Indiana boasts a wonderful selection of shopping venues, from metropolitan malls to whole town streets lined with shops. If you're looking for a fantastic Christmas shopping experience, check out these Indiana shopping hotspots.
Nashville is among the most famous shopping spots in Indiana. From jewelry, to sweaters and wraps, to art, to trinkets, to handmade craft items, even to knife shops and leatherworks, there is sure to be something for every person on your Christmas list. There are even snack shops and candy stores on almost every corner for that loved one with an overactive sweet tooth. You might also catch the glassblowing artist at work as he creates stunning unique pieces. Nashville is also home to two year-round Christmas shops stuffed with ornaments and other decorations, and specialized Christmas gifts. On one of the side streets is a winery and gift shop for the wine connoisseur in your family. Yes, Indiana's Nashville is a one-stop Christmas shopping destination for unique and distinctive treasures.
Don't let Muncie's status as a simple Central Indiana town fool you: the Muncie Mall is the hot shopping destination in Muncie. You won't find many homemade goodies here, though, since the Muncie Mall is more of an urban treasure trove. Just to name a few of the resident big-name stores, Bath and Body Works, Books-A-Million, Macy's, JC Penney's, Carson's, and Sears all call Muncie Mall their home. For that one person in the family who couldn't care less about “mainstream” gifts and opts instead for licensed fan loot from anime, movies, television, and other fandoms, Muncie Mall also boasts the edgier stores Hot Topic, Nirvana, and F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment). Although there is no formal food court, there are a few places to sit down and grab a bite to eat, or a giant soft pretzel if you prefer. Surrounding Muncie Mall is the Muncie Plaza, just in case you don't quite find what you're looking for. Also within the plaza is the national chain store Michael's for all your Christmas crafting needs, including stocking stuffers for the crafter on your Nice List.
The big shopping destination in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area is Jefferson Pointe, an open-area shopping complex that includes boutiques, movie theaters, restaurants, and specialty stores. Stroll through the avenues, and during Christmastime gaze up at the towering Christmas tree in the plaza's center, and window shop in the many storefronts within the outdoor mall. The extensive list of shops and stores comprising the Pointe is quite impressive: there are a total of seventy-six individual entities in the complex, with some outlying restaurants and stores not officially affiliated with the Pointe. Among these stores are Michael's crafts, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ulta Beauty, Charming Charlies, Barnes and Noble, Yankee Candle, and of course the ritzy department store Von Maur. The Pointe's website contains a map with a comprehensive list of stores and their numbered locations within the complex.
A subsidiary of Simon Malls, the Hamilton Town Center is another open-area mall with restaurants, apparel stores, and an IMAX movie theater. The relaxed-atmosphere Five Guys is among the most-visited restaurants in the center, as is the slightly higher-end Houlihan's … but if you're looking for a rowdier dinner hour, visit Mo's Irish Pub on the corner (live music is regularly scheduled!). For the sparkle queen on your Nice List, there's Charming Charlies, Claire's, and Maurices in addition to other clothing and apparel stores. For your fitness guru, there is GNC, Gymboree, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Earth Fare. Fitness not popular among your crowd? You simply must visit Fuzziwig's Candy Factory: floor-to-ceiling candy dispensers are every child's dream, and yes, that includes your inner child. This short list only scratches the surface of what's waiting for you at Hamilton Town Center. It's a definite “yes” for your shopping tour.
Another subsidiary of Simon Malls, the Castleton Square Mall is an enclosed mall boasting such big names as Build-A-Bear Workshop, Victoria's Secret, and Forever 21, and their on-site movie theater features fourteen screens. Touted by Simon's website as “the largest mall in the state of Indiana,” the final store count is one hundred and thirty! But that's not all: The Square also has a play area for your little ones just in case the wide range of stores doesn't hold their attention. Hungry from a long day of shopping? McAlister's Deli and Chick-Fil-A are right there. Castleton Square is more than a shopping destination, it's an experience you'd have to see to believe.
With a wide range of stores from mainstream Pier 1 Imports, Old Navy, and LOFT, to lesser-known fabulous shops like Color Me Mine, Purse Strings, and The Village Clock Shop and Home Furnishings, Clay Terrance is an open-area shopping complex offering more than just shopping. There is also a selection of hair salons for both men and women, eyebrow threading salons, massage spas, and nail salons (gift cards as stocking stuffers, anyone?). There are also highly specialized businesses in the complex for things other than Christmas shopping: a martial arts studio, a fresh fish market, and a dry-cleaning service. Make sure to visit Clay Terrace during your Christmas shopping season … it's sure to please!
Good news! There's a fantastic mall in Edinburgh. Better news! You don't have to go all the way to Edinburgh, Scotland to find it! Edinburgh, Indiana, just off I-65 in the south-central area of the state, is home to a massive complex of outlet stores. Owned by Simon Malls, this sprawling conglomerate of eighty-five stores is nothing but pure shopping bliss, mostly for the fashionistas. With such high-profile names as Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Calvin Klein, The Gap, Kay Jewelers, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Zales, and of course the eighties and nineties sensation OshKosh B'Gosh, Edinburgh Outlets is the North Pole of high-brow Christmas shopping. There isn't much in the way of extras in the form of cinemas, restaurants, or kids' areas, but with all the big-name brand outlets right there with a stone's throw of each other, you won't need the break.
