Last night, the Detroit crew checked out the Ann Arbor KindleFest, as promised in our last post on Christmas markets. Here are a few things we would have liked to know before we headed out.
Arrive early: Even though we arrived near opening time, we would not have anticipated the importance of this! Although the KindleMarket hours were 4-10pm (according to the website – the local signs said 6), the Glühwein vendors were not allowed to begin selling until 6pm. By 8pm, the majority of the food vendors were sold out, even though the crowds were thick! The Glühwein booths were also sold out but they were making more at the vendor’s brick-and-mortar location (TeaHaus) to replenish the booths.
Bring your ID: We were surprised to see even grandparents being carded. This is America – bring your ID and enjoy that alcoholic beverage in the designated place! 😉
Bring cash: Some of the craft vendors accepted cards but many of them of were cash only, as were all of the food vendors. We were able to find an ATM nearby outside Sweetwater’s, but the line was long, even early in the evening.
Where to park: There are some parking recommendations here. We found ample parking at the P5 parking structure (220 N Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) for $3 for the evening.
Dress warmly: Though you can warm up (and use the bathrooms!) at the neighboring indoor Kerrytown Market and Shops, the KindleFest is all outdoors. There were fire pits at one part of the Christmas market, along with a s’mores and hot chocolate booth, which was a highlight for the kids.
Overall: This was a great little Christmas Market! While it doesn’t quite stack up to one in good ol’ Deutschland (but honestly, where can?), it has the right vibe that brought back memories and made some new ones. The food was delicious and authentic – bratwurst with sauerkraut, sauerbraten, and more! The fest only runs one night, so it’s over for this year, but keep an eye out for it next year. Let us know if you find any good markets near you!