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  • Writer's pictureKaren Seiger

Midtown Holiday Markets – Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal

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The holiday markets at Bryant Park and Grand Central Terminal make for a great way to spend an entire day in mid-town Manhattan.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park is a wonderland of shopping, skating, eating, and drinking.  Modeled after the traditional European holiday fairs, this market has over 100 merchants from all over the world.  It feels like you are walking through a wintery village as you wander down the lanes lined with brightly decorated shops.

I am excited about the artisanal and design vendors participating in this year’s market.  The first thing I did was race to find New West Knifeworks, whose “fusionwood” knives are handcrafted in Japan with beautifully colorful wooden handles.  (I know that a chopper will be under the tree for me, but I don’t know which color!)  Mr. Ellie Poo sells 100% recycled paper products made with 25% post consumer paper and 75% (wait for it) elephant poo.  New York jewelry designer Shaya makes beautiful geometric earrings, necklaces and rings.  Buy crayon soaps, alphabet soaps and math soaps for your babies at Just Bubbly.  It is impossible to mention all of the wonderful things at this market; you’ll have to go find out for yourself.

Tempting edibles are carefully interspersed among the boutiques.  Food options range from The Sweet Shop’s caramel apples and Kettle Corn NYC, to the Dumpling Soup House and Crepe Café.  Don’t miss a sample of delicious chocolate truffles from No Chewing Allowed or a bonbon from Max Brenner, Chocolate By the Bald Man .

After your first hot chocolate, go for a spin on The Pond, a 170’ x 100’ skating rink in the center of Bryant Park.  Rent skates or bring your own.  If you want to sit inside and have a meal or a “real” drink, definitely step inside Celsius, a full restaurant offering lunch, dinner, and drinks.

By now you are probably freezing, so head East on 42nd Street to the Grand Central Holiday Fair.  This market is held in historic Vanderbilt Hall with almost 70 vendors selling a wide range of wonderful gift items.  Parable Ink Apparel sells fine graphic T-shirt designs.  We picked up a nostalgic architectural ornament of the West Village at Hut Studios; they have ornaments with your favorite New York neighborhoods and iconic buildings.  The market is indoors, so you can really take your time and look in every shop.

Step back into the holiday fray in the grandiose Main Concourse; but this time look up to see the holiday light show up on the famous constellations ceiling.  Visit the New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Train Show too.  There are countless options for food, be it a snack, a complete meal, or something delicious to take home from the Grand Central Market.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park:  Open Through 1/3/10, Extended Hours 12/14 – 23, 10AM-10PM

Grand Central Holiday Fair:  Extended Hours starting 12/21: 10AM – 9PM


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