. There is also lots of beautiful jewelry to choose from, at Spent + Stone, a local vendor that sells handmade jewelry, or from Sage Stone Malas based in Leduc. The local Rouge Wolf Woodworking has handmade cutting boards, and Pixie Glassworks has glass jewelry of different designs. There are also local vendors like Natural Kitchen Delights and Chocolates with Flare selling handmade chocolates, or gourmet marshmallows with flavours like bubblegum sprinkle, salted caramel, Bailey’s, and more from Room for Dessert. There are stalls with goods for pets as well (Earl’s K-9 Jerky Treats), board games (Table Top Café), and books (Glass Bookshop) as well. With so many vendors to visit, there is no shortage of things to peruse.

There are also beautiful festive light displays outside, including silhouettes of nutcrackers, candles, and a sparkly tinsel bear holding a present. And who could forget the Christmas trees? There are several large Christmas trees festooned with ornaments and light that are wonderful to behold. Christmas ornaments also dangle from the ceilings, and wreaths adorn the walls. Benches with fire pits outside allow for visitors to enjoy their hot drinks while admiring the lights—also a great place to roast the marshmallows from Room for Dessert. All these things are better to enjoy when it’s dark out, so evenings would be the best time to come.

Some fun activities include Segway tours for $10, and different workshops with varying prices. There is lantern making ($15), making reusable Christmas bags (free), and calligraphy with Torgalson Design ($100). There are also events for children, such as crafts with Edmonton Public Library, art with Megan Hinse Art (free), outside games like giant Jenga and beanbag toss, and photos with Santa at the Knotty Pine Village, a custom-made cottage by the local Knotty Pine Cabins.

The market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm to 8pm, and Saturdays from noon to 6 pm. Admission is starts at $5 for adults, is $3 for kids, and free for children under the age of 4, but is free on Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm to 4 pm with a donation to the Edmonton Food Bank. There is underground parking available at ATB Place, or nearby at the Rice Howard Parkade, which is only a 4-minute walk away, but the easiest way to get to the event is by public transit—specifically by LRT.

Edmonton Christmas Market is at ATB Place 10025 Jasper Avenue, starting November 28 until December 21, 2019.

Thursday & Friday 3 PM-8 PM
Saturday NOON-6 PM

ADULTS starting at $5
KIDS $3 (children under 4 are free!)
Thursday/Friday 3-4 PM FREE with a donation to the Edmonton Food Bank!

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