Holiday cheer gets a neon glow at the Hamburger DOM

Countless thrill rides beckon to those brave of heart at the 2016 Hamburger DOM. Photo by Karen Bradbury.

By KAREN BRADBURY | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 1, 2016

The large open space close to the Hamburg’s city center known as Heiligengeistfeld, or Field of the Holy Spirit, derives its name from a 15th-century hospital that one stood in the vicinity. Since 1893, the grounds have served as the site of the Hamburger DOM, a massive fun fair that takes place three times annually: March-April, July-August and November-December.

The Hamburger DOM’s winter edition wears a distinct Christmas coat and can make a welcome contrast from the almost too picture-perfect ambiance of more traditional Christmas markets. The largest fun fair in northern Germany boasts of rides for thrill seekers such as a free-fall tower and a double loop roller coaster, along with vintage carousels and a mini-coaster for the toddler set. Games of chance, raffles and a beer tent offer ample opportunity to part with one’s wages, and a glass of warm mulled wine is never too far from hand. New this year is the Winterland on Ice, a massive skating rink offering entertainment and a children’s disco on Wednesday evenings. Skate rental is available on-site.

Entry to the Hamburger DOM is free. A good day for families to visit is Wednesday, when prices on several attractions are discounted. Fireworks go off at 10:30 p.m. Friday evenings.

The 2016 edition of the Winter-DOM runs through Dec. 4. Learn more at http://english.hamburg.de/visitors/290760/hamburg-hamburgs-dom-english/

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