New York is one of the most iconic places for Christmas shopping. Not only does the city display how to shop for the holidays in style, but the shopping season starts early, too.
Holiday shopping in the Big Apple kicks off with the Thanksgiving Day festival, on the third Thursday of November. The festival is marked by the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a colourful event that snakes all the way across Manhattan to the famous department store.
The next day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday. This crazy day of sales takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, with bargain-hunters taking the day off work to line up overnight to catch the best discounts.
From then on, it’s open season on the shopping front. There are several holiday markets offering a mix of gift ideas. Bryant Park is home to booths selling clothes, quirky gifts, crafts and jewelry at The Holiday Shops (Until Jan. 8, theholidayshopsatbryantpark.com). You’ll find more than 100 red and white booths selling affordable gifts, as well as vouchers for local stores, at the Union Square Holiday Market (Nov. 18 to Dec. 24, urbanspacenyc.com) and Columbus Circle Holiday Market at the south west entrance of Central Park (Nov. 30 to Dec. 24, urbanspacenyc.com). If the weather is glacial, try the indoor gift fair in the elegant Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Station (Nov. 14 to Dec. 24, grandcentralterminal.com).
As well as providing a brilliant one-stop gift shop for time-poor tourists, department stores from Bloomingdales and Macy’s to toystore FAO Schwartz compete to feature the most dazzling window displays during the festive season.