Since Christmas is the season of buying (or was it giving?), huge holiday themed markets have popped up all over the city. In true New York fashion they are some of the most expensive holiday markets I have ever shopped at. If you’ve ever wanted to stroll through Bryant Park with your hot apple cider and drop $125 on wood sunglasses, these are your kind of holiday markets.
But in all seriousness, they are really fun events to get you out of your closet (I mean apartment). So far, I have been to the Bryant Park Winter Village and the Union Square Holiday Market. Even if you aren’t looking to shop, it is fun to grab some hot chocolate and walk around eating all of the samples and window shopping. And who knows, maybe you’ll come across the perfect corny gift for someone.
The Bryant Park market was a bit smaller and mainly revolves around the ice skating rink. Which is also the cheapest place to ice skate in the city. The little huts sell everything from soaps and candles to Max Brenner Chocolate and Santa’s Workshop. It’s also a great chance to look around and see local art and crafts made by artisans of New York City.
The Union Square is a much larger market. We managed to get lost a few times, but after about an hour and a half I’m pretty sure we walked every aisle a couple times over, always making sure to stop at No Chewing Allowed as we passed for free samples. The market even has Christmas delicacy from other countries. My German friends pointed out the German stand selling Glüwhein or “mulled wine” which is a hot wine (of course non-alcoholic at the market, boo) with some spices like cinnamon in it that is usually served at German Christmas markets. You get a little of taste of how everyone in New York celebrates the holidays.
The market has local artisans from New York, as well as larger shops. It also has a section for just “Eats” with local restaurants serving up some great food from burgers to truffle fries and even dessert waffles. The market even has a small aisle called “Lil’ Brooklyn” for all of you who are too cool for the mainstream aisles.
The Union Square market was huge and definitely one of the more popular markets in the city, where as the Bryant Park market is smaller and less hectic and most people are out on the ice rink. Both were a fun experience, however I am biased towards the Union Square market because I could get apple cider at just about every corner.
I had intended to go to more markets on Sunday, but I brunched too hard. So some other markets I plan on checking out in the city are the Grand Central Holiday Fair, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and Brooklyn Winter Flea.