I never even knew Christmas markets were a thing until moving to New York. Growing up in a Houston suburb, we didn't many city wide events since people were more into staying home and being with family and friends. But in New York there are Christmas themed markets everywhere! They are great places to get into the Christmas spirit and get a head start on your Christmas gift shopping. Even without buying anything, its still nice to take in the different sights and smells (yes there is always food and drink available for purchase).
Bryant Park Winter Village
TONS OF PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. That's honestly how I would characterize my experience at the Winter Village. I went on the night of the Skate-tacular when Olympian figure skaters were performing and it was beyond crowded I could barely move and I definitely couldn't even see the rink. On the positive side, there was a good variety of vendors, both food and items.
Grand Bazaar- Holiday Edition
The Grand Bazaar (located on 77th street and Columbus Ave) occurs every Sunday and is basically a giant flea market where you can find all sorts of knick knacks, handmade items, and vintage goodies. Occasionally, they have themed market days based on the upcoming holidays. Since Christmas is right around the corner, they are hosting a Holiday version of their flea market and adding vendors that specialize in ornaments and many other Christmasy items. There is an indoor and outdoor portion. Come check this market out if you are vintage obsessed or just looking for something more unique.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Very similar to the Union Square Holiday Market in setup, but I noticed a few more chocolatiers set up here (the vendor called No More Chewing has delicious chocolate truffles!). I also managed to snag a cup of free hot chocolate from the Citi Holiday Lounge. I would say this market had the same amount of people as Union Square- not too crowded but still a decent crowd.
Union Square Holiday Market
This was probably my favorite market because the space was slightly larger and there were more vendors here than any other market. Although, by this point I was starting to notice that the vendors at Union Square were also at Columbus Circle and Bryant Park. It was still nice to see all the unique items up for sale (Swedish dishcloths??) and get ideas for Christmas gifts for my loved ones.
Grand Central Holiday Fair
This market was by far the smallest of the 5. There were only 3 rows of vendors located in Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central. Come here if you are looking for more higher end stuff.
To be honest, I've been hearing amazing things about the Christmas markets in Edinburgh and London (complete with mazes and rides?) so I definitely feel like the New York Holiday Markets are lacking in that regard. However, this is probably due to lack of space... Hopefully, one day I'm able to visit Christmas markets around the world!
Have you guys been to any Christmas markets in your hometown yet?