Decorations for sale at a Christmas Market

Best Holiday Shopping Events in the Iowa City Area

The holidays are a magical time in the Iowa City area. Neighborhoods glow with holiday lights, people are full of holiday cheer, and families, neighborhoods, and communities gather together to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. If you are looking to do some holiday shopping, look no further than the Corridor. In addition to fantastic, locally owned shops, the area also boasts shopping events ranging from single-day markets to a month-long pop-up shop. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something unique at these holiday shopping events.

Small Business Saturday

Join the Iowa City Downtown District and other locally owned businesses as they celebrate Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 25th. Small Business Saturday takes place nationwide on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This annual event was created to encourage people across the country to support small businesses and the local economy.

Holiday Pop-Up Shops

For the first time ever, the Iowa City Downtown District will be hosting a pop-up Holiday Market. The market—which features three shops designed by AKAR ArchiTecture—will be located in Black Hawk Mini Park. For five weeks spanning from November 24th to December 23rd, the three fully-heated shops will feature rotating local businesses showcasing their best Holiday gift items. This is a shopping experience you should be sure not to miss!

Retail Open House

On December 2nd the shops in Downtown Iowa City will be opening their doors for a special holiday shopping experience. Each participating retailer invites you to visit their store from 10:00am–5:00pm for shopping, snacks, drinks, and a special gift. Shoppers are encouraged to take a trolley to the Holiday Thieves Market at the Iowa Memorial Union. The trolley will be running from 10:00am–6:00pm and makes stops outside the IMU, Washington Street, and Market Street.

Iowa City Holiday Market

Every year, the Iowa City Holiday Market—presented by the Iowa City Farmers Market—gives the community an opportunity to buy homegrown, homemade, and handcrafted holiday gifts and food. This year, the market will take place on Saturday, December 9th from 8:00am–1:00pm at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center.

Old World Christmas Market

The Old World Christmas Market is back for its 8th year. The Market—which takes place at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library—provides shoppers with one-of-a-kind gifts and treats from around the world. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy live music, dance performances, and holiday treats as they shop for specialty imports and handmade gifts. The market will be taking place on Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00am–5:00pm and Sunday, December 3rd from 10:00am–3:00pm. For more information, visit the Old World Christmas Market page on the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library website.

Modela’s Holiday Market

Modela—a local shop specializing in artisan made, ethically produced home goods and accessories from Mexico and Morocco—will be hosting a Holiday Market at RADinc this holiday season. An opening reception will take place on Friday, November 30th from 4–7:00pm and the market will take place from December 1st–10th and will be open from 11:00am–6:00pm each day.

Holiday Thieves Market

This annual event—presented by the University of Iowa Fine Arts Council—is an art exhibition and sale held at the Iowa Memorial Union. The market showcases artistic work ranging from painting, jewelry, photography, printmaking, glassy, mixed media, and more. In addition to the art exhibition, shoppers can enjoy a holiday concert from UI Old Gold, wine and craft beer tasting, free gift wrapping and sales special at the Iowa Hawk Shop, and much more. The 2017 Holiday Thieves’ Market will take place on Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00am–5:00pm and Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 from 10:00am–4:00pm. Attendees are welcome to take the complimentary trolley ride to and from the Iowa City Downtown District Retail Open House. 

Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair

Not Your Mother’s Craft Fair is back for its 4th year. This year’s event will be taking place on Saturday, December 9th from 9:00am–3:00pm. This fun event features the best goods from local artists and makers, as well as music and drinks.

Eastside Artists Show

The Eastside Artists Show is a holiday event featuring an impressive collection of local, handcrafted gifts. The event—which will take place from December 8–10th at the Masonic Building in downtown Iowa City—will feature art and gifts ranging from woodworking, fiber art, photography, printmaking, ceramics, ornaments, jewelry, and cards. The show will be open from 10am–8pm on the 8th, as well as 10am–5pm on the 9th and 10th.

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