fun things to do with kids winter and christmas markets munich germany   Travel for Kids
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Munich – Christmas markets & Winter activities

Munich in December is magical. At Marienplatz, a four story evergreen tree glows with Christmas lights, kids can ice skate with bears at Karlstor, Christmas market stalls are filled with toys, ornaments, sweets, chocolates and spice cookies. Store windows are decorated with winter scenes, listen to live Christmas music, Santas in red suits and long white beards arrive on bicycles. When fluffy snowflakes begin to fall, it completes this winter wonderland.
Tip: Be sure to bring warm clothing for everyone in the family. The markets are all outdoors, frosty temperatures in the evening.
Munich Christmas Markets Photo Album
  Christmas markets – Munich downtown has five different markets; the biggest and best one is the Christkindlmarkt Marienplatz. Other markets are smaller, but are also less crowded.
      Christkindlmarkt
      Christkindlmarkt extends for a large area, from Karlstor east to Marienplatz, and Rindermarkt north to Wein Str. At Rindermarkt is a "Christmas pyramid" (Wiehnachtspyramide), a large wooden rotating tower, with nativity figures such as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, three Wise Men, going round and round.
      The market stalls have colorful displays of Christmas ornaments in every shape and size – angels, stars, trees, glass snowflakes and icicles, ceramic fairy tale figurines, wooden reindeer, music boxes, forest elves in knitted caps and sweaters. In one whole whole section (kripperlmarkt), look for beautifully carved and painted wooden nativity figures.
    Come to the market ready for sweets, food and hot drinks. Kids will enjoy Kinderpunsch (fruit punch) and Heisse Schokolade (hot chocolate); for adults there's Gluhwein (mulled wine). At the food stalls on Rosen Str., grab a slice of Flammkuchen - it's sort of like a thin crust pizza with onions and bacon. Spice cookies, Lebkuchen, in the shape of hearts, stars, reindeer, Christmas trees, are a German specialty.
      Christmas Village (Weinachtsdorf)
      The Christmas Village in the Kaiserhof Residenz courtyard has animated scenes of St. Nikolaus, friendly creatures in the wood, fairies and elves in the forest. The animated scenes are quite appealing for little kids in strollers, and the market is less crowded during the day.
      Medieval Christmas fair (Mittelalterlicher Weihnachtsmarkt) -
      Located in Wittelsbach plaza (Wittelsbacherplatz), this market has a medieval theme, with lots of fur items for sale. Kids can watch sausages grilled over an over fire, then see how they taste (delicious).
      Christmas Market Chinese Tower
      When kids need to stretch their legs, go run around the English Garden. The market is set up at the Chinese Tower, with a carousel for toddlers, and playground nearby.
      Christmas Market Sendlinger Tor
      The smallest Christmas market, drop in if you're staying at a hotel in the neighborhood (but not worth a special trip).
  Ice skating (Eiszauber Munich) – From November to March, to go ice skating at the Eiszauber located at Karlstor, Stachus metro stop. This is best spot for kids of all ages (teens will have fun with the local teens), it's noisy and fun. No experience needed to ice skate – kids can use plastic bears on runners to stay upright.
  Viktualienmarkt – In winter, the open food stalls are enclosed, and it's a cosy spot for bowls of chicken, potato, and pumpkin soup, large fresh pretzels (Brezen) and local wurst. The plant stalls have beautiful evergreen displays with owls, squirrels, deer, elves, St. Nikolaus, made out of bark and wood.
  Nativity displays – Around the city are different nativity displays with Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Go to the courtyard of the Rathaus for a lovely traditional creche (since 1953) – the three Wise Men are accompanied by a camel, elephant and horse, shepherds wear lederhosen, villagers in Bavarian dress gather round the manger, an angel hovers above in a heavenly blue sky.
  Store windows – As you walk through the downtown, streets glow with Christmas lights on the buildings and store windows are gorgeously decorated. At Dallmayr's, check out the chocolate St. Nicks in the window and other goodies. Our favorite window display is the animated teddy bear scenes at the Galeria Kaufhof (Marienplatz).
  English Garden – Even in winter, the English Garden, a large park in the center of the city, is fun. As in summer, kids can watch surfers on the Isar (they use wetsuits). We spent a morning in December wandering through the park, frozen leaves glinting in the sun.
  Neuschwanstein Castle day trip – Neuschwanstein Castle in winter is enchanting – the castle shimmers in a snow-covered landscape.
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