Capture the Holiday Spirit in New York City's Bryant Park

Posted December 4, 2009 by Kate Hamman

NY-NYC-BryantPArkWinter-DEF Far beneath the towering skyscrapers, you'll find an oasis of open space called Bryant Park. When it snows, the park becomes a winter playground, with a holiday market of unique designs, a free skating rink, and a plethora of tasty treats.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park: You don't have to go to Europe to experience the joy of a Christmas market. Surrounding the park, you'll find more than 100 festive stalls filled to the brim with handcrafted goods. You can browse the art, garments, and foods created by each artisan. The shops are open from November 17 through December 30. Even if you don't buy anything, it's magical to see the holiday spirit embodied.

The Pond at Bryant Park: It's rare that anything in the heart of Manhattan is free, but the Pond at Bryant Park invites you to skate in the open air under the city lights without paying a dime through mid-January. Sponsored by Citi and celebrating its third year, the pond has become a popular gathering place for families, sweethearts, and friends. Skates cost $10 to rent, and you can skate until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.

'wichcraft NYC: Located at four kiosks around the park, 'wichcraft has the park cornered with sweet and savory treats. And anyway you slice it, Tom Colicchio of Top Chef fame, has created a winning combination of cheap snacks and sandwiches. Each kiosk offers something different, from the creamery stand serving peanut butter or bay leaf hot chocolate, to the sandwich stand selling signature specialties such as the grilled cheddar, smoked ham, and pear on cranberry-pecan bread.

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(Photo: Jose Luis R. Cortes)

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