Christmas Market Round-up

19 12 2008

I recently checked in on my old friends at EuroCheapo and discovered that they too are in the holiday spirit. And they had several posts that reminded me of one of my favorite things about Christmas, especially in Europe: the holiday market. Alas that I can’t waltz among the glistening lights of Vienna’s gorgeous buildings (see the post, Ginobli is sad too).

Enter New York. Just like the garlands and shop windows, sundry Christmas markets crop up here, there, and everywhere. Sure, a lot of the vendors end up selling cheesy wares and some of them even overlap from one market to the other. But then again there is something to be said for the feel of the cold air (yes, I said it) as you walk through the festive booths with a cup of hot cider in hand. And every once in a while, you even find the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for someone, a gift which is ten times more unique than anything you could buy in an overcrowded store.

And so, to the Christmas Markets:

The Pond at Bryant Park: More than 100 artisans selling crafts, clothing, and specialty foods. Plus free ice skating. Plus Celsius, the cool Canadian Lounge where those of us who aren’t (ahem) very good at ice skating  can drink and watch.

Bryant Park, 6th Ave. at 42nd St.; 866-221-5157; Open daily from November 22 through December 28, 2008: Mon-Fri, 11am-8pm; Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 10am-6pm.


Grand Central Holiday Fair: From Christmas ornaments to Christmas books, and everything in between that’s not Christmas (bags, jewelry, ties…) the market in Vanderbilt Hall is packed with cool, unique gifts. A bonus: the setting’s pretty great as well (and not only because it’s warm. After a bit of holiday shopping head down into the main terminal where every half hour a light show takes you into winter wonderland.

Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall, 42nd St. and Park Ave.; 212-340-2210; Open daily November 16 through December 29, 2008: Mon-Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 11am-7pm.


Holiday Market at Union Square: Leather goods, handmade toys, and warm wooly items along with countless others make these red and white booths both fun and festive. Go on a day when the Greenmarket‘s open and get all your shopping done at once.

Union Square Park at 14th St., 212-529-9262; Open daily November 22 through December 28, 2008: Mon-Fri, 11am-8pm; Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 11am-7pm. Open from 10am-4pm on Christmas Eve

Christmas Market at St. Bartholomew’s Church: It doesn’t get much more winter wonderland than this, what with the pretty market and the glow of trees from Park Avenue, and if that weren’t enough, the gift selection is great too: everything from antiques to winterwear to the usual holiday crafts all in one fantastical tribute to winter.

Park Ave. at 50th St., 212-809-5200; open daily November 19 through December 24, 2008: 8am-8pm

Gifted (at the Brooklyn Flea): Talk about unique gifts. Gifted is connected with the Brooklyn Flea, so you can browse fun vintage items and then head over to the holiday market, which features fantastic vendors like Jezebel Stationery, jewelry by Bonbon Oiseau, and more.

Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 317 Clermont Ave (at Lafayette Ave.), Fort Greene; Sundays, December 4, 14, and 21: 11am-6pm

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