Dec 4, 2021 - Things to Do

Des Moines metro's ultra-local holiday gift guide

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We've all heard the call to skip chain stores and buy local this holiday season.

Reality check: The real reason to shop local is because it's better. Des Moines businesses are making tons of cool stuff, which is often unique and more meaningful.

Here are few gift ideas for everyone on your list — inspired in part by Catch Des Moines' 2021 local gift guide.

For the friend with city pride: DSM's logo has decades of history and production of its flag was brought out of retirement just a few years ago.

A photo of Des Moines' pride flag.
Des Moines' pride flag was introduced this year. Photo courtesy of Dennis Haney of DSM

For the coffee-obsessed: Des Moines-based BLK & Bold, which bills itself as the first Black-owned and nationally distributed coffee and tea brand, donates 5% of its profits to support youth groups.

A photo of Des Moines-based BLK & Bold coffee.
Photo courtesy of Google

For the booze connoisseurs: Say cheers! The metro has more than two dozen wineries or breweries and most sell take-home bottles (and cans) that make for excellent gifts.

A photo of Saints 'n Sinners Apple Pie at Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming.
Jason's recent local libation discovery: Saints 'n Sinners Apple Pie at Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

For the art aficionado: Work from dozens of local artists is on display and some is for sale at the Polk County Heritage Gallery.

  • Monday-Friday, 11am-4:30pm now through Dec. 17 at 111 Court Ave., DSM.
A photo of a painting from a Des Moines artist.
"Prairie Storm," a painting by metro artist Nicole Gyles is on display and for sale at Greater Des Moines Exhibited through Dec. 17. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

For the curious: Give the gift of experiences this year with season passes, tickets or memberships.

A photo of Living History Farms.
"TRI membership" packages get you into Living History Farms (above), Blank Park Zoo and the Science Center of Iowa. Photo courtesy of Living History Farms

For the foodie: There's an abundance of fantastic eats in DSM. Pick up some gift cards for your friends and family who love to dine out.

A photo of pizza from Franka Pizzeria.
Pancetta Pizza ($16) at Franka Pizzeria in downtown DSM includes roasted garlic, oregano, mozzarella and honey. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

For the chef: Handmade cutting boards from DamonLayne Woodworking in Earlham. (Jason has one and loves it.)

A photo of cutting boards.
Photo courtesy of DamonLayne
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