Dear Diary,

Tis the season to go shopping! You can stay local or take a quick trip on your search for the perfect present. Christmas markets have opened across the commonwealth. The holiday pop up shops offer festive and unique gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Here are our top four marketplaces.

1. Christmas Market in Philadelphia

Running now through Christmas Eve, Christmas Village in Center City Philadelphia gives visitors an authentic experience, transporting them to a German Christmas market. More than 80 wooden booths sell everything from traditional European foods and drinks to ornaments and crafts. There are lots of children’s activities as well, including Mad Elf Mondays when kids look for the elf on the shelf hidden in the market.

2. Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem

Dubbed Christmas City, USA, this markets offers a truly traditional holiday experience now through December 18th. The market features more than 125 artisans and vendors, selling items with old-world charm. To entertain shoppers, there are daily glassblowing and ice sculpting demonstrations, musical performances and a Crayola Creativity station.

Click here to check out our pick close to home!


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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