Explore New York City

New York City Holiday Shopping Guide

Holiday shopping in New York City is a festive experience.

While holiday shopping might be a chore for some and extra stressful for others, in New York City, holiday shopping is a festive activity in itself. With a multitude of holiday markets and activities, you can make a full day’s outing of holiday shopping. New York City also has a variety of year-round holiday shopping options, so you can get as early a start as you want.

Where to Shop For the Holidays in NYC

Shopping Centers

Empire Outlets

Located on State Island, Empire Outlets has a fantastic variety of dining and shopping options. Find the perfect gift at shops like the Nike Factory Store, Nordstrom Rack and Charlotte Russe. If you’re in search of some festive cheer, make a stop at Vanity House Designs. Empire Outlets hosts a number of holiday events like Photos with Santa (11/25-12/24), the Christmas Tree Lighting (12/10), Breakfast with Santa (12/9, 12/16) and the Sounds of the Season Christmas Carolers. 

Vanity House Designs at Empire Outlets New York | WHERE Traveler®
Vanity House Designs (Courtesy Empire Outlets)

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards brings back back “Shine Bright” this holiday season. Marvel at over two million shimmering lights and the 32-foot hot air balloon in between your shopping excursions. “Shine Bright” is presented by Wells Fargo. Through December 31, guests can also take part in Santa's Secret—a winter wonderland speakeasy. Enjoy live music and holiday drinks with showings at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly Monday through Saturday, and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. 

Brookfield Place

Make a stop at Brookfield Place for a variety of fantastic shopping options and some festive holiday fun. Now through January 6, 2023, Brookfield Place presents its “Luminaries” display once again. Check out over 600 colorful lanterns and take part in the wishing stations. Guests can also interact with "Maestro" to design light shows. “Luminaries” was created by the LAB at Rockwell Group and Brookfield Place is donating $1 per interaction up to $25,000 to charity this holiday season. 

"Luminaries" at Brookfield Place New York | WHERE Traveler®
"Luminaries" (Courtesy Brookfield Place)

Visit a Holiday Market 

Thanksgiving means it’s time to begin shopping for the holidays, and stores get ready for the rush of people looking to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. New York City helps make it special thanks to the holiday markets set up in parks and public areas. Each stand set up in the market is home to local shops selling goods you can only find inside the city. Food stands also serve holiday snacks and beautiful lights strung up throughout the area. 

Union Square Holiday Market

The beloved Union Square Holiday Market (November 17-December 24, 2022) is located downtown, and you’ll encounter numerous craft numerous craft, gift and food vendors here as well. After meandering its merry maze of stalls, head a few blocks north to Rolf’s German Restaurant to witness an elaborate showcase of decorations ever. 

Union Square Holiday Market New York | WHERE Traveler®
Union Square Holiday Marlet (©Molly Flores / NYC & Company)

Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Near the southwestern entrance to Central Park is the Columbus Circle Holiday Market (November 28-December 24, 2022), featuring crafts vendors and local food carts representing a range of cuisines from Turkish to Mexican. 

Winter Village at Bryant Park

Borrowing from its Northern European counterparts, NYC has embraced the idea of outdoor holiday markets. With their tented stalls and vendors selling hot spiced cider and sweets, they often evoke a feeling more Prague than Gotham. One incredibly elaborate affair is the Winter Village at Bryant Park. Along with 125 individual holiday shops, the scene features a free skating pavilion (with a fee for skate rentals) and fun dining options. 

Winter Village at Bryant Park New York | WHERE Traveler®
Winter Village at Bryant Park (©Brittany Petronella / NYC & Company)

Grand Central Holiday Faire

The Grand Central Holiday Faire (November 14-December 24, 2022) makes its long-awaited return this year. Here, shoppers can enjoy a variety of artisanal goods of all kinds from numerous vendors. You’ll find something for everyone on your shopping list, from friends and family to four-legged companions.

New York City Christmas Stores 

Christmas in New York celebrates the spirit of the season all year long. Shoppers can immerse themselves in the holidays and find unique ornaments, decor and other holiday-themed any time of the year. Are you looking for that perfect piece of holiday decor? House of Holiday has an enviable variety, including trees and large outdoor pieces and lighting. 

Christmas in New York Store | WHERE Traveler®
Christmas in New York (©Luca Capioni)