Christmas Village is a traditional German Village located in LOVE Park in Philadelphia from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. The village features around 80 vendors from all over the world selling a vast variety of food, drinks, and gifts. With such an abundance of places to explore, Weekend Philler enlisted Tobi Fischer, Christmas Village’s PR and Social Media Manager and village expert, to show us some of the highlights.

The first stop on our tour was the Käthe Wohlfahrt German Market, which is your one-stop shop for Christmas decor. They sell hundreds of ornaments ranging from the basics to the traditional German Christmas pickle. The strange tradition of the Christmas pickle dates back centuries, and is a game played on Christmas morning among German children where whoever finds the pickle hidden in the Christmas tree receives a special gift. In addition to ornaments, Käthe Wohlfahrt sells adorable incense smokers to fill your home with the aroma of Christmas and endless other types of holiday decor.

Keeping with his German roots, Tobi says that the next stop on our tour reminds him of home. Herrnhuter is the village’s prime vendor of the traditional Moravian star, which is displayed on the top of each of the village’s many booths, just as it is on many homes in Germany. Herrnhuter worker Julianna Cardona shows us many different varieties of the beautiful stars, explaining that they are a fun family activity: “Kids will take it to their homes and build it with their families before Christmas…get it together and put it on the tree.” Herrnhuter has the biggest selection of stars in the village.

As lunchtime neared, we were drawn to the mouthwatering scent of Raclette cheese wafting from Baked Cheese Haus. Baked Cheese Haus, based out of Wisconsin, is best known for its Raclette sandwiches. Cheesemaker Terry Bloom states that Raclette is so popular because it’s more than just food – it’s an experience. Indeed, watching him melt cheese on a wheel and then scrape the gooey top layer onto a fresh baguette was almost as delicious as the sandwich itself.

Our final stop on the tour was visiting a local Philadelphia photographer, Russ Brown. Russ has been photographing the city for several decades, and specializes in long-exposures and infrared photography. He showed us some visually stunning photographs that allowed me, a Philadelphia resident, to see the city in a way that I never had before.

The possibilities of what you will find in the Village is endless, but you are guaranteed to find gifts that you would never find in the mall, since many of these things are handmade from around the world. So be sure to check out Christmas Village for your family’s unique gifts this year!

By: Holly Huepfel
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