Ho Ho Ho
The Best Holiday Pop-Ups
From traditional tree lightings and ice skating to cocktail pop-ups and boozy ice cream to heated pools with a view.
Whether you’re a grizzled New Yorker or wide-eyed tourist, there’s nothing quite like the holidays in NYC. Come for the streetside drama, stay for the amazing shopping, cocktails, food, and general family fun. There’s almost too much to see and do. But do it anyway. Here are DP’s five favorite holiday pop-ups this year.
Bryant Park is not only central, but it is the place to be this holiday season–for so many reasons. This year’s Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park tree lighting on November 29 featured Olympic skaters and Broadway crooners, but you can come anytime to skate at The Rink (the only free rink in the city, though skate rentals are extra), cozy up at The Lodge with drinks and grub, shop local at Urbanspace, or reserve a private igloo to hang out and watch the festivities in style. This year, you can also get your competition on at the Curling Cafe and Bar, where you can perform some “street curling” NYC-style, though reservations are suggested. The Rink is open through March 5, 2023.
Sure, there’s a whole lot of shopping in the city. But we love that you can shop with purpose at the Holiday Maker’s Show at Downtown Brooklyn’s CityPoint, with an emphasis on Black, LGBTQIA+, and women artisans. Just a short train ride from Manhattan, the show features over 60 merchants who focus on sustainability and local makers. The Radical Grandma Collective weaves as a form of resistance, supporting a community in Thailand that had been decimated by a local gold mine; Homocats, created by Brooklyn artist J. Morrison, combines felines and politics (just trust us on this); and Marrakesh Souk NYC sells handmade rugs and blankets, preserving tradition and creating job opportunities in rural Morocco. You’ll also find workshops to make your very own gifts, as well as fun events like the Holiday Dazzle Happy Dance Club and cookie decorating with Brooklyn’s own One Girl Cookies. The fair runs Fri-Sun through December 18th.
Be happy, merry and maybe a little tipsy when you visit this year’s beloved Miracle on 9th St pop-up cocktail bar at 649 East 9th St., in the East Village. Yes, the weather outside might be frightful, but we can assure you that everything inside the original Miracle location is utterly delightful. Settle in with the uplifting, snazzy Christmas decorations (there’s also a Hanukah Corner where Ye isn’t invited) and order one of the festive cocktails: concoctions range from the creamy Jingle Bell Nog to the sweet and spicy vodka-based Grandma Got Run Over by a T-Rex. But whatever you do, you’ll want to make reservations–these seats fill up faster than you can say PartridgeInAPearTree. Miracle on 9th St will revert back to The Cabinet on Dec 31.
Hop on the ferry from FiDi and be transported to an Italian spa with stunning skyline views—right here in New York City. The QCNY Spa on Governor’s Island is a hidden gem, with steam rooms, saunas, relaxation rooms, and fully heated outdoor pools, tunnels, pathways, and even robe racks, so you can take the party outside. This year, QCNY will have three pop-up shops to strut its stuff—at Columbus Circle Holiday Market, Eataly Downtown, and Eataly Flatiron–and help you give the perfect experience with gift cards and relaxing fragrances. Book a treatment or just spend the day relaxing in this urban oasis. And did we mention there’s a bar? Because, of course. QCNY Spa is open year-round.
Take your top two favorite treats for the holidays, put them together and what do you get? Tipsy Scoop, the hand-crafted alcohol-infused ice cream and sorbet served in the two ‘Barlour’ locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn: 217 East 26th Street and 270 Metropolitan Avenue. This December, you’ll find three new provocative flavors in partnership with Murray’s Cheese, including Brie & Bubbles, Blue Cheese & Port, and Chardonnay & Goat Cheese (also available by the pint at Murray’s Cheese Bar in Long Island City). A perfect ending to any holiday outing, these boozy concoctions will quench your sweet tooth as well as that last-call wine craving. But don’t wait for the last scoop–these cheeseboard flavors will only be around until the New Year. Need a last-minute Christmas gift idea? They ship nationwide, too.