15 alternative holiday markets and indie pop-up shops in NYC

November 22, 2017

’Tis the season for shopping; even if we’re determined to resist the call to consume (or do all our shopping online, from bed), there’s always that unexpected invitation, last-minute secret Santa, or someone special that sends us scrambling for the perfect present. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of gift markets and pop-up shops offering a bounty of goodies and crafty gifts. The big mainstream NYC markets at Union Square, Bryant Park Grand Central Station and Columbus Circle are the front-runners for sheer volume, but some of the best finds—and the most fun—can be found at smaller, cooler neighborhood affairs. In addition to locally-made jewelry, crafts, vintage finds, artfully curated fashions, home items, gourmet goodies and other things we didn’t know we needed, these hip retail outposts sparkle with drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, music, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.

Image: Brooklyn Flea.

1. Winter Flea and Holiday Market at Industry City
241 37th Street Brooklyn
Opens November 25th and 26th; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Spring of 2018; see site for holiday hours
The fabulous Flea is as famous for being on the move from one great vast space to another as it is for being a unique environment for shopping, eating and people-watching. Over 100 vendors line the massive industrial Sunset Park space, with Smorgasburg food vendors doing crowd-feeding duty. Expect the Flea’s usual bounty of vintage clothes and shoes, locally-made fashions, jewelry, furniture, lighting, home goods, stationery, collectibles, and much more with a seasonal focus on holiday fare from decorations to gifts.

Image: NY Handmade Collective.

2. The Holiday Handmade Cavalcade 
Manhattan: location TBD, December 9-10
Brooklyn: Dec 16–17 at the Brooklyn Historical Society
Saturday 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m; Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What began as a DIY event in Beacon, NY nine years ago has become a New York City winter tradition for thousands of shoppers looking for local and unexpected holiday gifts and goodies. Small Business Saturday will also celebrate local sellers. Comprised of members of the NY Handmade Collective (formerly Etsy NY Team), the market showcases a selection of handmade wares from indie vendors, all based in the tri-state area, and promises to be your go-to stop for cute and creative items of the sort that get everyone asking, “Where did you get that?”

Image courtesy of Young & Able.

3. La Femme holiday pop-up from Young & Able
Arlo SoHo, 231 Hudson Street, Saturdays, November 18, December 2, 9, 16, 23; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Park Central Hotel, 870 7th Avenue, December 1-24, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Refinery Hotel, 63 West 38th Street, November 23 – December 31, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Young & Able’s fourth holiday pop-up will celebrate women-led businesses with three separate Manhattan market locations.

Image: Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar.

4. Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar 
501 Union + the Green Building

November 25 & 26, 2017; 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
This unique celebration of local talent promises its best year yet with over 60 hand-picked makers, delicious food and drinks and fun activities for the whole family at a pair of Brooklyn’s most beautiful venues.

5. Ridgewood Market Saturday Night Bazaar 
Gottscheer Hall, 657 Fairview Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens
December 16th, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
The holiday version of the regular Ridgewood Market in a German beer hall promises to be, like all things Ridgewood, chill, friendly (bring your kids and your date!) and fun, with over 40 independent and local artisan vendors, booze, food and a raffle.

Image: Renegade Craft Fair

6. Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Pop-Ups at Industry City 
Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
December 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Renegade Craft Fair is a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design. Each event is curated for an eclectic offering of both experienced and emergent designers offering one-of-a-kind and limited edition goods. This will be the fair’s second year in the enormous–and busy–maker-HQ that is Industry City in Sunset Park.

greenpointers holiday market
Image: Greenpointers

7. Greenpointers Winter Candyland Holiday Market 
Greenpoint Loft, 67 West Street, fifth floor, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Sunday, December 10, 1:00-7:00 p.m.
This might be everyone’s favorite indie holiday market, and this year’s version sweetens things up with a Candyland theme; they’re expecting 3,000+ shoppers for a day full of free fun activities, live music, and shopping in one of Brooklyn’s most beautifully restored historic spaces. You can expect 60+ local crafters, artists, and food vendors, plus a photo booth, nail art, and tarot card readings in the 6,000-square-foot Greenpoint Loft, two blocks from the G train.

Image: Bust

8. BUST Holiday Craftacular 
Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Saturday, December 9th, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, December 10th, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
This BUST magazine-sponsored mother-of-all-craft-markets rolls back into Brooklyn with a rainbow of goods by local artisans offering apparel, jewelry, toys, and more that you won’t find at the mall, plus food and beer at a big Greenpoint event space. BUST Craftacular events are New York City’s longest-running annual juried craft fair and indie shopping event series. This year you can take a break from shopping with classes and talks from the BUST School for Creative Living and a day-long music festival! And though it’s put on by the cheeky grrlmag, there’s plenty of stuff for guys, too.

