The holiday season in New York City is one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year. It is also a shopper’s paradise – if you like unique items, artisan gifts, crafts and souvenirs. From mid-November through January, outdoor holiday markets pop-up throughout the city selling jewelry, clothing, arts and crafts, and so much more. Even if you don’t plan to do much shopping, the atmosphere is fun and many markets offer fantastic food and warm drinks. Here is a list of the best markets as well as a few lesser known ones that will get you out of Manhattan and to the outer boroughs. For a list of specific vendors and items being sold at each market as well as directions on how to get there, check the individual market websites.
Be sure to check out our Holiday Lights Tour as well as our guide to New York City during Christmas and the Holiday Season..
A – Bryant Park’s Winter Village October 29 to January 5, 2017
This is one of the prettiest and most centrally-located holiday markets. It surrounds the skating rink that is installed in wintertime in the middle of Bryant Park and the atmosphere is magical. There are more than 100 small stalls offering one-of-a-kind items including winter clothing, sweaters, hats and mittens, hand crafted bags, jewelry, decorative goods, local foods, and more. There’s something for everyone – adults, kids and even pets! Why not go ice-skating while you are there or join our Midtown Manhattan tour. You can also find delicious food stands mostly near the 6th Avenue border of the park with a variety of treats including hot drinks, kettle corn, and holiday sweets of all kinds.
Hours: Oct 29- Nov 24 Daily: 11am-8pm; Nov 25-Jan 2 Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat & Sun 10am-8pm
Location: Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue
B – Grand Central Holiday Fair November 14-December 24, 2016
What a spectacular location for a holiday market! And because it is indoors, you’ll keep warmer while checking out the 76 vendor stalls offering a wonderful array of holiday gifts including art, clothing for adults and children, handbags, jewelry and accessories for men and women, hand-made candles, bath and body items, collectible toys and holiday items. If you want to learn more about this truly grand historic train terminal join us for one of our tours. If you want to learn more about Grand Central there are several free tours you can take. Click here to find out more.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 11am-7pm; Closes at 6 pm on December 24. Closed Thanksgiving Day.
Location: Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall (42nd St. and Park Ave.)
C – Union Square Holiday Market November 17-December 24, 2016 (closed Thanksgiving Day Nov 24)
This is quite a large market with a downtown, funky vibe. Over 100 vendors fill the park and you will find truly unique items here, many with New York themes. Past years we’ve found such items as hand-blown glass housewares; bags and accessories made from recycled plastic (eco-friendly!), always lots of handmade jewelry, Tibetan crafts and more! And of course you shouldn’t shop on an empty stomach so try some of the sweet and savory treats or a hot apple cider!
Hours: Monday–Friday 11am-8pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 11am-7pm; closes at 4 pm December 24 market.
Location: Union Square at 14th Street.
D – Columbus Circle Holiday Market November 29-December 24
Located at Central Park’s southwest corner is historic Columbus Circle where a medium-sized market is a great place to stop by after skating in Central Park’s iconic Wollman Rink. Treat yourself to hot cocoa and gingerbread while browsing the stalls.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am to 8pm; Sunday 10am-7pm; closes at 4pm on December 24.
Location: West 59th Street and Broadway
E – Hester Holiday Market at One Penn Plaza Dates to be announced
Although Hester Street is located in the heart of the Lower East Side, their weekend market heads to Midtown so you can conveniently shop their 30 most cherished gift and food vendors. Again, you will find one-of-a-kind handmade gifts as well as artisan food vendors to keep your belly full and your spirits high! There is also a month long schedule of festivities and activities such as Christmas caroling, origami classes, a book club and more!
Location: One Penn Plaza, 34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
F – Crafts at St. John’s the Divine Cathedral 2016 dates to be announced
This three-day arts and crafts fair is held inside one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the entire country. The fair has an admission fee, which is because the goal of this fair is to showcase some of the finest craftspeople in a truly divine atmosphere.
Hours: $6 /day, $7 / weekend. Check here for a $1 discount on admission.
Location: St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave and West 110th St, Manhattan
G – Artists and Fleas at Chelsea Market Year-round
The Artists & Fleas market is usually in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but during the holiday season they set up here in Manhattan. This market is a great way to get a bit of Brooklyn flavor into your holiday shopping but in a more central location. The items here are ‘funkier’ than you find at some of the other markets as they are made by independent designers, emerging artists and vintage collectors. Before or after your visit, explore more of Chelsea Market. We have a post to help guide you through this huge and interesting shopping location. Of course you are always welcome to join our Highline and Chelsea tour if it suits your schedule.
Hours: Daily 10:30am-7pm. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Location: Chelsea Market, 88 10th Avenue at 15th Street
H – Brooklyn Flea Holiday Market Weekends starting November 5 til March 2017
If you like one-of-a-kind treasures like vintage hip furniture and housewares, vintage clothing, trendy antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and more, the Brooklyn Flea is a must! The Brooklyn Flea has been called by The New York Times “One of the great urban experiences in New York”. Though their regular outdoor season is DUMBO and Fort Greene, they remain open (thank goodness!) through the winter in a spectacular space inside the landmarked Williamsburg Savings Bank Clocktower lobby in Fort Greene, a unique destination unto itself. You’ll also be able to try some amazing food at Smorgasburg, a group of food vendors serving up eclectic food.
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 10am-7pm until Christmas; 10am-6pm from Christmas-March
Location: One Hanson Place in Brooklyn (map) By subway: 4, 5, 2, 3, B, Q, D, N, R to Atlantic Center – Barclay’s Center.
I – Bust Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair Holiday 2016 December 10-11
Located in the traditionally Polish and currently trendy neighborhood of Greenpoint (just north of Williamsburg), more than 200 vendors will be out at this two-day holiday shopping extravaganza showcasing handmade, vintage, and craft items as well as tasty treats.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday: 11am-7pm
Location: Brooklyn Expo Center, 79 Franklin St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
J – Astoria Market Sundays in December (Dec 4, 11, 18)
Maybe a bit more about the food and drink than shopping, the market is located in the Main Hall of the famous Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. Here you will find an artisan market filled with handmade items, vintage goods and baked treats.
Hours: Sundays in December (Dec 4, 11, 18) 12-6pm
Location: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Avenue between 29th and 31st Streets
Written by Courtney Shapiro