Was ist los in Franken? Dec. 23, 2016

ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 23, 2016) – “Was ist los in Franken?” details off-post community events and activities occurring throughout Middle, Lower and Upper Franconia.

Dreigiebelhaus in Ditzingen (Photo: Harke, Wikimedia)

Ansbach Christmas Market
The traditional Ansbach Christmas market is open daily until Dec. 24; opening hours are Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. The market closes at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve. A crafts exhibition in the Stadthaus (first floor, co-located with the tourist information office) features handmade Christmas decorations and much more. For more details, including an event program and a site map, go to Weihnachtsmarkt Ansbach

Christkindlesmarkt in Nürnberg
Every year, Germany’s most famous Christmas Market opens its stalls for visitors from all over the world, right in the middle of the city, on Nuremberg Main Market Square. And, as every year, by Christmas Eve, more than two million people from all over the world will have visited the Nürnberg Christmas Market.

About 180 wooden stalls, decorated with red-and-white cloth, hold the traditional goods: Nürnberg Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Früchtebrot (fruit loaves), bakery goods and sweets, typical Christmas articles such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, tree ornaments and candles, toys as well as arts and crafts products. The Zwetschgenmännla (plum people), little figures made from prunes, make a popular souvenir. Refreshments include, of course, Nürnberger Bratwurst and Glühwein (mugs of hot mulled wine).

Using public transportation is always recommended. The market is about ten minutes by foot downhill from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station). It is open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., finally closing at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Detailed information in English can be found at Christkindlesmarkt

Kinderweihnacht – Nürnberg
The Kinderweihnacht, a special Christmas market for children with historical carrousels, Ferris wheel, train, glass and candle workshops and Christmas bakery, is located on Hans-Sachs-Platz, right around the corner of the famous Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt. Opening times are daily 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Nov. 25 – Dec. 24 (closes at 2 p.m.). To learn more, go to Christkindlesmarkt

Nativity Scenes in Handwerkerhof Nürnberg
Old Nürnberg crafts tradition can be admired in the Nürnberger Handwerkerhof (Königstor, next to the big tower across from the Hauptbahnhof) until Dec. 30 when the nativity scene exhibition is once again opened for the season. Small stores and craft shops offer toys, decorations and much more, while typical Franconian restaurants open their doors to the hungry visitors. The Handwerkerhof is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., the stores open 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free. To learn more, go to Handwerkerhof

“In between the years” … Ansbach
After the Christmas holiday market, shoppers and pedestrians can still enjoy a cup of hot punch or a Bratwurst downtown, as some of the booths will remain open. Opening hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Dec. 28 through Jan.5. The booths will close early on New Year‘s Eve to make room for the party team.

Many Germans buy fireworks for the turning of the year; this is the only time of the year fireworks can be ignited without special permission. Fireworks are only sold between Christmas and New Years Eve and should only be used around midnight on the 31st of December. Every year an estimated 100 million Euros is blown up in smoke for fireworks in Germany alone. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic articles are not permitted at any time on post. (Photo: USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

Nürnberg Silvesterlauf – Fun Run on New Year’s Eve
The traditional New Year’s Eve Fun Run in Nürnberg with races for all age groups begins at 10:45 with start at the Café Seehaus “Wastl” or Sebastianspital (Veilhofstr. 38,) and take the participants around the Wöhrder See (lake). For details and registration go to Silvesterlauf

 New Year’s Eve in a fortress
Burg Rabenstein, a medieval fortress in the Fränkische Schweiz region offers a New Year’s package with an elegant dinner and music in the Rennaissance hall or a more rustic wild boar dinner in the knight’s hall.  A midnight buffet and baroque fireworks complete the experience. To learn more, visit Burg Rabenstein

Torch Hike through Fränkische Schweiz
Pottenstein is hosting a torch hike for the whole family on New Year’s Eve. Starting point is the tourist office in Pottenstein at 2:30 p.m. Participants need to register in advance, the numbers are limited. To learn more, call 09243-70841 or visit Pottenstein

