By Rita Hoefnagels, USAG Benelux Public AffairsNovember 16, 2017
SCHINNEN, The Netherlands -- Starting at the end of November, many Christmas Markets open their gates in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. In Germany every town, city or village has at least one Christmas Market. Some even have four or five. Most German Christmas Markets start around Nov. 24 and close around Dec. 23 or 24. On Nov. 26, a German religious fest day, many markets will be closed or open for only a few hours.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, the majority of Christmas Markets do not start until after the fest of Sinterklaas, Dec. 5 and 6. This week's Outside the Gate includes a few Christmas Markets and fairs. A large list of Christmas markets and fairs in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands will be available soon.
Nov. 16-19, 23-25, 30 - Dec. 3, 7-10, 14-17
Christmas Market in Bad Sassendorf (GE) - Open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Danish Christmas Fair in Rotterdam -- Held at Danish Naval Church on Coolhaven, 1 with all kinds of Danish products. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Swedish Christmas Market in Rotterdam - Held at Swedish Naval Church on Parklaan, 5 with Swedish products. Open: Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Nov. 18-19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Nov. 17-19 & 24-26
- Finnish Christmas Market in Rotterdam - Held on Gravendijkwal, 64 with lots of Finnish articles and delicacies. Open Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 17 - Dec. 23
- Christmas Market in Valkenburg - Located in Gemeentegrot on Cauberg, 4. Open Mondays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Dec. 23, the market will open from noon to 6 p.m. Entry: €7; €5 for children age 5 to 11.
- Another Christmas Market in Valkenburg - Held in the Fluwelen Cave under the castle ruins on Daalhemmerweg. Open Sundays to Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Dec. 23, the market will open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry: €7; €5 for children age 5 to 11.
Nov. 17 - Dec. 24
- Christmas Show in Schimmert - Held at Lupa Outdoors Vijvercentrum Limburg on Op de Bies 70. Open Mondays from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Christmas Show in Valkenburg - In English country style at Ricos on Hekerweg, 37. Open Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays to Sundays from noon to 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 17 - Jan. 17
- Valkenburg - Christmas Town - On Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., a Christmas parade with floats will move through the center.
- Winter Wonder Plaza in Willebroek (BE) -- Held at Plazarama on Overwinningstraat, 133 with many stands. No entry fees. Open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 18- Dec. 23
- Christmas Market in Bonn (GE) -- Held on the Münsterplatz, the Bottlerplatz, the Friedensplatz and connecting streets. The vendors offer traditional Christmas goods such as candles, arts and crafts and more. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Nov. 26.
- Warm Winter Weeks in Soest -- Held at Garden Center Vaarderhoogt on Dorresteinweg. It has a Christmas village with many nostalgic shops, music, and more. Open all days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. No entrance fees.
- Country & Christmas Fair in Haarzuilens -- Held at Castle De Haar. More than 200 stands featuring exclusive articles, accessories and novelties. Open Nov. 21-25 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry: €20; €10 for children age 12 to 16.
Nov. 23-25, Nov. 29-Dec. 3 & Dec. 6-10, 13-17, 20-23
- Opening of the Castle Merode - Christmas Market (GE) - The market is open Wednesdays to Thursdays, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridaysfrom 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays, from noon to 8 p.m. Entry is €7 (Wednesdays to Fridays), €8 from Saturdays to Sundays, €2 for children age 6 to 16.
- Magical Christmas Moments in Bruges -- Held in Oud Sint-Janshospitaal, in the center of Bruges, the event offers a variety of gifts, Christmas decorations, and workshops. Open all days 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry: €15; free for children age 13 and younger.
Nov. 24-Dec. 23
- Christmas Market in Aachen (GE) -- Held around the historic Town Hall. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Nov. 26 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Nov. 24-Dec. 30
- Christmas Village in Liège - Held at Place de Marché and Place Saint-Lambert, this is the largest Christmas Market in Belgium. Open Sundays to Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight.
SHAPE Trips and Tours will host trips to the Christmas Markets in Düsseldorf (Dec. 9), Strasbourg (Dec. 16) and Aachen and Monschau (Dec. 23). For more information, call DSN 423-3884 or
Schinnen Trips & Tours will host a trip to the Christmas Markets in Cologne on Dec. 2. Schinnen Child, Youth and School Services will host a trip to the Valkenburg Cave Christmas Market on Dec. 16. For more information, visit https://schinnen.armymwr.com/calendar.