The Buzz is an ongoing Visit Altoona feature sponsored by Polk County. Thank you to Polk County for supporting the Altoona community and helping us promote local businesses and events!
‘Twas the week before Christmas… and you still hadn’t done your holiday shopping?
No judgment here. In fact, more than 50% of Americans report some form of holiday shopping procrastination, so you’re in good company.
With that said, you really should stop reading this post and head straight to Outlets of Des Moines, an indoor-outdoor outlet mall in Altoona featuring a variety of premium retailers and unbeatable discounts. Here, you’ll find something for your kids, parents, partner, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, coworkers, bosses, neighbors and everyone else on your list—even that one guy, Jim, who’s impossible to shop for.
But wait! Before you head out, here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know:
Last-Minute Letters to Santa
Are your kids fellow procrastinators? If so, bring them to Santa’s Mailbox and Writing Station in the Food Pavilion, where they can pen their own note to Santa (just in time to make the Nice List). As long as they include your return address on the message, the big guy himself will send a postcard to your family with an offer for a free “Chris-Mouse” chocolate treat from Chocolaterie Stam.
Santa’s Mailbox and Writing Station are open now through December 21st… so don’t wait any longer! Learn more here.
Even Santa appreciates a good discount. Click/tap here for special savings from retailers like Express Factory Outlet, Kay Jewelers, Under Armour and many more.
Like most retailers, Outlets of Des Moines has special hours during the holiday season.
Dec. 14-18: 11AM-7PM
Dec. 19: 9AM-8PM
Dec. 20: 10AM-7PM
Dec. 21-23: 9AM-8PM
(Christmas Eve) Dec. 24: 9AM-6PM
(Christmas Day) Dec. 25: CLOSED
*Note: Individual store/eatery hours may vary. Visit the Outlets website for the most up-to-date information.
Learn more about the Outlets’ holiday hours here.
Due to COVID-19, the Outlets is asking guests to follow CDC guidelines, including wearing a mask, staying home if you have symptoms, practicing social distancing, handwashing and more. Stay up to date on the Outlets’ latest safety guidelines here.
While You’re in Town, Experience Jolly Holiday Lights!
For 25 years, Jolly Holiday Lights has been a tradition for thousands of Central Iowans. This year, head to Adventureland—just down the road from Outlets of Des Moines—and drive through 2.5 miles of beautiful light displays, featuring a cast of iconic Christmas characters.
All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish® Iowa, which uses the funds to grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. It’s a fun way to give back after a day of shopping!
Jolly Holiday Lights is open every day, 5:30-10PM, now through December 30th. Learn more and purchase tickets here.