The holidays are around the corner and that means that busy New Yorkers will be even busier buying gifts for their loved ones. Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor shopping experience, here are our top picks for pop-up holiday markets that you can’t miss out on this year. By Carly Petrone/Jessica Allen/Anne Reuter
Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
42nd and Avenue of the Americas
Get your holiday shopping done while enjoying some of the best bites that NYC has to offer at the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. This annual market is set within one of the city’s most iconic parks and it’s easy to shop for your loved ones, little ones and even your furry friends. Warm up with a cup of piping hot chocolate from Max Brenner, or stock up on scarves and hats at Nirvanna Designs. You can even find one-of-a-kind gifts, like fairy lights from The Fairy Lights Factory, stunning works of art and photography from You Are Here Studios, a whole set of characters from Silly Puppets, African jewelry and home goods from All Across Africa, and Christmas ornaments from Christina’s World Glass Ornaments. If you’re hungry, there are plenty of tasty treats to keep your shopping energy up, thanks to the folks from Urbanspace. If you need to work off some calories, go for a spin at the ice skating rink inside the Bank of America Winter Village – admission is free and skate rentals are $20. Learn more here. October 29, 2016 – November 24, 11 a.m – 8 p.m.
Etsy Handmade Cavalcade
410 W. 16th St.
Mark your calendar Etsy fans, because the 2016 Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is returning to Chelsea from December 5 to December 11. The Etsy NY Street Team is hosting this locally-crafted holiday market that showcases a wide selection of handmade wares including jewelry, greeting cards, art, beauty products, clothing, baby gifts, and more! Last year’s market drew in more than 16,000 visitors so come prepared for a crowd. It’s definitely worth it since you’ll definitely find unique pieces that only Etsy customers can truly appreciate. Just a few vendors participating include Angie Colombo Design, Cor Pottery, Hook and Matter, Titilulu, Hanky Blanky, and Be My Bee. Make sure to stop by on December 8 from 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. for their special Sip ‘n’ Shop event. And don’t leave without taking a prop-worthy picture at the photo booth. Admission is free with RSVP or $2 at the door. Market open from Dec. 5-11.
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market
Skylight One Hanson
1 Hanson Place
Brooklyn NY 11243
When the weather starts getting chilly, Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg move inside, specifically to a glorious art deco (former) bank. There you’ll find 75+ vendors of vintage goods and crafts — among them watches, rugs, dresses, antique locks, bags, chairs, maps, jewelry, prints and tote bags, along with 25+ food artisans. Eating before or while you shop is as American as apple pie and baseball, so come hungry. Weekends, now through March (including special hours during the week before Christmas and Hanukkah and on Christmas Eve), 10 am to 6 pm, $1, children 16 and under are free.
Astoria Market Holiday Markets
21-19 24th Ave.
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You may know Bohemian Hall as Astoria’s greatest beer garden, but did you know that on the three Sundays before Christmas the Main Hall turns into the Astoria Holiday Market? Sip on some eggnog while searching for your new favorite gift – even if it’s for yourself! This handmade and vintage fair has everything from gluten-free baked goods, to unique jewelry by Lady M Designs. Open Dec. 4, 11, 18, 2016. Learn more here.
Renegade Craft Fair
233 37th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Here’s the thing about craft fairs: you never know exactly what you’re going to find. At Renegade, the vendors have been carefully vetted and approved, which means everything you see is absolutely, definitely, positively worthy of your hard-earned dollars. In addition to cool stuff to peruse and purchase, there’s live music, food, and activities. Weekends, from Saturday, December 3, through Sunday, December 18, free.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
89 E. 42nd St.
There’s nothing quite like the Grand Central Holiday Fair. This annual indoor event is seriously dedicated to helping you find the perfect holiday gift – they’re even open on Christmas Eve! For six weeks, historic Vanderbilt Hall transforms into a holiday shopping center, with more than 40 vendors selling everything from artwork and children’s toys, to home goods and accessories for men and women. Commuters will easily be able to pick up last-minute gifts, while tourists and NYC locals alike can revel in the beauty that is Grand Central Terminal. Make sure to stop by The Holiday Wrap-Up station to receive complimentary gift wrapping from December 19 – December 23. Learn more here.
