By Carol Tannenhauser
Are you starting to think about holiday shopping? Are you worrying that your ideal gift for that ideal person will be out of stock because of supply chain problems?
There’s an alternative!
Holiday markets and bazaars — mostly outdoors and featuring items largely sourced from local artisans, artists, and designers — are reopening around the city after being closed by COVID last year.
And two of the best are on the Upper West Side.
”I’m really excited that the Columbus Circle Market is returning this year!” wrote Upper West Sider Karen Redlener. “I look forward to wandering through the festive village and picking up unique gifts for my family. It’s a special place to feel the holiday spirit and enjoy a safe (outdoor) and beautiful environment.”
Columbus Circle Holiday Market — Opening November 29 to December 24; located at the entrance to Central Park at 59th Street and Central Park West; Monday-Saturday, 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm, closed at 4pm on Christmas Eve.
Other holiday markets are located in city parks — Bryant Park and Union Square — but none can boast a backdrop like this one. “It has a uniquely European flair with over 100 vendors,” wrote CentralPark.com. “Come face-to-face with the artisans and designers selling their wares and telling their stories. You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to artisan foods, and any number of unique gifts. Come hungry and enjoy everything from bureks to tacos to artisan doughnuts and bratwurst.” For a complete list and description of 2021 vendors, click here.
Grand Holiday Bazaar — Opening November 28 to December 19; located at 100 West 77th Street (Columbus & Amsterdam); Sundays, 10am-5pm. (For Covid precautions, click here.)
“This is the Holiday Market to shop for unique gifts, with rotating independent merchants that can’t be found elsewhere!” the Grand Bazaar organization wrote. “Come shop from 120+ hand-picked local artisans, designers, craft-makers, vintage dealers, and food entrepreneurs. Find one-of-a-kind handmade holiday decoration and giftable items: candles, skincare, fashion, handbags, vintage accessories and collectibles, handmade jewelry and furniture, rare antique silver and glassware, and of course delicious artisanal treats and foods. So, come hungry and ready to shop!“
On a special and heartening note, all profits from the Grand Holiday Bazaar are donated to four local schools.