Photo courtesy of Grand Bazaar
New York is a city of shoppers, and though the retail landscape may be undergoing a sea change, there’s still a lot to be said for perusing yards of beautiful baubles and quirky crafts you won’t find online in the company of other shoppers and plenty of good cheer. There’s no shortage of holiday markets this season, with one in practically every corner of town; and each one is unique in its own way. The big Manhattan markets–at Union Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, and Columbus Circle–get points for sheer volume, but some of the best finds can be had at smaller, more intimate neighborhood affairs. And they all sparkle with winter wonderland delights from ice skating and music to drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
The Manhattan mainstays
The Union Square Holiday Market
Union Square Park, southern side
November 21 – December 24; Mon. – Fri. 11am-8pm; Sat. 10am-8pm/Sun. 11am-7pm
This veritable Christmas city needs no introduction: It’s hard to overlook 150+ vendors–allegedly the best vendor selection in the Northeast–who set up shop for the season. Run by Urbanspace, millions of people make it a must-visit destination each year for unique gifts by local craftsmen and artists. New additions like Little Brooklyn, a warming station and lounge, a kid’s art studio, and live music add to the fun.
Holiday Shops at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Bryant Park, 42nd Street and 6th Avenue
October 31, 2019 – January 5, 2020; Monday – Friday: 11am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday: 10am-8pm
Also part of the Urbanspace family, this Midtown winter wonderland is home to New York City’s only free ice skating rink, and The Lodge bar and food hall round out the experience of shopping at custom-designed kiosks offering wares by artisans from New York City and around the world from morning until night. You can even book the Overlook rinkside observatory and Polar Lounge for private parties.
Image courtesy of Grand Bazaar
Grand Holiday Bazaar
100 West 77th Street at Columbus Avenue
November 24, December: 1, 8, 15 and 22; 10am-5:30pm
This Upper West Side standby has been offering Manhattan’s finest sampling of artisans, antiques, and edibles since 1982, making it one of the longest-running markets in the city. It’s all for a good cause: 100 percent of profits go to four public schools, funding arts, enrichment, and classroom essentials. At holiday time, the every-Sunday market is filled with unique gifts from 150+ hand-picked independent local artisans and dealers, plus lots of delicious food and treats.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, 89 East 42nd Street at Park Avenue
November 18 – December 24, 2019; Monday – Friday: 10am-8pm; Saturday: 10am-7pm; Sunday: 11am- 6pm. Closed Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve: 10am-6pm
Enjoy one-stop holiday shopping from 40 vendors in one of the world’s most beautiful architectural settings, with a focus on American-made and handmade products with locally-sourced materials or a socially-conscious business model. You’ll find artwork, clothing for all ages, men’s and women’s accessories, children’s clothing and toys and home goods at a wide range price of points.
Turnstyle Underground Market
Underground at 8th Avenue between 57th and 58th Street (There are seven street-level entrances to the market)
Holiday market: Friday, November 15th through Tuesday, December 31st
The holiday market comes to the Turnstyle Underground Market for the third year, bringing 18 seasonal vendors joining the 39 permanent eateries, shops and kiosks inside a bustling corridor that’s literally underground, beneath Columbus Circle at Eighth Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets. It’s easy to hop off a subway and find everything from Tibet Handicrafts and Toffee Sticks to holiday ornaments without having to brave the elements. Shops and eateries are open from mornings till late, so check individual food hall and shops pages for hours.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Columbus Circle, 59th Street and Central Park West
December 4 – 24; Monday – Friday 10am -8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm/Sunday 10am – 7pm
The uptown sibling in the Urbanspace family is quintessential Manhattan, located at the entrance to Central Park at 59th street and Central Park West. Shoppers get lost among glittering aisles of art, jewelry, home goods, and delicious snacks while enjoying the splendor of winter in New York City.
Alternative and neighborhood classics
Image credit: Scott Lynch via Brooklyn Flea
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market
25 Kent Avenue (8th Floor) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturdays + Sundays, 10am-6pm
The fabulous Flea is always on the move, but that hasn’t stopped it from being a unique environment for shopping, eating, and people-watching. Smorgasburg food vendors do crowd-feeding duty alongside 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.
The Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
Brooklyn Historical Society: December 7 & 8, 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn Heights
Chelsea Market: Dec 9-15, 75 9th Avenue
Presented by the NY Handmade Collective and Etsy, the market showcases a selection of handmade wares from indie vendors, all based in the tri-state area, at two venues, 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?”
Brooklyn Navy Yard Annual Holiday Market
The Yard, Admirals Row, at the corner of Flushing Avenue and Navy Street
December 7 & 8, 12pm 6pm
This relatively new waterfront Holiday Market is the perfect place to find unique Brooklyn-made gifts for everyone on your shopping list. This year’s version will feature a create-your-own gift area offering cookie decorating, ornament engraving, and screen-printed bags and prints. You’ll also find over 30 vendors ranging from home goods, fashion and accessories, art and design, and food and wine tastings.
Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar
501 Union Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn
December 1, 8 & 15; 11am-5pm
The third annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar brings top local makers and ﬁne handmade goods, delicious food and drinks, music, craft activities and more good times together under one roof the first three Sundays in December.
Image courtesy of Wanted Design + THIS Co.
IC Holiday Market by Wanted Design
Industry City, 51 35th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, second floor
Preview: Thursday December 5th, opening party 5pm-8pm; Open Every Friday to Sunday in December, 11am-7pm
Design favorites WantedDesign brings this unique market to Industry City to offer a selection of accessories, unique gift ideas and design items for the home including lighting, small furniture, and textiles.
Image courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair
Renegade Craft Fair Winter Pop-Up
Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin Street
December 21 & 22, 11am-5:00pm
The Renegade Craft Fair is a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design. Sip on a warm seasonal cocktail as you shop from 230+ makers and designers, groove to holiday DJ sets, snack on local eats, and enjoy interactive events.
Greenpointers Holiday Market
Greenpoint Loft, 67 West Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Sunday, December 8, 1pm-7pm
This year’s version has a “Nutcracker” theme; expect a Sunday full of free fun activities in a wonderland of sweets, live music, and shopping in one of Brooklyn’s most beautifully restored historic spaces. You’ll find 60+ local crafters, artists, and food vendors and plenty to do in the 6,000-square-foot Greenpoint Loft, two blocks from the G train.
BUST Holiday Craftacular
Industry City Factory Floor, 220 36th Street, Brooklyn
December 7th & 8th, 11am-7pm
BUST magazine is back with the mother-of-all-craft-markets. The Craftacular hits Industry City in 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. BUST Craftacular events are New York City’s longest-running annual juried craft fair and indie shopping event series. This year’s focus is on celebrating and promoting businesses owned by women, allowing shoppers to support these businesses when they buy their holiday gifts.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Avenue, Astoria, Queens
December 1, 8 & 15 from 12pm-6pm
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 invites your Santa impulses 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 courtesy of Atlas Obscura.
The Oddities Flea Market Holiday of Wonders
Villain, 307 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn
December 7 & 8; 12pm-7pm
Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn and a fabulously interesting haute oddball crew, the Oddities Flea Market is a curious, curated collection of the best purveyors of the odd and unique, the macabre, and the strange, currently taking up residence at Villain in Williamsburg. Inside, you’ll find three floors of hand-picked unusual vendors from across the country. You’ll find medical history ephemera, anatomical curiosities, natural history items, osteological specimens, taxidermy, obscure home decor, jewelry, one of a kind dark art, and more. Though admission isn’t free, the odds are good that the goods are odd–but good.
FAD market at Invisible Dog Arts Center. Image: FAD Market
FAD Holiday Pop-up Markets
Holiday Makers Market; December 7, 8, 14 & 15, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; The Invisible Dog Art Center, 51 Bergen Street.
Holiday Makers Market; December 7, 8, 14 & 15, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; City Point BKLYN, 445 Albee Square West,
FAD Market’s four-part holiday pop-up series puts the shopping spotlight on a rotating roster of over 200 designer-makers across two weekends and four carefully curated holiday markets from Carroll Gardens to Downtown Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy of Westfield World Trade Center
The Market at Westfield
Westfield World Trade Center, 185 Greenwich Street
November 23-January 5, 2020; Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Shop inside the architectural wonder that is the World Trade Center Oculus, which has been filled with 22 specialty shops from brands like Food 52, Eataly, and Wild One, as well as “Instagrammable Moments,” designed areas for shoppers to capture fun holiday photos.
