Holiday Promenade and Gift Mart: Shop for the holidays

There are two unique excuses this weekend to get some of your holiday shopping done a little early this year: Holiday Promenade in the East Village and Junior League of Des Moines’ Gift Mart at the Polk County Convention Center.

Holiday Promenade in the East Village

Support the arts and culture of downtown Des Moines by attending the 2010 Holiday Promenade in East Village this Friday night Nov. 19. From 5 – 9 p.m. the stores in the East Village will come alive with holiday cheer, one-of-a-kind gifts and event a few snacks along the way. If that isn’t convincing enough, at 6:15 p.m. there will be fireworks!

A few of my favorite shops in the East Village include:

  • Ephemera Stationary Studio – fabulous custom stationery and handmade gifts
  • Porch Light – antiques and homemade goods with style including everything from dishes to jewelry
  • Found Things – vintage antiques (great furniture, dishes and decorations) at affordable prices
  • Dornink – classy and costume jewelry plus high fashion dresses
  • Vitae Design Collective – a collection of jewelry, clothing and boots (best eclectic collection of boots in town)
  • RAYGUN – home of comfortable t-shirts that are cleverly hilarious

Junior League of Des Moines: Gift Mart

Gift Mart, which is in its 21st year, is one of the yearly fundraisers for the Junior League of Des Moines, an organization for women that promotes developing the potential of women, improving communities and promotes voluntarism. At Gift Mart you’ll find 55 boutique-like retailers from Iowa and the surrounding states selling items including women and children’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, home furnishings, art, toys and food. Most gifts are between $5 – $200.

“You might want to plan on being at Gift Mart 2-4 hours,” said Angie Lookingbill, the 2010 Gift Mart chair. “It’s one of those places where you can keep going back and always finding new treasures.”

Gift Mart, located inside the Polk County Convention Center, is open for two more days. Shop from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov 20. Both days there is a $5 entrance fee, which will support community projects focused on fighting childhood obesity.

“The Junior League’s projects this year include building a KaBOOM! playground outside the South Suburban YMCA, providing meals and mentoring families at the Lighthouse Host Home, growing vegetables at the Downtown Community Garden and donating them to the Children & Families of Iowa, and creating an educational and interactive exhibit emphasizing health and wellness at the Science Center of Iowa,” said Lookingbill.

Grab a group of friends and plan to visit both of these great events this weekend. You’ll get your holiday shopping done early and you’ll have a good time while doing so!

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