image of holiday markets nyc

One of the best-known and largest holiday markets NYC is in Union Square.

Winter has arrived, and that means only one thing: ’tis the season for holiday markets NYC. You haven’t truly experienced the holiday season here without paying a visit to one of these festive hotspots of unique crafts, delicious food, and cheerful atmosphere. This year, there are markets located all over the five boroughs sure to fill you with spirit and warmth — and help you cross some gifts off your list. Here are our picks for the best holiday markets in NYC.

Holiday Markets NYC: The Best in Manhattan

If you’ve been to any holiday market in NYC, chances are it was one of the Urbanspace markets at Columbus Circle or Union Square. Both the Columbus Circle and Union Square locations attract local vendors selling handmade goodies like jewelry, decor, interesting foods, and more. There’s usually a small craft booth set up for kids at the Union Square location, so bring the little ones for an evening out. And although these two markets are the biggest, Urbanspace has expanded to other locations, too.

image of nyc holiday markets columbus circle

Columbus Circle is home to one of the most popular NYC holiday markets.

Union Square and Columbus Circle Holiday Market Recommendations

We recommend following your nose to the Wafels and Dinges booth — because although this sweet treat is available in other locations, something about the holiday market atmosphere makes it taste even better. If you want another feast for the senses, sniff your way to Spices and Tease, whose amazingly aromatic tea and spice selection is a wonder to look at and smell (and taste!). Then, keep an eye out for anything hot and new, as these markets have a knack for starting trends.

Winter Village at Bryant Park

For a slightly more upscale holiday market, visit the winter wonderland of Winter Village at Bryant Park. The centerpiece here is the ice skating rink, which brings a distinctly holiday feel to the area, and is free for anyone (though there is a fee to borrow skates).

The booths here in Bryant Park actually look like little houses, making the whole space truly feel like a little winter village in the middle of the city. In addition to shopping or eating by the rink, this market hosts events like a Santa Claus meet-and-greet, scavenger hunts, caroling, skating events, a spectacular Christmas tree, and more.

This is a good place to get unique gifts for anyone on your list who would appreciate something classy or different. You can pick up a beautiful handmade piece of jewelry, a decorative bowl made of recycled chopsticks, specialty soaps that turn into lotions as they melt, or even a high-quality outfit for a beloved dog. You can also find some pretty interesting foods to try here, too, like baked cheese and fried pickles.

Grand Central Holiday Fair

If it’s cold outside, you can head inside and warm up at the Grand Central Holiday Fair. Grand Central Terminal is a magical place year-round, but during the holidays it’s home to a long-running holiday market full of goodies to uncover. This market may not be as big as the outdoor ones, with just 40 vendors (Union Square is home to over 150), but it’s a quaint spot to visit. We recommend shopping for jewelry, crafts, decor, and gifts for the special men in your life. Check out Tuff Kookooshka for whimsical children’s clothing and goods you won’t find anywhere else.

Holiday Markets NYC: The Best in Brooklyn

Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum: Sure, Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum has shops. But it also has a giant snow globe, an enchanted maze, a “Snowzilla,” and other attractions you simply won’t find anywhere else. So this holiday market is more than just a place to shop: it’s an entire experience. Kids will get a kick out of all the special attractions and fun activities, while adults will enjoy the change of pace and the wine tasting. Time your visit right, and you’ll get to enjoy live performances by carolers, dance troupes, and local bands and artists.

Holiday Markets NYC: The Best in Queens

Astoria Market: Located in the Bohemian Hall & Beer GardenAstoria Market in Queens started small but is growing every year. Visit for a more homey feel, and enjoy local crafts, vintage items, and more in an intimate and friendly indoor setting. Local bakeries bring their goods to this market, and they’re all worth a try if you have a sweet tooth. As a wonderful bonus, Bohemian Hall and the Astoria Market both help fund children’s events and foreign language studies in the area, so your visit will be contributing to the community.

Holiday Markets NYC: The Best in the Bronx

Bronx Museum Artisan Market: On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Bronx Museum of the Arts will be home to a lively holiday market featuring local vendors and entrepreneurs from the Bronx. In a fun twist, local teens will be exhibiting (and selling!) their work. The market runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9. On the previous day, Dec. 8, the museum will host a “winter wonderland,” with art-related activities for the whole family.

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