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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-gift 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.

Massachusetts

CraftBoston Holiday Show
Dec. 13-15

$15; free with student ID/under 18 

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% discount off merchandise.

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Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair
Dec. 7-22
Free

During multiple weekends in December, you can peruse the goods of craftspeople from all across New England at the Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair in Cambridge, Mass. THis event promises a plethora of unique gift items, including jewelry, clothes, household items and more as well as a chance to connect with the people who make the gifts you want to give – or keep for yourself.

New York City

Grand Central Holiday Fair
Nov. 18-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.

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Dec. 4-24
Free

If “elegant” holiday shopping is your aim, head to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market at the entrance to Central Park. There you’ll find aisles of art, jewelry, home goods and delicious food from local artisans and designers. After shopping at this now 15-year-old market, warm up with some hot mulled wine or German Beer at their Bratwurst Stand.

Rhode Island

Providence Flea Holiday Market
Dec. 8 & 15
Free

Discover a trove of holiday treasures at Rhode Island’s Providence Flea Holiday Market, hosted at the WaterFire Arts Center on Valley Street.

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 80 vendors.

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

Holiday Arts Market
Dec. 13-14
Free

Head down to the Jamestown Arts Center to discover high-quality, unique works made by local artists, designers and all kinds of crafty people. This juried market of nearly 40 vendors will feature a wide variety of gift-able art, including jewelry, wood and glass work, paintings, pottery, clothing and more!

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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