Granted, the vast majority of your holiday shopping these days can be done at the touch of a button, and from the comfort of your couch. But if you're browsing for gifting inspiration or just want a little extra boost to get into the holiday spirit, we still say nothing beats strolling through one of the city's many holiday markets and sipping a cider or cocoa while combing through stands of locally made goods.
To finish out the rest of your holiday shopping in style (and ideally, all in one go), we've rounded up seven of the best New York holiday markets to visit this month in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens:
Chances are you've accidentally stumbled into the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in the midst of a commute or trip to the park, but with goods like locally made jewelry and artisanal chocolates, it's well worth sticking around. (It's open December 1st through 24th, from 10 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday.) You can also head across the street to the goop mrkt at The Shops at Columbus Circle, a pop-up shop from Gwyneth Paltrow's much-read (and in some quarters, oft-mocked) lifestyle brand Goop. (Through December 24th, it'll be open 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, and 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays.)
For the 10th year in a row, BUST is hosting its Holiday Craftacular, which features more than 200 "crafters, vintage sellers, and food artisans together for a two-day shopping, eating, and DIY-ing extravaganza." In short, it's a DIY maven's dream (and there are cocktails, too.) This year's will be held at the Brooklyn expo center in Greenpoint on December 19th and 20th from 11 am to 7 pm. NB: tickets are $3, and can be purchased ahead of time.
In spite of its rather un-festive name, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is still one of the best holiday markets going, if only for the opportunity to watch skaters on the ice rink. But it's a solid shopping destination, too, with over 125 different shops and eateries set up, and a generally family-friendly (and pet-friendly!) vibe. This one's open through January 3rd, 11 am to 8 pm on Mondays through Fridays, 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays.
Though they've got plenty of other unique, handmade goods on hand, the Union Square Holiday Market is really one for the foodies, with lots of stands to grab a bite on the go, as well as "gourmet pantry items" for gifting like specialty olive oils and jams. (Always a good fallback gift for the person you have no idea how to shop for.) The market runs through December 24th, and will be open 11 am to 8 pm on Weekdays, 10 am to 8 pm on Saturdays, and 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays.
LIC Flea & Food—Long Island City's more relaxed answer to the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg—is getting into the holiday market game this year, too, hosting the Queens Holiday Market at the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale. It's open every Saturday and Sunday through December 20th from 11 am to 7 pm, and with an arcade, live performances, children's activities, and a pop-up beer garden in addition to the food and gift vendors, it's well worth bringing the family and making a day of it.
Having been around since 1993, the Grand Central Holiday Fair is actually the longest running indoor holiday market in the city, and as such, is always a reliable source of carefully-selected local vendors (and snacks) and, yes, holiday cheer. (Grand Central is magical any time of year, but they really amp up the festivities around the holidays.) This year, there are 74 different vendors with everything from toys to art to jewelry. The fair is open through December 24th, 10 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday, 10 am to 7 pm on Saturdays, and 11am to 7pm on Sundays.
The Greenpointers Holiday Market is one of Brooklyn's most established small markets (for more options, Brokelyn's got a great roundup here), and they're coming back for one day only this Sunday (December 6) at the Greenpoint Loft on 67 West Street. The market will be open from 1 pm to 7 pm, and will feature a free photo booth, food and drinks from the likes of Greenpoint Beer & Ale and Cafe Grumpy, and more than 50 hyper-local vendors including Crusoe Jewelry and Alchemy holistics. For a comprehensive guide to every holiday market happening in the city this season, Markets of New York City has an exhaustive list.