Is there anything like the holiday season in New York City?
The holidays in NYC brings countless ways to enjoy frivolity, joy and mirth, and holiday cheer. Yes, there’s ice skating in Rockefeller Plaza and the tree lighting in Washington Square Park, but perhaps the most delightful (and underrated!) of these is the plethora of holiday markets that descend upon the city.
Choosing the top markets can be overwhelming for tourists and locals alike, but we have you covered with this list of the best holiday markets in New York City. So what are you waiting for? Grab some hot cocoa (maybe with a splash of Bailey’s), bundle up, and explore the best of NYC at Christmas.
Union Square Holiday Market
This market is hands-down the best place to get lost in New York City. Give yourself some time for aimless wandering amongst the seemingly endless, winding stalls. The vendors include New York icons like the Strand and Brooklyn Brew, plus quirkier stalls like Cork Buds, and Scarf Maniac (for the neck accessories addict we all have in our lives). The market also plays host to some of the best apple cider donuts in town. Our personal pick? Breezy Hill Orchard.
Bryant Park Skating Rink and Market, Courtesy of Urbanspace NYC
This list wouldn’t be complete without including the winter village at Bryant Park. Nothing makes a holiday market extra special like world-class ice skating. Taking a lap around the ice skating rink is a NYC tradition – bonus points if you want to show off and do a triple axel.
If ice skating sounds like too much work, grab a pretzel or bratwurst from Sigmunds and kick back in the activity nook with some classic board games. Fashion buffs will enjoy the market’s Ugly Sweater Party on Tuesday, December 12; to make it extra awesome, there’s even karaoke so you can bust out Mariah Carey’s Christmas classics to the city. Shopping highlights include the Brooklyn Art Factory, Mexican Village, and Pook (where else can you get the coziest onesies in NYC?).
Winter Wonderland at Staten Island
If you’ve never been out to Staten Island, now is the time to go!
This winter wonderland makes the voyage well worth it. The market is whimsical as hell and is a great location for a date or a day off with friends. It’s 85,000 square feet of holiday cheer, folks. Come for the life-size snow globe, stay for the Elf minigolf. The igloo bar is nice and cozy, a perfect place for a hot toddy or a signature cocktail.
It’s also worth noting that the gingerbread house gauntlet has been thrown. Winter Wonderland’s giant house puts the one in Madison Square Garden to shame. A market highlight: the King’s Landing Trading Post, stocked with all the GoT paraphernalia you need for your favorite nerd.
The Turnstyle Holiday Market
Forgo the crowds of the Columbus Circle market and head underground to the Turnstyle market located in the passage between 57th and 59th streets. The bright lights and delicious smells wafting through the warm tunnel will make you never want to go out into the winter air again. Its really stinkin’ cozy down there. There is a wide array of vendors from Lush to Only Posh – a great place to buy candles and take the holiday scents home. Heads up: you can’t miss the brisket cholas from Bolivian Llama party.
If you want to get real quaint with your gifts this season, this is your place.
The market, originally an Etsy DIY event, features all local artisans showcasing handmade items that range from ties to glass candle holders. It’s the perfect place to find a gift that is more unique than the socks you got your cousins last year. There are two separate venues for the market so be sure to check the website before you go!
We love the holidays in NYC! What are some of your favorite NYC holiday hotspots? Let us know in the comments.
BY: KYLIE HOLLOWAY, TOUR GUIDE AT MUSEUM HACK