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7 Must-Visit Holiday Markets in a City Near You

Take a break from crowded shopping malls this December and head to a festive holiday market.

holiday markets

A vendor at the annual Grand Central Holiday Fair. (Photo: MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann/ Flickr/ CC BY 2.0)

Throughout the Northeast, the tradition of European-style holiday markets lives on, bringing warmth, magic and festive creativity to the season.

Imagine sipping hot cocoa while you browse the creations of local artists and makers before snagging a few beautifully crafted, one-of-a kind-gifts to bring home – not a bad way to catch the holiday spirit, support your local economy and get your shopping done!

Many holiday markets include fun activities for families while others are the perfect venue for date night. Read on for our picks of the top holiday markets in the Northeast.

Boston

South Boston Holiday Market
Dec. 15-16
FREE

Visit Boston’s trendy design district for two days of shopping unique, handmade crafts from over 120 local artists and artisans at the South Boston Holiday Market. Foodies will love the market’s four restaurants serving up gourmet eats, plus the many food makers selling delicious treats to take home.

Housed in the Innovation and Design Building, the market is just a few minutes stroll from South Station on the MBTA Silver Line. Want to spruce up your home before the holidays? Marketgoers will also have access to the Boston Design Center which features furniture, lighting, fine art, kitchen and bath design and more, from over 1,200 luxury product lines.

CraftBoston Holiday Show
Dec. 14-16
$15; free ages 17 and under

Bring museum-quality art into your everyday life. Come meet and interact with more than 175 master artisans at the CraftBoston Holiday Show. Choose from an incredible selection of traditional handmade crafts including jewelry, leather, clothing, furniture, ceramics, metal, glass, paper and wood.

Sponsored by the Society of Arts and Crafts, the exhibition and market is hosted at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center. The market charges admission but fortunately, ticket-holders get a 10 percent discount off merchandise.

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New York City

Grand Central Holiday Fair
Nov. 12-Dec. 24
Free

Get your holiday cheer indoors at New York’s Grand Central Holiday Fair. The gold chandeliers, marble floors and towering bedecked Christmas tree of Vanderbilt Hall serve as a magical backdrop for this long-running holiday market.

Shop unique clothing, toys, pet accessories, artwork and home goods from 40 vendors, with an emphasis on American-made, handmade and socially conscious products.

holiday markets

2018 Union Square Holiday Market (Photo: Mike Licht / CC BY 2.0)

Union Square Holiday Market
Nov. 15-Dec. 24
Free

For shoppers ready to brave the cold, New York’s internationally renowned Union Square Holiday Market is an absolute must-visit. This eclectic market features over 150 vendors and draws millions of visitors each year.

Shop eco-friendly accessories, jewelry, New York themed items, beer-making kits, handblown glassware and everything in between. Bring your little ones by the Kid’s Arts Studio, then warm up with a hot cider and indulge with world-class food vendors like Momofuku Milk Bar.

WinterFest at the Brooklyn Museum
Nov. 23-Dec. 31
$9-$42

The Brooklyn Museum’s 40,000 square-foot WinterFest extravaganza is a winter wonderland with something for everyone.

Bring the kiddos for the North Pole experience, where they can wander through an enchanted tree maze, a chocolate story dome and learn about the origins of Santa.

Grab a mulled wine or hot chocolate and browse the holiday market booths. Or enjoy some brews at the beer garden with friends and sample fine wines at the Vinopolis tent with your date. Just don’t forget to ride the Snowzilla slide and take a picture inside the giant snow globe.

Providence

Providence Flea Holiday Market
Dec. 2, 9, 15-16
Free

Discover a trove of holiday treasures at Rhode Island’s Providence Flea Holiday Market, hosted at the historic Hope High School.

Browse the booths for vintage, antique, upcycled, recycled and handcrafted items. Whether you’re on the lookout for vintage prints for your home, mittens for the kids, a cute terrarium for your best friend or pickles for dad, you’re sure to find it among the market’s more than 60 vendors.

When your shopping bags are full, head outside and sample mouthwatering eats from a roundup of local food trucks.

Art Providence Holiday Show
Dec. 8-9
$8.50; Free ages 12 and under

Housed at the Rhode Island Convention Center and featuring over 200 artists from around New England and beyond, the Art Providence Holiday Show has a dizzying array of arts and crafts to delight casual holiday shoppers and art collectors alike.

Support the arts community and take home incredible handcrafted items, including baskets, ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood and more.

Be sure to visit the Kids’ Corner for family-friendly printmaking activities and stop by the Early Stage Artist Program to support emerging artists.

What are your favorite local holiday markets? Share with us in the comments.

For savings on holiday gifts, visit AAA.com/Discounts.

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