The Best Shops For Last-Minute Christmas Shopping in NYC

People walking through the Christmas lights lit hallways of Chelsea Market, getting their last minute shopping done

Once again I've left all of my Christmas shopping until the last minute… or, at least, until the last weekend, when it's too risky to shop online, and stores (and whole neighborhoods, ahem, Soho) should be crazy. But fun crazy! After all, it's Christmas, and you're buying things for people you love. Right? Right.

Anyway, we all have our go-to shopping spots to get inspired AND get a lot accomplished, and aside from holiday shopping at Columbus Circle's market, here are a few that I've come back to again and again over the years.

Women looks through the basket of "Merry Little Gifts" at Sur La Table for last minute Christmas stocking stuffers

Kitchen and Edible Gift Ideas

Since everyone I know has a kitchen that they use to varying degrees, it's hard not to find something good at Sur la Table, the French import that's become something of a NYC institution. They have stores on the Upper East Side, in Soho, and on West 57th. The quality is high, the designs sleek, the prices reasonable. If you'd rather just cut to the chase and give actual food–my personal favorite gift to receive–just about every neighborhood in town has an excellent sweet shop or three these days, including:

People walking through the MoMa Store in NYC finishing off their Christmas shopping

Gifts Ideas For Kids and The Home

For general houseware-ish gifts, the MoMA Design Stores are always a good bet, plus they also have stuff for kitchens, for kids, for Christmas, jewelry, terrific scarves. And, it goes without saying, it all looks fantastic. Speaking of kids, I've always been a fan of the "family oriented design store" YoyaMart in the West Village/Meatpacking District, with its terrific collection of collectible vinyl toys (see also for these: Kidrobot on Prince, and My Plastic Heart on Forsythe), books, and clothing. Also good-looking: the kid's clothing at Babesta in Tribeca.   

Young girl holding a cup cake stuffed animal with a big smile on her face as she shops for last minute gifts for christmas

Other contenders we've been tossing around for the best last minute holiday shopping in New York include the excellent Kiosk on Spring Street, where even the most mundane items suddenly become special (plus: this may be Kiosk's last Christmas here, as the amiable owners are facing a massive rent hike); Tannen's Magic Store in Herald Square, packed-to-the-rafters with tricks for all levels of interest and expertise; and the one-two Williamsburg multi-vendor punch of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar (Friday and Saturday nights) and the new Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg indoor Winter Market (Saturday and Sunday days). Both of these also have first-rate snacks, by the way.

Three people looking through a display case at the NYC shop called Kiosk for Christmas gift inspiration

Wherever you go, whatever you do, and whatever you buy, just remember the adage we tell kids (which is good advice for adults too): It's the thought that counts. Happy shopping!


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