Shop Local: Iowa City Holiday Shopping Guide

One of the many fabulous qualities of Iowa City is the abundance of locally-owned shops, restaurants, and businesses.  One of the many fabulous qualities of the people that live here is our dedication to supporting our neighbors.  Today the Iowa City Moms Blog team came together to share some of our favorite places to shop local this holiday season!

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the locally-owned shopping options, just a glimpse at a few of our personal favorites. We also are big fans of the Downtown Iowa City Gift Card option and supporting our friends and family that run in-home businesses. All in all, the corridor is packed with awesome options to shop local now and all through the year. Happy Shopping!


Consumable Gifts

Amana Shops

4423 220th Trl, Amana, IA 52203 (Map)

From fudge, wine, and cheese, to blankets, clothing, and furniture, the Amana Colonies has it all!

“I love shopping in the various shops in Amana. The General Store is my go-to place shop for coffee, local jams, and jellies. Ackerman Winery is my favorite for fruit wines!” – Becky


117-119 E College St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

This shop recently expanded in the space that used to house Soap Opera (a former favorite of the ICMB team). In addition to their huge selection of clothing and accessories (both new and consignment), they now have a fantastic offering of soaps, lotions, and candles that are lovely as well!

Brick Arch Winery

116 W Main St, West Branch, IA 53258 (Map)

I love bringing wine as hostess gifts for holiday gatherings. Local wine makes the gift extra special, and Brick Arch Winery has a great selection at a reasonable price point.  I also love the fun wine accessories in the shop–perfect way to turn wine into a gift for someone special.” – Jessi

John’s Grocery

401 E Market St, Iowa City, IA 52245 (Map)

“We like John’s Grocery for hard to find beers for adult friends and family. They also have a wide variety of glassware that is cool, too.” – Melissa

Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery

1441 Marak Rd NW, Swisher, IA 52338 (Map)

Another great option for local wine, but a favorite for any whiskey connoisseurs on your list! Cedar Ridge offers 7 different whiskeys made from Iowa corn. There’s even a Sip & Shop event at the winery on Black Friday if you’re ready to check it out.

Unique Gifts

Slightly Vintage 

317 N Calhoun St, West Liberty, IA 52776 (Map)

“Slightly Vintage always has unique pieces that have been recycled into awesome home decor. They are also an authorized retailer of Melissa & Doug, so I often find nice toys here, too.” – Angelica

Home Ec. Workshop

207 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245 (Map)

Wonderful selection of fabric and craft supplies for the creative people on your list. They also teach many kinds of craft classes, which would make wonderful gifts or stocking stuffers.


140 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245 (Map)

“RSVP has beautiful papers if you are wrapping a special gift, great blank books for the journaling/writer recipient, and beautifully-made cards.  Even if you don’t buy all of your holiday cards there, it’s perfect for that special person!”

Daydreams Comics

21 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

“This is the place to go for comics! They offer really great personal service and provide excellent recommendations. They also carry other books, toys, and collectibles, in addition to comics. And they have stuff for all ages; in fact, two of my son’s favorite books were purchased from Daydreams Comics.” – Meghann

Prairie Lights

15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

The perfect place to hand-select a book that your loved one will enjoy.  We especially love the large selection of authors that have ties back to the world-renowned University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop.

Stuff Etc.

1027 Highway 6 E, Iowa City (Map)
2818 Commerce Dr, Coralville (Map)

“We really try to shop for less and repurpose items, so we love Stuff Etc.. Plus, we can give our kids some cash and let them shop for us in the store while we wait off to the side, which is fun for them.” – Dawn


257 Iowa Ave, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

AKAR has fantastic ceramics and pottery, in addition to a great assortment of unique gifts for anyone on your list!

“My favorite areas at AKAR are the kitchen and children’s sections. If you have a cook you are shopping for they have unique gadgets that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. They also have an awesome children’s section full of unique clothes and toys.” – Angelica

Gifts of Apparel & Accessories


30 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

This is our favorite for unique hawkeye apparel with a vintage flair!

“I love Tailgate’s clothes because they are SO soft, and they are really good quality. I shop here for myself, my hubby, and they have the CUTEST kid’s Hawkeye apparel! You have to snag it quickly though, because the kids inventory doesn’t last long.” – Sara


2 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

You gotta stop here for a holiday dress! Is it bad to shop for yourself around the holidays? Oops.


7 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

“Catherine’s has a huge selection of the most amazing socks and leggings ever! My husband knows that this is the place to shop for me!” – Lianna


920 E 2nd Ave, Coralville, IA 52241 (Map)

“Evereve is my new go-to for myself, so I would say to shop here for clothes and accessories for all the women in your life! They really cater to moms by having an area by the dressing rooms for kids to play.” – Michele

White Rabbit 

112 S Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

Shop here for the hipsters on your list. You’ll find fun screen-printed tees along with unique and funky clothes and accessories.

Diamond Leaf Jewelers 

920 E 2nd Ave Ste 117, Coralville, IA 52241 (Map)

If you’re in the market for beautiful, original jewelry, this is the place to go. The artist is talented, caring, and dedicated to providing an individualized experience. They also offer jewelry repair, cleaning, and watch repairs!

“Miriam at Diamond Leaf Jewelers designed my engagement ring and she is just wonderful!” – Caroline


103 E College St Ste 102, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

Witty graphic tees for the whole family! We love the loud and proud Midwest vibe of everything at Raygun.

“I shop at Raygun because they have awesome sale racks and funny tees that I love to send to out-of-state relatives!” – Ashley

Active Endeavors

138 Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

This place is full of top-notch apparel and so much more! It’s everything that the adventure-seeker on your list needs, with the experts to help you select the right gift. We also love that they have ANF gear.

Silver Spider

201 S Clinton St Ste 154, Iowa City, IA 52240 (Map)

This is a great stop if you have teens or young adults on your list! They have a great assortment of quirky gifts, unique toys, and funky jewelry and accessories. Bonus: there’s a second shop in Mt. Vernon!

Where do you like to SHOP LOCAL during the holiday season?



Jessi is a creative, organized and enthusiastic girl mom with a soft spot for country music and all that it entails. She's a single mom to two sassy little girls (born in 2014 & 2018). She's putting down roots in West Branch, Iowa, just a few miles from her hometown of West Liberty. Jessi works in fundraising, event coordination and community development and enjoys hiking, crafts, bargain hunting, party planning, and taking in the simple joys of life. She is admittedly addicted to funny memes, is passionate about philanthropy, and is completely smitten by the adventure of motherhood.


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