As the temperature drops and the lights go up, New York City transforms into a festive me-tropolis. From ice skating to tree lightings and artisan shops to warm, spicy drinks, there’s an endless list of things to do during the holiday season. Some of our favorites are the many holi-day markets in Manhattan and surrounding boroughs.
Union Square Holiday Market
The most famous and also within walking distance of East Village Apartments and Gramercy Townhouse, is the Union Square Holiday Market. A city favorite, with a maze-like layout of ar-tisan shops and food vendors, one can get lost in the shopping experience while sipping deli-cious hot chocolate bought for $2 from one of the vendors. From November 15th to December 24th, you can indulge at the warming station and lounge presented by Citi and a kid’s arts stu-dio by CMA. There are tables with paint and drawing supplies. Children of all ages just show up, sit at the communal table, and draw to their hearts content.
Bryant Park’s Winter Village
The longest running and earliest starting is Bryant Park’s Winter Village. From October 27th to January 2nd, you can get your hands on yummy eats and fabulous gifts in the European inspired open-air market. What’s more, you can try out the 17,000 square foot ice skating rink for free; you just need to bring your skates or rent a pair there. From East Village Apartments, you can take the convenient F train from the nearby 2nd Ave stop to the Bryant Park stop for an easy 15 minute commute. From Gramercy Townhouse, a quick trip on the 6 train from 23rd Street to Grand Central will get you there in about 20 minutes.
Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar
Showcasing amazing work straight from Brooklyn artists and crafters, Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar at The Green Building in Gowanus is a treat. Presented by Cut & Crafted, this annual event with free admission is on Thanksgiving weekend. Doors are open 11:00AM to 5:00PM on November 24th and 25th. Everyone in the family can find something that sparks their eye at the market and with food, drinks, music, and more, you can really get into the holiday spirit. Happening at 501 Union Street, it’s close to the Carroll St Station F train stop.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
A hub for getting around and a historic tourist attraction, this fair at the beautifully restored Grand Central Terminal is the busiest during peak times. It’s a grand venue, with Vanderbilt Hall’s amazing architecture. You can check out the many food and craft stands from November 12th through December 24th, 40 vendors in total. A range of products and price points, not to mention being inside unlike a lot of the other Manhattan fairs, this is a particularly enjoyable event. Easily reached by subway, East Village Apartments and Gramercy Townhouse guests can take the 6 train to get there.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
If you’re looking for a more elegant celebration, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market is perfect for you. From November 28th to December 24th at the South West entrance of Central Park, you can get all your holiday shopping done. There you’ll find amazing jewelry and home goods on top of delicious, festive foods. For the 15th year in row, patrons can buy handmade Russian nesting dolls, get a snack at the infamous Wafels & DInges, and even spend additional time in Central Park. Gramercy Townhouse and East Village Apartments guests can take the N or R train to the 57th Street stop.
Photo by Colin Miller for Time Out