Holiday markets give me LIFE. These little autonomous zones of cheer are one of the best parts of the season, bringing your buoyed holiday insides out into the actual physical world via twinkly lights and rosy cheeks and general sense of impending joy to replace your usual sense of impending doom. Speaking of! If you’re not feeling particularly cheery, maybe because your country has recently been conquered by fascists, these places can work outside-in, as actors say. Go, try on mittens, drink glühwein, buy advent calendars, look at wildly expensive little plywood sculptures that move around when you light a candle near them, and huff pine scent like you’re Citizen Ruth. You’ll likely start to feel something at least cheer-adjacent.
They’re also, if we’re being real, simply a great chance for a lot of independent artists and designers to present their work directly to you, the consumer. And you can support them! Check out the guide to Brooklyn’s best (and a couple in Manhattan, too) holiday markets below, and see some things you’ll never find in a store. Get a cookie and some cider, while you’re at it. It’s the holidays!
Update, December 16: There are still markets! Reordered to reflect what’s still open & with one new addition!
Update, December 5: We’re continuing to add to this list as we hear about new markets. It’s now more than 10!
Brooklyn Flea at One Hanson
This winter, Brooklyn’s Premiere flea market is back in its spiritual winter home: Skylight at One Hanson, aka The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, a gorgeous 1929 building visible from much of Brooklyn. The Flea in winter is truly magical: peruse Christmas ornaments of all kinds from the ’40s to the ‘90s, buy little plastic reindeer you can arrange in a diorama, or just get an interesting gift for anyone on your list (a personal favorite of mine are the vintage pulp paperbacks from McMillen & Boyce). The only drawback here is they’re charging $1 for admission. Emotional insult aside, it’s well worth the price.
Saturday + Sunday, 10am-6pm
Holiday Hours: Wednesday, December 21 – Friday, December 23, noon-8pm
1 Hanson Place, Downtown Brooklyn
FAD Market Cobble Hill
Get your goods right from the source at this market showcasing independent artists, designers, and makers from here in Brooklyn. There are almost four dozen to choose from, rotating in and out each weekend. It’s free, and happening in the beautiful St. Paul’s Church, built in 1888 and the oldest Catholic Church in continuous use in Brooklyn.
December 3 + 4, 10 + 11, 17 + 18
11:00am – 6:00pm
Basement of St. Paul’s Church
190 Court Street, Cobble Hill
#girltalk x Vacancy Holiday Market
#girltalk is an online event hub for NYC’s cis women, trans women and genderqueer communities, covering art, books, politics, nightlife, music, parties and more. For this market, it’s paired up with Vacancy Project, a studio/hair salon/online art journal. It will have drinks and music; guests can browse and shop items from brands like Art Baby Girl, Cappiel, MOOD NYC, NAC Equipment, Sweetflag + more. The event is free w/ RSVP.
7pm – 9pm
249 E 10th Street, Manhattan
Right on Third: A Vintage Home & Fashion Pop-Up
Part of the charm of the holidays is nostalgia; re-appreciating movies, TV episodes, and desserts from your childhood (or someone else’s childhood). So, why not check out a vintage market this holiday season? Right on Third is a vintage popup from local brands La Poubelle Vintage, Home Union, and Omnia, including vintage furniture, clothing, housewares, and accessories. We’re assured they’ll have everything from macramé plant hangers to Gucci silk scarves. This is honestly Heaven to me.
December 8 – 14
11am – 8pm
117 South 3rd St., Williamsburg
Miracle on 9th Street
This holiday popup’s cheer comes on the rocks—it’s not a shop, but a bar! This Christmas and Chanukah-themed popup has costumed bartenders, decorations, and themed drinks, all with a mildly retro feel. If you want to feel like you strolled off the set of Carol and plopped down for a still drink, this is the spot for you.
November 25 – December 24
Monday – Friday: 5pm-2am
Saturday – Sunday: 4pm-2am
649 East 9th Street, Manhattan
Union Square Holiday Market
This is the absolute, can’t miss, be-all and end-all of holiday markets in New York City. From the candy-striped tents to Christmas lights everywhere, the steamy snacks and almost unbearable crush of shoppers, it is the total New York holiday experience. If you’re into markets, you absolutely have to go. Of course, this is not in Brooklyn either, but it’s easily accessible from the L train, so let’s call it an honorary part of our great borough. This is where the holiday spirit lives!
