The holiday season has arrived! And with it some really quaint things to do in New York. Of course you could go shopping and box your way through an overcrowded Bloomingdale’s, a bustling Century 21 and other classics. Or you could go watch the holiday stories in the front window of the Macy’s Flagship store at Herald Square. Another really great thing to do? Visit one of the city’s four biggest holiday markets, all of them in Manhattan.
1) Union Square Holiday Market
It opened up last weekend and goes until December 24. It reaches in a half circle around the main subway entrance and looks especially fancy if you watch it from well above, let’s say the Burlington Coat Factory’s shopping window. Either way, it is hosted every year and I had the pleasure to stop by here every once in a while to even snag some old-school German Glühweinmix from the „German Memories Stand.” Of course it’s not actual wine but only the mix, so it tasted like fruit punch, but still. I also like to buy some gingerbread men and women from here – they just look too good to be ignored.
This market offers original gift ideas and fancy winter accessories. It is here that we ran across some very unique lamps and some even more unique jewelry made from old watches. Waffles&Dinges, the by now very popular Belgian waffle sellers, have opened up their tents here as well as at the following holiday market…
2) Bryant Park Holiday Shops
This one is possibly one of the bigger sorts as it reaches throughout the entire park and leaves a nice gap for a unique feature: The Bryant Park Citi Pond. While shopping amidst the fancifully decorated huts and trying more Waffles&Dinges, you can now also stand in line for the immense ice skating rink reaching through 2/3rds of the park. It’s always a great sight to simply walk past here and see all of the happy faces
falling dancing on the ice. Once Christmas draws closer, a huge screen is built on the Western part of the park and holiday movies are shown to please the busy audience.
3) Columbus Circle Holiday Market
The only holiday market I have not yet had the chance to visit. It opens up on November 28 and goes until Christmas’ Eve, and is therefore just in the right time frame to be visited with all the other holiday craziness going on. It’s supposed to have great food as well, but once again, I’ve never been. I am quite desperate to go. Soon!
4) Grand Central Holiday Fair
This gem is the only market that is actually inside and it offers 76 vendors to choose from. So if you are tired of the cold and want to stop by at one of the most popular movie locations anyways, you should go here. You can possibly also run across fairies dressed in a similar costume, just to top the entire holiday spirit. Just try to avoid rush hour in the morning and evening because this place will be crowded then at both times.
Beware that of course most stuff is overpriced at these holiday markets. Nonetheless, they are still fun to look at and useful to obtain some ideas of what you might get your loved ones for Christmas. Happy Holiday Market browsing, y’all!