The roadside farm stands are filled with sweetcorn, the cicadas are chirping, and evenings are filled with the smell of smoldering charcoal – that can only mean one thing: summer is coming to a close. Soon kids will be returning to learning, and you’ll need to outfit them with everything they need to start the year off right, and maybe even pick up a little something for yourself too. We’ve compiled a list of the best shopping destinations throughout the metro where you can collect all your fall essentials – just in time for Iowa’s tax-free weekend (clothing and footwear, less than $100) on August 7-8.  

Jordan Creek Town Center 

Kids, tweens and teens love to make a day out of a visit to Jordan Creek Town Center. Some of the popular retails include Buckle, Finish Line, Forever 21, Dillards, DSW, Nike, and Scheels. After a day of shopping, treat your brood to a round of Glow Golf or ColdStone ice cream, best enjoyed lakeside.  

Outlets of Des Moines 

Enjoy outdoor shopping at the new Outlets of Des Moines featuring plenty of value7-priced options to have your kids looking stylish for the new year. Carter’s, Famous Footwear, Levi’s, Maurices, and Under Armor. Make a day of it and visit neighboring Bass Pro Shop and grab an easy dinner at Burger Shed. Pro tip! Check the Catch Des Moines Deals page for a free coupon book.  

Southridge Mall 

Tax advantage of tax-free savings for your fall wardrobe at Southridge Mall. The open-air shopping center features popular stores like, Marshall’s, Target, Ross Dress for Less, Rue 21, and Foot Locker. Visit their sales page to make your budget go even further.  

Valley West Mall 

Loved by parents for school essentials at a great value, you can suit up your student efficiently at JCPenney, or let the tranquil sounds of the pianist at Von Maur soothe you as you negotiate shoe practicality. Valley West Mall also features Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret and Landmark Luggage to pick up the latest Jansport Backpack (are those still cool with the kids?). Round up your packages and grab a treat from Chocolatier Stam on your way out (click here for a special Gelato offer!).  

Merle Hay Mall  

Merle Hay Mall has many popular retailers for kid's apparel, including Kohl’s, Justice, Shoe Carnival, Old Navy, Target, and Journeys. Don’t forget to stock up on mini hand sanitizers at Bath & Body Works. After checking off your shopping list, take a break at Gameday and enjoy a refreshing beverage on the patio. 

For more information about how Iowa’s 2020 tax free weekend works, what’s tax free, and how to make the most of your savings, view the Des Moines Register’s guide here