Our family just loves Christmastime, and living in Germany, it’s great to continue some of our family traditions while living overseas. While we try to keep to some of our American traditions, Germany offers unique opportunities that you’ll want to make sure to take advantage of while you have the chance. If all you want to do during the holiday season is see Christmas Markets, don’t worry, we’ll have a separate post for that. However, there is so much more to see and do in the Kaiserslautern area, and I hope this post inspires you to check some of these things out.
Kaiserslautern Christmas Market
Okay, I resolved to make this post NOT about Christmas Markets, but it is worth taking the time to talk about the Kaiserslautern Christmas Market. I know you’re putting together your Christmas Market bucket list which includes Trier, Strasbourg, and Nuremburg, but don’t forget about the one right around the corner! The thing I love about the Kaiserslautern Christmas Market is that it’s a relatively small Christmas Market that offers many things the larger Christmas Markets offer such as Glühwein and tasty treats (mmm… crepes and waffles).
In past years, we’ve spent hours hanging around the fire with friends on a weekend night, and even hopped into town on a weekday to scratch the mid-week Christmas Market itch. Don’t miss it! It runs from November 23 to December 23 at the Schillerplatz. Check out the Facebook event link.
Bonus: Don’t miss out on these other local Christmas Markets!
Landstuhl St. Andreas Markt (Nov 30-Dec 1)
Rodenbacher Weihnachtsmarkt (Dec 7-8)
Otterberg Weihnactsmarkt (Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, 21)
Russian Classical State Ballet presents The Nutcracker
Our family tradition of watching The Nutcracker goes back to 2008, and we’re fortunate to live somewhere where the tradition can live on. In the U.S., we drive hours and dedicate a whole weekend to watch a Nutcracker performance. However, you can catch a Russian Ballet, right here in Kaiserslautern! We’ve seen it the past two years and it does not disappoint. This year’s performance of “The Nutcracker” occurs at the Kaiserslautern Kammgarn on December 14 at 1900. Tickets are €41-€58 each. Get your tickets here!
Bonus: If you’re looking for a performance from a local English-speaking studio, catch a youth rendition put on by the Grace Studio. Tickets are only €12 and can be purchased at the door. Check out the Grace Studio Facebook Page for more information.
Ice Skating – KL on Ice
While some of the best Christmas Markets also feature ice skating, you can compliment your Christmas Market trip with ice skating right here in Kaiserslautern. A very affordable way to have either a date night or a family trip, the Eishalle Gartenschau turns into a winter wonderland from November 22 to February 16. Entrance is €2.50 children and €3.50 adults. Bring your own skates or rent them for €3.50-€6.50. More info here.
The Rheinland-Pfalz International Choir (RPIC) Christmas Concert
Each year, the RPIC puts on several local performances with the United States Air Force Europe (USAFE) Band. This year is no exception, and the best part is free entry! Make sure you check the RPIC website for entry information, as well as other locations they will be performing at, such as the Kaiserslautern Christmas Market.
Check out the RPIC website here for more info.
The biggest event they will have this year is “Messiah” in Bann.
December 15 at 1700
Kath. Kirche Bann, Kirchenstraße 5, 66851 Bann
Christmas on the Farm
Are you looking for Christmas fun for the whole family? Only 45 minutes from Kaiserslautern is Roth Horse Ranch, which hosts “Christmas on the Farm.” On December 15, check out their Christmas village as they offer prizes, pony rides, raffles, crafts, and a petting zoo. Entry is free, and they encourage you to bring food to feed to the horses and other farm animals. See their Facebook Event here.
***As an added bonus, below are some of our favorite Christmas time day trips.***
Rhine River Cruise
If you are looking for a way to spend a few hours seeing beautiful castles on the Rhine, while sipping Glühwein and enjoying the company of your family or guests, a Rhine River Cruise does not disappoint. Head over to Bingen and jump on a cruise. The price can vary depending on what you want to do and how long you want to spend on the cruise, but we usually spend about €10 per person for a three hour cruise. We prefer to use the Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) cruise line. Check out their winter time table before you head out! Click here to see the K-D timetable.
Skiing in Metz
Do you want to stretch out your ski-legs before your big ski trip to Garmisch or elsewhere in the Alps? Well then, consider heading out to Snowhall in Amnéville, France! Snowhall is a very affordable indoor skiing experience that is open year-round. The resort boasts a small beginner’s hill, a longer hill for intermediate and advanced skiers, and a small tubing hill. Bring your skis or rent them there. Entrance for a two-hour ski pass starts at €12.60 for kids and €21 for adults. Ski rental for two hours is €10. Visit their website here.
Living in central Europe is such a great opportunity. There is just so much to enjoy right here. I know nothing will replace your Christmas traditions at home, but make the most out of your time here by getting out seeing everything the local area has to offer. Hopefully you will add some of these places to your bucket list this holiday season!