New York City is a flurry of holiday shopping at this time of year. There are wonderful seasonal markets all over town selling crafts, unique boutique goods, food and more. These cool local spots aren't just in Manhattan either; there are several markets in the outer boroughs, too.
Unlike the craziness of Black Friday, these shopping experiences are much more relaxed for families. Plus, you're often supporting local businesses and artisans. We love shopping local so much, we made it the focus of our Holiday Gift Guide. Read on for our round-up of New York City holiday markets.
Holiday Shops at Winter Village at Bryant Park – Midtown West
40th-42nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
October 21-January 4, 2015: Monday-Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 10am-6pm
Browse jewelry, hats, accessories, clothing and more offbeat items like kitschy clocks, funky toys and locally-made art. There are lots of yummy treats to sample, too, including hot chocolate, crepes and Belgian waffles. After you're done shopping, hit the free ice-skating rink or go for a spin on the carousel. Bonus: If you need to buy a gift after Christmas, this market remains open through the first week of January.
Union Square Holiday Market – Union Square
14th to 16th Streets between Union Square West and Union Square East
November 20-December 24: Monday-Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm
Large, popular and located in a heavily-trafficked area near a fabulous playground, this annual market is run by UrbanSpace (which is also behind the Columbus Circle Holiday Market). Here you'll find more than 100 vendors selling handmade toys, tons of jewelry, clothing, hats, funky housewares and holiday food.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market – Midtown West
59th Street and Central Park West
December 2-December 24: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 10am-7pm
This elegant market features many of the same vendors as Union Square. You'll find lots of treasures including handmade puzzles, gingerbread houses and fabulous home accessories. Once you're finished shopping, hit nearby Heckscher Playground in Central Park.
Hester Street Holiday Fair – Midtown West
One Penn Plaza, 34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
December 1-23: 11am-8pm
The folks behind the popular Hester Street Market on the Lower East Side have packed up and headed north for the holiday season, bringing with them unique finds from more than 30 food and gift vendors. Working with the 34th Street Partnership, there is a month's worth of activities to enjoy, too, everything from caroling to origami classes.
Brooklyn Holiday Artisan Market – Cobble Hill
Saint Paul's Church, 234 Congress Street at Court Street
Weekends December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21: Saturdays 10am-7pm, Sundays 11am-6pm
Magazine French Morning hosts this second annual holiday fair where French flair comes to Brooklyn. The mix of Brooklyn-based artisans and French imports combine for a unique shopping experience. As a bonus, kids can visit Santa from 11am-1pm Saturday, December 13 and from 1pm-3pm on Sundays, December 14 and 21st and Saturday, December 20.
Grand Central Holiday Fair – Midtown East
Vanderbilt Hall, 42nd Street and Park Avenue
November 17-December 24: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm; closed Thanksgiving and closes at 6pm on Christmas Eve
Browse vendors selling unusual handmade and one-of-a-kind items inside the terminal. Great vendors for kids' gifts include wooden toys from Toytoise, polar fleeces from TUFF Kookooshk and playthings from Cate and Levi. Afterward, check out the holiday train show at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex. For other fun in the station, read our post about things to do in Grand Central.
LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market – Long Island City
5-25 46th Avenue at 46th Avenue
Weekends December 6-21: 11am-6pm
Browse items from more than 75 vendors and enjoy cool kids activities, FREE photo ops with Santa Claus and live jazz on Sundays. Visit the Facebook page for the latest news and special event schedule.
Bread & Yoga Om Grown Holiday Market – Inwood
5000 Broadway at 212th Street
Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20: 2pm-7pm
This northern Manhattan yoga studio presents its annual event featuring uptown vendors selling clothing, jewelry, artwork, spa products, toys, pottery and more.
Holiday Market – Astoria
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Avenue near 29th Street
Sundays December 14, 21: noon-6pm
This fair is held in the restaurant's main hall. Look for handmade, baked and even vintage goodies.
Looking for the Artists & Fleas pop up at Chelsea Market? Good news, it became a full-time store earlier this year. Find it in the southeast corner of the building.
Find other great gift spots in our NYC Shopping Local Gift Guide and lots of other seasonal fun in our Holiday Guide.
Originally published in November, 2009