Nothing says “the holidays” more than sipping hot chocolate while watching kids on an ice rink, strolling mitten-in-mitten through the snow, or meandering through a festive holiday market. Do all that and more in these 3 great cities:
The Colonial charm of Beacon Hill and Christmas carolers seemingly transported from a Charles Dickens novel make the holidays in Boston overwhelmingly picturesque.
Downtown Boston Holiday Market – This year’s pop-up location is at 467 Washington Street, across from Macy’s (if you don’t find what you want there). Made up of primarily local vendors, the market features artisan jewelry, wood carvings, candles, and more. Open 7 days a week, through January 6.
Holiday Cr[eat]or Market – In addition to the 35 year-round food proprietors at the Boston Public Market, this pop-up holiday market features a lineup of different artists and vendors each weekend, varying from handmade wooden toys and jewelry to small batch hot sauces and preserves. Open Saturdays and Sundays, through December 23 (the Boston Public Market is open 7 days a week).
For a break from shopping, stop at The Bell in Hand Tavern, America’s oldest tavern.
No matter where you are in the city, there’s a strong possibility that a holiday market isn’t far away. Super-size your holiday spirit with a carriage ride in Central Park and a stop by the magnificent Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.
Winter Village at Bryant Park – This European-inspired market is a crowd pleaser every year with artisans from around the world, plenty of delicious food and beverage options, and a fabulous ice rink for skaters of all ages and abilities. Best yet, the rink is free to use, there are high-quality skates to rent, and lessons are also available. Open 7 days a week through January 2.
Union Square Holiday Market – One of the largest holiday markets in the country with 150+ vendors, this market offers unique gifts created by local artists and craftsmen. Immensely popular and still going strong after 25 years. Open 7 days a week through December 24.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market – Located at the southwest entrance to Central Park, this elegant and slightly smaller version of the Union Square Holiday Market features unique jewelry, handmade home goods, and scrumptious food. Open 7 days a week through December 24.
After shopping, make your way to Tanner Smith’s, a prohibition-themed bar. Head down the stairs outside to the right of the main entrance and order one of their creative cocktails. My favorite – the Winona, a smoky version of a bourbon Manhattan.
And if you are in New York with the kids, America’s favorite toy store, FAO Schwarz, has re-opened just in time for the holidays at Rockefeller Plaza.
Or, if you aren’t into shopping, check out the Longest Night Service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This splendid performance features music, dance, and singers celebrating the Winter Solstice. On December 20, 21 & 22.
International Yuletide Extravaganza – Most U.S. holiday markets style themselves after the charming markets in Germany, but if Germany isn’t in your travel plans, head to Epcot® and the German Pavilion in World Showcase. You’ll be hard-pressed to imagine that you aren’t actually in Germany with authentic toys, handmade ornaments, and the famous Steiff Teddy Bears available for purchase. Open through December 30.
Lori is a content writer at Sun Country Airlines. When it comes to what she loves most about Sun Country, it’s all about the affordability and nonstop flights from MSP (oh, and the ease of Terminal 2). Her favorite destinations are the ones she hasn’t been to yet, but can’t wait to explore, including Portland, Austin, and Santa Rosa.