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Top 5 New York City Holiday Shopping Fairs

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Looking for unique gifts that can't be found at the local Gap or Pottery Barn? You can find one-of-a-kind presents at New York City's holiday shopping fairs and markets.

Every year, these temporary holiday shopping bazaars spring up in parks and public spaces around the city. Vendors set up booths to sell unique holiday gift items -- many of them hand-made. You'll find one-of-a-kind jewelry, hand-knit sweaters and scarves, holiday ornaments, toys, artwork, food items, and more.

1. The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park

Bryant Park Holiday Market in New York City

The Holiday Shops transform Bryant Park into an old-fashioned holiday market styled in the European tradition. This free holiday fair features more than 120 artisans and merchants from around the world. You'll find special promotions, including discounts and samples, throughout the holiday season. While you're there, take a shopping break for free ice skating at The Pond at Bryant Park

Where: Bryant Park, 6th Ave. at 42nd St.; 866-221-5157
When: Daily from October 26, 2012 through early January, 2013
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-8pm; Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 10am-6pm.

2. Union Square Park Holiday Market

union square holiday market

Union Square Park becomes a winter shopping wonderland with an outdoor holiday market featuring 100+ artisans and vendors. Located in the south section of the park near 14th Street, the Union Square holiday fair offers deals on goodies like jewelry, candles, pottery, and much more. Fuel your shopping energy with stops at stands for sweet and savory treats and hot cider.

Where: Union Square Park at 14th St., 212-529-9262.
When: November 16 through December 26, 2012 (closed Thanksgiving Day)
Hours: Daily, 11am-8pm

3. Columbus Circle Holiday Fair

Time Warner Center Stars

Shop for special gifts in Central Park at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Organized by the same people behind the Union Square Holiday Market, the Columbus Circle shopping fair also features 100+ vendors and a wide selection of unique and handmade gifts.
Where: Southwest entrance to Central Park at Central Park West and Central Park South; 212-529-9262.
When: November 28 through December 24, 2012
Hours: Daily, 10am to 8pm

4. Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair

The annual Holiday Fair is a shopping extravaganza held in the magnificent 12,000 square foot Vanderbilt Hall. Grand Central has gathered 76 hand-picked vendors of unusual, beautiful and exotic goods that cannot be found elsewhere in the city. See the directory of merchants. Take a break to enjoy the famous laser light show on the Grand Central Terminal ceiling between purchases.

Where: Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall, 42nd St. and Park Ave.; 212-340-2210
When: November 12 through December 24, 2012
Hours: Daily, 10am-7pm. Closed on Thanksgiving Day.

5. Crafts at the Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

More than 60 artisans and vendors will display their one-of-a-kind gifts at Crafts at the Cathedral from Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Holiday shoppers can browse unique gifts that include jewelry, ceramics, wood, glass, paintings, cards, knitwear, silk scarves and other decorative items at the gift fair.

Tickets can be purchased for $6 for daily admission and $7 for a weekend pass. All proceeds will benefit programs of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street
When: November 30 through December 2, 2012
Hours: Friday, 5-8pm; Saturday, 11am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm

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