Every year, red and white striped tents filled with holiday goodies turn Manhattan's Union Square into a winter wonderland. Visitors from around the world come to shop the unique gifts, many made by local artisans, while sipping some of the city's best hot chocolate and munching on specialty foods from top vendors.
The Union Square Holiday Market, curated by UrbanSpace, opened for its 19th season on Friday with some new additions.
There is a Little Brooklyn section this year, featuring handmade gifts from the borough, and carolers will serenade shoppers with holiday tunes.
The number of food vendors is growing and includes Momofuku Milk Bar, Wafels & Dinges, Hong Kong Street Cart and more, and local businesses can order delivery via Seamless.com.
More than 150 vendors are participating, and shoppers can keep track with a free iPhone app called Here App, which has an interactive market map, vendor descriptions, discounts and deals.
While you're shopping everything from fine jewelry and fur hats to artwork and aromatherapy oils, don't forget to stop by the information booth and donate to the American Red Cross for New Yorkers affected by superstorm Sandy. Some vendors will donate a percentage of their sales to the cause.
Photo: Shoppers walk through a previous Union Square Holiday Market in Manhattan. The market opens Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, for it's 19th season.