Carmel Indiana is a great place to visit during the wintertime, especially if you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit. One of the biggest draws to the area during this time of year is the annual Carmel Christkindlmarkt, which takes place downtown.
The market features a variety of vendors selling handmade goods and festive treats, as well as live entertainment and activities for the whole family. It’s the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and find unique gifts for your loved ones.
In this guide, I share confirmed dates for 2023, opening times and a list of what you’ll find at the Christmas stalls.
Christmas in Carmel is a truly magical time of year. The town is decked out in holiday decorations, making it a picturesque place during the winter.
Carmel Christmas Market is known as Carmel Christkindlmarkt, a reference to Germany’s historical traditional Christmas markets.
Carmel even has visits from Christkind, the Christmas angel made famous at Nuremberg Christmas Market.
Carmel Christkindlmarkt 2023
One of the highlights of Carmel Christkindlmarkt is the wide variety of unique and one-of-a-kind gifts that can be found there. From handmade ornaments and scented candles to locally-made food items and more, there’s something for everyone at the Christmas market.
At the Glühwein Pyramid, you can order from 10 available hot drinks, including mulled wine and non-alcoholic punch.
You can do your Christmas shopping at the 50 Christmas huts that are spread out around the location at Carter Green.
Kinder Club is available to keep the younger kids entertained along with opportunities to meet Santa, special characters and Christkind.
Dates and Location
Carmel Christkindlmarkt dates: Wednesday to Sunday: 18th November to 24th December 2023.
Location: 10 Carter Green, Carmel, Indiana.
Opening times: Wednesday and Thursday: 4pm to 9pm. Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 9pm. Sunday: 12pm to 8pm.
Thanksgiving Day: Closed.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Santa: Yes. Santa is available each Sunday. You can also meet Christkind on most days and famous characters on Saturdays.
Ice skating: Yes, outdoor ice skating is available at 3 Carter Green from 18th November to 29th February 2024. Book online here.
Reason to visit: The Glühwein Pyramid, handmade wooden toys, music boxes, ice skating and the Kinder Club.
Specialities: European Christmas specialties like pretzels, German-style bratwurst, lebkuchen (gingerbread), Swiss-style raclette (melted cheese served on bread), kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes), and stollen (Dresden-style fruit bread).
Where to stay: Hotel Carmichael is a highly-rated hotel located around the block from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Carmel Christkindlmarkt
Carmel, Indiana has some really cool neighborhoods to check out while you’re in the area. The Arts & Design District is a must-see for anyone interested in the arts, and the Midtown area is a great place to grab a bite to eat and check out some shops.
Either of these are great areas to stay in, but if you want to be near the Christmas market, I suggest staying at Hotel Carmichael as it’s just around the block from the event.
Location of Carmel Christmas Market
Christmas in Carmel
Food at the Christmas Market
The Carmel Christkindlmarkt, situated in the heart of Indiana, is a culinary delight with a rich array of tantalising food options that cater to a wide range of palates. Here’s a selection of what you can look forward to:
Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie: This official state pie of Indiana is a sweet treat you simply cannot miss. It’s a simple, custard-like pie with a rich cream, sugar, and vanilla filling – a sweet ending to your Christmas market exploration.
German Pretzels: You can find these traditional European snacks at most Christmas markets, and Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt is no different. Enjoy a warm, salty pretzel as you walk around the market, taking in the festive sights and sounds.
Indiana Popcorn: Indiana is known for its popcorn, and you’ll likely find stalls selling this popular snack. It’s a perfect treat to munch on as you navigate the bustling market.
Bratwurst: No Christmas market is complete without this German classic. Enjoy a hearty bratwurst, usually served in a bun with sauerkraut or onions. It’s a delicious and filling snack that pairs perfectly with the festive atmosphere.
Hot Apple Cider: Indiana is famous for its apples, so a cup of hot apple cider is a must when visiting the Christkindlmarkt. It’s the ideal beverage to warm you up on a chilly winter’s day.
