The holiday time is always festive and cheery in New York City, and it’s a time when you get a chance to check out the pop up holiday markets all around the city. Since I lived in Europe before, I sort of expected the markets to be similar to the ones in London and Germany, but to my surprise, the holiday markets here are very different.
What you can expect from the New York holiday markets:
- Clothing/ accessories (rings, necklace)
- Christmas ornaments
- Home decor (Turkish lamp, paintings, photography)
- Food and drinks (macaroon, pastry, German sausage, hot chocolate)
- Lots of crowds and holiday cheers
- [Lack of] Mulled wine, drink Mulled Cider instead
- [Lack of] Rides
In Manhattan itself, there are 4 major holiday markets that I recommend, each is a little bit different and offers a great variety of things to buy and eat.
- Union Square Holiday Market
- Columbus Circle Holiday Market
- Grand Central Holiday Market
- Bryant Park Winter Village
Union Square Holiday Market
Every November half of Union Square is blocked off for these pop up shops. Most of the shops here sell clothing, accessories, ornaments, and some random home decor products.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
This one is right by the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. It’s actually very similar to the Union Square one, where most of the brands set up pop up shops.
There is a bigger dining area in this market, where people can sit down to enjoy their sausage or mulled cider.
Grand Central Holiday Market
This market is located near the food hall inside Grand Central Station. It’s not a traditional holiday market in a sense that it’s not really Christmas related. It’s more of stalls selling different types of clothing here.
Bryant Park Winter Village
This is by far my favorite holiday market in New York. The reason I love it so much is that there are a lot more unique food options and a beautiful ice skating rink with a nice Christmas tree.
The whole Bryant Park is transformed into a winter village where you can shop for gifts, grab something to eat or drink either indoors or outside and they have some pretty cool food stalls like the fried pickles on a stick.
It’s also really awesome to be able to sit outside and watch people ice skate.
If you have time, check out all 4 of these markets and decide which one you like the most. Although we don’t have mulled wine (not a big thing in the US) or roller coaster rides in our holiday markets compare to Europe, but it’s still a very festive and unique experience to share with family and friends. Dress warmly, bring your camera and enjoy the shopping and the food.