Holiday markets in Manhattan
The booths are tiny, but the selection of clothing, jewelry, pottery -- you name it -- is large at the city's holiday markets. And for those who don't like to shop (but are dragged along, anyway), there are food options galore -- Bryant Park alone offers everything from Two Tablespoons' gourmet soups and stews (the broccoli-coconut-lime sells out fast) to Jammin' Nuts' DIY PB&Js.
THE HOLIDAY SHOPS AT BRYANT PARK
WHAT Look out, Rockefeller Center. This place boasts a Christmas tree, a carousel, Ping-Pong and 125 glass-cottage gift shops. Check out Ninova's leather journals, Diana Warner accessories (and Toto-cute pooch) and NYC Subways Circa 1980 tees with seriously cool urban images. Some shops stay open past closing; the ice rink and mod Celsius bar rock till 10 p.m. most weeknights, till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
WHEN | WHERE Through Jan. 6 (rink and Celsius till March 3), Sixth Avenue at West 42nd Street
BROOKLYN FLEA'S GIFTED HOLIDAY MARKET
WHAT Hipster chic rules inside the former Williamsburg Savings Bank. Some 100 vendors spread vintage clothes and handmade doodads from teller windows to bank vault. Don't miss Flux Productions' sleek, leather-trimmed cork and felt bags.
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 23, 1 Hanson Place (across from the LIRR's Atlantic Terminal)
CHELSEA MARKET FALL & HOLIDAY POP-UP
WHAT Billyburg's popular Artists & Fleas bazaar holds court in a former Nabisco factory in Manhattan. This indoor pop-up brims with indie artists like Southampton-based Matt Shapoff (love his "Hand Made on Peconic Bay" photo-print totes and accessories, using an 1800s photographic process) and his wife, Cynthia Rybakoff's elegant jewelry with a contemporay edge.
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25), 75 Ninth Ave. (at West 15th Street)
UNION SQUARE AND COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKETS
WHAT Retail developer UrbanSpace runs these outdoor sprawlers. Union has 150 vendors and an iPhone app (called "here"). Look for Wink & Flip's bib necklaces and 4mula's vegan bath / body line (at Union), Live Poultry's tees and totes (Columbus).
WHEN | WHERE Union: through Dec. 24, Broadway at West 14th Street. Columbus: through Dec. 24, Central Park West and West 59th Street
GRAND CENTRAL HOLIDAY FAIR
WHAT The quality bar is high at this juried, indoor fair with 76 vendors, including CCCreations (decoupage) and Brooklyn Junior (graphic kidswear). Alas, there's no laser show at GCT this year.
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 24, Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St.