The Best Christmas Markets in NYC

The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit

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Maureen
6. December 2019
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New York already starts gearing up for the holiday season in the fall. Christmas markets return to the city as early as October, setting the mood for the most magical time of the year. Here’s where to find the best Christmas markets in NYC.

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The Top 8 Christmas Markets in NYC

Is there a better way to get into the holiday spirit than grabbing a hot cup of cocoa and strolling through some of the best Christmas markets in New York? Booths with local crafts, savory treats, and hot specialty drinks are the most authentic environment to have a merry time and wrap up your gift shopping. Whether outdoor or indoor, New York is home to four major holiday markets and a good number of smaller winter bazaars.

Tip: I just discovered a fun Christmas market walking tour that will take you to all four major holiday markets in New York! Read more about it here.

1. Winter Village in Bryant Park

Bryant Park Holiday market

Kicking off at the end of October, Bryant Park’s Winter Village opens the holiday market season in New York. Besides being the first to open, it’s also the longest-running, inviting visitors to explore their impressive array of booths all the way through New Year’s Day.

Debuting in 2002, Winter Village in Bryant Park is one of the most festive Christmas markets in NYC. The center of the city is a truly inspiring place to drink in the splendor of winter as you and your loved ones stroll down aisle after aisle of specialty vendors and themed attractions. Winter Village has lots to offer: an ice skating rink with free admission, holiday stands to offer seasonal bites, beverages to refuel, local crafts, jewelry, clothes, and many more cute baubles.

Try the Czech trdnlik pastry inside the Lodge!

Though the Winter Village Chrismas market at Bryant Park closes on January 2nd, events run through January and February. The program for 2020 includes live performances at the Lodge, kids week, bumper cars, winter fitness, broomball, and exerskate.

  • When: Oct 31 – Jan 5
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 11 am – 8 pm / Saturday – Sunday 10 am – 8 pm
  • Where: Bryant Park

2. Union Square Holiday Market

Christmas market at Union Square

Union Square is proud to host over 25 years of holiday markets and this year will be no exception. The market’s layout was initially modeled after European Christmas markets and despite some changes since its original inception, the Union Square Holiday Market still mirrors its cousins across the Atlantic pretty closely. It is one of the largest Christmas markets in New York and a holiday tradition for any visitor.

At Union Square, you can browse through winding rows of stalls with live music playing in the background. A total of 100 red-and-wite-striped booths display their unique wares and artisanal foods at this Christmas market in NYC. The Union Square Market boats more than 150 registered vendors, both local and international, that are carefully selected. That’s not all, however. Union Square Holiday Market has grown significantly over the years and now also features a kid’s art studio and a warming station for the frostbitten among you. There’s no way you will leave this holiday market without a full belly and a happy smile.

Enjoy a mulled wine here – it’s a German staple!

  • When: November 21 – December 24
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 11 am – 8 pm / Saturday 10a m – 8 pm / Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
  • Where: Union Square Park

3. Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Located at Central Park’s southwest corner, in close proximity to the iconic Wollmann ice skating rink, you will find Columbus Circle Holiday Market. What better way to end a perfect wintery stroll through Central Park than with one of the best holiday markets in NYC? This outdoor Christmas market will transport you to a quaint German village enthralled in the holiday spirit.

With about 100 booths, the European-style Columbus Circle Holiday Market belongs not only to the best but also to the largest holiday markets in NYC. What can you find at the famed circle during the holiday season? Hot mulled wine, handmade crafts, and one-of-a-kind ornaments make it the quintessential NYC shopping experience. Merry shopping!

Stop by on a Monday!

If you find yourself in the area on a Monday, be sure to take advantage of free Broadway performances in the Shops at Columbus Circle thanks to Broadway Under The Stars!

  • When: Dec 4 – Dec 24
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 8 pm / Sunday 10 am – 7 pm
  • Where: Columbus Circle & 59th Street

4. Grand Central Holiday Fair

Grand Central Holiday Fair

When temperatures plunge, those of you who are sensitive to the cold may consider spending their time at one of the indoor Christmas markets in NYC. Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central boasts a large month-long indoor holiday market in New York that’s perfect for those who prefer to stay snuggled in warmth regardless of outdoor conditions.

