MANHATTAN—With an enormous ice-skating rink, multiple bars designed to look like ski lodges and private heated dome igloos, Bryant Park’s Winter Village and Holiday Market is a magnet for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The Winter Village, now in its 22nd year, is ringed by the Urban Space Holiday Market, a collection of 190 vendors selling unique wares and a diverse variety of food and beverage offerings.
“Are those hot cinnamon apple cider doughnuts?” Daniel O’Donnell, a Toronto resident visiting New York City, asked as he approached a steaming tray of fresh apple cider doughnuts at the Breezy Hill Orchard stand. Located at the entrance of Sixth Avenue and 41 Street, the stand had a long line of customers—and an even longer plume of hot cider doughnut scent wafting through the market.
There are also at least half a dozen vendors offering thick European style hot chocolate, with a variety of toppings and flavors like whoopie pie and s’more. For those who prefer a savory bite, the options abound, from Chinese bao buns, truffle cheesesteaks, to grilled German bratwurst.
Bryant Park’s ice-skating rink, a 17,000 square-foot space that’s the largest free-admission ice rink in New York City, offers 1-hour skate time blocks. Skate rentals cost between $21 and $32 per person, and there are also skate lessons and open times for figure skating practice. Reservations are recommended as the time blocks sell out.
The rinkside lodge, located next to the enormous Christmas tree, has a large U-shaped bar, chandeliers designed to look like antlers, and a special cocktail menu featuring drinks like a Winter Spiced Negroni and an Apple Cider Margarita.
Locals and tourists packed Bryant Park’s Holiday Market in search of gifts, including at Hanami, which offers handmade jewelry made from dried flowers. Among the items on display in their tent were delicate orchid earrings, necklaces, and hair clips.
“Each flower is dried in a special way to maintain the shape, then five to seven layers of resin are applied to preserve the flower,” said Hanami salesperson Paola Nonaka, who was staffing the shop.
At the north end of the market, near the Christmas tree, is Dr. Silkman’s Handmade Body Emporium. Among the items for sale at their tent were their signature body lotion candle, which melts as it burns and allows customers to dip their fingers into the puddle beside the lit candles and use it for moisturizer.
Bailey Baerwolf, sales and marketing director, said this is Dr. Silkman’s 12th year at the market.
“The focus is on sharing the bliss of our natural local products,” Baerwolf said. “The smile on someone’s face when they miraculously moisturize their hands from a burning candle is priceless.”