The Christmas markets of Mannheim
Less than an hour from the Kaiserslautern Military Community, Mannheim is home to two Christmas markets and a Fairy-Tale Forest (Mannheimer Märchenwald). The largest and most famous market is comprised of 200 booths circling the Art Nouveau water tower (Wasserturm). A short walk along Kunststraße brings visitors to Kapuzinerplanken, a square that was once a part of a Capuchin monastery. Though smaller than the Water Tower Market, the 60-or-so vendors offer high-quality merchandise. Continue 400 meters west on Kunststraße to the Märchenwald, where kids will be delighted by magicians, enchanted trees, princesses and other fairy-tale characters. Little ones can participate in holiday crafting projects or ride a carousel while parents drink hot mulled wine.
Christmas market dates: Water Tower Market, Nov. 29-Dec 23, 2017; Kapuzinerplanken Market, Nov. 29-Dec. 23; Fairy-Tale Forest, Nov. 29-Dec. 28
Location: Friedrichsplatz for the Water Tower Market; Kapuzinerplanken square (500 meters from the Water Tower Market) for the Kapuzinerplanken Market; Paradeplatz for the Fairy-Tale Market
Helpful hints: The markets are near one another and a short walk from the Mannheim Hauptbahnhof — take the train to avoid the hassle of finding a designated driver and parking. Walkways at the Water Tower Market are quite narrow, so avoid bringing strollers.
Beyond the market: The Technoseum (technical museum) has interactive and hands-on exhibits to amuse children and adults. If the sun is shining, head over to Luisenpark to play on the giant chess board, barefoot park and jungle gym. You may even spot an alligator or mongoose at the mini zoo.
Now, get started on planning your trip to Mannheim!