Season of the Souks: Holiday Markets Around New York

I always enjoy the open-air holiday markets that spring up all over the city–colorful, overflowing souks that really embody the spirit of the season. One of the largest, and my favorite, is the in Bryant Park. From now through January 8,  more than 125 booths flank the Pond, a free-admission ice skating rink with its own two-story glass-walled restaurant, Celsius, which offers great views of the skaters, the stalls, and the surrounding park. It’s guaranteed to put even the sourest Grinch in a cheerful mood. There’s a good list of other holiday markets around the city at

The Holiday Shops and fountain at Bryant Park

Bryant Park’s Lowell Memorial Fountain surrounded by the annual Holiday Shops, an open-air market of glass booths that runs through January 8.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park open through January 8, 2012

Over 125 booths transform Bryant Park’s tree-lined allees into a seasonal souk. 

The Holiday Shops and Christmas Tree at Bryant Park

The jewel-box kiosks and lighted tree give Bryant Park an irresistible holiday spirit. 

The Pond skating rink and New York Public Library at Bryant Park

The Pond skating rink, which is open through February, is admission free.