The Shopping List
Get ready to shop 'til you drop in Greater Des Moines. The region is bursting with everything you need to outfit your family with the latest fashions, your home with the perfect decor, and your loved ones with thoughtful gifts. Make plans to enjoy a weekend zipping around the metro, dipping into local boutiques, collecting the latest trends from big-name brands, and immersing yourself in the delights at shopping, dining, and entertainment meccas.
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Friday: Dinner and a show at Jordan Creek Town Center
Boasting everything you need to stay entertained and fueled for a fun-filled evening, Jordan Creek Town Center is the perfect place to start your shopping extravaganza. With dining options for every taste, you can easily find cuisine to please the entire crew! Jordan Creek has an abundant food court with familiar flavors like Panera Bread and Chick-Fil-A, as well as local favorite Zombie Burger – we dare you to try the zombie bride wedding cake shake!
Outside, you'll find full-service restaurants surrounding the beautiful pond and amphitheater, including Joe's Crab Shack, Cheesecake Factory, On the Border, P. F. Changs, Wahlburgers, and Fleming's Steakhouse. After dinner, take a brisk walk around the pond to work off dessert, and then head back inside for your mission or catch a flick at Century21 Theaters with some of the biggest screens (and biggest recliners) in town.
Where to stay: Residence Inn by Marriott – located right along the trail encircling the pond at Jordan Creek!
Name brand highlights: Nike, DSW, Apple, Scheel's, Dillards, Athleta, Coach, Pottery Barn, J. Crew, White House Black Market, Anthropologie and Williams Sonoma
Saturday: Local stores and boutiques
While you're in West Des Moines, no shopping excursion is complete without a stroll through Historic Valley Junction. From kitschy to classy, you’ll find vintage shops, clothing boutiques and art galleries all situated within a lively district full of murals and beautiful florals. Check out Hinge for cute (and affordable) fashions and home goods. Bozz Prints will outfit your home or office with hip prints and posters with a Midwest bent. Make to stop into Artisan Gallery 218, where you can join a jewelry making class and peruse locally made art pieces, and Heart of Iowa Marketplace, where you can collect Iowa-made goodies such as fudge, jams, and unique gifts.
Where to eat: The Hall – a busy beer hall fashioned out of a former train depot serving dozens of beers on tap and food like burgers, brats and pizza.
Fun stuff: Jordan House Museum, Farmer's Market & Music in the Junction (Thursdays May – October), Jingle in the Junction (Thursdays in November/December), Cinque de Mayo Festival, and art and craft bazaars
Nearby in Urbandale, you'll want to set aside an hour or two to visit Homemakers – a decorator's paradise! This behemoth furniture showroom spans 215,000 square feet and features a coffee and cookie shop to keep shoppers energized. Shoppers will find inspiration for decorating throughout 13 departments catering to every price point, and the new HM Outlet.
Where to eat: Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano - a casual Italian restaurant offering an extensive selection of house-made and imported pastas, soups & salads, pizza, seafood, steaks, and desserts.
Next stop: Valley West Mall. The perfect place to stock up on wardrobe staples for the whole family, Valley West Mall features popular retailers such as Buckle, Express, Maurice's, JCPenney, and Von Maur, as well as fast-casual eateries, including Noodles & Company, Blaze Pizza, and Maid-Rite.
Where to eat: Mac Shack – a menu dedicated to all things cheesy carbs – what could be better? How about that, plus an arcade, sports bar, and pool tables.
Sunday: Downtown and East and North suburbs
Wake up early and head downtown for this leg of your shopping journey! It's time to enjoy a cup of coffee while you browse four floors of treasures at West End Architectural Salvage. If the name sounds familiar, you've probably seen their DIY network show called "West End Salvage." Here you can shop for unique finds such as antiques, handcrafted gifts, and repurposed furniture. Fun fact: when The Today Show comes to town for Iowa Caucuses every four years, this is where they film!
Head east a dozen blocks to explore the Historic East Village – a vibrant and diverse shopping and entertainment destination in downtown Des Moines' most. During your tour, you'll be to be sure and stop into Raygun – an irreverent t-shirt store selling goods and novelties screen printed with hilarious takes on current events. Other noteworthy stores include AllSpice Culinarium (local spices and flavors of the city), Sticks (local art gallery and custom furnishings), Fleet Feet Des Moines (running and active apparel for traversing Greater Des Moines' 800-mile trail system!).
Fun stuff: Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines Art Center, Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens, Up-Down, Brenton Skating Plaza, Science Center of Iowa, State Historical Museum, B-Cycle, Wooly's concert venue, Capital City Pride Festival (June), Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market (Saturdays May – October)
Where to eat: The Stuffed Olive – serving over 100 kinds of martinis and a tapas-style menu
Dessert: Molly's Cupcakes – a delightfully sweet after dinner stop featuring swings at the counter!
Where to get drinks: Margarita and queso flights at Rita's Cantina
Pro tip: visit the Catch Des Moines Deals page for a special coupon book offer!
Where to eat: Johnny's Italian Steakhouse – be sure to ask for a table on the heated patio overlooking a scenic lake
Before heading home, visit Southridge Mall - the only enclosed shopping center serving the south side of Des Moines. Southridge Mall features a range of retailers, including Foot Locker, Marshalls, Party City, and Target. The Southridge 12 Theaters, an AMC Classic Theater, is located on the mall's south-east side.
Or, travel a quick 10 minutes north to the District at Prairie Trail – a shopping, dining, and entertainment center located in Ankeny. Here you'll find locations of popular area eateries such as Jethro's BBQ n' Lakehouse and Fong's Pizza, along with new kids on the block like Lola's Fine Kitchen, serving one-of-a-kind Filipino-Pakistani fusion that is just as tasty as their store-bought hot sauce.