OMB’S 8th Annual Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas Market opens on Friday, December 6, and it’ll help you fulfill your dreams of living in a Hallmark holiday movie.
You get to stroll under holiday lights with your hands wrapped around a cup of Gluhwein to keep you warm (and the best kind of tipsy) while stocking up on Christmas gifts.
“Weihnachtsmarkt is one of our signature events that we celebrate throughout the month of December with pure beer and an open-air market that showcases local crafts and fresh baked goods,” says John Marrino, founder of OMB. “Our Biergarten is transformed into a festive and social experience. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition that takes place every December in towns throughout Germany, like Nuremburg, that attract people from around the world.”
It all starts with OMB’s annual tree lighting, hosted by Santa Claus, at sunset on Friday. Santa will be there 4:30-8 p.m., so plan accordingly.
The market includes 40-plus vendors, plenty of food and alcohol — and it draws in huge crowds.
“We’ll have a few thousand people come through during the course of the weekend if the weather is nice. It’s usually a nice flow of folks coming and going, shopping, stopping in for a beer, and bringing the family by,” OMB Spokesperson Chandler Owen said.
Dates/Hours: The market runs December 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22 (every Friday-Sunday now until Christmas). Hours are 4-9 p.m. on Friday; 2-9 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Note: OMB is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Vendors: More than 40 vendors will be on site each weekend including local artist David French; leather goods purveyor Buffalo Jackson Trading Company; Johnny Fly Co.; wooden watch maker Raw Watches; Pet Wants CLT; Good Karma Ranch (they make clothing, blankets, etc. from alpaca fiber which is warmer and lighter than sheep wool, btw); marinara sauce pros Cannizzaro Sauces; cutting board maker Cut Chop Serve; and Cloister Honey.
Expect a handful of food and drink vendors too, like Fine Swiss Bakery (Swiss and German baked goods) and Javesca Coffee.
Food: Expect German fare like Maultaschensuppe, a bowl of beef broth served with vegetables and German dumplings filled with smoked meats and spinach (available inside and outside) and a full Brauhaus menu (inside and on the patio) featuring German sausages, pork schnitzel and sauerbraten (sort of like a German roast beef dish). They’ll also have pizza, sandwiches, salads, and pretzels and beer cheese for those craving something simpler.
Festive sweet treats include a giant Giant Cinnamon Roll with cream cheese frosting (served from the ‘Garten Grill outside) and funnel cakes.
Drinks: OMB will have their usual lineup of fresh brews, plus holiday favorites like Yule Bock and Dunkel Dark Lager. Don’t skip out on the classic German Gluhwein (a warm, mulled wine).
Santa: Santa is making two appearances. One on opening night, December 6, from 4:30-8 p.m. and again on Saturday, December 21 from 2-5 p.m.
Hornets Nest Taproom: It’s the newest addition to the OMB space, and Owen said the Hornets Nest Taproom is a prime spot for people/groups to take a seat and get a drink at the bar (with less of a wait than the main bar, typically).
“The Hornets Nest is sometimes overlooked or completely missed by people since it’s in a separate room behind our main bar, but for those in the know, it’s a go-to when we get a little busier.”
Looking for more things to do this holiday season in Charlotte? Here’s the full Agenda event board with 65+ biggest events and here’s an Agenda list of the 23 most festive things to do this holiday season.