If you have last-minute shopping to do and are dreading the department store hustle and bustle, opt instead to drop by one of the City’s many Holiday Markets. They’ll be no less crowded, but the festive decorations, warm drinks, and one-of-a-kind gifts will be a lot better bet for keeping you in the holiday spirit.
Union Square hosts one of the most picturesque markets, with Columbus Circle a close rival. Both are reminiscent of the traditional German Christmas markets–only the Glühwein is alcohol-free.
If you’d prefer to avoid the chill, visit the Grand Central Holiday Market, where you get the bonus of ogling the majestic train station’s former waiting room.
The East Village Stand Holiday Market can be found in a tiny converted storage space on 7th Street and Avenue C. Don’t let its size full you–good things come in small packages.
Last but not least, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is packed with food, drinks, and even an ice rink–plus more than 170 vendors that will be happy to help you check off your shopping list.