German Stollen: This is a traditional German fruit bread often found at Christmas markets. It’s a must-try festive delicacy made with nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit.
Remember, every vendor at Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt is unique, so you never know what delicious discovery awaits you around the corner!
What to Buy
The Christkindlmarkt in Carmel, Indiana, hosts a plethora of unique stalls that beckon you with a treasure trove of gifts and souvenirs, both traditionally festive and locally distinctive. So here’s a list of some typical items you might encounter:
Hoosier Handicrafts: The state of Indiana has a rich tradition of craftsmanship. At the Carmel Christkindlmarkt, I expect you’ll find an array of handmade goods such as wooden toys, ceramics, or hand-woven baskets, made by talented Hoosier artisans.
Christmas Ornaments: The charm of a traditional Christmas market lies in its seasonal decor. Expect to find beautiful ornaments, from hand-blown glass baubles to intricately crafted nutcrackers and everything in between.
Gourmet Popcorn: Given Indiana’s reputation for popcorn, some vendors might offer gourmet popcorn in decorative tins. It makes a tasty and fun gift for friends and family back home.
German Christmas Pyramids: These traditional German decorative pieces make a delightful addition to any home during the holidays. Watch as the heat from the candles turns the fan, setting the scene in motion.
Indiana Honey: Local honey is a great gift, and Indiana is known for its honey production. You might find a vendor selling this golden treat in several floral varieties.
Locally Made Soaps and Candles: The Christkindlmarkt often features stalls selling handmade soaps and candles. Scented with holiday aromas, these make great stocking stuffers or gifts for the folks back home.
Remember, the magic of a Christmas market lies in its variety and the unique blend of global and local goods. With each stall at Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt presenting its own story, you’re sure to find something special for everyone on your list.
If you’re looking for the best Christmas markets in the USA, then my guide is the perfect resource for you!
Visit Hamilton County is full of helpful information for visitors to the area. From event listings and attractions to dining and shopping options, the website has everything you need to plan your trip to Carmel.
Sustainable Christmas in Carmel
Navigating a bustling Christmas market such as Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt can indeed be a sustainable endeavour if you plan your visit thoughtfully. Below are a few suggestions:
Use Renewable Energy: One way to be more sustainable is to opt for accommodations that use renewable energy sources. A quick online search will reveal eco-conscious hotels in and around Carmel that are powered by solar or wind energy.
Minimise Food Waste: When sampling the delicious foods at the Christkindlmarkt, only order what you can comfortably finish. Leftovers can often be composted – just look out for the appropriate bins around the market.
Embrace Ethical Consumption: Many vendors at the market will sell locally-made or fair-trade goods. Support them by making thoughtful purchases that respect both people and the environment.
Follow a Sustainable Diet: You’ll likely encounter stalls selling vegetarian or vegan food. Choosing plant-based options can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your meal.
Use Sustainable Transport Options: Carmel has excellent cycling infrastructure, so consider renting a bike or using a bike-sharing scheme for short trips. For longer journeys, look to public transport, which is typically more sustainable than private vehicles.
Bring Your Own Bag and Bottle: To reduce plastic waste, take along a reusable shopping bag for any purchases you make at the market. And keep a refillable water bottle with you to stay hydrated without resorting to single-use plastics.
Support Local Economy: Where possible, spend your dollars at local businesses, which will support the Carmel economy and typically involve fewer carbon emissions related to transport.
Every small action counts towards a greener planet. By making conscious choices, you’ll ensure that your festive outing in Carmel aligns with the principles of sustainability.
Carmel Christkindlmarkt is held from Wednesday to Sunday: 18th November to 24th December 2023.
The Christmas markets in Carmel are held at 10 Carter Green in Downtown Carmel, Indiana. Between The Palladium and The Tarkington Theater.
The Christmas markets in Carmel are open from 11am to 9pm. Opens at 4pm on Thursdays.
If you would like to leave a review of Carmel Xmas Market, feel free to comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Carmel, Indiana. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.