New Year’s Eve party in the CINECITTA Nürnberg
Nürnberg’s largest movie theater, the Cinecitta (Gewerbemuseumsplatz 3), also features several bars and restaurants on more than 50,000 square feet. The New Year’s party begins at 8:30 p.m. with live bands, DJs, lounge party and more. Midnight is celebrated on the roof of the building, overlooking the city’s fireworks.  Admission (18 years or older) is 19 Euros; for details go to www.cinecitta.de

Silvester Gala Evening in Gunzenhausen
A New Year’s Gala with large buffet, dancing and a show and entertainment program expects you in Gunzenhausen at the Stadthalle (Zum Schießwasen 17). The doors open at 7 p.m., start is at 8 p.m. For details visit Gunzenhausen

Silvester at KKC Bad Windsheim
The Kur & Kongress-zentrum Bad Windsheim (Erkenbrechtallee 2) is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, starting at 6:30 p.m. Visitors start the evening off with a glass of Prosecco, followed by a large buffet. A magician and entertainer from Nürnberg performs as well as group known as “Celtic Vision;” dance music and a fire show and a fireworks display, as well as a dessert buffet complete the evening. To learn more, visit KKC

New Year’s Eve downtown Ansbach
The city of Ansbach celebrates New Year’s Eve with an open air party at the Martin-Luther-Platz downtown. About 5000 visitors enjoy music provided by a DJ, starting at about 10 p.m. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic articles are not permitted. Backpacks need to left at home. The party downtown ends between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m.; admission is free, and a special bus schedule takes participants back home in the wee hours of the morning. One of the bus routes (756N) drives Schlossplatz to Obereichenbach and Katterbach (leaves Katterbach at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30 p.m., 00:30, 1:30 and 2:15 a.m. – leaves Schlossplatz at 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 p.m., 00:15, 1:15 and 2 a.m.); another bus route (753N) goes Schlossplatz to Meinhardswinden (departs at the tower at 9:22, 10:22, 11:22 p.m., 00:22, 1:22, 2:07 a.m. – departs Schlossplatz at 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 p.m., 00:15, 1:15, 2 a.m.). For more bus routes and schedules, go to Bus Schedule Ansbach

New Year’s Party at the Airport
Nürnberg’s airport is hosting a party at the “Terminal 90” on Dec. 31, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. with the DJ playing music until the wee hours of the morning. To learn more, visit New Year’s at Airport

Read more about New Year’s Eve traditions in Franconia at New Year’s in Franconia

Flic Flac Circus in Nürnberg
Flic Flac, an acrobatic circus show, is coming to Nürnberg at Volksfestplatz near the Dutzendteich (Bayernstrasse 110) Dec. 14 through Jan. 8; the show includes motor cycle stunts, juggling, high ropes acrobats and slap stick comedy. To learn more, visit FlicFlac

A Night at the Zoo
Children between eight and 12 years old can spend a night at the Tiergarten Nürnberg and sleep close to dolphins, manatees and see lions. An overnight stay costs 70 euros and includes food and beverages; children need to bring a sleeping bag, and insulating mat and warm clothing. The offer has started in November, dates run all the way to March next year. To learn more, visit Zoo sleepover

Ice Rink in Gunzenhausen
Gunzenhausen has put up an ice skating rink on the Marktplatz; highlights include an ice disco and “Eisstockschiessen,” Bavarian curling. The ice rink is open until Jan. 8; to learn more, go to Eisbahn

Erlangen on Ice
The public ice skating rink on Marktplatz (between Paulibrunnen and Palais Stutterheim) in Erlangen, located near the Christmas market, is open daily until Jan. 8. Skates are for rent for 3 euros, admission is free. Opening hours are Monday through Friday 2 – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Dec. 24 and 31 it’s 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Jan. 1 noon to 9 p.m. To learn more about Erlangen Christmas activities, go to Erlangen


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