Like it or not, holiday shopping season is upon us. Sure, you can go to big-name stores or fight your way through the Union Square holiday market, but there are plenty of other ways to find meaningful gifts. Here are 11 unique pop-up shops and holiday markets to peruse, where you can find something special while supporting alternative and marginalized makers at the same time.
Haus of Hag’s Full Moon Magical Market
Thursday, December 12 at Lucky, 5 pm to 9 pm.
This Thursday is a full moon, granting extra-lucky energy to your last-minute shopping quest. Please the more esoteric people in your life with some goodies from Velocity Chyaldd’s House of Hag market at Avenue B bar Lucky. There’ll be local makers selling skincare, fragrance, art, magical items, and more, as well as tattoos and palm and tarot readings being offered during the market.
Play Out Mode Holiday Pop-up
Thursday, December 12 at The Stonewall Inn, 6 pm to 9 pm.
The historic Stonewall Inn becomes your next gift-buying destination at this queer holiday shop, where you’ll find queer-owned underwear, jewelry, hat, and apothecary vendors ready to hook you up. If that’s not tempting enough, there will also be comedy, spoken word, and music, so you can make a whole evening out of it.
Actual Source Pop-up Opening Party
Friday, December 13 at A/D/O, 7 pm to 9 pm.
While not formally a holiday market, this pop-up at design-centric Greenpoint space A/D/O is sure to be full of aesthetically-pleasing stuff to impress the people with good taste in your life you’ve been putting off getting something for. Presented with independent publisher and creative studio Actual Source, the pop-up features limited-edition magazines, clothes, and other goodies, along with complimentary refreshments to reward you for actually doing your holiday shopping.
Colored Girls Hustle Marketplace
Saturday and Sunday, December 14 + 15 at 320 West 23rd Street, 11 am to 7 pm.
We covered the Colored Girls Hustle Marketplace back in spring 2018, and they’re still working to spotlight makers of color through pop-up shops across the city. This time, they’re setting up shop in Chelsea via a partnership with chashama. Expect a colorful array of art, herbal remedies, candles, baked goods, CBD, hair and skincare, accessories, and more, as well as statement earrings from Colored Girls Hustle herself.
Bushwig’s Christmas Market
Saturday, December 14 at 3 Dollar Bill, 1 pm to 10 pm.
The drag festival Bushwig has skyrocketed in popularity, turning into a huge multi-day affair with hundreds of performers each year. There’s also always a market, where you can pick up glitter, jewelry, costumes, and other necessities. They’re bringing it back for the holidays, with over 25 glammed-up vendors plus drag shows every hour to remind you where you are.
Raw Meat Collective Holiday Market
Saturday, December 14 at Bureau of General Services Queer Division, 1 pm to 7 pm.
Some might say print is dead, but that’s not entirely true. It’s still thriving in the realm of independent and artsy publishers—stop by a zine fest or the New York Art Book Fair and you will see a print that’s very much alive. This Saturday, the Raw Meat Collective and some of their print-based cohorts will be taking over the Bureau of General Service Queer Division to offer you weird, wonderful, and always-indie books, magazines, art, T-shirts, pins, and more.
Midwinter Market at Wythe Hotel
Sunday, December 15 at Wythe Hotel, 1 pm to 10 pm.
Come Sunday, Williamsburg’s trendy Wythe Hotel will be transformed into a hub of cool tunes, thanks to its Midwinter Market. Helmed by record label Mexican Summer and publishing company Anthology Editions, the market eschews the typical holiday pop-up vibe in favor of a chilled-out experience where you can drink, listen to records, and peruse ceramics, clothing, risographs, skincare, and of course, plenty of music-related items.
Dusty Friends Holiday Pop-up
Now through January 31 at 595 Manhattan Avenue, 12 pm to 7 pm (closed Mondays).
Some holiday shops are just one or two days long, but those with uncertain schedules (well, and lazy people, too) will be glad to know that Dusty Rose Vintage’s holiday pop-up will be open every day but Monday, all the way through January. The Greenpoint spot is known for being a vintage treasure trove, and they’ll be utilizing their curatorial know-how to bring you an impressive selection of shop-worthy stuff, from furniture and home goods to clothes and beauty products.
Queer Arts and Crafts Fair
Sunday, December 15 at Nowhere Bar, 2 pm to 8 pm.
Longtime 14th Street queer dive Nowhere Bar returns with their fourth annual Queer Arts and Crafts Fair, which brings dozens of queer creators under one roof for your shopping pleasure. Enjoy happy hour prices all day, and spend the money you’re saving on drinks on jewelry, art, clothes, home goods, food, and more from local LGBTQ vendors.
Queering Capitalism Holiday Market
Sunday, December 15 at 3 Dollar Bill, 2 pm to 10 pm.
The holidays are intertwined with capitalism. Unless you want to seem kinda rude, it’s hard to abstain from the gift economy entirely, but you can at least prioritize buying from smaller companies with admirable values. This market at East Williamsburg’s 3 Dollar Bill features independent, alternative vendors like vegan hot dog company Yeah Dawg!, cashew cheese purveyor Nuttin Ordinary, queer Latinx-owned plant medicine shop Nature Freak, and Ekco, a clothing upcycling company that utilizes natural dyes.
Renegade Craft Fair
Saturday and Sunday, December 21 + 22 at Brooklyn Expo Center, 11 am to 5 pm.
The Renegade Craft Fair has gained a reputation for their exciting shopping events, but there’s something even more praiseworthy about their latest offering: it caters to the super-procrastinators out there. Indeed, their winter edition will be happening a mere few days before Christmas. If you’re scrambling for gifts for your aunt you forgot would be at the Christmas party, or need one more thing for your friend, they’ve got you covered with over 200 vendors alongside music and snacks to keep you going. And technically there’s no stopping you from buying an early Valentine’s Day gift, but is anyone actually that good at planning?