Travel Wisconsin: Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Sharing is caring!

Travel Wisconsin: Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Travel Wisconsin: Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Travel Wisconsin: Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

By Hazel Freeman

Experience the Magic of a Traditional German Christmas Market at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake


Winter, and Christmas especially, is a magical time in Elkhart Lake where they host the annual Old-World Christmas Market. So if you travel to Wisconsin in December, be sure to experience the Osthoff Resort Christmas Market!


The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is no stranger to winning prestigious awards. The resort has earned the coveted AAA Four Diamond Resort rating for twenty consecutive years.

Only properties that deliver premier guest experiences, with superior personal service, first-class amenities, and impressive surroundings are given this prestigious award. Only three percent of AAA-rated lodging and restaurant properties in the nation receive the Four Diamond Award if that tells you just how special the Osthoff is.

The Aspira Spa, located in The Osthoff, was ranked #3 Spa in America, #1 Midwest Spa and #1 Lake Spa in North America by Spas of America in its annual ranking recently.


The Osthoff is giddy about adding one more distinguished award to their list. The resort’s Old-World Christmas Market was voted the #1 holiday market in the U.S. in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards from USA TODAY and 10Best.

General manager, Lola Roeh, has been the spark plug that keeps the Osthoff winning awards year after year. According to Roeh, everyone at the Osthoff takes pride in offering their guests a superior product and they are constantly striving to meet and exceed their expectations.

Roeh created the Christmas Market idea after having lived in Germany years ago. “My husband and I loved the German Christmas markets, the way they brought people together and put them in the spirit of the season, and I thought it would be wonderful to recreate that here in Wisconsin,” said Roeh. She added, “The original Osthoff was opened in 1886 by German entrepreneur Otto Osthoff and his wife Paulina and I think they’d be pleased too!”

Experience Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Experience Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

The Osthoff was up against stiff competition for the top spot. Other noteworthy competitors were markets in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and even Washington, D.C., to name a few of the twenty nominees.

In addition to editors from USA TODAY and editors from, votes were cast by expert travel contributors, and other partner media sources. Then the contest was opened to readers for a voting period of four weeks.

The 2018 holiday market was the resort’s 21st, with vendors and visitors from all over the world making it an annual tradition to attend the market. While other markets are open-air, shoppers to The Osthoff’s market find themselves inside a heated tent the size of a football field. The tent is decked out with traditional wooden booths, fresh pine trees, garlands of twinkling white lights and an authentic German food court, much like you’d find in market squares in Europe.

The 10-day market is always held at the beginning of December and features the wares of more than 70 artisans from around the world, including Germany, Russia and Turkey, and local producers too.

Two German artisans, a skilled woodcarver who creates smokers and nutcrackers, and another, who brings spices from Nuremberg to make his secret recipe bratwurst for hungry shoppers, have never missed a market in all 21 years. The 2018 event drew 14,000 visitors.

Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Osthoff Resort Christmas Market


Old World Christmas Market – December 6 – 15, 2019
Experience the holiday “gemütlichkeit” of a traditional European Christmas Market, reminiscent of the centuries-old German Christkindlesmarkt. International and regional artisans displaying their specialty wares, European delicacies, German Christmas music, and Father Christmas are all a part of the 22nd annual Old-World Christmas Market.

Admission is $7 per adult, children 14 and under are complimentary with an adult ticket holder. Discounted ticket prices for groups of 10 or more are available.


The AAA Four Diamond Osthoff Resort offers holiday packages sure to delight young and old.


The night before Christmas is magical at The Osthoff, with complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies. On Dec. 25, youngsters wake up to stockings filled with treats, games and a special gift from the jolly old elf himself. There’s also a sumptuous Christmas Day buffet, with reservations available online (for resort guests only).


A memorable New Year’s Eve always includes fabulous food, live music and a celebratory toast at midnight, and The Osthoff does not disappoint. An overnight package includes one night in an elegant guest room and a dining credit.



The Osthoff Resort is a Wisconsin tourism landmark featuring elegant suites and guestrooms, a stunning lakefront setting, three restaurants, Aspira Spa, L’ecole de la Maison Cooking School, year-round recreation, spa and gift boutiques, and grand conference rooms and meeting spaces. It is located just one hour north of Milwaukee, less than two hours from Madison and approximately three hours from Chicago.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful and tranquil setting than the quaint little village of Elkhart Lake which is situated along the lakeshore. The lake, rich in natural beauty, offers up a wide range of water sports and recreational opportunities for visitors such as; boating, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and of course swimming and sunbathing.

There are plenty of other things to do while in Sheboygan County as well. You can get your speed-on with motorsports galore at Road America. Play golf at Quit Qui OC Golf Club. Tour Henning’s Cheese Factory famous for its award-winning cheeses. Stroll through art galleries and gift shops. Stop in for wine and beer tastings. There are many delicious dining opportunities. Take a hike on the Ice Age Trail or in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, or visit Henchel’s Indian Museum and Trout Farm, to mention a few other reasons to visit the area.

Special events and activities are planned throughout the year by Elkhart Lake Tourism, so there’s always something going on around town.


NOTE: Hazel Freeman was a media guest of the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake with compliments of Elkhart Lake Tourism.




Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply