Great Places To Do Your Holiday Shopping

By Go City Expert

When you shop for the holidays, you want your gifts to be cool, personal, chic, fun, and thoughtful. A tall order, yes, but New York is the place where you can actually fulfill it. We've rounded up great places to do your holiday shopping in New York, so you can just have the fun of actually choosing the gifts.

The Transit Museum Gift Shop

Truly, this is one of the most fun—and underappreciated—places to shop for holiday gifts. You’ll find a ton of New York and transit-themed gifts (yes, that’s a thing.) Jewelry made with subway tokens—oddly cool. Lots of great metro card cases—we can all use at least one of those, and we’re partial to the one with the subway map, because, two birds with one stone. They’ve got coffee table books, fun collectibles (special edition metrocards, incredible model trains, and even socks, scarves, and A-train baby rompers—hey, one day that kid is going to ride the subway too.) Truly one of the great places to do your holiday shopping in New York.

[caption id="attachment_3092" align="alignnone" width="2400"]

(Photo courtesy The Transit Museum.)[/caption]

Brooklyn Flea

Want a great place to do your holiday shopping? Brooklyn Flea is so cool that it doesn’t even have the word “market” in its name--you just need to know. The winter market is a great place to shop for gifts, partly because you have that element of surprise--what will you find today? (Note: It’s not the place to go if you know you absolutely want to get Cousin Millie a size M blue wool sweater.) But it is the place to go for just about everything else—jewelry and rugs, scarves and vintage clothing, even furniture and local crafts. Keep an eye out for antiques and collectibles—and you can always find stuff to munch so you can fuel up for the next round of the hunt.

Bryant Park Holiday Market

The holiday markets in New York are one the great announcers of the season—and also one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy the season and shop for gifts. The one at Bryant Market is especially good. The open-air market, inspired by ones in Europe, has a festive feel and a wide range of goodies, many that you won’t see everywhere else. You can find jewelry and robes made from hand-woven Turkish towels; candles and bath products; eco-friendly kids’ toys; and ornaments inspired by Bryant Park itself. And save room for food--both to eat and to pack up to give. Fancy a crepe? Or a pastrami sandwich? (Maybe not the best ones to pack up.) But just about anyone would be happy to get some adorable gingerbread people in their stockings.

Pearl River Mart

For plenty of stuff you didn’t know you either needed or wanted, Pearl River is your go-to. Its Asian-accented home furnishings and clothing is a New York staple. The store has fun, kitschy stuff, like porcelain chopstick holders shaped like fortune cookies; socks with sumo wrestlers or sushi (to be clear—not real ones); and Kung Fu Dragon fans (the kind you flutter provocatively in front of you). See? Your holiday list is practically shopping for itself. It’s a great--and enjoyable--place to do your holiday shopping.

(Photo courtesy of Pearl River)

Bloomingdales

New York is no longer rife with department stores—Bloomingdales is one of the only holdouts. But if you’re looking for designer duds, chic accessories, or a well-curated selection of makeup to give as gifts, this is the place. (Plus, whatever you buy will come in a fun Bloomies bag.) Head to Bloomies for high-end wallets and scarves, handbags and lipsticks, sweaters and gloves (plus a few treats for yourself). The bag will elicit “oohs” from the receiver, and that’s a holiday win if we’ve ever heard of one.

S. Feldman Housewares

Feldman’s is the kind of place you might walk right by if you didn’t know the goodies that awaited you inside. It’s got great housewares, for starters—everything from cookware to vacuum cleaners. But it’s also got more unusual offerings—the kind that would make perfect gifts. You can get candles in beautiful glass containers, cool alarm clocks, and elegant tea kettles. But if you want to stray even further afield, you can also pick up a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure, a solar-powered rainbow maker, and a container for keeping guacamole fresh. They’re also known for the tin toys that appear in their window around the holidays—check out the Ferris wheel, a perennial favorite. This is definitely one of the city’s great places to shop for holiday gifts.

Photo courtesy S. Feldman

McNally Jackson

Whither thou goest, New York independent bookstores? Ah, there you are! The McNally Jackson bookstore carries bestsellers, but they also feature cool magazines you won’t find anywhere else; familiar and (possibly) unfamiliar kids’ books; plays; and travel guides. This is a great place to browse and to buy for your bookish friends. (Yes--there’s a cafe to keep you fueled.) A great place to do your holiday shopping!

Looking for a way to get around while you do your holiday shopping? Check out our subway tips!

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