Old World Christmas Market is December 2 and 3, 2023!

Saturday, December 2: 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. • Sunday, December 3: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Old World Christmas Market is inspired by traditional European markets, but with our own Midwest magic. Experience a delightful market with local handcrafted items, delicious treats, entertainment and activities for people of all ages. This enchanted celebration of culture, community, and holiday cheer is free for the entire weekend, including admission to NCSML galleries.

This year includes extended hours on Saturday, plus a new pop-up restaurant featuring authentic Czech and Slovak foods!

We are looking for volunteers for Old World Christmas Market! Please call 319-362-8500 or fill our our volunteer form.

Schedule

2023’s schedule includes extended hours on Saturday, plus a new pop-up restaurant featuring authentic Czech and Slovak foods! Enjoy delicious treats, entertainment, free museum admission, and activities for people of all ages during Old World Christmas Market.

This year we will have a new craft available for visitors! Come make paper doll finger puppets featuring Czech and Slovak fairy tale characters in kroje. Cut out and color pre-made puppets or design your own and have fun making up stories with them!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Museum galleries open with free admission for all
  • Museum Store open
  • Family holiday crafts for all (Jiruska Gallery)
  • Holiday Vendor Market (WFLA Heritage Hall)
  • Czech Heritage Foundation Wreath Raffle (WFLA Heritage Hall)
  • Kolache Café (Rozek Grand Hall)

9:30 a.m. – Noon (or ending earlier, depending on supply) Cookie Walk. Cookies will be sold by the pound and also in prepacked boxes. (Rozek Grand Hall)

11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Pop-up Restaurant Open

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Svatý Mikuláš, Čert, and Anděl (Father Christmas, Devil, and Angel) will be present (Roaming)

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ornament personalization by Master Czech-American Folk Artist Marj Nejdl

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Marion Chamber Trio (Rozek Grand Hall)

1 p.m. – 3 p.m. First showing of The Polar Express (Hemphill)

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Young at Harp Ensemble (Rozek Grand Hall)

4 – 4:30 p.m. Czech Heritage Singers (Rozek Grand Hall)

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Second showing of The Polar Express (Hemphill)

7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Bell Choir Group (Rozek Grand Hall)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Museum galleries open with free admission for all
  • Museum Store open
  • Family holiday crafts for all (Jiruska Gallery)
  • Holiday Vendor Market (WFLA Heritage Hall)
  • Czech Heritage Foundation Wreath Raffle (WFLA Heritage Hall)
  • Kolache Café (or ending earlier, while supplies last)
    (Rozek Grand Hall)

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Svatý Mikuláš, Čert, and Anděl (Father Christmas, Devil, and Angel) will be present (Roaming)

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ornament personalization by Master Czech-American Folk Artist Marj Nejdl

11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Pop-up Restaurant Open (WFLA Heritage Hall)

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. Crowning of Miss Czech Slovak of Iowa (Rozek Grand Hall)

1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Světlušky Youth Ensemble (Rozek Grand Hall)

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Needlepoint Demonstrations (Rozek Grand Hall)

3 p.m. Czech Heritage Foundation Wreath Raffle Drawing (WFLA Heritage Hall)

Pop-Up Restaurant

Enjoy traditional Czech and Slovak food offerings at Old World Christmas Market’s first pop-up restaurant. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 2 and from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 3. Several full bars serving alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks will be available.

Chlebicky
Many European nations have their own version of open-faced sandwiches, but traditionally decorated Czech “chlebíček” is common only in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Chlebíček is fairly affordable in the Czech Republic and is a common snack/meal for many occasions, such as for various types of celebrations, receptions, intermissions during theater performances, on Christmas Eve, or even for a quick lunch.

Pea Soup
This soup is one of the most traditional Czech Christmas soups. The combination of pea and cream, and its bacon undertone is simply irresistible.

Fried Cheese
This food will change your perception of comfort food. Melted creamy cheese in a delicious crispy breading is the best description of this meal. It is traditionally Czech, which makes it the perfect meal to be served at the Christmas Market in a sandwich.

Beef Goulash
Forget goulash consisting of a stew with pasta, Czech goulash is a decadent mix of earthy flavor and tender meat. It is also always served with side dumplings to reach perfection!

Strapacky with Sauerkraut and Bacon
Strapacky is one of the most typical Slovak foods that you can get. It is a small-sized potato pasta meal. At the Christmas Market, it will be served in its popular sauerkraut and bacon version and without bacon for a vegetarian version.

Řízek
Also known as Schnitzel, Řízek is technically the Czech version of schnitzel. Czechs commonly prepare it from chicken breasts or pork. The version served at the Christmas Market will be chicken that can either be served as a sandwich or with a side of traditional Czech potato salad.

Buchty
These traditional Czech sweet buns are filled with marmalades and preserves. Even though they are somewhat similar to kolaches, they are very different. Interestingly, they are equally as famous as kolaches in the Czech Republic.

Babovka
Traditional Czech Marble Bundt cake, “Mramorová Bábovka,” is often simply called “Bábovka.” It is the perfect combination of a gentle vanilla flavor with a decadent chocolate flavor.

Additional offerings include:

• Cucumber side salad
• Tomato side salad with onion
• Hot dog
• Kapustnica – Slovak Sauerkraut soup
• Schnitzel Sandwich

Sponsors

NCSML is sincerely grateful for the community support and the individuals and businesses sponsoring the 2023 Old World Christmas Market:

Cedar Rapids Hotel-Motel Grant Fund

CRST International

GreatAmerica

Iowa Economic Development Authority
Ron and Peg Detweiler

In-Kind Sponsors

KCRG-TV9′s Show You Care

KZIA

IPR

Hy-Vee

All proceeds of Old World Christmas Market go to the museum’s educational programming.