This Is the Only Christmas Market You Need to Visit in New York

·3 min read
Photo credit: Andrew F Kazmierski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrew F Kazmierski - Getty Images

Lifelong New Yorkers and visitors agree—no city does the holiday season quite like New York. Almost every inch of the city is decked out in mesmerizing lights and fragrant greenery as festive Christmas markets pop up throughout the five boroughs. It's a magical experience stumbling across a winter wonderland filled with handmade trinkets and delectable sweets while taking a leisurely stroll through your local park.

The city boasts an impressive amount of holiday markets that cater to a variety of interests, such as the Makers Show at City Point which highlights Black-owned and women-owned businesses, and the indoor favorite, The Grand Central Holiday Fair. However, for families or Christmas enthusiasts looking for a market that has both handmade gifts and plenty of activities, there may be no better option than the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park.

Every year, the Manhattan park transforms into a European-inspired Christmas market with hundreds of kiosks and an impressive rink beckoning people to get on the ice. Before you make any plans, check out the guide below on everything you need to know about the Bank of America Winter Village, which we've deemed the best Christmas market in NYC.

When Is the 2022 Winter Village?

The Bank of America Winter Village will be operating between Thursday, October 27, 2022, and January 2, 2023. The open-air market is in Manhattan's Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, and is open from Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Select shops tend to be open later after Thanksgiving.

What Is the History of Bryant Park's Winter Village?

Bryant Park first introduced the holiday shops in 2002 as a way to draw people to the green space during the Christmas season. Modeled after a traditional German Christkindlmarket, the first village featured only 80 vendors during its inaugural event. The free-admission skating rink was later added in 2005 along with a longer roster of artisans and food vendors. Today, the winter village is regarded as one of the must-see destinations during the holidays in New York City since it has over 170 holiday shops.

Photo credit: C. Taylor Crothers - Getty Images
Photo credit: C. Taylor Crothers - Getty Images

What Can I Do at the Winter Village?

Polish up those skates and take a twirl under the stars at the outdoor rink located right in the center of the park. Admission is free for the ice rink, but you do have to pay to rent a pair of skates from the skating pavilion. Rather watch the action on the ice? Warm up with a cocktail or hot chocolate in hand at the neighboring outdoor après-themed area, The Lodge by Prime Video. The most exciting part of the winter village is arguably the hundreds of shops sprinkled throughout the park offering one-of-a-kind gifts from local artisans. The Winter Village also has a small business spotlight, where New York City-based, minority-owned small businesses have the opportunity to showcase their products in a rent-free booth.

What Can I Eat and Drink at the Winter Village?

The Lodge by Prime Video stands out not only for its picturesque views of the ice rink and the park's decked-out Christmas tree, but also for its food offerings. The seasonal pop-up bar and food hall work with local eateries to craft a perfectly festive menu and exclusive drinks that people of all ages can enjoy. Across the park, there are countless booths whipping up sugary holiday favorites from around the world—here, you can find everything from gingerbread and arepas to bao and baked cheese.

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