It’s the holiday season again, and while the whirlwind of Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have passed, department stores are just beginning to welcome in hordes of holiday shoppers and spam their email inboxes. Perhaps the antidote to all of this- or at least a calmer alternative- is the holiday markets.
If you get the chance to surface from the online shopping tabs open on your web browser, I recommend taking a trip to at least one of New York City’s holiday markets. Get into the holiday spirit while supporting small businesses, and enjoy a day (or evening) out at one of these crafts fairs. There’s a gift for everyone waiting to be found in the labyrinth of shops.
1. Union Square Holiday Market
Running from Thanksgiving through December 26th, the Union Square Holiday Market is the first thing you’ll notice as you exit the fourteenth street subway station. Venture into the maze of little shops set up in the park and what you’ll find is a showcase curated from New York’s quirkiest goods to iconic New York-inspired art. The atmosphere is beautifully accented by the savory and sweet tastes of local food vendors. The covered stalls overflow with goods from Tibetan to handmade Celtic jewelry, photography that captures the scenes and spirit of the city, hand-carved woodwork you can wear or adorn your house with, Christmas ornaments by the hundreds, warm winter hats, aromatic soaps, and more.
2. Grand Central Holiday Fair
The annual indoor Grand Central Holiday Fair features many artists as well as a wealth of warm-weather accessories. The atmosphere buzzes with local commuters and visiting travelers alike. It is open from November 14th to December 24th, so make sure you pass through if you get the chance!
3. Bryant Park
Bryant Park has once again been transformed for this holiday season into the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a spin on the outdoor ice skating rink! Or if strolling is more your style, munch on an artisan pretzel or sip some hot apple cider as you snake through a cozy jumble of kiosks. Like me, maybe you’ll be warmed by the excitement of not knowing what’s waiting around the next corner, but don’t forget to bundle up too!
Article written by Marina Kaneko.