When news dropped like a lump of coal that the beloved Enchant Christmas Light Maze would not return to Arlington for the 2019 holiday season, one of the biggest questions was what would happen to the popular Christmas market that accompanied the lights extravaganza.
Shoppers now can raise their peppermint lattes to toast the good news: the Texas Christkindl Market is coming back. And it's unwrapping a new feature — an ice rink.
The holiday market, inspired by a cherished German tradition, will be open November 29-December 22 outdoors in The Plaza at Texas Live, organizers announced. Admission to the shopping experience will be free, and the event will be "bigger and better than ever," they promise.
"This free, family-friendly market features a unique outdoor shopping and holiday experience for unique gifts, decorations traditional festive goods, and new this year, an ice skating rink," they say in a release.
Shoppers will find thousands of handcrafted gifts and collectibles, including exclusive Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas decorations and designs from the renowned Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Village in Germany.
They'll also feature more than 25 holiday vendors with food, live musical entertainment, and a Christkindl-style warming hut. While vendors have not yet been announced, they promise to serve cider and hot chocolate, Glühwein, and beer.
A nationally recognized holiday destination by USA Today, Arlington's Texas Christkindl Market predated Enchant, which became a favorite family attraction for two holiday seasons. But the Christmas market lost some luster with holiday shoppers when it got folded into Enchant, requiring admission to the larger event to attend.
Enchant announced in June that it would not be returning to Arlington for the 2019 holiday season. Between the building of the Rangers' new ballpark, Globe Life Field, and ongoing work on the adjacent Texas Live complex, the area where Enchant took place the past two years has been mired in construction. Globe Life Field is scheduled to open in March 2020.
Enchant organizers have not yet revealed their Texas plans for 2020, but they've hinted that they are looking for opportunities in new areas — not necessarily just in Arlington.
"Rest assured, we hope to bring a brand-new adventure to the Dallas-Fort Worth region for the 2020 holiday season!" they posted on Facebook.
Meanwhile, for those already planning their 2019 holiday outings, Texas Christkindl Market will kick off with a tree lighting ceremony at 7 pm November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving). Regular hours will be 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 am to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, through December 22.
Texas Live is at 1650 E. Randol Mill Rd., Arlington. For more information, visit the event's website.