Discover Ames

A guide to holiday shopping in Ames

November 20, 2023

Holiday Shopping guide web header

Shopping in Ames is always fun, but during the holidays the experience hits a new level of delight. Unique local shops abound in downtown Ames and tucked away throughout the city. So, if you’re looking for a place to spend Small Business Saturday, a Merry & Bright Holiday Weekend getaway, or just a quick run for some last-minute gifts, look no further than Ames!


Nook & Nest / Cooks’ Emporium

These beautifully curated shops provide endless gift possibilities, including home décor, stationery, clothing, jewelry, and kitchenware. Find Nook & Nest at 301 Main St., Cooks’ Emporium at 313 Main, and the new Nook & Nest At Home at 210 5th St.


Moorman Clothiers

Take your clothes-shopping game to the next level! Find men’s and women’s clothes, shoes, coats, and accessories, plus awesome Cyclone apparel and personal service at this classic shop at 226 Main.


Chocolaterie Stam

Say it with chocolate! Find high-quality chocolates for everyone on your list at this European-styled shop at 230 Main St. (While you’re there, stay for a vanilla latte or dish of eggnog gelato!)

Dog-Eared Books

You can count on well-trained staff to help you find the perfect book for everyone on your holiday shopping list. This downtown gem at 203 Main is one of the best independent book shops in Iowa. Don’t forget to say hello to Lovie, the shop dog!

North Grand Mall

Take the kids to sit on Santa’s lap, shop for holiday gifts, grab a Cookies, etc. treat, play games, and see a movie for a fun family holiday outing. North Grand Mall is at 2801 Grand.

Life Distilled

Shop for essential oils and so much more at this modern-day apothecary at 301 Main. You’ll find Iowa-made gifts and many items to support an all-natural lifestyle.

…and more

Downtown Ames abounds with specialty gifts for kids, pets, family, and friends. You can find affordable bottles of wine, bags of coffee, candles, photo gifts, clothing, holiday décor, art, jewelry, classic toys, and stocking stuffers simply by walking up and down Main Street, Fifth Street, and the connecting side streets. Make a day of it with coffee, lunch, and drinks!

Elsewhere in Ames you’ll find sporting goods, Cyclone gear, discount stores, kitchen appliances, toys, pet essentials, electronics, and more. Shop the Campustown, South Duff, North Grand, and Lincoln Way districts for a full weekend shopping extravaganza!


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