Artisanal Holiday Shopping — Pop-Up Style!
By Mercedes Vizcaino, Contributing Writer, November 24, 2017
Shopping conjures up a variety of emotions in people—they love it, hate it, or learn to cope with it. With the onset of the holidays you have new levels of anxiety thrown into the mix—the illusive search for the perfect gift. Luckily, New York City is the mecca of international retail, and it makes the act of shopping all the easier to conquer. If you’re on the hunt for art, food, drink, fashion, and everything in between, we have all your destinations within reach. With new businesses cropping up in every neighborhood—many specializing in niche goods, we’ve rounded up the ‘best holiday fairs and pop-up markets’ to get those custom-tailored, one-of-a-kind gifts for your significant other, family, friends, pets and even Nana.
Urbanspace is once again curating the holiday shops at the Winter Village and bringing a variety of small, boutique-style shopping opportunities from clothing, artwork, items for your home, gift ideas for young and old alike, as well as many possibilities for holiday nibbles. All the shops are grouped around the seasonal ice skating rink, which is free of charge (skate rental available), and makes for a full day of holiday fun. The shops will be open at the Winter Village through January 2, and be sure to check out their upcoming Tree Lighting Skate-tacular on December 1. For more information and specifics on store names and what’s being offered, click here.
Known to be the longest running indoor holiday market, The Grand Central Holiday Fair is back in Vanderbilt Hall complete with shopping and dining options. Elegant and regal with its beautiful décor, holiday shoppers will be treated to a variety of designer specialties ranging from jewelry, to clothing to holiday ornaments and gift ideas. Open now – December 24. For more information click here.
Long time collaborators, Union Square Holiday Market and Urbanspace (curators of NYC and London markets in well-trafficked public spaces) are back for their 24th season to bring tourists and locals an exclusive shopping experience. The market boasts a collection of talented and diverse artisans, makers and chefs ready to share their creations with shoppers. Union Square Holiday Market is also teaming up with The Children’s Art Museum, where they have a family friendly arts & crafts booth and original programming. Open now through December 24, view full details here.
This internationally known outdoor holiday bazaar sits in the midst of colorful red and white striped tents with over a hundred vendors against a backdrop of the lavish Shops at Columbus Circle. The bazaar features handmade items from local artisans such as chocolates and truffles, organically certified products, wooden puzzles and high-end clothing for men and women. The Columbus Circle Holiday Market is open from November 28 – December 24. For updates on new vendors click here.
Now in its 10th year, The New York Handmade Collective (formerly Etsy NY Team) is a craft lover’s dream holiday event. Comprised of a diverse group of independent artists, artisans, designers and crafters from the Tri-State area, this market thrives on supporting local artists creating high-quality, handmade wares: Everything from jewelry, to clothing to beauty products and baby goods is included. There are a variety of upcoming events planned: Small Business Saturday at the Brooklyn Art Library in Williamsburg on November 25-26; Making New York, A Hands-On History and Shopping Experience at Chelsea Market from November 27 – December 3; Manhattan Event (venue to be announced) on December 9-10; and their event at the Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Heights on December 16-17. For more info click here.
Artists & Fleas continues their access to their wide variety of artisan goods at either its Chelsea Market location or in Williamsburg’s trendy North 7th Street area in Brooklyn, steps from the waterfront. In both locations, you’ll find a twist on traditional gifts handcrafted by 100+ independent vendors; which include vintage clothes and jewelry, beautiful baubles and much more. Check out full details here.
Real NYC Designer Market brings together a variety of artists and designers from around the world to present their work in their New York showroom. The store carries an eclectic selection of goods by artists using many different mediums, from decorative fiber, wearable fiber, ceramics, digital photography, print photography, drawings, lithography, sculpture, mixed media, paintings, fashion designs, home décor, jewelry, crocheted metals, clay, digital, apparel, accessories, pastels, fiber, glass, two and three dimensional mixed media, sculpture and wood. For more information click here.
The 21st edition of this craft fair resumes after having taken a one-year hiatus. For the first time the event will take place in the nave of the church (St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue @ 112th Street), making for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, harkening back to Medieval times. There will be a variety of artisan’s wares available for purchase from ceramics, to glass pieces, clothing and fabric art, leather goods, and much, much more. This year’s event will run from Thursday, November 30 (1:00pm to 9:00pm), Friday, December 1 (10:00am to 8:00pm), and Saturday, December 2 (10:00am to 6:00pm). For more information click here.
The 5th Annual Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar is back and bigger than ever. Expanding this year to encompass two venue locations: 501 Union and The Green Building in Gowanus, Brooklyn, you’ll encounter some of Brooklyn’s finest artisans (60+) and their handmade goods, delicious bites, specialty drinks, craft activities and music to get this holiday season started right. The market is curated by e-commerce site Brooklyn Makers, who will also be hosting a special holiday Pop-Up this year when they partner with Threes Brewing (333 Douglass Street) on the first three Sundays of December (3, 10, 17) combining shopping and craft beer; for more information click here. The Holiday Bazaar is November 25 and 26; for more details click here.
The first three weekends of December (2-3, 9-10, 16-17) finds the occurrence of a special holiday pop-up at the amazing venue Industry City (274 36th Street) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Now in its 13th year and with over 150 crafters in attendance, this pop-up location features a wide variety of items curated from the highest level of artisans working today. Housed within this forward-thinking venue located on over five acres of public space, courtyards and buildings, it represents a whole new ideology and is creating its own ecosystem while being a destination unto itself. For more information click here.
If you want to forego the hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s Holiday Markets and stay local, then discover what a local neighborhood has to offer by checking out The Astoria Holiday Market at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. This beloved Queens holiday marketplace is back for three consecutive Sundays (December 3, 10, 17) so you may indulge in distinctive baked goods, clothing and accessories, toys, and jewelry. Sip on all the assortment of beers, eggnog and hot apple cider, the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden will be serving and hosting this year’s Astoria holiday Market. Complete details here.
If winter has you craving the outdoors and nature, then The Queens Botanical Garden’s holiday events will fulfill your needs. Their annual Christmas in the Garden & Tree Lighting event takes place on December 3 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and will feature a variety of participatory activities, as well as a photo op with Santa (additional fee required). The museum also continues to sponsor their regular “Activity Table” events every weekend from 2:00pm to 4:00pm where children can come and create an arts and crafts project. For more information click here.