Harris Sister Misty and I recently had the opportunity to visit eight Old World countries in one weekend! Of course, we did that by visiting the St. Nicholas European Christmas Market in Cary, NC, which features vendors with wares from Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Scandinavia (representing more than one country), and Mexico.
Also featured were Baba's Kitchen for kolach rolls, pierogi, kielbasa, and other handmade goodies, Niche de Noel for an assortment of gift and decorative items, and a variety of pop-up vendors. Country tents, Baba's Kitchen, and Niche de Noel are labelled with these charming, old-fashioned street signs to help you navigate the market and determine where your newly found treasure hails from.
This quaint little market was best described as a treasure hunt! Set up in the tradition of an outdoor European Christmas Market, shoppers can stroll through each "country" and enjoy the best of European baked goods, decorative items, gifts, and both new and vintage items for the home. Here's a look at some of the beautiful items we spied while we were there:
Handmade Czech Glass Christmas Trees
Russian Nesting Dolls
The Legend of the Nutcracker
Handmade Preserves and Mustards
Misty and I had such a fantastic time scouring this quaint, old-world European Market for gorgeous handmade and vintage Christmas decorations as well as some unique gifts and stocking stuffers! And of course, we came home with a few goodies for ourselves:
Misty scored one of those beautiful handmade Czech glass Christmas trees, a set of old-world ornaments, a hand-carved crucifix, homemade German mustard, and a box of chocolates for a Christmas present.
I scored a basket of traditional colored vintage glass ornaments including four pine cone shaped ornaments and a Santa ornament, a folding paper frieze from Sweden showing an elf-like Santa, and a few more goodies that are not pictured because they may be viewed by a reader of this blog. ;-)
After we were finished shopping, we also enjoyed a Slavic lunch while listening to the Little German Band. They played mostly traditional Christmas music, but also the Beer Barrel Polka (which I had not heard in 16 years - since my wedding)!
Czech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - Tips for First-Time Visitors
Because this is an outdoor market, make sure to keep the weather in mind and dress appropriately for your shopping adventure. However, do not let that deter you from this wonderful experience. Now in their eighth year, this traditional Old World Market experience is still going strong and is definitely an annual tradition that you should start with your family.
Market parking is available on-site, across and down the street, on neighboring side streets, and via shuttle or a short walk down the sidewalk from the Lowes Foods parking lot on the corner of Tryon and Cary Parkway. We opted to park in the Lowes Foods parking lot and it really was a short walk directly to the market. Parking on-site is limited, but there is plenty of parking in the Lowes Foods shopping center.
Cash and credit cards are accepted at this market. You'll pay separately for any purchases at pop-up vendors, and collect all your goods and pay once at the main register tent for the country, Baba's Kitchen, and Niche de Noel tents.
All vendors that we visited offered plastic bags, but you may also want to bring a reusable shopping bag with you to bring your finds home with you.
They have wrapped up the Christmas Market for this year, but please follow them on Facebook. for updates on their upcoming Easter Market and next year's Christmas Market. Follow them on Pinterest to see what types of treasures they'll have at the Market, including the pastries and other baked goodies you'll be able to find there.