Sometimes we need to immerse ourselves in the shopping experience to help us get ready for Christmas. Thankfully, some of the best Christmas shopping destinations in the Midwest are in the heart of already bustling cities or attractions. Plan a vacation to any one of these destinations to put together an awesome holiday shopping experience where you can also experience an exciting city.
Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Chicago’s Michigan Avenue is also known as the Magnificent Mile, and is the city’s featured shopping district. Brands from around the world vie for retail space on the mile long stretch of road that goes from Water Tower Place all the way to the Chicago River. There are several flagship stores for big brands, but also some unique gems like one of the first American Girl stores, Vosges Chocolate and the new Benetton Building. Off Michigan Avenue shopping is just as exciting with luxury and designer brands filling Oak Street, a German Christmas Market hosted by the city in Daley Plaza and State Street’s parade of Christmas windows dressed up by retailers for shoppers.
Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Named the Mall of America, this Midwest shopping destination has everything you could ever want all under one roof. Part shopping mall, part amusement park, the mall is a vacation destination all on its own. People from around the world fly in to the Twin Cities, book a stay at the adjoining hotels and and don’t ever have to leave the mall to eat, sleep, have fun, explore and of course, do a lot of shopping. Big name events and concerts fill the calendar, so find out what is going on leading up to the Christmas shopping season and plan your trip around something exciting.
Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Michigan
For a truly Christmas themed experience, a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan is just the ticket. The store’s claim to fame is making itself the largest Christmas store in the world, with thousands of ornaments to choose from, and even more decorations to fill an entire home in any type of Christmas decor color scheme or theme imaginable. The entire town of Frankenmuth caters to tourists around Christmas, and you won’t be disappointed by the unique shopping choices, from a cheesemaker to a clock company and even a brewery.
Branson, Missouri has quickly become the vacation destination for families, and during the Christmas season the city and its attractions transform themselves into a magical winter wonderland. The Silver Dollar City Christmas market is something straight out of the famous European Christmas markets, where you can shop for one of a kind, handmade and artisan gifts to fill your shopping bags. Hundreds of resident crafters are given booths to sell their wares, making this one of the few shopping destinations that is perfect for the entire family. Once you’ve had your fill of the shopping, have fun in the water parks, theaters and museums that fill Branson, Missouri.
Pam Buttikofer is a co-founder of Imperfect Women. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 37 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, sons and her lovable pups.