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With polkas, live reindeer and lots of Krampi, Christkindlmarket Des Moines brings Old World holiday charm to Principal Park

Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Principal Park


Christkindlmarket in Des Moines, December 1 2022. -Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

The sixth annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines kicked off at Principle Park on Thursday night. The Christmas market, inspired by by the centuries-old European tradition of holiday markets is a celebration of German and Austrian heritage infused with seasonal charm.

So if you can’t make it to Munich, or even Chicago, the Christkindlmarket in Des Moines. is ready to fulfill your Yuletide needs.

The event takes place in the parking lot of Principal Park and offers a variety of entertainment, food, shopping and activities. One of the most interesting attractions is the Krampuslauf (Running of the Krampi), in which attendees dressed as Krampus parade through the festival, bringing a monstrous yet festive note to Saturday night at the market.

But monsters are not the only entertainment available. The Des Moines Christkindlmarket boasts an extensive lineup of polka bands, traditional dance groups, youth choirs, and more at the Yuletide Hall.

Christkindlmarket attendees watch a polka band at the Yuletide Hall. -Lily DeTaeye/Little Village

In addition to the on-stage entertainment, the festival is adding a new live photo event this, with real reindeer and will be bringing in Santa’s sleigh on Sunday, Dec. 4.

Throughout the festival grounds, attendees can purchase traditional Bavarian food and beverages including Gl├╝hwein, a warm, spiced red wine.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas market without the opportunity to shop. Crafters from across the Midwest will be selling their festive wares and providing demonstrations throughout the festival weekend.

The 2022 Christkindlmarket take place at Principal Park through Sunday, Dec 4. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and the event is family-friendly and pet friendly.


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