Essex Market, Image courtesy of EDC.
Deck the Stalls
Fulton Stall Market in the Seaport District; Fulton Street at Water Street; December 8, 11 am-5pm
Essex Market, Essex Street at Delancey Street; December 13-15, 12-5 pm
NYCEDC Public Markets present the second annual Deck the Stalls, a multi-cultural market event, celebrating some of New York City’s newly revitalized public markets in partnership with Fulton Stall Market’s farmers and producers. Explore downtown Manhattan’s fascinating, historic indoor public markets, one in the Seaport district and another in the Lower East Side’s vastly expanded new Essex Market, featuring unique foods and beverages with live music, workshops and other programming at each location.
Hester Street Fair 2019 Holiday Market
Liberty Hall at The Ace Hotel, 20 West 29th Street
December 7-8, 11am-6pm
This Lower East Side neighborhood market is holding their holiday shopping event in another neighborhood, but the Ace Hotel’s funky basement is as cool as the market’s unique gifts promise to be.
Crafts at the Cathedral
1047 Amsterdam Avenue at West 112th Street
Friday, December 6, 12pm-8pm; Saturday, December 7, 10am-6 pm; Sunday, December 8, 1pm-5 pm
This juried holiday craft fair at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine is in its 23rd year (admission is $10). The magical venue elevates even shopping to a new level of divine as the sun filters through the cathedral’s stained glass windows onto its massive granite columns, and the beautiful handmade gifts for sale are just as sublime.
Brand pop-ups and smaller markets
Image courtesy of Sip Shop Eat Market
Sip Shop Eat
At Peace Studios, 554 Court Street, Carroll Gardens Brooklyn
December 14 & 15, 12pm-6pm
Food, fashion, and drinks meet at this “immersive and interactive collective” Brooklyn pop-up. Sip handcrafted cocktails, shop over 25 vendors and sample a fine mix of edible treats. Entry is free, but you can purchase one, two, three or all-you-can-drink tickets in advance.
A sampling of East Fork’s covetable ceramics. Image courtesy of East Fork
East Fork NYC South Upward Holiday Market
Counter Culture Coffee, 376 Broome Street
Panel & cocktails, Friday, December 6th, 6pm-9pm; pop-up market, Saturday, December 7th, 11am-6pm
Beloved Asheville, NC artisanal pottery boutique East Fork is hosting a thoughtfully curated holiday shopping event to showcase southern brands and makers who are focused on building businesses for a better south. The event begins with a kickoff party and panel discussion with brand leaders and culminates with a day of shopping.
Queens Farm Holiday Market
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, Queens
December 1–23, 10am-5pm; December 24, 10am-2pm
Not all of NYC’s holiday markets are of the urban variety. Kick off the holiday season down on the farm where you can browse a rich assortment of Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias, and unique holiday gifts. Kids’ gifts include traditional games, toys, and handmade stuffed animals. Sales help support the museum’s acclaimed school-to-farm education program.
Holiday Pop-Up Market at Port Morris Distillery
Port Morris Distillery, 780 East 133rd Street, Bronx, NY
Saturday, December 7, 12pm-8pm
The Bronx gets into the act, bringing local small businesses from NYC to Port Morris Distillery to offer jewelry, clothing, food, desserts, and more.
Art Students League Holiday Art Sale
Art Students League: The Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street
December 10 − 22; check site for gallery hours.
Art makes a great gift, and The Art Students League of New York’s annual Holiday Art Sale will see more than 500 works of art for sale for as little as $50. Works–including paintings and prints, landscapes, portraits, still lives, and abstractions—sell for no more than $1,000. Prices for sculptures do not exceed $1,500.
Native Art Market
National Museum of the American Indian, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, One Bowling Green
December 7 &8, 10am-5:30pm
The annual Native Art Market features more than 30 artists representing indigenous cultures from the western hemisphere. This event offers one-of-a-kind, handmade, traditional and contemporary art. Pieces include jewelry, beadwork, pottery, prints, baskets, textiles, and sculpture.
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