Elkhart Lake Stories and Tips

Old World Christmas Market

Osthoff's Old World Christmas Market Photo, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

The Osthoff Resort has a long and proud German history dating back to its founders for whom the resort is named today. The European tradition of Christkindlmarkt is kept alive today by the resort through their Old World Christmas Market.

David and I went up to Elkhart Lake on their second weekend to see just what all the interest was, especially since I had been hearing about it on the radio down in Milwaukee for a week solid. After a decent snowfall of more than a foot, the small community of just over 1,000 people surely looked like Christmas to me. The Osthoff grounds were also very wintery, with snow throughout.

The market itself was contained within a very large tent, complete with heaters on either end. It was indeed very comfortable to take a leisurely stroll through the marketplace taking in the aromas of German sausage and kraut. It was too bad that we had a late breakfast as it would have been nice to enjoy some sauerbraten or schnitzel along with a potato pancake with applesauce.

There were several German vendors including what I always consider to be the "obligatory" clock maker. Another booth had lovely hand-stitched linens which conveyed the spirit of Christmas in bright colors.

A couple of my favorite stops in the market was the artisan carving "Old World Santas" out of wood . . . and the lady who was making moose out of threads of wool. Those who are able to create with their hands have my deepest respect and admiration as I am not a creative sort so when I see others creating, I'm in awe.

There were also several places to sample delicacies including homemade fudge, locally produced beers and wines and baked goods. Some maintained what I believe to be their authentic European roots . . . others were clearly "Made in Wisconsin." (David's bag of caramel corn is one such example!)

Seeing a little bit of everything and something for everyone, I bought Miss Heidi a new holiday collar. When we got home and I went to put it on her, she was rather distressed to lose her really nice leather one . . . but eventually stopped prancing around long enough for me to adorn her neck with the red snowman collar.

The Old World Christmas Market runs about ten days in December and is open 10a to 5p daily. There is an admission fee of $6, which seems reasonable for a morning or afternoon of German heritage and culture.

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