The Brooklyn Navy Yard is preparing to host its 6th annual Wallabout Wonderland holiday market on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 with over 200 vendors, local small businesses, free family activities, custom gift-making, and more.
Shop owners will line the halls and stalls inside a 100,000 square-foot building at the Navy Yard, selling everything from homemade goods and wellness products to custom jewelry and apparel for Brooklynites looking to get a head start on holiday shopping.
Though shopping is heavily encouraged, event organizers hope visitors will stick around to experience the Navy Yard as a whole and stop by the Family Zone, the “Self Care Oasis,” or the food court.
“We’ve really been thinking about opportunities to bring the community here to stay, experience the yard and have a really good time, have access to opportunities,” said Carli Beseau, vice president of exhibits and programs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Family Zone will be kitted out with free activities for families with kids of all ages including cookie decorating, holiday-card making, Lego-building and a balloon house; while the Self Care Oasis offers massages and pampering to combat holiday season stress.
Of the 200 vendors expected to set up shop, 30 of them are current storefronts within the Navy Yard. The other 170 were chosen from the community so they can connect their goods with the right local clientele. According to Beseau, more than 50% of vendors will be women and minority-owned businesses.
“When we first started six years ago we had a lot of small business that did not have a brick-and-mortar presence, so we wanted to give them a platform to sell,” Beseau said. “It’s rooted in our expertise in providing opportunities for our businesses to grow and thrive, but a broader dedication to Brooklyn small businesses and entrepreneurs overall, which is also what makes this event really special.”
Young chefs from the Navy Yard’s Brooklyn STEAM Center, a training and education center, will showcase some of what they’ve learned during the marketplace as they serve up some of their yummy creations.
Damiano Mastrandrea, Senior Director of Pathways and Partnerships with the STEAM Center, said the partnership speaks to the school’s belief in working alongside and making sure that they have opportunities for their own intrinsic motivation to grow.
“Being brought together at the STEAM Center is one thing, and then being able to share their passions, excitement and actually have the community see what they’re doing is not just a fun program we do but something that’s preparing them to be productive, economically impacting members of society,” Mastrandrea told Brooklyn Paper.
The holiday market place will run from Dec. 2 until Dec. 3 from 12-5 p.m. in Building 293 at Assembly Road and Gee Avenue within the Navy Yard. The event is free and open to the public.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is proud to empower their partners and indulge in some holiday cheer, according to Lindsay Greene, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
“We look forward to welcoming New Yorkers and visitors from across the globe to the sixth annual Wallabout Wonderland Holiday Market,” Greene said in a statement. “They will have an opportunity to learn more about what happens behind the scenes at the Yard and participate in festive, family-friendly activities, while supporting small businesses at the largest pop-up holiday market in Brooklyn.”