Christmas Markets

BySuzanne Hull

Visit European Christmas Markets in 2020 with DMEHA

In the Heart of Europe you will find a wonderful surprise – colorful Christmas Markets just waiting to be explored. The dramatic architecture of Europe’s spectacular cities is the perfect backdrop to the charming stalls that offer traditional items from handmade crafts to tasty foods and unexpected joys.

Join Des Moines European Heritage Association for a tour of European Christmas Markets December 7 – 14, 2020. During this tour, you will enjoy the following:

Prague walking tour and Christmas Markets
Walking tour of Cesky Krumlov and time at the Christmas Markets
Vienna walking tour and Christmas Markets
Schloss Hof tour and Christmas Market
Walking tour of Bratislava and time at the Christmas Markets
Budapest city tour and Christmas Markets

Download the complete brochure
Download the registration form

We hope you can join in the fun. Space is limited, so reserve today!

BySuzanne Hull

2019 Christkindlmarket Des Moines Christkind Application

Welcome! We appreciate your interest in applying to be the 2019 Christkind at Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM) taking place December 6 – 8, 2019 at Principal Park. Please complete the 2019 application PRIOR to your interview. You will receive a confirmation email with additional details upon successful application submission. Learn more about the Christkind and its history.


• Application Deadline: September 15, 2019
• Interviews Held: Week of September 23, 2019
• 2019 Christkind Announcement: October 1, 2019

To Apply

  1. Register and complete this official online application
  2. Please email video of applicant reading opening ceremony proclamation to
  3. Please email headshot of applicant to

Note: CDM will provide the costume, wig and accessories; Christkind can wear their own shoes.

To be eligible to be the 2019 Christkind, all of the following criteria must be met:

Must be at least 16 years of age by December 31, 2019, and no more than 22 years of age before January 5, 2020
A resident of Iowa (or attending an Iowa-based school/university) able to provide verification of residence and/or enrollment
A student in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in Iowa
Possess at least a 2.0 grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification
Available to participate in-person or via video during scheduled interview
Must be able to memorize and recite opening ceremony proclamation in front of 2,500 people without visual or auditory aid
Must enjoy working with others and talking with the public, including children of all ages
Must be able to provide own transportation to and from appearances
Available to attend the following functions/appearances as the 2019 Christkind
6pm – 8pm, December 5, 2019 | ‘Twas the Night Before #CDM2019 Preview Event
5:30pm – 7:30pm, December 6, 2019 | Opening Ceremony
2pm – 4pm, December 7, 2019 | CDM appearance
2pm – 4pm, December 8, 2019 | CDM appearance

Please fill out and submit this application; all fields with red asterisks (*) are required.

BySuzanne Hull

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines…

What: Christkindlmarket Des Moines (A German-Inspired Outdoor Christmas Market)

When: Dec. 2 to 4 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat.; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun.)

Where: Cowles Commons in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa


  1. Experience the sights and sounds of a real German Christmas-themed market, Christkindlmarket Des Moines, without even having to “cross the pond.”
  2. Witness the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. as the Christkind (the Christmas Angel) who officially opens the market with her proclamation and is helped by the Kinder (children) on a procession with luminaria.
  3. See the quaint village-like huts, built by Waukee High School industrial arts students that will offer wares such as handmade stationery, Christmas ornaments, baked goods, teas, hand-knitted items, chainsaw carvings, and much more.
  4. Hear the local, state and regional music ensembles from high school choirs to professional entertainers entertain Christkindlmarket guests with holiday music.
  5. Gather around the “Tannenbaum Tables” made by Johnston High School industrial arts students and taste the delicious holiday treats from chocolate and toasted nuts to savory wursts and potatoes.
  6. Toast your friends and warm your spirits with authentic German Glühwein (gloo-vine) just like they do in Deutschland in December.
  7. Take home a piece of real European art with the market’s inaugural collectible Glühwein mug that features original artwork by a German artist.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


ByRebecca Banger

Volunteer at Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) invites you to be a part of something great: The inaugural Christkindlmarket Des Moines. Volunteers are integral to a successful community event. We need your help and we have several volunteer opportunities to choose from whether you’re looking for just yourself or a group. Be sure to include family members, friends and others who could join you to make it more fun!

No-shows can cause great difficulties for the planning and production of Christkindlmarket Des Moines. We ask that you report on time and remain on task for the duration of your shift(s). All volunteers must be at least 16 years old when they report for their volunteer shift. Those dealing with alcohol must be at least 21 years old when they report for their volunteer shift.

Volunteer shifts range of 2-3 hours and an estimated 400+ volunteers will be needed to make #CDM2016 possible.

Sign up now with VolunteerLocal!


Christkindlmarket Des Moines Setup

Install Christmas trees, assemble signage, hang stringed lights, decorate wooden vendor stalls, etc. **Some lifting may be required**

Vendor Stall Setup

Construct pre-fabricated wooden vendor stalls. **Heavy lifting definitely required**

Vendor Assistant

Help vendors unload their merchandise as well as with vendor set up and tear down.

Vendor Relations

Watch vendor’s booths should they need to take a break.

Waste Removal Elves

Empty the waste receptacles into a large roll-off bin as needed.

DMEHA KinderKorner Booth

Provide a European-centric activity for children. All supplies provided.

DMEHA Information Area

Answer attendee’s questions, provide information on DMEHA, hand out site maps, entertainment schedules, etc.

Programming Stage Volunteer

Assist the Programming site leaders to ensure that performers have arrived, are prepared to take the stage and have what they need to perform.

