This year’s best in-person and virtual holiday markets in and around NYC
Winter Village at Bryant Park; Photo by Angela Cranford
Like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting, and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve, many of the city’s holiday markets will also be online-only this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. While nothing beats the magic of New York City during the holiday season and the traditions that come along with it, there are still ways to support local artists, businesses, and vendors this year. In addition to a few markets happening in-person this year, including the open-air shops at Bryant Park, a number have gone virtual, allowing you to shop safely from home, no matter where that is.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Unlike the Union Square and Columbus Circle holiday markets, the open-air shops at Bryant Park, along with the famous ice skating rink, will be open for the season. To limit congestion and crowding, Urbanspace–which curates the market–reduced the number of shops and reconfigured the setup. The shops, which remain open until January 3, will have “walk-up” shopping and the park will be monitoring the number of visitors at the park. Face coverings are also required at all times. See the full list of shops participating in the Bryant Park holiday market here.
Brooklyn Flea’s holiday market
The Brooklyn Flea has been selling its curated collection of antiques and custom finds under the Dumbo Archway throughout the fall, but will partner with the Dumbo Improvement District this holiday season to provide a festive open-air market. On four Saturdays (Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, and Dec. 19), the market, located under the Manhattan Bridge and in Pearl Street Triangle, will offer over 40 handmade and vintage vendors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Underneath the colorful lighting, find local Dumbo shops like a Lola Star x Superfine pop-up, and bookshop PowerHouse Arena. Every Saturday, in addition to holiday shops, enjoy socially distanced photoshoots with elves and candy canes, boozy hot beverages, live music, a neighborhood scavenger hunt, and Countdown Clock to the end of 2020.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
The third annual holiday market at the Brooklyn Navy Yard will go virtual this year. Over 20 Navy Yard businesses are particpating in the online market, including the Kings County Distillery and Atoms, both of which pivoted production during the height of the pandemic to create hand sanitizer and face masks. The wide range of Brooklyn-made gifts includes home goods, fashion and accessories, jewelry, skincare, food and drink, artwork, and even PPE. The market, found at madeattheyard.com, will run until January 3.
The Etsy Market x NYHC
The New York Handmade Collective, a group made up of local New York City and regional artists, will bring their unique offerings to an online market with Etsy this year. The virtual market kicks off for two days only, November 28 and November 29, in celebration of Small Business Saturday and as a way to support local shops during a challenging time. Learn more about the nearly 70 vendors participating in the Etsy Market here.
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair
For the first time ever, the Grand Central Holiday Fair will be totally virtual, allowing shoppers to browse and buy gifts from the comfort and safety of home. From November 16 through December 24, over 40 local vendors selling accessories, apparels, children’s gifts, home goods, holiday ornaments, and much more, will be available to purchase online. While it’s not the same as shopping in the landmarked building’s iconic Vanderbilt Hill, the virtual fair lets those not currently in New York shop for their loved ones.
Jersey City’s Happy Holiday Market
Across the river, the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID) in Jersey City is hosting its annual Happy Holiday Market at two locations this year. On December 12, 13, 19, and 20 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., shoppers can browse offerings from local vendors at the heated rooftop of the cocktail bar The Ashford and at the Grove PATH Plaza. At the Ashford, located just a block from the train station, there will be a Santa on stand-by for photos and drink specials all day.
Long Branch Holiday Bazaar at Pier Village
This year’s in-person holiday market at Pier Village has been canceled because of rising COVID-19 cases in New Jersey. Fortunately, you’ll still be able to shop your favorite vendors virtually. Find the full lineup of the more than two dozen local artisans and designers participating in the virtual market, which will run through December 20, here.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to note that the Long Branch Holiday Bazaar’s in-person market at Pier Village has been canceled because of rising coronavirus cases.