The holiday season in New York City is unlike anywhere else. Between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the iconic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, and the Times Square Ball Drop, New Yorkers have access to some of the biggest and most beloved holiday events in the world. But, besides all of the over-the-top, nationally televised holiday celebrations, there are also plenty of smaller, but equally unique and exciting happenings going on around town, especially for art & design lovers. Below, we’ve put together a list of our favorite annual traditions around the city.
Union Square Holiday Market, daily, November 19-December 24. This annual tradition in New York draws more than 100 vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry, to artwork, to artisan-made home decor and more. Some of what you’ll find this year include paintings and acrylics by Moshgansart, copper and enamel tableware by Kiln Studio, and Alpaca rugs by Alpaca designs.
Etsy Holiday Handmade Cavalcade Chelsea Market; Dec 5 10am–8pm, Dec 6 10am–7pm. The online retailer is coming to life for one weekend only at Chelsea Market, inviting 50 popular Easy retailers to showcase their wares in person. The first 100 people to the market will receive a free gift bag, and there’s also a complimentary gift-wrapping service.
Origami Holiday Tree at the Museum of Natural History, daily, November 23-January 10. Take a stroll through the Museum of Natural History on a chilly winter weekend, then be sure to stop by the museum’s origami holiday tree, decorated with more than 800 folded paper ornaments made by volunteers starting in July.
Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, daily, October 30-January 3. Similar to the Union Square Holiday Market, the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park is a European-inspired open air market that attracts artisans and retailers from around the world. More than 125 unique vendors are selling at the park this year, including Irish gift shop Ireland in Prints, winter accessory line Himalayan Artwear, and home good retailer Shangri-La River. Of course, after you’re done shopping, you’ll have to go skating at the park’s seasonal rink.
Kwanzaa Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History, at noon and 3 p.m., December 27. Enjoy performances by Doug E. Fresh and the Harlem School of the Arts, plus a Q&A with Ebony senior editor Jamilah Lemieux, and more at the museum’s 37th annual Kwanzaa celebration. Tickets are free with museum admission or membership.