Black Friday's deals and special events are just the kick-off to a season of open-air markets filled with trinkets and hot cider, as well as special pop-ups from the likes of Wired, Target, the Brooklyn Flea, and more.
Telemundo San Antonio
BRYANT PARK This midtown park is home to a slew of events during the year -- the outdoor film series and Fashion Week, to name a few -- but the holiday market is probably its most popular. This year, the market opened early to allow more time to sample the 125 shops ranging from jewelry stores to hot apple cider. The kicker here is that those who get tired of shopping can take a break for free ice skating instead. (Open now through January 3; Monday-Friday 11AM-8PM; Saturday 10AM-9PM; Sunday 10AM-6PM)
Liz Rees of Urban Space
UNION SQUARE The traffic focal point for downtown holiday shopping, Union Square officially opens to holiday shoppers on the day before Thanksgiving and closes Christmas Eve, making more than 100 little gift boutiques (hawking everything from ornaments and jewelry to pet accessories and cashmere) open to the holiday masses. Union Square's a spectacular destination in its own right, bookended by top restaurants and nearby shops on Fifth Avenue if the markets don't quench your holiday thirst. (Open 11/25-12/24; Monday-Friday, 11AM-8PM; Saturdays 10AM-8PM; Sundays 11AM-7PM)
GRAND CENTRAL Now in its 11th year, the annual holiday fair at New York's most glamorous train depot might not win prizes for its size (the booths itself number under 100), but the venue can't be beat -- breath-taking Vanderbilt Hall, where you can watch the holiday laser light show displayed against the towering ceiling. Plus, pop by Grand Central's ever-growing roster of permanently-installed shops (M.A.C.! Banana Republic!) and restaurants and bars (The Campbell Apartment! Junior's!). (Open 11/23-12/24; Monday-Saturday 10AM-8PM; Sunday 11AM-7PM)
Liz Rees of Urban Space
COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY FAIR Designed to mimic a traditional European outdoor market, the 100 colorful booths at this market offer gourmet food, housewares, candles, and more -- all against the backdrop of the spectacular Shops at Columbus Circle (an excellent shopping alternative should the market not satisfy all your gifting needs). (Open 12/3-12/24; Monday-Saturday 10AM-8PM; Sundays 10AM-7PM)
The Brooklyn Flea's Manhattan holiday pop-up, "Gifted," is located in the old Tower Records space off Lafayette (20 East 4th Street), and will be open Wednesday-Sunday, December 2-6 and 9-13; then the market stays open all week between December 16-24 (always noon-7PM). On Wednesdays, the market hosts a weekly shopping party (with brews!) from 6-9PM.
Jewelry and vintage abounds at the Flea -- from party dresses to eclectic to cool costume pieces.
Target's three-day pop-up will offer shoppers a menu of pre-packaged gifting, special deals, and -- most enticing of all -- limited pieces from Rodarte's upcoming Target line. December 11-13 at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets (at the High Line), 10AM-8PM
JENNI KAYNE Los Angeles-based designer Jenni Kayne’s pop-ups is rapidly turning into more of a residency, considering the shop’s been in place for nearly two months. That said, it’s tough to complain about the figure-skimming dresses and cropped leather jackets that have become so popular with the West Coast starlet set. (85 Mercer Street, through 11/30)
HERE/NAU/NYC Of all the pop-ups this season, none treads quite so lightly as Here/Nau/NYC, where the shop is constructed almost exclusively from New York's waste stream (recycle tree limbs, cardboard, etc.) and the merchandise is 75 percent sustainable -- including brands like Toms Shoes, Timberland, and Stewart+Brown. (69 Mercer, through 12/31)
WIRED Much like eBay’s pop-up, the Wired store offers little to buy in the brick-and-mortar store, though plenty of eye candy for the nerd in your life. To be fair, the pop-up also offers plenty of chances to test drive any desirable gadget one might want to try before buying – from the latest smart phones to Brooklyn-based tattoo artist’s laser-engraved laptops. (415 West 13th Street; Open Wednesday-Sunday, now through 12/27, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)
ONLY HEARTS This Nolita shop's ingenious retrospective pop-up showcases the brand's 30 years of classic, unworn lingerie -- from lacy '80s pieces to retro full-coverage underpinning. (230 Mott Street, through January 1)
MACKAGE Fans of this coat-maker’s fall pop-up in the Meatpacking District will be pleased to discover the brand has moved to even more trafficked areas for its latest incarnation in Soho. Expect to find the same tailored jackets and down puffer coats – all of which will become even more covetable once the weather turns truly chilly. (148 Spring Street, now through December)
PHAIDON For the impossibly-cool intellectual in your life, no gift is quite as substantial as one of Phaidon's heavy tomes on art, cookbooks, or just coffee table eye candy. (100 Wooster Street, now through January 1)
JODI ARNOLD Those who enjoyed the Mint by Jodi Arnold pop-up over the summer will likely be thrilled to see the return of the designer’s crispy-tailored, chic dresses making a re-appearance for the holidays, this time on University. (University Place and East 10th Street, Now through 12/31)
ALICE & OLIVIA POP-UP AT SCOOP Just in time for party season, Alice + Olivia has taken over Scoop’s uptown outpost and packed it chock full of sequin dresses, trim leather jackets, printed tops, and other evening delights. (1273 Third Avenue, through December)
COVET This online vintage consignment store is taking over a section of the newly-opened Bowery Bazaar, so you can see all the gorgeous printed dresses, quirky statement jewelry, and luxurious handbags (this chic Louis Vuitton carryall was just posted on the site! (351 Bowery; Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in November)