A Guide To NYC’s Outdoor Holiday Markets

Once Halloween ends in New York City, the holiday season officially begins. Stores throughout Manhattan begin decorating their windows with enchanting Christmas displays, tickets to holiday shows begin selling out, and shoppers make a mad dash throughout the City to purchase the perfect items for their loved ones.

If you are not into the usual holiday gifts, a great place to visit in New York City is a holiday market. With numerous amounts of handcrafted goods and unique items, these markets have something for everyone.

While there are a number of holiday markets throughout the city , some of my favorites include the outdoor holiday markets, where you can grab a hot cup of tea and do some shopping.

The Union Square Holiday Market

Every year from the end of November to the end of December, UrbanSpace hosts the Union Square Holiday Market. The market is massive with over 150 vendors selling handmade goods, food, clothing, and artwork.

Although it can get extremely crowded and a little cramped at times, one of my favorite things about this market is the selection of unique items that are sold here.

Practical Information

  • Hours: Vary between 10am – 8pm, check Urban Space’s website for more information.
  • Address: Union Square Park
  • Getting There: N/R/Q/4/5/6/L trains to 14th Street – Union Square

The Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Every December, UrbanSpace hosts the Columbus Circle Holiday Market on the edge of Central Park. A lot less crowded than the other two markets, the Columbus Circle Market also offers a collection of one-of-a-kind goods. One of my favorite things about this market is their outdoor dining area, where you can take a break from all of the shopping you are doing and grab a bite to eat.

Practical Information

  • Hours: Vary between 10am – 8pm, check Urban Space’s website for more information.
  • Address: Columbus Circle, Central Park West and 59 Street
  • Getting There: 1/A/B/C/D trains to 59th Street

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Every year from October to January, Bryant Park is filled with over 125 European-inspired boutique-like shops that sell everything from clothing, to decorative goods, to food. In addition to shopping and eating, you can enjoy free ice skating in the large ice rink.

Interested to see more about The Shops at Bryant Park? Check out this post by Souvenir Finder! 

Practical Information

  • Hours: Vary between 10am – 9pm, check out the Winter Village website for more information.
  • Address: Bryant Park, Midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
  • Getting There: B/D/F/M trains to 42nd Street – Bryant Park or the 7 train to 5th Avenue

Have you ever visited any of New York City’s outdoor holiday markets? Which were your favorite?

By |2015-11-08T13:41:45+00:00December 10th, 2014|New York City|28 Comments


  1. Kristin Dec 10, 2014 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Great wrap up! I haven’t done the Colombus Market post yet– I’ll have to check that out! There is also one in Grand Central that’s a little fancier and only shopping. Love the photo with the warm cup of tea (though sad they can’t serve gluwein!)

    • Chanel Dec 13, 2014 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Thanks Kristin 🙂 I will have to get over to visit the one at Grand Central before it ends 😀

  2. Nadeen Dec 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    gosh I really miss NYC! I lived in Northern NZ and would see the Radio City music show almost every year growing up and visit Macy’s and Times Square and Rockfeller center . As an adult I took my nieces. There is no place better to get into the Holiday spirit! Sharing this post on the markets. Hope to make it to one next year!

    • Chanel Dec 13, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

      I agree Nadeen! New York is a wonderful place to get in the holiday spirit! Do let me know when you come up 😀

  3. Francesca onegirl-oneworld.com Dec 16, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Headed there tomorrow! I`m going to check out Bryant Park 🙂

  4. Alison Steward Dec 21, 2015 at 1:20 am - Reply

    I took my first trip to New York this summer and absolutely fell in love with it. I can’t wait to go back and I think I’d absolutely love these outside holiday markets! Now I want to take a trip in the winter!

  5. Tiffany MrsTee Haywood Dec 21, 2015 at 7:20 am - Reply

    I lived in New York my entire life and have never done this!! Next time I visit during the Holidays this will be on the top of my list for things to do. I love how they have everything covered in lights and decor. So pretty!

  6. Liz Mays Dec 21, 2015 at 7:46 am - Reply

    That’s where you find the best stuff because it’s so unique and one-of-a-kind. The beauty of New York City is that you are surrounded with all these options. I don’t mind saying I’m a tiny bit jealous… ok a lot! I want to shop at all these areas!

  7. Saving Common Cents Dec 21, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I’ve never visited the Holiday Markets in NYC, but it looks like a great place to find really unique and different gifts. I prefer to shop those kinds of vendors versus big box department stores.

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Dec 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      The market is great for that and the gifts will definitely be more unique than those found at department stores 😀

  8. Katie @ Recipe for Perfection Dec 21, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

    This is so cool! I’ve never been to an outdoor holiday market before. It sounds so charming! Someday I’ll have to get to NYC and visit them.

  9. Natalie V. Dec 21, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I’ve never been to a Christmas market EVER, which is a complete shame since I think I’d love them! I’ve always heard about the markets in Europe, but I didn’t know that the U.S. had them as well until just recently. My parents went to the Christmas market in Chicago a few years back and couldn’t stop talking about how cool it was. This is going on my list whenever I make it to NYC during Christmas!

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Dec 26, 2015 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      I definitely want to get to the market in Chicago Natalie however I am not sure I want to battle the cold weather there!

  10. WhispersInspire Dec 21, 2015 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I wish we had a market like this where we live. I can only imagine how fun and festive it would be to shop there. I would love to visit NYC during the holidays or any time of the year.

  11. PennyPincherJenny Dec 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    I would love to go to New York city!! I had no idea that they had out door holiday markets like this in the city! I think the city would be amazing to see all decorated in holiday lights, these places all look amazing!

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Dec 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      NYC is wonderful Jenny! We have numerous outdoor markets and next year I will be adding more to this list! 😀

  12. Melissa Dec 22, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

    This sounds like a fun experience for my daughter and I to spend the day shopping out there. I grew up in NY and NJ, I would love to show my daughter the places I used to live.

  13. Kristin Dec 23, 2015 at 12:03 am - Reply

    I love shopping like this. I love supporting the small businesses and looks like tons of fun . Thank you for shring.

  14. Rochkirstin Santos Dec 25, 2015 at 3:09 am - Reply

    I like shopping at less crowded markets because I hate seeing many people walking in all directions and rushing to buy gifts. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market looks great with spacious booths. We also have markets here but they are mostly indoors.

    • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer Dec 26, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      During the Christmas season these markets can get quite crowded too unfortunately, but they are still fun places to do some holiday shopping!

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