Let's face it … many of us can't afford to drop the money on an A&F sweater that may or may not fit your loved one. Or perhaps you'll be providing the stocking stuffers this year at Grandma and Grandpa's and need to get a lot of bang for your buck. Darlington Farms is the place for you. Inside the big warehouse, there isn't much in the way of scenery to look at, but that's because there's no room for decorations: the floor is stocked with over two million gifts-to-be! With the exception of a few gourmet Christmas treats and tins of flavored popcorn, everything is $1.69. Children's books, grown-ups' books, health and beauty supplies, kitchen wares, ornaments galore, trinkets and trinket boxes, even some basic tools for your resident handy elf, toys, art and craft supplies, and a fluffle of stuffed animals are just waiting to go home with you in your own sleigh. You'll get a lot of Christmas for not a lot of tinsel!
If you're a big fan of Amish crafting and cuisine, Shipshewana is the place of your shopping dreams. There is something for every man, woman, tween, and child on your Nice List. Gifts for the home, kitchen, workshop, playroom, and even the music room abound in the shops at “Shipshee.” But are you the one with a bit of a shopping problem? Good news! Amish craftsmen are ready to provide you with your very own outbuilding to free up space in your house. If you're the one crafting the gifts, art supply shops have what you need. There are also antique shops, specialty stores, and even shops of only locally-made wares. Of course, this is the Amish we're talking about, so you can bet that there are candy and snack shops in abundance for you to get your dose of those special, delicious treats. Everyone knows how exhausting Christmas shopping can be and how good it feels to sit down for a spell and refuel for the next several hours of browsing. Restaurants, bakeries, specialty grocery stores, and cafes, even a pizzeria or two, are ready to take your order. Still curious about Shipshewana's offerings? You can order their booklet “101 Things to Do in Shipshewana” from their website.
At the extreme northwest corner of the state, just an hour outside Chicago, sits the Lighthouse Place, a 120-store campus of an impressive range of shopping choices. From Vera Bradley and North Face to Ben's Soft Pretzels to Toys-R-Us to the gourmet dreams of Lindt and Le Creuset, you can find something for everyone on your Nice List. There are even a few restaurants within the complex so you can take a break and refuel before storming the shops once again. The mall is an open-area mall, called “village-like” by the mall's website, and just one mile from the shore, the great Lake Michigan is just within sight.
With several locations in the north, central, and south of the state, Ten Thousand Villages is more of a movement than a store. The inventory is imported via fair trade with artisans in dozens of countries around the world. Based on Mahatma Gandhi's quote regarding the tens of thousands of villages who are essentially forgotten in favor of large touristy metropolises, the mission of Ten Thousand Villages is to open fair trade with developing countries, not to provide for them, but to give them the means to provide for themselves by buying the fruits of their labor. If your goal is to give gifts of global significance this Christmas, visit a Ten Thousand Villages outlet near you.
For the cream of the crop in name-brand shopping and upscale dining, you can't beat the Fashion Mall at Keystone … but Santa says you must be really good for this one. Not only do Saks Fifth and Tiffany make their home here, but Apple and Microsoft stores also sell their latest cutting-edge releases for Santa to tuck under the tree. Recharge at Sullivan's Steakhouse or the hip Fashion Café, enjoy a new release on one of the big screens at Keystone Art Cinema, and finish the day with a sweet nightcap at The Cheesecake Factory. It's not a bargain basement, but the Fashion Mall at Keystone is definitely a top dog when it comes to high-brow lifestyle shopping.
Washington Square is anything but mainstream or cookie-cutter. Over 70 stores of technology services, intimate fashion, hair and nail salons, jewelry, custom printing services, gaming stores, even pet care and children's area make for a fun and variegated shopping experience that put the “hop” back in “shopping.” Their ranks are growing, too … “Coming Soon” appears frequently in their store directory, so keep an eye on their website for new shops and stores opening often.
So far, we've covered a few homey shopping venues but mostly malls and outlets, but Indiana has another charming antique village up its sleeve. Metamora, Indiana, historically a canal town, is now chock full of quaint stores and artisans' shops full of homemade goodies and crafts for the country-living lover on your Nice List. As you browse the handmade wares of local craftsman and cooks, you can learn about the history of the Whitewater Canal and of the town beginning in 1838. If your plan is to get your Christmas shopping done early, then you're in the clear, but if you're looking for a snow-dusted twilight stroll through the shops, you'll have to plan carefully since not every feature of the town is open year-round. But once you get there, you'll see that the planning was worth it. Metamora is a perfect venue for more intimate, meaningful shopping and gift-giving.
Connected to the Indiana Convention Center via skywalk, the Circle City mall sees gaggles of magnificent cosplays during convention season, and during Christmastime sees the occasional choir or orchestral flash mob offering surprise Christmas cheer to shoppers. With stores including Carson Pirie Scott and Banana Republic, and options such as Hot Topic and Nirvana, Circle Center Mall is sure to have something for everyone. Christmas shopping can drain you and leave you with little to no energy to give your sweetheart, so why not check two things off your to-do list at once by making your shopping trip a date. Browse the treasures in the store and then have dinner at one of the mall's eight very nice restaurants including Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, P.F. Chang's, and for the diehard bluebloods of the sports world, the Colts Grille, then finish off your evening with a movie in the United Artists Cinema and dessert at Nestle Tollhouse. Of course, there's more shopping to be done and more nightlife to experience on the streets around the mall, and perhaps best of all, the mall is a five-minute walk from Monument Circle, where during the Christmas season there are horse-drawn carriage rides available for a truly romantic date night to cap your day of Christmas shopping. If you're Christmas shopping in Indiana, make sure to visit Circle Center Mall for an experience you'll never forget.
Whether your shopping list features mostly handcrafted, homey gifts or elite, fashion-forward gifts, Indiana has a shopping destination to fit your needs. Most of the malls listed will host Santa, so keep tabs on their websites to see when you can get your picture with the jolly old elf. We hope to see you in one of our impressive shopping venues when you come #ShopOurState!