Christmas Is All Around Us
Yes, it is true! It is Christmas time already. You can see and feel it everywhere. The streets are lit up, Christmas Music sounds out of the shops, and you can get Christmas specialties as biscuits or mulled wine. If you are around Germany, you are lucky because all over the country Christmas markets open up at this time. Even all over Europe, you can find them. In Paris, in Budapest or Bratislava, you can see them everywhere. So, Dusseldorf is not an exception. There are at least seven of them in the city center. Each of them with its very own theme. But all of them are just beautiful, and each of them has its specialties, e.g., an ice rink, a pyramid, an apple-quince-punch, etc. But in this post, I will not write about the different Christmas markets now. I believe there will be another post about those, soon. This article is about a few but very nice things to do if you do not want to spend a bunch of money. This article is about the hidden or visible FREE things to do in Dusseldorf at Christmas time.
Free Things To Do In Dusseldorf At Christmas Time
I have to admit that Dusseldorf can be very expensive. I originally was born in the GDR and grew up in the Eastern part of Germany. When I moved to Dusseldorf about ten years ago, I got shocked of the prices here. No word about the rent I had to pay for my private room in a six-person shared apartment which was not very comfortable, or cute, or extravagant. I did not complain as I needed a place to stay very urgently and it was more than luck to find one in that short time. The real shock I had on our very first night out on the town with my very first Cocktail in Dusseldorf. The glass was half as big as the one I used to and twice as expensive. My thought: “Wow, that is everything but inexpensive!”
After ages living here, I still am not entirely used to it. The same experience I have when I visit the Christmas Markets. I love to look at all the things you can buy, or taste or just enjoy. However, it is still not the cheapest way spending your money. Because of that, I am more than happy that there are a few things you can enjoy without paying anything. The following list contains a few free things to do in Dusseldorf at Christmas time. As it is not the end of the season yet and I believe there will be a lot more years to come, I will update this list as soon as I find more free things to do. For now, please enjoy finding what you would love to see and visit in this season.
1. Christmas Tree Light Show at Schadow-Arkaden
The first of the free things to do is one of my favorites. Just magnificent. It is a huge Christmas tree with 33.000 of LED lamps which can dance to the music. You can find it in the middle of the Schadow-Arkaden, a shopping mall located in the city center at the Schadow-Square.
The tree is 12.50 meter high and starts its show on the point of each hour. For almost three minutes the atrium of the mall is full of Christmas scents, jingle bells and childhood memories.
2. Dancing Stuffed Animals At Galeria Kaufhof
Each year the staff of the shopping center Galeria Kaufhof at Heinrich-Heine-Allee decorate the shop windows with a whole world of stuffed animals. For Christmas 2017, the topic is the Circus Roncalli. There are approx. 500 small and big stuffed animals in five shop-windows. Monkeys in a circus trailer drinking tea and another one stands in front of a mirror and takes on its clown pants. A bear sits outside on a pit latrine and reads the newspapers. You can barely see him, but the toilet paper with a unicorn motif protrudes out of it in the snow. All of them are moving and act differently, while music comes out of the speakers. There are so many details and in each of the five windows, you can explore other features. Children put their noses at the windows, and also grown-ups wonder about this circus world. It is just magnificent.
3. (Window) Shopping at Königsallee
(Window) Shopping at Königsallee is, of course, a year-round activity. But at Christmas season with all the, with lights decorated, trees and other lights it is more than beautiful. It is almost magical. Also to watch the shops, the shop windows and look at the displayed goods. By the way, why is Königsallee that special? It is the most expensive street in whole Dusseldorf. Brands like Prade, Louis Vuitton, Karl Lagerfeld and others have their shops on this streets. Shop as much as you can or just enjoy the decorations, watch people and maybe dream of having enough money to spend it here.
4. Live Music At Jan-Wellem-Square
A new attraction in 2017 is the “Magic Sky” at Jan-Wellem-Square. Sixteen artists play Christmas music on 32 nights from 7 – 8 p.m. Each night the musicians play songs from different genres like Gospel, Jazz, and traditional Christmas Songs while the Magic Sky appears like a sky full of stars.
5. Children Tent At Schadow-Square
The Children´s tent at the Schadow-Square is about 75 sqm, and there are two shows instead of only one. Each afternoon children can do some handicraft works or be part of the children´s theater.
Moreover, the Christmas Market at the Schadow-Square is part of one Children´s activity. The roofs of the huts are out of scenes from fairytales.
A scavenger hunt takes place each Friday from 2-4 p.m. The kids have to find specific fairytales and have to solve riddles. In the end, they get a “Fairytale”-coin as a prize which they can exchange for a hot chocolate or other sweets from one of the businesses.
At the highest hut, Santa Clause himself or the Christmas angel read a fairytale and the children can listen to the stories around 4 and 6 p.m. The readings start at 2 p.m. on weekends.
6. Strolling The Christmas Markets
Of course, you can walk over all the Christmas Markets without buying, eating or drinking anything. It is at least as enjoyable to look at the lights, inhale the different scents of roasted almonds, cinnamon or mulled wine. To see the lights and the decorations of the various Markets. The crystal and stars like decoration at the “Sternchenmarkt,” the angel at the “Engelchenmarkt,” or the Fairytales at the “Märchenmarkt.” There are seven different Christmas Markets in the city center. Enough food for your senses and no need to spend anything. Of course, if you are hungry, thirsty and want to buy a souvenir or a gift for your loves you can do so. I just say that you do not need to. ?
7. Free Organ Concerts
The Organ concerts are also for me new. I did not know that there are concerts and that they are for free. I found two possibilities to listen to organ music. There is a free Lunchtime organ music at the Johannes Church at Martin-Luther-Square. During the week, at 12.30 p.m. you can listen to organ music for half an hour. You could also bring your lunch. Although it is not a Christmas offer only, I think, it has an exceptional atmosphere and mood if you listen to organ music at this season.
Another possibility to listen to professional organ music is the organ concerts at the church of St. Lambertus located in the historic old town. One show from an international artist each month and all for free, although some donations are welcome and appreciated.
I am sure that these are not the only free things to do in Dusseldorf, but I think these are the best of them. Especially, when you are around the city center, you can get easily to all of them. All these free things to do are within walking distance. Therefore, if you are around and want to spend too much money, then make sure to enjoy the one or the other.
And now, it is your turn. Tell me about your favorite free things to do at Christmas time. Are there any specials in your home base? Or do you prepare your special events like biscuit-baking-sessions or anything like that? I would love to read your ideas, experiences or suggestions in the comments below.