NYC’s Best Holiday Markets

Heather Liang
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Take the stress out of holiday shopping by visiting one of the many holiday markets New York City has to offer. Convenient options exist throughout the five boroughs, from near the ferry terminal in Staten Island up to Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. You’re sure to find something different for everyone on your list—whether you’re looking for clothing, jewelry, toys or some one-of-a-kind craft—without having to brave crowded stores. Bonus: most markets have food vendors, good for keeping your stamina level in line with your holiday spirit.

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Making New York: Small Business Saturday & Weekend Market
The Sketchbook Project at Brooklyn Art Library, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
November 25–26

Before this year’s highly anticipated Holiday Handmade Cavalcade opens in December, shoppers can get a preview of what’s in store at this small-business shopping experience. Etsy’s NY Handmade Collective and American Express are joining forces to support small businesses through this pop-up market at the Brooklyn Art Library (10am–6pm, both days), as well as on etsy.com. Come out to see what kinds of distinctive holiday gifts you can cross off your list. 

Photo: Malcolm Brown

The Holiday Shops at Winter Village at Bryant Park 
Bryant Park, Midtown West, Manhattan
October 28–January 2, 2018

More than 150 custom-designed glass kiosks line Bryant Park during the holiday season, giving these shops both indoor and outdoor allure. The European-inspired market attracts local and international artisans, who come to sell apparel, artwork, home goods, beauty products and toys, as well as a wide selection of food. In the center of the park is a rink where you can ice-skate for free (if you don’t bring your own skates, you can rent some for a fee).

Photo: Patrick Cashin

Grand Central Holiday Fair 
Grand Central Terminal, Midtown East, Manhattan
November 13–December 24

The indoor Grand Central Holiday Fair offers a warm alternative to outdoor markets. Half of Vanderbilt Hall is taken over by 40 vendors—including a number from NYC—who specialize in American-made, hand-crafted products; use locally sourced goods; and are socially responsible. Find clothing, accessories, home goods, artwork, toys and plenty more. The location makes this market a no-brainer for commuters, and those looking to refuel can stop for a snack or meal at the Grand Central Market, Great Northern Food Hall or subterranean dining concourse.

Courtesy, Urbanspace

Union Square Holiday Market 
Union Square Park, Union Square, Manhattan
November 16–December 24

More than 100 local and national vendors come together under red-and-white tents at this alfresco event, selling everything from leather goods to artisanal olive oil to skin care products. Special features include a “Little Brooklyn” section, a warming station, a kids’ crafts studio and live music. As with other markets, there’s food on hand—check out the Urbanspace Provisions area—with hot chocolate and apple cider available to keep you warm.

Winter Wonderland Staten Island 
75 Richmond Terrace, St. George, Staten Island
November 25–December 23

Staten Island’s inaugural Winter Wonderland takes over Richmond County Bank Ballpark (where the borough’s Yankees affiliate plays) to offer seasonal adventure for the whole family: rides, games, light shows, ice-skating, food and drinks—and, of course, a holiday market. While you enjoy the entertainment, don’t forget to get some shopping done; roughly 35 vendors will be on hand with beauty products, toys, gifts for pets, pop-culture merchandise, ornaments, chocolates and candy.

Photo: Malcolm Brown

Brooklyn Flea Winter/Holiday Market 
100 Sixth Ave., Soho, Manhattan
November 25–March 2018 (weekends only)

The Brooklyn Flea has a relatively new Soho location that’s indoors and open year-round; during the colder months, it’s the lone NYC outpost of the bazaar. Visit for things like vintage clothing, housewares, antiques, furniture, jewelry, art, crafts and other spectacular finds for everyone on your list. Expect Smorgasburg food vendors to be there as well.

Courtesy, Urbanspace

Columbus Circle Holiday Market 
Central Park West and West 59th Street (southwest entrance to Central Park), Midtown West, Manhattan
November 28–December 24

There’s something extra delightful about Columbus Circle during the holiday season—the Christmas lights sparkling in the circle and carriage rides setting off through Central Park in the snow. Tucked in the southwest corner of the park is one of the City’s most beloved holiday markets, where aisles of jewelry, accessories, artwork, home goods and food from local designers and artisans await. Check off all the gifts on your list from one or more of the 100 or so vendors before you head into the park for a stroll.

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Fort Hamilton Holiday Market  
101st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn
December 1

At the intersection of Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge you’ll find this one-night-only event at the Fort Hamilton military base, featuring a tree lighting ceremony, carousel rides and a holiday market. Local craftspeople sell their creations, and there are food options as well. The entire evening is family friendly, including the opportunity to take pictures with Santa. The event is free to enter but registration is required.

Astoria Holiday Market 
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Ave., Astoria, Queens
December 3, 10 & 17

For three Sundays this December, Astoria’s famous Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden will transform into a holiday market where local Queens-based crafters, bakers and artisans come together to sell their wares. The handmade and vintage items you’ll find here include toys, jewelry, accessories, clothing, soaps, artwork and chocolates. Participants are always changing at the no-frills, mom-and-pop-style market, giving you something exciting to look forward to each time you visit. One thing stays constant: the eclectic collection means your recipients are unlikely to be getting these gifts from anyone else.

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade–Manhattan
Broadway and Great Jones Street, Noho, Manhattan
December 8–10

Local artisans and small businesses have found a holiday home at the Cavalcade, which has grown exponentially since it started north of NYC in 2008. It now includes locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Members from the NY Handmade Collective (formerly known as the Etsy NY Team) bring their products and handmade wares, all originating in the tri-state area. The group works to expand and strengthen its community by giving local artists a platform to develop their small businesses. Expect handbags, jewelry, apparel, home goods and artwork that are all lovingly made by these indie vendors.

Holiday Handmade Cavalcade–Brooklyn  
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn Heights
December 16–17

Much like its Manhattan counterpart, the Brooklyn Cavalcade will showcase and support local vendors from the tri-state area who will be peddling goods like apparel, accessories, home wares, soaps, kids’ stuff and so much more. This location is open for one weekend only, so don’t miss your chance to snag some of the most unique and well-made gifts you may find this holiday season.


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