BUST Holiday Craftacular
Brooklyn Expo Center
79 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
BUST is a magazine “for women with something to get off their chests,” and that same spirit applies to the annual Holiday Craftacular. Totally indie, and totally interesting, the all-day event encourages socializing, sharing, networking, fun-having, cocktail-sipping, and feminist-ing. Oh, and there’s shopping too — from vendors selling a curated selection of vintage and handmade goods. Get there early, because the first 300 attendees get a cool “swag bag,” featuring some of the magazine’s fav goodies. Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, 11 am
Warming Up Winter Holiday Market
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368
One day only! A joint endeavor from the Queens Night Market and the Queens Museum, this holiday market boasts some 60 local artists and vendors, including clothes from Fiza Fashion, ceramics from Lan Lam, “wearable art” from Unicorns of Doom, LED trees from Treelights4me, paper goods from S2 Stationery & Design, tropical cakes and pastries from Mahalo New York Bakery, minimalist photos from Heather Quercio, and leather goods from CheNewYork. Sunday, December 18, 11 am to 4:30 pm, $8 for adults and $4 for kids (suggested admission to the museum).
Union Square Holiday Market
Union Square Park, Southern Side
If you find yourself in Union Square over the holidays, then definitely check out Urbanspace’s Union Square Holiday Market. Located in the heart of Union Square Park, this festive market features unique gifts by local artists and plenty of foodie finds. This year, look out for new sections like Little Brooklyn, Urbanspace Provisions, a warming station, and a kid’s craft studio. Of course there will also be live music and lots of entertainment to keep you occupied. Nosh on comforting bites like Sicilian Rice Balls from Arancini Bros., truffle fries from Bar Suzette Creperie & Bistro, or pulled pork empanadas from La Sonrisa or opt for something sweeter like a colorful chocolate sprinkled covered pretzels from Fatty Sundays & Co., uniquely squared mini-doughnuts and apple cider from Doughnuttery, or handmade whoopie pies from Batter & Cream. Hungry yet? Start eating and shopping on November 17th! Market is open through December 24th.
The 2016 Food52 Holiday Market
122 West 26th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001
If you love food, especially making and/or eating it, then no doubt you’re already well-aware of Food52, the food-focused website where you can find tips, recipes, products, and lots more. For one magical weekend in December, the site will be opening its Chelsea test kitchen up to visitors and shoppers. See something you like? You can get things like spices, yogurt, chocolate, and books shipped right to your door—or the door of anyone on your shopping list. Friday, December 2, through Sunday, December 4, 12 to 8 pm, free (but consider registering via the Facebook Events page).
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Central Park at 59th Street and Broadway
Located walking distance from picturesque Central Park, New Yorkers can visit this market right outside the heart of Midtown. After a leisurely stroll through the various stands of handmade items including wooden puzzles, home accessories and more, take a carriage ride throughout the park and enjoy winter in New York. Open Nov. 29-Dec 24. Learn more here.
Shwick Holiday Market
395 Johnson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Pretty much no one can argue with Brooklyn’s claim to be the coolest borough in New York, if not the entire planet. Come see what makes Brooklyn so hot, happening, and, yes, hipster at the third-annual Shwick market in Bushwick. You’ll find all kinds of unique jewelry, textiles, tech, toys, art, and other stuff from more than 120 “artists, entrepreneurs, and all-around cool people.” If you’re wondering about the name, we just figured it out: it’s Bushwick, minus the BU. You’re welcome! Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4, 11 am to 7 pm, free.
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Jessica Allen is a writer in New York.
Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.