Arts Project Grant Survey Deployment

Circulate throughout the programming area during performances to deploy a survey to capture attendee demographic information.

ID Checkers

Check the IDs of attendees who would like to drink alcoholic beverages.

Beer Pourers

Work with the Iowa Beer Bus team to serve beer to attendees.

Glühwein Sales

Serve warm, mulled wine from a wooden vendor stall to eager attendees.

Non-Alcoholic Beverage Sales

Sell hot chocolate, hot cider, water, etc. to attendees.

Christkindlmarket Des Moines Tear Down

Remove Christmas trees, disassemble signage, remove stringed lights, remove decorations from wooden vendor stalls. **Some lifting may be required**

Vendor Stall Tear Down

Tear down pre-fabricated wooden vendor stalls. **Heavy lifting definitely required**

Volunteer Relations

Greet and check-in volunteers, direct volunteers to assigned areas, and keep Volunteer Headquarters organized.

Sign up now with VolunteerLocal!


Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


ByRebecca Banger

Platinum Sponsor | Ingersoll Wine and Spirits

DMEHA is proud to announce the support of Ingersoll Wine & Spirits as a Platinum sponsor. Ingersoll Wine & Spirits is a locally-owned and family operated business that has been around the Des Moines area for 19 years. Due to their success, Ingersoll Wine & Spirits opened their second store in October of 2001 and continues to commit their business to providing their customers with “quality products at a reasonable price.”

In addition to being a Platinum sponsor for Christkindlmarket Des Moines, Ingersoll Wine & Spirits is providing the Glühwein for Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2016. Glühwein is a traditional German red wine that is heated, flavored with seasonal spices such as cinnamon sticks, orange juice, cloves, zest, and sugar.

Thank you Ingersoll Wine & Spirits for being a Platinum sponsor of Christkindlmarket Des Moines and we look forward to their support for the first annual event.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.

ByRebecca Banger

Glühwein Mug Design Unveiled

For Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2016, German designer Sabine Voigt, has crafted a Christmas-themed design for our Glühwein mug. Voigt studied in Dusseldorf, Germany and San Diego, CA, graduating as a graphic designer. Previously she has worked for companies such as Rolling Stone Magazine, Cologne Cathedral Christmas market, Kölner Bank, and many others, as well as designing a variety of mugs for Christmas markets around the world. Voigt has been awarded 1st place in the Charlie Hebdo Cart Competition, awards in the International Cartoon contest, the European Cartoon contest, and a variety of other awards and decorations. Her work has been presented in Portugal, Germany, America, Spain, and other countries world wide for its colorful and youthful appearance.

DMEHA is excited to have the opportunity to further display her work by using the design featured below on our 2016 Glühwein mug. Guarantee your Glühwein mug this year by making a donation of $25 or more to Des Moines European Heritage Association.

DMEHA will be ordering a fixed quantity of Glühwein mugs and would like to ensure supporters are guaranteed this keepsake collectors item – especially from the inaugural event.

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Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.

ByBecca Baldwin

Christkindlmarket | Rennes, France

My name is Becca Baldwin. I’m a old graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. I graduated with a double major of Global Marketing and Organizational Leadership Management. After graduation, I continued my studies at the ESC Rennes School of Business in Rennes, France. I completed a one-year master’s program in International Business while living in France from August 2014 to May 2015. While in France I was able to travel and experience a bit of European culture. I currently live in Des Moines and work at Principal Financial Group. My hobbies include traveling, being with friends & family, exercising, and volunteering. I decided to get involved with the Des Moines European Heritage Association and Christkindlmarket Des Moines planning because I am very much interested in European culture. I want to experience as much as I can of what the world has to offer, and plan on accomplishing this by being involved in my community and traveling as much as possible!

About a year ago, I had returned to Iowa to visit for the holidays. I had just completed half of my year abroad, living in Rennes, France, for about 4.5 months. This was my first long-term stay in Europe. While I learned a lot about European culture, one of the things I found fascinating was the tradition of Christmas Markets.

I had never heard of them before, but I gathered they were immensely popular in most of Europe and had German origins. What’s a Christmas Market, you may ask? It’s an open-air event where you can browse booths full of hand-crafted goods, seasonal treats, sip on mulled wine, and take in all the beauty.

My first trip to a Christmas Market was in December 2014, in Rennes, France, and I fell in love with the atmosphere. A couple of my friends and I walked around (on more than one occasion) and took in all the beautiful crafts and items for sale. I purchased a bracelet and scarf for a couple friends back home, and we sipped on some spiced wine and ate a few different holiday desserts. It really brought the feeling of Christmas back to me, while I was missing my friends and family back home. The booths were lined up, decorated in lights, garland, and different seasonal decorations. There were wooden cut-out boards for children to put their heads in and pretend they were Santa & Mrs. Claus; there was a booth with puppies to play with, and numerous booths with homemade pralines, churros, and macaroons for sale. The Christmas Market had a European feel, but it also reminded me of the Christmas spirit at home.

Now that I’m back living in Iowa, I was sad I couldn’t experience another Christmas Market similar to my first magical experience in France. That being said, I am more than excited to partake in helping organize Des Moines’ own Christkindlmarket in 2016! It can be hard to express in words how amazing a Christmas Market experience is, so it looks like everyone will have to find out for themselves next December. For now, I’ll leave you with a couple pictures of the market in Rennes, France, and hope everyone is excited for next year!




As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.