Two Hours in New York City: Union Square Holiday Market - Holiday Shopping & Bit of History

November 30, 2017

Union Square Holiday Market

So you’re traveling for business and you've got two hours or one afternoon to spend in New York City.  If you’re lucky enough to be in New York from mi-November to Christmas Eve, one of our best suggestions for how to spend an afternoon in New York City is to do some holiday shopping at the Union Square Holiday Market. 

For Travelers Who Like:  Holiday shopping and a bit of History

 Where to Go:  The Union Square Holiday Market is located in Manhattan's Union Square Park.  Take a taxi or an Uber to Union Square.  Or you can take the 4, 5, 6 , N, Q, R or W train to the 14th Street-Union Square stop. See the website for the Union Square Holiday Market’s daily hours.

What Makes It Special:  Union Square Park lies at the place where Broadway intersects with several other major thoroughfares. The park is bordered by four famous New York neighborhoods:  Chelsea, Flatiron, East Village, and Gramercy Park.

History buffs should note the equestrian statue of US President George Washington, depicting the day in 1783 that the British evacuated the city and General Washington led his troops back into New York.  Other important statues include those of Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi.

Union Square Park is full of the gritty urban color that New York is known for, like ongoing chess games between random opponents.

But if you're there to shop, you'll have plenty to do. There are over 175 product and food vendors to browse and sample.

 Must Try: Here are a few of our favorite vendors.

  • The Jam Stand. We fell in taste-love with The Jam Stand's flavorful jams like Blueberry Bourbon and the yummy banana-flavored Drunken Monkey. In addition to the regular 8 oz jars, the jams come in tiny 1.3 oz jars that are perfect for tucking into your suitcase.
  • Pozie Poems. Merry, handmade wooden mobiles in which individual words are strung together to spell out motivational phrases like "be brave, confident, kind".
  • Izzy & Tullulah.  We went back three times to buy more artisan fudge at this tiny kiosk.  We love the maple cream, Earl Grey, and chocolate.
  • Retro NY Metro. A great place to buy New York-themed souvenirs.  This vendor features vintage photos of New York printed on coasters, placemats,  mouse pads, and t-shirts.
  • Strand Bookstore.  Bibliophiles who don't have a chance to visit the "18 miles of books" at the famed Strand Bookstore, founded in 1927, will be happy to know that the Strand has a booth here.  We didn't see any books but there was lots of Strand-themed goodies like cheeky postcards, t-shirts, tote bags, and magnets.
  • Annie Draws Stuff. Love the name.  Love the temporary tattoos with packages of tattoos with themes like feminist, glow in the dark, princess, and storybook characters. 

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