If the commercialism that swirls around Christmas brings out your inner Scrooge, recharge at Denver’s Christkindl Market at Skyline Park downtown. Look for the enormous German Weihnachtspyramide, or Christmas Pyramid, across the street from Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret and pass through the bough-lined gate to enter this little slice of Bavaria.
Modeled after the Christmas markets that became popular in Germany and Austria in the 17th century, the festival overflows with Old World-style treats. Look for goodies such as Gluhwein (mulled wine), rich hot chocolate, frosty Paulaner beer—all to be enjoyed in the straw-lined tent to plenty of oompah music. Stop first at the Styria Catering booths for Wiener schnitzel, suckling pig, or salmon focaccia from the award winning, Austrian-born chef Walter Neuhold, who has cooked for royals including Queen Elizabeth, Pope John II, and former President Ronald Reagan.
Then pop by the original Styria Bakery tent. The bakery was named in honor of the same Austrian region as the catering company, but it was founded in Frederick, Colorado, by Peter Kaiser with Dieter and Claus Campbell. Take home a bundle of the fabulous pretzels with the perfect soda-bite and a Christmas stollen, the powdered sugar–dusted, traditional Christmas bread that was originally designed to look like a blanketed baby Jesus.
Skyline Park, on Arapahoe between 16th and 17th, Denver, open daily through December 21.