After a year of postponed events, you might assume that the season’s holiday markets would have taken a raincheck on 2020. But there are a surprisingly ample number of fairs in New York City and upstate where you browse local goods, meet makers, and check those hard-to-shop-for people off your list. True, some are happening virtually, but between outdoor venues and reserved time slots, many markets are making in-person shopping happen. Some are even throwing in a hot cocktail or two.
Virtual Holiday Markets
Made at the Yard, through Jan. 3
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is making it easy to shop from its many designers and manufacturers in one place this year. Their online market is filled with gorgeous design objects and a ton of cheeky gifts like this snow globe from Pure Products USA. American Design Club is one of the companies at the Yard whose site is worth browsing further for stocking stuffers and home goods.
As charming as it is to stroll this majestic warehouse in Hudson, and smell every scented candle or hold each pair of earrings in person, the time to sort through each seller of the virtual Farm and Flea at Basilica in Hudson will be faster than the drive north would have been.
Shopping in Grand Central during the holidays is a version of Christmas hell that I’m happy to avoid any year. Still, this level of gift giving—Li-Lac chocolates, Dyptique perfumes—are go-tos for the aunt or the caregiver you are never sure what to get.
In-Person Holiday Markets
Brooklyn Flea: Sat., Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 10am-4pm
The Brooklyn Flea in the Dumbo Archway is pulling out all the candy cane colored stops, with live holiday music, boozy hot drinks to go, an elf with a candy cane chute, even a Santa’s mailbox. Your child can deliver their wish lists here or you can go on an Elephant scavenger hunt with the family by picking up a card, noting all the pachyderms you see and dropping it in the mailbox for a chance to win $200 to spend in Dumbo. And of course, there will be vendors.
Textile Art Center Holiday Stoop Sale: Dec. 12 and 19, 11am-5pm
Find handmade tool bags, macrame hangers, woven handkerchiefs, knitted bags, neckties, sweaters, clothes, facemasks, coasters, throw pillows, prints, candles, and more at this holiday market with a cause. Proceeds from optional RSVPs will go to a collection of non-profits including Red Hook Relief.
Brooklyn Pop-Up: Dec. 12 at Old Stone House, Dec. 12 & 19 at Lakeside and Dec.10-13 & Dec. Dec. 17-24 at Metrotech Holiday Village
This curated group of roughly 30 makers and artisans are popping up at holiday markets throughout Brooklyn this month. Find vendors at Metrotech this weekend and the days leading up to Christmas; at the Old Stone House’s Holiday Bazaar Dec. 12 from 10am-4pm, and at Lakeside in Prospect Park this Saturday and next from 11am-6pm.
Parklife Holiday Market: Sat. Dec. 12 & Sun. Dec. 13, 3-7pm
Parklife is hosting their 4th annual holiday market outside, amidst the heatlamps and fire pit, and indoors at Littlefield, to spread their makers out even further. If you decide to park yourself here after your shop, they have plenty of drinks to warm you up, like mulled wine, hot apple cider with whiskey, and (on Sundays only) Mexican hot chocolate.
City Reliquary Holiday Bazaar: Sundays Dec. 13 and 20, 12pm-4pm
Along with vendors selling gifts in this Williamsburg museum’s backyard, you’ll be treated to drag performances throughout the day on various stages. Cash is recommended as are your own shopping bags or totes. RSVP here.
Upstate.Vintage.Antique Show, Sat., Dec. 19
One of the founders of Artists and Fleas has begun an upstate market near Kingston, and will be hosting a holiday edition featuring antique and vintage collectors, merchants and makers. Tickets are $10 and include parking and a 90-minute window to shop outdoors. Children under 10 are free.
Winter Village at Bryant Park, through Jan. 3, 11am-8pm weekdays, 10am-8pm weekends
With the Union Square Holiday Market on hiatus this year, the next best Manhattan market in a park is at Bryant Park, where you can ice skate and dine in one of those Covid bubbles (sorry, igloos!). The shopping checks all the boxes: warm layers, flavored olive oils, jewelry, puzzles, candles, even luxury dog treats for your pooch.
The Makers Show at City Point, Fri., Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 20, 11am-8pm
This show, co-curated by NYC Pride Marketfest and Da Spot, to ensure a greater range of BIPOC and LGBTQIA entrepreneurs, offers 30-minute timed reservations so you can browse clothing, cards, toys and more. When you’re done, you can grab a bite at DeKalb Market Hall.