Where to buy an advent calendar in Germany?
October 29, 2013 10:38 AM   Subscribe

I will be in Germany soon, and would like to buy a wooden advent calendar for my daughter to use for years. Once I was in Germany around this time of year, and a department store had loads of disposable ones with chocolates behind little paper/cardboard doors. But what kind of store would have nicer, more permanent ones? Bonus points for specific store recommendations in Mainz (or the Frankfurt airport). I know I can probably buy one online, but I'd like to buy it on my trip.
posted by kestrel251 to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hi, kestrel251 - not sure if you'll be there towards the end of November, but I'd bet cold, hard Deutschmarks that you could find a TON of good-quality advent calendars at a German Christmas market (looks like this one is in in Mainz, but there are tons of them).
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:00 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Kathe Wohlfahrt would be a good place to look, if any of the stores will be close enough to where you're going. Their online store has a number of advent calendars. There are also several gift shops at the airport, though you might be more likely to find nutcrackers than advent calendars.
posted by belladonna at 11:00 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

We saw a quite large wooden one with little drawers at an Ikea in Germany yesterday. Each drawer contains a sealed gift box so I don't know what the gifts are like, but they would be reusable too.
posted by shelleycat at 11:04 AM on October 29, 2013

Response by poster: Alas, I'll be there too early for the Christmas market, and it doesn't look like there's a nearby Kathe Wohlfahrt. But this is exactly the kind of thing I want to know. Keep 'em coming!
posted by kestrel251 at 11:17 AM on October 29, 2013

Previously has some leads including shipping options.
posted by gregoreo at 11:17 AM on October 29, 2013

Best answer: It's a little bit early, but I think your best chances are at a large department store (Kaufhaus) like Kaufhof or upscale toy stores like this one.

Or you can make one yourself, like me. I painted a wooden board and put in metal hooks for hanging little wrapped presents. When I was a kid, most advent calendars were hand-made.
posted by tecg at 12:26 PM on October 29, 2013

There are a number of nice wooden calendars in the online shop at Impressionen. They don't have any brick-and-mortar stores that I know of, but I am pretty certain you can find similar items in many home decor ("Wohnaccessoires") and lifestyle shops. No specific recommendations for Mainz as I've never visited it, sorry!
posted by Skybly at 1:01 PM on October 29, 2013

Best answer: Check the book stores and toy stores. I was in Germany in early October last year (Munich), and there was quite a bit of Christmas merchandise available in Hugendubels and the toy store near it.
posted by clarkstonian at 3:41 PM on October 29, 2013

Best answer: I don't have any specific recommendations, although Kaufhof is a good start. However, if you simply wander the area around the Domplatz, and the fussganger zone behind the Cathedral - Wiehergarten and Augustinerstrasse (and lots of other little alleys), you're bound to find some place that sells that sort of thing. There are tons of stores tucked in that part of old town that sell local handcrafts, art, and handmade toys.

Wish I could go with you.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 4:24 PM on October 29, 2013

Best answer: Oh, and do make time to go in the Augustiner Kirche. The Cathedral gets all the attention, but behind its unassuming facade on the Augustinerstrasse is a breathtaking example of the rococo, which has been painstakingly restored.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 4:26 PM on October 29, 2013

We saw three very nice wooden advent calendars at Karstadt today. That's another department store chain, including a branch in Mainz (if that direct link doesn't work then there should be a drop down with all the stores under "Oder wählen Sie eine Filiale"). One was a house, one was sleigh, and the cutest was a reindeer with little drawers all over it's body.

I think ereshkigal45's suggestion of handcraft stalls etc to check out sounds the most promising. But it also seems pretty clear that the large department stores are going to work too if you need a backup plan.
posted by shelleycat at 12:42 PM on October 30, 2013

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