The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!
If you’re traveling to NYC via Pennsylvania Station this holiday season and you’re sticking around the 34th street area, you probably already know there are a ton of huge stores nearby, like the flagship location of Macy’s, where you can do your holiday shopping. But as an alternative, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. By shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!
The Flower District
Flowers and plants are a perfect gift for your holiday hosts. They’re beautiful, festive, a bring a splash of the outdoors in to urban dwellers’ homes during those long, dark, winter months. And did you know that Penn Station is located right near Manahattan’s Flower District? Head to the stretch of 28th street between 6th and 7th avenue to shop this historic, NYC experience (the block has been home to a flower market since the 1890s!). Many of the shops here are independently owned, and some, like Bill’s Flower Market and Superior Florist, have been family-owned for over 50 years. Pro tip: arrive early! Your best bet is prior to 9am.
Goodwill Store & Donation Center
Did you know there’s a Goodwill location only a 10-minute walk from Penn Station? With a range of pre-owned clothing, housewares, and more, you never know what you’ll find in a Goodwill. While many people are tempted to buy shiny-and-new presents, supporting this nonprofit is much more in line with the true meaning of the holiday season.
The Thrifty Hog
Chances are, there are multiple people on your list who’ll appreciate your planet-saving action of shopping used. So, in a similar vein to Goodwill and only a block away, is another thrift store. This one, however, feels much more like shopping at a chic, upscale boutique, due to their highly curated selection of gently-used and vintage items. Even better, The Thrifty Hog is a nonprofit whose proceeds benefit homeless mothers and their children.
Of course, if your hectic holiday has you hopping right off NJ Transit, Amtrak, or the LIRR and then rushing straight to a family gathering, you won’t have much time for browsing. But don’t worry, there are shops right inside Pennsylvania Station for last minute gifts!
· Transit Wine and Spirits, on the Amtrak level, is a good spot to pick up a bottle of something to thank your holiday hosts.
· Magnolia Bakery is a New York City Bakery with a location inside Penn Station, near New Jersey Transit. They have delicious pies, cupcakes, and famous banana pudding.
· East West Market is a gift shop inside the station.
· Hudson Booksellers and Hudson News are chains, but both are great options if you quickly need to grab a holiday gift while traveling.