The cheer of New York City's holiday markets on a cold winter day will warm you right up - and the hot apple cider helps too!
The spirited glow of the markets radiate the energy and excitement of Christmas in New York City. Artisans sell jewelry, art, clothing, specialty bath products, ornaments, and more. The food treats are hard to resist, with stands selling everything from gourmet chocolates to bratwurst to hot soup.
The holiday shops are just right for picking up a hot beverage, strolling, shopping, chatting with the vendors, and finding unique holiday gifts.
There's more to do in Bryant Park at Christmastime than just ice skating. Holiday gift shops are located in cozy glass huts that surround the picturesque Bryant Park skating rink. There are wonderful food stands, mostly clustered around the park's fountain, that sell a variety of treats including hot drinks, kettle corn, grits, and cupcakes.
Location: Bryant Park, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets.
The Columbus Circle Holiday Market by Urban Space feels like a little community of holiday shops. You can lose yourself for hours browsing these aisles and checking out all the neat merchandise.
Location: Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park, Eighth Avenue and 59th Street
This market is also run by Urban Space and has a similar feel as the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Little shops are crammed together and there are people everywhere. It's the best of New York City street fairs and Christmas rolled into one. You might even see carolers if you're lucky!
Location: Union Square at 14th Street
The holiday shops at Grand Central Terminal have a somewhat less charming atmosphere than the others but one notable feature - the market is indoors. A crowded railroad station might seem like an odd place for holiday gift shops, but Grand Central Terminal, which lives up to its name, is worth a visit anyway and the announcements and people dashing to catch their trains will not likely distract the dedicated shopper.
There is no food at this holiday fair so you will have to cross the concourse to the Grand Central Market for that.
Location: Grand Central Terminal
Essential New York City Guide Tip
Make your holiday shopping even more interesting by getting to know the vendors. Many of the people working at the holiday shops are local shop owners and artists who would love to tell you about their products, themselves, and their artwork.
Remember your New York vacation and share it with others. Heart-warming holiday scenes of New York City make perfect Christmas cards!
Cards feature original New York City photography that is exclusive to Essential New York City Guide.