Holiday Spirit at Turn Verein's Christkindlmarkt
It wasn’t a coincidence that my boyfriend and I moved into an apartment just a block and a half from the Sacramento Turn Verein. Between undergrad and graduate school, I’ve lived in Germany for roughly 15 months and I get very nostalgic about my time abroad, particularly around the holidays.
Winter in Europe is magical. The snow, lights, and cobblestone make for stunning town squares, but the traditional Christmas markets take it to the next level of awesome.
I was thrilled to learn that Sacramento takes part in this European staple and as a way of recapturing that time of my life, I’ve made the Sacramento Turn Verein’s annual Christkindlmarkt, aka the German Christmas Market, a priority every holiday season.
This Saturday and Sunday, the Turn Verein will open its doors to the community for holiday shopping and most importantly, holiday food and beverages. Me – and fifteen of my closest friends – will be there to participate in the festivities.
How to maximize your Christkindlmarkt Experience…tips I’ve learned over the years
- Get there early. Just like with Oktoberfest, this place fills up quickly and it is much more pleasant to walk around when you aren’t bumping into others. There is a $3 entrance fee, however, they will waive the fee if you bring a children’s coat for News10’s ‘Coats for Kids’.
- As soon as you get inside, your senses will be overloaded with the glorious fragrance of candied almonds. While you might be tempted by the many sights, sounds, and smells, I recommend you take a detour to grab a cup of the Gluhwein (mulled, spiced wine), or some apple cider if you prefer, right at the beginning of your Christkindlmarkt experience. That way you can enjoy a warm drink while perusing the numerous vendor booths located in the main hall.
- Once you’ve made a full loop around the gymnasium, travel upstairs for the main event: the Bratwurst. They have some other food too, but if you aren’t vegetarian, you will definitely want to try the Nurnberg sausage. The long tables force allow you to sit with others, Biergarten style. It’s a great opportunity to hang out, relax, and if you’re lucky, meet some friendly strangers.
- After being satiated by all that good German food, search for your second stomach and move to the adjacent room because it houses coffee, tea and baked goods. We are talking several different cake options here. This is a must for Christkindlmarkt goers of all ages and the perfect way to round out your German experience.
So if you are looking for a little magic to kick-off the holiday season, join us this weekend:
- Where: Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816
- When: Saturday, December 6th from 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 7th from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- * Note: If you go on Sunday, you’ll have VIP access to the tail end of the California International Marathon, which goes right down J Street.
Check out the Sacramento Turn Verein’s website for more information.