Holiday revelers attend the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza on Wednesday evening. The marketplace, along with the Aurora location at RiverEdge Park, is ending its season two days ahead of schedule due to the dangerous winter storm heading into Chicago on Thursday.
The winter storm arriving Thursday in the greater Chicago area has forced the early closure and the operating hours to be adjusted at all three area Christkindlmarket locations.
The beloved holiday marketplace in Daley Plaza and at RiverEdge Park in Aurora will be closing for the season at 4 p.m. Thursday. Both locations had originally been scheduled to remain open through Dec. 24.
“At the Christkindlmarket, safety takes top priority. We ask the public to stay safe and indoors,” a statement on the event website read in part on Wednesday.
The Wrigleyville location at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., will be closed Thursday through Sunday. It will reopen Dec. 26 with daily hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30. The market will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
The Daley Plaza Christkindlmarket, based on famed outdoor European Christmas markets, began 26 years ago and features nearly 50 vendor booths located underneath the familiar red-and-white-striped kiosk rooftops in the shadow of the Daley Plaza’s Picasso statue. Market-goers shop for myriad holiday gift items including ornaments, hand-carved figurines, traditional German foods and baked goods, and those highly sought-after, collectible Christkindlmarket mugs filled with either mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Further updates on the Wrigleyville Christkindlmarket location will be available at gallagherway.com.
Also on Wednesday, Lincoln Park Zoo announced it will be closed and its “ZooLights” festival canceled on Friday due to the extreme weather conditions. Ticketholders for the Dec. 23 date are being notified via email with more information.