We celebrated the actual holiday of Christmas in Peoria, but we were still able to enjoy Basel’s Christmas market for a while before we left. Basel’s Christmas market is one of the largest in Switzerland, stretching between Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz in Old Town. It appears that it opens on Thanksgiving (at least it did in 2015 and will do so again in 2016), so we were able to go several times between our first visit with Jane and Eric and when we left for Peoria.
The main focus of the Christmas market is, well, the market, although there’s lots of good food and drinks available. There are also a few things for the kiddos.
Her favorite part of the Christmas market was at Barfüsserplatz:
Herbstmesse and the Christmas market being (relatively) close together in time and taking place in some of the same locations was really confusing for G. She kept calling the Christmas market a fair and asking to go on the other rides. The only problem was that there were no other rides. She survived anyway, haha.
G’s other favorite part of the market was probably two singing moose heads.
They sang in English but spoke in German. G found them highly entertaining and often caused a traffic jam wanting to watch them talk and dance to their singing.
There are big Christmas trees set up all around the city. The way they handle them is really cool. There are big holes in the ground that are normally covered by manhole covers. In early- to mid-November, the manhole covers are removed and the trees are put in place. Then large wooden wedges are jammed in to hold the trees up straight. Excellent design!
Christmas markets are a big deal in Europe, so I’m hoping that in 2016 we’ll be able to get outside of Basel a bit and see some of the other markets as well.