Nov 17th – Dec 24th
Monday – Friday, 11am – 8pm, Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 7pm
Union Square Park, Southern Side
Extra Fancy Holiday Market
Williamsburg bar and restaurant Extra Fancy is a pretty fun place to have a beer or two and find out if you’re the kind of person who wants to eat an entire seafood platter. It’s also home to a holiday market! It will have Christmas trees for sale, handmade stuff, vintage stuff, snack stuff, as well as an amazing-sounding drinks like a mezcal spiced hot chocolate and a Moroccan Spiced Hot Cider spiked with Mellow Corn Whiskey.
From December 5
Saturday + Sunday, from 12pm-8pm
302 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg
WantedDesign Holiday market at Industry City
This event, supported by popular design blog DesignMilk, is part of the New York design world establishment; an annual event people who actually work in design reliably visit to sell their stuff and support their friends. Hosted in the venue New York City’s government is continuously trying to make happen, Industry City, it features products from established brands like Rich Brilliant Willing, Souda, and Alessi, as well as some unknown up-and-comers who might just have exactly the cute stuffed rhino or smooth irregular piece of porcelain you didn’t know you were missing. Kids are welcome, too, and can play with an interactive magnetic wall by Visual Magnetics, or watch a movie during the screening sessions organized by Sony Life Space UX.
December 9 – 11
Friday, December 11, 12pm to 5pm; Saturday + Sunday, 11am to 6pm
Industry City, 241 37th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue), Second Floor, Sunset Park
Bulletin Holiday Market
Bulletin is partnering with new Williamsburg hotel The William Vale to host a holiday market full of stuff you actually won’t find anywhere elese (and breakfast tacos!). Featuring more than 70 independent designers and local food vendors, some proceeds will also go to benefit Planned Parenthood. Stop by to shop unique holiday gifts (I bought a candle that looks like a marble bust), sip on hot cocoa, listen to local DJs, and marvel at the Manhattan skyline through the William Vale’s floor-to-ceiling windows. You can also head to Westlight on the top floor for a sweeping view of the Manhattan skyline, craft cocktails, and street food inspired snacks. They say you have to RSVP to enter, but no one was checking at the door so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Saturday, December 3 + 4, 10 + 11
55 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg
Roberta’s Holiday Market
Eternally buzzy radio station/farm/pizzeria Roberta’s will be hosting a popup market this holiday in its back yard. Featuring jewelry, candy, kombucha, cool baby clothes and more, it’s everything you’d want and expect from a Roberta’s market.
December 9 – 11
Friday 6pm – 10pm, Saturday 12pm – 10 pm, Sunday 12pm – 7pm.
261 Moore Street, Bushwick
Canal Street Market
Okay, technically this is neither a holiday market nor in Brooklyn, but Canal Street Market feels Brooklyn-y and is one of the coolest places to be this Holiday Season, provided you can handle walking through the hoards of tourists on Canal still looking for fake Vuitton in 2016. Vendors include Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Ladies and Gentleman Studio, Fort Standard, Dandy Farmer, and more. Go get yourself a brass orb and a bonsai tree, stat. Plus, they did a Feng Shui Blessing Ceremony for the whole market before it opened, so all the vendors and all who enter are blessed. That’s you, dummy! Go get blessed!
Opens December 1
Open daily, 11am – 8pm
265 Canal St, Manhattan
Etsy Handmade Cavalcade
In the past few years, Etsy has gone from being a punchline about Brooklyn twee-ness to a regular business, back to something close to what it was originally: just a group of people trying to share things they love. Also it’s sort of like Ebay for people with taste. Come celebrate all of this at its annual physical popup this holiday.
Admission is $2, but free if you RSVP
December 5- December 11th
10am to 7:30pm daily
Chelsea Market, 410 West 16th Street, Manhattan
Image by Noah Fecks