Avoid the Malls and Shop the Holiday Markets Instead

Shopping enthusiasts who take no prisoners while hunting holiday deals love Black Friday. Tech whizzes who want to avoid the crowds wait for Cyber Monday. But those who wish to find unique gifts — or simply want to avoid the mall — take advantage of the holiday markets New York is famous for.

Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson Place

Holiday shoppers hit up the Brooklyn Flea in Downtown Brooklyn.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park is the longest running market, turning the park into a festive place from the beginning of November until after the new year. Midtowners can pop into one of the more than 125 artisan boutiques during their lunch break. Have more time on your hands? Take a spin on The Pond’s ice skating rink — admission is free!

Need some help finding what you need? Visit the Market Concierge at the Union Square Holiday Market. Not only will they show you where particular vendors are, but they’ll even help you find the perfect place to unwind and eat (drink and be merry) after your shopping excursion.

Brooklyn Flea at Williamsburgh Savings Bank

Brooklyn Flea shoppers pass through the original vaults in the basement of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank.

Don’t want to travel to the city? Take a trip to One Hanson Place, where you’ll find Brooklyn Flea, the ubiquitous market place for Brooklynites. During the colder months, the Fort Greene market moves indoors to the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank, which boasts one of the tallest clock towers in the world — and is the tallest skyscraper in Brooklyn. The building maintains the original vault structure in the basement, providing a novel backdrop to your shopping experience. Gifted, BK Flea’s holiday shop, runs from Dec. 15 to the 23rd.

But wherever you go, make the most of your trip a be prepared. There are dozens of vendors to choose from, and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself (and whomever you drag along with you). As tedious as it seems, make a list to avoid forgetting someone, grab a map so you can navigate the space, and remember to take a break and eat. Nothing screams cranky more than an unfed shopper. Good luck!

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