Along with elaborate window displays and the Rockefeller tree, one of the best things about New York City during the holidays is the ever-growing proliferation of pop-up markets, filled with local goods (and snacks) for all your last-minute shopping needs.
We've culled the city's markets for presents that'll suit just about anyone on your list, whether you're shopping for a foodie, a homebody, a history buff, or an audiophile:
Union Square Holiday Market
We often find ourselves popping into Union Square's market to grab a quick bite while running errands in the neighborhood, but it's also a prime spot for gift-hunting. We particularly like these hardboard and fiberglass coasters ($7 apiece) from RetroNYMetro, which feature a vintage 1904 photo of the Ansonia, one of the city's stateliest old apartment buildings.
Dates and hours: November 17th to December 24th, 11 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 8 pm Saturdays; 11 am to 7 pm Sundays.
Winter Flea + Holiday Market
This time of year, the Brooklyn Flea's winter outpost at 1 Hanson Place also doubles as a holiday market, the better to help you shop the best of Brooklyn's arts, design, and food scene all under one roof. For the friend who's always trying the latest artisanal condiments and bitters, spring from this $15 hot sauce trio from Brooklyn-based company Queen Majesty, featuring creative flavors including "scotch bonney & ginger." They'll think fondly of you every time they have to liven up an otherwise bland meal.
Dates and Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
Head through Grand Central these days and you may have noticed that Vanderbilt Hall has transformed into a commuter's winter wonderland, packed with carefully chosen local vendors you can browse on your way home from work. For a no-fail gift option, try these Reed Diffusers from Brooklyn's Apotheke ($48), which will add some aromatic ambience to any room. There are plenty of scents to choose from, but given the season, we'd opt for the spicy Jasmine & Clementine option.
Dates and Hours: November 14th to December 24th. 10 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 7 pm Saturdays; 11 am to 6 pm Sundays.
Short for "fashion, art, & design," the f.a.d. market sets up camp in the bottom of St. Paul's at 190 Court Street in Brooklyn, hosting over 45 independent artists and designers selling everything from jewelry to home goods to food. For anyone who's a sucker for that mid-century vintage aesthetic (and if you're in the market for a bigger-ticket item), try the Bira Box ($174.99) from RadioRPL, a company that turns out handmade "ambient music boxes" that play a selection of minimalist songs on a loop. Consider this one particularly useful as a means of tuning out election-related chatter.
Dates and hours: December 17th & 18th, 11 am to 6 pm.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
The ultra-corporate (and rather un-festive) name notwithstanding, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is one of the city's most tried-and-true holiday markets. (Try sipping a hot chocolate while watching the ice skaters and taking in the enormous Christmas tree.) This year, one of the vendors is Three Bluebirds, a company that makes Swedish Dishcloths, a reusable, eco-friendly, and ultra-absorbent alternative to sponges and paper towels. The cheery "lemon lime" print towel ($6.95) would be a welcome addition to any kitchen.
Dates and Hours: November 25th to January 2nd. 11am to 8pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 8 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Renegade Craft Fair
Self-described as a "celebration of the DIY spirit," the renegade craft fair hosts over 150 small vendors in Brooklyn's Industry City (it's held on the Factory Floor at 233 37th Street). For $21, you can pick up a three-pack "seasonal preserves bundle" from V. Smiley Preserves, which changes up its flavors based on the season, and makes its preserves using honey. Consider this an insurance policy if you need a universally appealing, last-minute option for that person who's impossible to shop for.
Dates and Hours: December 17th and 18th; 11am to 6pm.
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