New York’s Historic Transportation Hub Welcomes Back its Celebrated Holiday Fair With 36 Vendors
Holiday Fair Runs Monday, Nov. 13 Through Sunday, Dec. 24
Updated Nov. 24, 2023: Tickets and advanced reservations are no longer required for the Holiday Train Show.
Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), for the first time ever with a ceremonial flourish from performers in the New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, today announced the return of the Grand Central Holiday Fair with even more festivities and offerings. Presented by AmericanGreetings.com, the Grand Central Holiday Fair brings together small businesses and artisan merchants in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall, a landmarked space steps away from more than 75 shopping and dining options from casual to fine dining. Shoppers traveling to the fair enjoy the convenience of region-wide mass transit; this season marks the inaugural year that Long Islanders can enjoy direct train service to the holiday festivities via Grand Central Madison.
“It’s always a delight to see the return of the Holiday Fair as its official opening transforms the terminal into a holiday destination of its own,” said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Grand Central Terminal is magical anytime of the year, and even more so during the holidays where locals and tourists can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and shop, sip and savor offerings from the holiday programming and diverse collection of tenants.”
“If a trip to the city wasn’t on your holiday bucket list, then it definitely should be now,” said MTA Long Island Rail Road Acting President Rob Free. “For the first time ever, Long Islanders can take a direct train into Grand Central and immerse themselves in the spirit of the holiday season right inside this dynamic terminal, filled with holiday festivities and plenty of options to shop and dine in.”
The celebration of this year’s Grand Central Holiday Fair included a ribbon cutting with cast members of New York City Ballet's Production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, another iconic NYC holiday tradition. School of American Ballet student Judah Horenfeldt as The Nutcracker, and NYCB Soloist Emily Kikta as the Sugarplum Fairy helped kick off the festivities.
The Grand Central Holiday Fair will run for six weeks with unique offerings from local vendors and small businesses. Whether you’re hoping to find a unique handcrafted bracelet for your jewelry-fanatic friend, the missing cityscape painting you’ve been needing to complete your wall decor, or homemade knitwear to keep your loved ones warm this winter, the Grand Central Holiday Fair is the place to be ahead of the holidays! Open 7 days a week from Nov. 13
through Dec. 24, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays; closed on Thanksgiving.
“As a global leader in the digital greetings marketplace, it’s such a natural fit for us to be the presenting sponsor of the 2023 Grand Central Holiday Fair,” said Rob Matousek, Executive Director-Direct to Consumer Business at AmericanGreetings.com. “Grand Central Terminal is the perfect place for us to share all the ways our ecard app can help you spread cheer as you journey toward your holiday celebrations.”
The Holiday Fair is just one of the many activities that make Grand Central Terminal a special place to be during the holidays. Others are:
New York Transit Museum’s Holiday Train Show
Returning for the first time since 2019, the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery plays host to an intricate display of model trains departing from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal. The collection of model train sets will amaze children and adults alike as they make their way past New York landmarks and on to the North Pole! This year, the show kicks off on Nov. 16 and runs through February 2024.
In charge of the pie on Thanksgiving night? Don’t miss the one-day Thanksgiving Market, where Grand Central Terminal retailers will be selling a variety of delicious treats, baked goods, and seasonal bites. Open Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the west entrance of the terminal on Vanderbilt Avenue at 43rd Street.
If you plan on holiday shopping at Grand Central Terminal don’t worry about gift wrapping! Plus, you can snap a pic in the AmericanGreetings.com photo booth while you wait. Holiday Wrap-up will be free of charge for shoppers with receipts from any Grand Central Terminal tenant, so you can forget the stress of finding the perfect wrapping paper yourself. One-of-a-kind gift-wrap paper resembles the stunning celestial ceiling of the main concourse. Open Dec. 8 through Dec. 22, daily from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Biltmore Room.
For more information and to stay up to date with the Grand Central Holiday Fair and vendors, please visit https://www.grandcentralterminal.com/holiday-fair/ and follow Grand Central Terminal on Facebook, Instagram and X.
About Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is one of America’s greatest transportation hubs and one of New York City’s most iconic buildings. It is the long-time terminus of Metro-North Railroad and home to a number of boutique restaurants, cocktail lounges, a gourmet market, and many specialty shops. In the last year, Grand Central’s historic footprint was expanded with the opening of Grand Central Madison, a 700,000-square-foot terminal and concourse designed to service the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). LIRR access into Manhattan’s east side was the most transformative expansion of LIRR service in over a century. For more on Grand Central Madison, visit https://new.mta.info/grandcentralmadison. For the latest Grand Central news, reopenings, and operating updates, visit https://www.grandcentralterminal.com/hf.