The centerpiece of Bryant Park's Winter Village, the skating rink offers recreational skating sessions, skating lessons, and broomball games. (Winter Village)

The Best Holiday Markets in New York City, the East End, and South Florida

Holiday markets are a shopper’s delight, offering festive marketplaces filled with unique gifts, one-of-a-kind art and whimsical crafts—all likely not to be replicated by another friend or relative. Best of all, instead of fluorescent lighting and long lines, you’ll be met with a winter wonderland filled with seasonal décor, twinkling lights, warming beverages and decadent bites.

New York City

Winter Village at Bryant Park: Hugging the edges of Bryant Park’s outdoor skating rink and framed by the grand main branch of the New York Public Library, the Winter Village is the most scenic of the winter markets in Manhattan. Some 170 boutique shops fill the walkways of the park through January 2. When you’re done shopping, lace up your skates for a spin around the rink, or warm up at The Lodge, a glass-enclosed food hall and bar.

Union Square/Columbus Circle Holiday Markets: These European-style markets are both open daily through December 24, but each has its own vibe. There’s an elegance to the offerings at the Columbus Circle market, located at the 59th Street entrance to Central Park, with design-forward housewares, stylish jewelry, and original artwork. Signs identify products that are local, organic, free trade, recycled, and handmade. Downtown, the bustling Union Square location presents an eclectic array of on-trend gifts and includes a Little Brooklyn section at the southwest corner of the market that highlights makers and businesses from the borough.

FAD Makers Market: Indie chic Fashion, Art, and Design (FAD) items handcrafted by more than 200 artisans are part of this carefully curated holiday market that pops up at the Brooklyn Historical Society on December 1 and 2 and at City Point December 8, 9, 15, and 16. For foodies, the culinary sister market of artisanal finds is held at the Brooklyn Historical Society on December 8 and 9.

The East End

East End Arts Holiday Gift Boutique: One-of-a-kind gifts—all handmade by local Long Island artists—fill the holiday market at this regional arts center in Riverhead, New York, from November 10 through December 22. Highlights include intricate ornaments, ceramics, home goods, jewelry, and clothing that fill three galleries.

Borghese Holiday Market: Held at scenic Castello di Borghese on the North Fork on December 15 and 16, the Borghese Holiday Market offers a hand-selected collection of local artists and artisans selling original works curated by The North Fork Art Collective. Adding to the festive atmosphere, there are mulled wine and light bites for purchase, plus live music, Santa, craft making and gift wrapping.

South Florida

CityPlace Snowfalls on the Plaza: Every evening from November 10 through December 31, snowflakes blanket the light-strung palm trees for CityPlace Snowfalls on the Plaza in West Palm Beach, creating an unlikely winter wonderland. The shopping center turns up the charm with special events, including Holiday Music Mondays with the Palm Beach Symphony, dance performances and a kitschy cocktail bar, Miracle on Rosemary Avenue, where you can sip a “Christmopolitan” or “Snowball” Old Fashioned. A mix of stores perfect for holiday shopping include only-here spots such as Garala, for original art, and Sloan’s, for a sea of sweet treats.

Holidays at Whitehall: During December, the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach decks the halls with Gilded Age decor and celebrations that hark back to the turn-of-the-century At Holidays at Whitehall, you can shop for gifts imbued with vintage style and glamour at the museum store, then take in some of the cheer-filled events, such as the Christmas tree lighting, pipe organ and piano concerts, or illuminated holiday evening tours complete with classic carols and refreshments from December 19 to 23.

Photos in order of appearance: Winter Village, Urbanspace Facebook, City Place Facebook