At the Holiday Fair, vendors are carefully selected to guarantee only the best experience for their visitors. If you’re looking for gifts, you’ll find a wide selection of one-of-a-kind items. More than 1 million shoppers pass through the holiday fair each day. The iconic transport hub is a convenient location for a jolly extravaganza!

  • When: November 18 – December 24
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 8 pm / Saturday 10 am – 7 pm / Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
  • Where: Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal

5. The Market at Westfield World Trade Center

Holiday Marke inside the Oculus

Inside the Oculus, you can find a whimsical pop-up holiday market called “The Market at Westfield World Trade Center” that will make your commute even more magical. A path leads you through a little winter village featuring over 20 specialty shops limited edition gifts, snacks and souvenirs. As if the Oculus wasn’t already one of the most beautiful photo ops in the city, a few more props were added to help you get the perfect Christmas card photo this year. The festive decorations include a clocktower, a chrome snowman, and a lush winter landscape.

  • When: November 23 – January 5
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 9 pm / Sunday  11 – 7 pm
  • Where: Inside the Oculus

6. Turnstyle Holiday Market

Turnstile Underground Holiday Market

The Grand Central Holiday Fair and the Market inside the Oculus are not the only indoor holiday markets in New York. Another indoor Christmas market is located beneath Columbus Circle. The Underground market named “Turnstyle” features 39 eateries and several popups. For the holiday season, they added several seasonal shops, helping you to do some indoor gift shopping. It’s perfect for those who want to stay indoors. Compared to other holiday markets in New York, however, it feels less festive here.

In total, there are seven entrances to the market. Just follow the signs that are posted generously throughout the underground. You don’t need to swipe your MetroCard to visit the Turnstile Holiday Market in NYC.

See a list of all shops at the Turnstyle Underground Holiday Market.

  • When: November 18 – December 31
  • Hours: Individual store hours
  • Where: Columbus Circle Underground

7. Grand Holiday Bazaar

During the holiday season, Grand Bazaar hosts a seasonal version of its iconic flea market. The curated market takes place on Sundays on Manhattan’s Upper West Side yearlong but pulls out all the stops during the holiday season. Anyone interested in furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, and crafts will feel like they are in a Yuletide paradise here.

Each week, the bazaar features a variety of merchants on rotation, offering tchotchkes, antiques, and delicious local cuisine. Be sure to come hungry!

  • When: Nov 24 – Dec 22
  • Hours: Sunday 10 am – 5:30 pm
  • Where: 100 West 77th St

8. Pop-Up Holiday Market at Empire Outlets

Staten Island’s Empire Outlet is celebrating its first-holiday market. Local merchants are offering their goods on the third floor of Empire Outlets. The market gives you another reason to ride the free Staten Island Ferry. Once you’ve arrived, you can visit the Christmas market, shop at the outlet and also stop by the Winter Lantern Festival at Snug Harbor, one of the best Christmas Lights in NYC, to fully round up your day on Staten Island.

  • When: November 22 – December 31
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday  11 – 8 pm
  • Where: Empire Outlets, Staten Island

More Christmas Markets in NYC

There are even more, smaller holiday markets in New York that you can explore during your trip. Even if you’re not interested in purchasing souvenirs or gifts, visiting a New York Christmas market transports you to a winter wonderland where you’ll experience a festive atmosphere and enjoy warm drinks among splendidly adorned walkways and parks. We’ve listed some more holiday markets in NYC for you here.

  • Bust Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair Holiday
    Where: 242 37th Street, Brooklyn
    When: 12/7-8
  • Astoria Holiday Market
    Where: 29-19 24th Avenue Astoria, Queens
    When: 12/1, 12/8, 12/15
  • Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar
    Where: 501 Union Gowanus, Brooklyn
    When: 12/1, 12/8, 12/15
  • Holiday Handmade Cavalcade
    Where: Brooklyn Historical Society & Chelsea Market
    When: 12/7-8, 12/9-15

Holiday Markets & Lights Tours in NYC

For holiday enthusiasts, holiday markets alone may not be enough. If you’re looking for an even more magical experience to pair your visit to New York’ Christmas markets with, why not take a holiday lights tour?

About the author
Maureen Steinert
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