Image: Astoria Market

9. Astoria Market 
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria, Queens
December 3, 10 & 17 from 12:00-6:00 p.m.
Astoria’s iconic, old-school Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is a great place to visit, dine, and quaff giant beers even without stuff to buy. The annual holiday market brings super Santas to Queens to mix and mingle in the Main Hall; pick up some gifts from among the art, jewelry, toys, chocolates, apothecary and beauty products, handbags, clothing and gift baskets before you settle in downstairs for drinks and goulash.

Image: Wanted Design

10. Wanted Design Holiday Market
At the Seaport District, 6 Fulton Street
December 1-31; 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
During the month of December, the WantedDesign Store at 6 Fulton Street will be hosting a holiday market with over 20 vendors including Brooklyn Candle Studio, Elodie Blanchard, Assouline, Flaneur, Malle London, Skagen, and many more unique design brands and designers. This cutting-edge design market includes international, national and local brands offering a selection of accessories, gifts, design items for the home, lighting, small furniture, textiles and all-around eye candy. They’ll also be hosting card-making classes, kids’ entertainment and more.

Image: Vegan Shop Up

11. Vegan Shop-Up 
Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn
December 2 & 16 (21+; it’s at a music venue with a bar) 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
NYC’s only monthly all-vegan pop-up market puts on their holiday finery with two December dates, gathering local vendors in a not-so-boring place. The event is twice as nice for the holidays, offering vegan goodies from pot pies and pickles to lipstick and handbags, with snacks, spiced cocktails and Bloody Marys at the vegan bar.

Image: Ryan and Regina Cohn via Atlas Obscura

12. Atlas Obscura Oddities Holiday Market
150 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn
December 2 & 3; 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn and a fabulously interesting haute oddball crew, this magnificently macabre market is the place to find gifts that really are like no other. You’ll find an assemblage of purveyors of peculiar items for your most offbeat holiday gift list including medical history ephemera, anatomical curiosities, natural history items, osteological specimens, taxidermy, jewelry, one of a kind art, bizarre flair, fashions and beauty products from a variety of businesses around the country. Tickets are $5 at the door, and there’s a $20 preview VIP package on offer with a portion of all VIP and door ticket sales and a silent auction going to the Housing Works charity.

FAD market at Invisible Dog Arts Center. Image: FAD Market

13. FAD Holiday Pop-up Markets
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont Street, December 2 & 3, 11 a.m. to  7 p.m.
The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street, December 9 & 10, 11 a.m. to  7 p.m.
City Point, Prince Street Corridor, 445 Albee Square West, December 16 & 17, 11 a.m. to  7 p.m.
FAD weekend is a roving fashion, art, and design indoor makers’ market and flea that loves to pop up seasonally in our favorite South Brooklyn venues. This holiday season, expect three thoughtfully curated makers’ markets and their first-ever holiday artisanal food gift market with an amazing lineup of over 180 independent designer-makers showcasing unique handcrafted art, jewelry, apparel, bath and body care, tableware, and home furnishings and indulge in locally crafted food and drinks. You’ll also get to experience workshops and activities like a holiday selfie photo booth, face and body painting, a snowflake-making workshop and much more.

Image: Grand Holiday Bazaar via Facebook

14. Grand Holiday Bazaar 
100 West 77th Street, New York, NY
Every Sunday from November 26 to December 24
Grand Bazaar NYC is the city’s largest curated weekly market, so it’s very likely that you’ll find your holiday gift at their special holiday edition, Grand Holiday Bazaar. Over 150 hand-picked merchants will be selling unique gift items indoors and outdoors, including handmade holiday decoration and fashion, vintage watches and collectibles, art and photography, antiques, handmade jewelry and furniture and artisanal foods. On November 26th and December 3rd, the Gifted & Talented Holiday Pop-Up by Made in NYC will join in the fun. 100% of Grand Bazaar NYC’s profits are donated to four local public schools benefiting over 4,000 children.

Bushwick Print labs holiday market. Prints, above: Ray Cross + Jennifer Harris.

15. Bushwick Print Lab: 8th Annual ‘Art of the T’ & Holiday Pop Up 
The Keep, 205 Cypress Avenue
December 13, 7 p.m. – midnight.
Under the radar gift event alert: Join Bushwick Print Lab and crew at The Keep for their 8th Annual Art of the T show and Holiday Pop Up. They’ll be taking over the room downstairs with a large collection of wearable prints featuring t-shirts, fall and winter apparel, scarves and children’s wear designed by a wide variety of artists including Ray CrossJennifer Harris, Keren Hasson, Irwin Todd, Kati Lacker, Nick Groepler, Rachel Sipser, Hannah De Vries and more. Great drinks, live music, DJs and good vibes are promised, as is live-printing from 9-11. This arty event is at a bar, so we’d guess it’s 21+.


Lead image via Bust, Smorgasburg, Renegade Craft FairRenegade Craft Fair/Flickr, and FAD Market

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