by Andrea Doyle | November 29, 2017
Andy Williams said it best -- "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" -- and the holidays don't get much more wonderful than in New York. For those meeting groups heading to New York City around the holidays, NYC & Company, New York City's official destination marketing organization, has rounded up both famed and lesser-known holiday shopping gems. 

These suggestions come on the heels of the launch of NYC & Company's new global tourism campaign, True York City, which NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon says "highlighting the authentic New York City, from the well-known to the lesser-known, all 'Famous Originals.'" He adds that "New York City's shopping scene offers visitors and locals incredible variety, from our iconic department stores to unique museums gift shops to artisanal holiday markets and beyond."

Here are five not-to-miss New York City holiday shopping experiences for your groups.

Famed Department Stores 
The original department store to feature Christmas window displays in the early 1870s was Macy's, and the store continues its tradition -- for the 2017-2018 season, the Herald Square's window concept is, "The Perfect Gift Brings People Together." At Tiffany & Co., the brand's history is celebrated with reinterpreted designs of Gene Moore, who pioneered Tiffany's holiday windows and continued creating them for over 50 years. Saks Fifth Avenue will transform its 10-story-tall theatrical light show and all 14 windows into scenes from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in honor of the film's 80th anniversary. Lord & Taylor's 80th annual holiday window display, "The Best and The Brightest" features animated windows showcasing five scenes through the lens of a snow globe. Barneys' "Haas for the Holidays" windows call for diversity: a rainbow zebra is one of the story's heroes and represents universal inclusivity. Bloomingdale's has partnered with Twentieth Century Fox's holiday film The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman and based on the life of P.T. Barnum. Purveyor of high-end designer fashion, Bergdorf Goodman, feature a holiday window display entitled "To New York With Love," a celebration of New York City's cultural institutions. 

Museum Gift Shops
The city's many top-notch museums offer plenty of attractions beyond their exhibits, with gift stores boasting some unique gifts. Much of the merchandise offered in the MoMA Design Store is inspired by its exhibits. Artist-inspired gifts at the Whitney Museum of American Art include postcards by Jeff Koons, Frank Stella, and other notables. The American Museum of Natural History Store stocks a variety of dinosaur ornaments, mirroring the widely visited specimen of T. rex the museum has on public display. The world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art has also curated a gift guide, with memorable gifts from under $25 ideal for the budget traveler to luxury items for the visitor to whom money is no object. For those seeking a less traditional holiday buy, a number of museums offer retro NYC-inspired purchases: Bomber jackets are available at the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum Store and the New York Transit Museum has jewelry that is inspired by subway tokens.

Artisan Markets
Select cultural organizations have also curated artisan markets to be held on their premises this season. The Bronx Museum of the Arts' Artisan Market on Dec. 9 encourages shopping local, while the Queens Museum's Winter Holiday Market takes place the following day, sourcing its products from local artists. Beyond museum-curated artisan markets, unique "craftaculars" housed in urban spaces include the Astoria Market in Queens in the Main Hall of the famous Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden and the Brooklyn Flea's Winter Flea + Holiday Market shoppable on weekends throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Markets
The Grand Central Holiday Fair is held in Vanderbilt Hall, a well-known option inside a historic New York building. New this holiday season are GIFTED: To NY From NY in the heart of Times Square and the Garment District Holiday Market by Urbanspace. These sister markets take some inspiration from well-known favorites including Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and Bryant Park Winter Village Shops.

Hotel Shopping Excursions
On the accommodations front, select luxury hotels are offering shopping excursions and even one-of-a kind pop-ups. The Peninsula New York is offering the Holly Jolly New York Holiday, which includes a stay in a deluxe room, holiday window walking tour, VIP admission to Top of the Rock, and access to Saks Fifth Avenue before store opening, with access to the Fifth Avenue Club. Conrad New York's Holiday Shopper Escape epitomizes downtown luxury and includes a $200 Westfield World Trade Center gift card, a gift box turndown amenity in suite valued at $500 with gifts from Westfield retailers, a tour of Santiago Calatrava's Oculus, and five-star accommodations.Macy's Herald Square is offering a first-ever pop-up location, in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt New York this holiday season through Jan. 1. The Loews Regency also welcomes shoppers, with their Celebrate in the City offering, where guests who book a three-night stay receive a gift card to Bloomingdale's and a CityPass to visit NYC's top attractions. Hosted by luxury property the Refinery Hotel, the La Femme Young & Able Pop-Up welcomes 20 women-led small businesses to showcase their wares.