Approximately 150,000 to 200,000 people are expected to visit the launch of Winterland at The Park and Christkindlmarket at The Park at Wrigley in Chicago at Wrigley Field.
“We’re really excited to be here at The Park at Wrigley,” said Kate Bleeker, senior manager for German American Events, LLC which also produces the Christkindlmarket in Naperville and downtown Chicago.
At Winterland at The Park, a free entry event, a holiday tree is one center of attention. A menorah will also be in place at Wrigley’s inaugural winter seasonal event.
Santa’s Workshop is also poised to be a memory maker with the option for a purchased professional photo.
The Park at Wrigley also features an 8,000-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink where people can use rented ice skates. Chicago Cubs royal blue was the color of the skates seen over Thanksgiving weekend.
“This (the rink) is an amazing part that The Park at Wrigley has added on to the event,” Bleeker said.
And to Chicago Cubs fans, “Come down and celebrate here at Wrigley Field all year around,” Bleeker said with a smile.
Winterland at the Park began Nov. 24 and continues through Feb. 25 with the ice skating rink open past the holidays.
Experiencing ice skating on Nov. 26 in 40-degree Sunday sunny afternoon weather was the Metcalf family of Chesterton, Ind.
Parker Metcalf, 9, celebrated her birthday by skating with siblings, James Metcalf, 7, and Peighton Metcalf, 11. Their parents James and Alexis Metcalf watched rinkside.
“What a great addition to Chicago,” said James Metcalf, the children’s father.
“It’s so much fun, the kids are enjoying it, we’re enjoying it, it’s a blast, everyone needs to come and check it out.”
“It’s really fun,” said Peighton Metcalf.
Cubs fans donned plush Cubbie winter hats. Some selected handmade items sold in the wooden chalet booths.
And many purchased collectible mugs filled with gluhwein, hot spiced red wine. This year’s mug is a stout round red mug with yellow lining. The mug has no Chicago Cubs reference for the Wrigleyville market but has the Chicago skyline.
Toasting with collectible mugs were Kelsey Cheng and Casey Hogarth, both of Chicago.
“We love that there’s one (Christkindlmarket) in the neighborhood now,” Cheng said.
Available was a kinder-friendly mug design, suitable for young hot chocolate lovers.
Trying on handmade winter wear sold by vendors was Kristen Nasta of Chicago.
“I am having fun,” Nasta said, but adding, of course, something sporty.
“Go Cubs!” Nasta said with a smile.
The Wrigleyville-based Christkindlmarket runs through New Year’s Eve.
Christlkindlmarket hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday from and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Christmas Day.
Ice skating admission is $5 for 13 and older. There’s free admission for children 12 and younger. The skate rental fee is $10.