I have a confession, I love Christmas and everything that comes with this holiday event – Christmas carols, cooking, visiting family, eating and shopping. For me, the season starts with a girls’ getaway trip, usually in November, to do some early Christmas shopping, hang out with my best peeps and catch up on everyone’s news. Our top place to shop til we drop is NYC, the mecca of Christmas shopping. Christmas markets, museum shops, exquisite chocolate boutiques, how can a girl resist? Here’s our recommended plan of attack for a fun shopping weekend in New York:
Christmas Markets in New York City
We love New York City’s Holiday Markets, each has something special to offer, so there’s no reason not to go to all of them. Start at Union Square and walk up 5th Avenue to Bryant Park and then walk a few blocks further to Grand Central Station while taking in the fabulous sites of NYC, i.e., the tree, St. Patrick’s, the store windows. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk, cab, or bus up to Columbus Circle in Central Park.
Holiday Market at Union Square
14th St. at Broadway; 212-529-9262.
November 21 – December 24, 2013
Union Square Park’s Holiday Market is enormous with many of its pop up stalls populated by the stores and shops that surround the Park, as well as local artists and vendors who often set-up stalls along the perimeters. If you go to Union Square on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays the larger Farmers’ Markets is open for business making this market one of the BEST experiences in NYC.
Holiday Shops at Bryant Park – Fêtes de Noël
Bryant Park, Sixth Ave. at 42nd St.; 866-221-5157.
November 1- January 5, 2014
We love Bryant Park Holiday Market’s proximity to the mid-town departments stores and we usually go to this market at the conclusion of our “window” walks when the department store windows are decorated for Christmas.
Lexington Ave. at 42nd St.; 212-340-2583.
November 18 – December 24, 2013
Grand Central’s Holiday Fair is housed indoors (a BIG bonus in December), it also hosts a wonderful light show each year. Another reason to love this fair is the building itself, it is gorgeous and well worth a visit during the holiday season.
Holiday Market at Columbus Circle
Central Park: Columbus Circle, Central Park (59th Street and 8th Avenue).; 212-529-9262.
December 3 – December 24, 2013
The Columbus Circle Holiday Market is located in one of the most stunning locations in New York City – historic Central Park. This market is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit with it’s proximity to the ice rink and beautiful Christmas trees. After shopping til you drop at the markets splurge on a carriage ride around Central Park.
The Best Museum Stores in the Big Apple
We love shopping at museum stores during the holiday season for unique, one of kind Christmas presents, and sometimes we even manage a visit in the museum itself!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Our favorite find: The Metropolitan Museum’s high heel ornaments, these sweet little spikes are based on actual shoes from the collection at the Museum’s Costume Institute. We really love these heels but we know we might be a little shoe obsessed, the Met has tons of other unique ornaments that we would love to hang on our Christmas tree. Check them out here.
Available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art or one of its stores. Call 1-800-662-3397 for Customer Service, or shop online at store.metmuseum.org
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY
Our favorite find: Snow Globe Ring This ring combines two things I absolutely adore, big chunky jewelry and snow globes. Another bonus is the price, you can buy tons for all of your BFF’s and one for yourself!
Available at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) or one of its stores. Call 1-800-793-3167 for Customer Service, or shop online at momastore.org
200 Eastern Pkwy, New York, NY
Someone at the Brooklyn Museum came up with a brilliant idea, and timed it perfectly for holiday shopping. The museum is introducing the first American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn, on December 14-15, in the landmark Brooklyn Museum Beaux-Arts Court.
Ninety exhibitors from Brooklyn and around the country will sell ceramics, fashion, glass, jewelry, decorative elements, sculpture, and fine art. Tickets to the craft show include admission to the museum.
Our favorite find: We fell in love this updated version of the Cleopatra necklace designed by Victoria Varga. Forget about presents, this beauty is going under my tree this year!
A Chocolate Christmas
We all know that Christmas tis the season for chocolate, and during the holidays I often have visions of bonbons dancing in my head. If you’re a chocoholic (and, let’s face it, who can resist a little bit of sweet decadence?), you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from these sweet shops.
This store carries the only kind of mice I like, chocolate mice, mm, mm, good! Also not to be missed is the wonderfully dark and velvety hot chocolate, do not leave the store without buying one.
Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar opened in the West Village in 2002 and offers premium chocolates from many of the top chocolate makers in New York City. Chocolate Bar’s signature items include spicy brownies, peanut butter & jelly truffle, spicy hot chocolate and a salty pretzel retro bar.
Christmas window displays at NYC department stores surpass all others: Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, Saks, Macy’s, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman are guaranteed to make even the grumpiest of Scrooges feel a little joyful.
If you pick just one to go inside, make it Macy’s (151 West 34th St) – we love its ten floors of gift potentials and the pedestrian mall on Herald Square.