twitter-outline arrow envelope hashtag phone speech-bubble state

Your Guide To Fun In The Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area

Friends Getaway

Your Guide to Holiday Shopping in Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Looking for unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? There are shopping districts all over the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region filled with locally owned boutiques, craft markets and more (plus, the state of Minnesota doesn’t charge sales tax on clothes and shoes). We tell you where to go.


Mall of America® is the holy grail of holiday shopping. With four floors of stores, attractions and dining, America’s largest mall has anything and everything you’re looking for. Go with friends and enjoy a day of shopping and dining, or bring the whole family and let the kids explore the Nickelodeon Universe theme park while you check off their list. Be sure to check out the mall’s events page to see what fun, festive events are going on during your visit.


Twin Cities Premium Outlets is one of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region’s shopping gems. The massive outlet mall is the largest in the Midwest and features everything from Coach to Nike to Converse. The mall is outdoors, so bundle up, grab a hot chocolate and enjoy your shopping with a side of beautiful winter scenery.

Golden Valley

Down In The Valley in Golden Valley is THE stop for the music lover or record head on your list. The 1970s-themed record store has all the old-school classics, plus new releases and pre-order records — and a whole lot of vinyl.

Inver Grove Heights

NerdinOut in Inver Grove Heights is the ultimate stop for collectibles — from comic books to Funko Pops to classic action figures, you’re sure to find something special for the memorabilia lover in your life.


The American Swedish Institute’s Handcraft Market & Festival in Minneapolis is where you’ll find everything you need for the art aficionado on your list. The market highlights nearly 50 unique vendors, all specializing in handmade crafts including pottery, paintings, woodworks and more. This year’s event is Dec. 4-5, 2021.

If you’re looking to get your holiday shopping done early, check out the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, taking place Nov. 5-7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The expo highlights a wide variety of local artists and makers who create everything from skincare products to jewelry to furniture. For those in need of a one-stop shop for everyone on their list, there’s I Like You. Local Minnesota makers sell their work at the store, which includes cookbooks, jams and jellies, home decor, toys, body products and jewelry.

North Loop is the perfect district for a day of shopping with friends. Grab a coffee and hit the ground running — the area hosts high-end local shops such as MartinPatrick3 and D. NOLO, as well as some big-name stores like Lululemon and Pacifier. And when you need a break, you can grab lunch at one of the area’s many restaurants and cafes.

Linden Hills, much like North Loop, is a super walkable neighborhood shopping experience featuring local stores and cafes. If you’re looking for a low-key day of shopping in Minneapolis, this is your stop.

Minneapolis Northwest

The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes is a cozy outdoor mall that hosts all the classic stores and then some. The mall is always beautifully decorated for the holidays with twinkly lights and fire pits to warm you up while you shop.


Rosedale Center features all the essential stores, plus unique spots like Rose & Loon, which celebrates Midwest makers with its lineup of handmade goods from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes. And don’t miss Six for Good, a collective boutique created by six friends with six different brands who came together to empower each other.

Saint Paul

The European Christmas Market is a Saint Paul holiday tradition. The large, open-air market runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 19, 2021, and hosts local vendors, a variety of fun street foods and loads of entertainment. Grab a few friends and head over to knock out all your holiday shopping while enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Selby at Snelling is its own European-inspired world in the heart of Saint Paul, and every year the area hosts the Shop by Candlelight event, with this year’s happening Nov. 11, 2021. It’s a cozy way to mingle and connect with locals while you do some holiday shopping — all by candlelight, of course.

At the MN Christmas Market at Union Depot, happening Nov. 6, 2021, you can check off all the items on your list while you watch the trains depart the historic Union Depot train station. Plus, you’ll hear local artists perform holiday favorites. Trains and carols: What could be more festive?

St. Louis Park

For the chef on your list, head to Nordic Ware Factory Store for everything from bakeware to cookware to outdoor kitchen equipment. Fun fact: Nordic Ware invented the Bundt pan!

If you’re looking for an extra special gift for someone in your life, check out Max’s, a woman-owned jewelry store specializing in fine artisan jewelry.


Bundle up for a day of outdoor shopping in downtown Stillwater, where the riverfront district features more than 100 locally owned shops. The area transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season and features a free nightly light show set to music on Chestnut Street throughout December.

Twin Cities Gateway

A premier shopping destination with some of the most progressive and unique shops in all of Minnesota, the Historic Downtown Anoka shopping district is a must-visit during your holiday shopping escapades. Filled mainly with locally owned businesses (and very few chain stores), you can choose from unique antique shops, clothing/gift boutiques and more.

The historic downtown district also goes all out for the holiday season. It has an enormous Christmas tree on display every year and hosts a Christmas Tree Lighting event in December that brings in thousands of people, along with a slew of other holiday events. The historic riverfront town of Anoka is located just 20 minutes north of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, so make sure to add it to your list of places to check out.


Shop Chicks in Waconia is full of fun home decor and body-care products. For a little DIY gift, pick out a few of your favorite bath bombs, soaps, lotions, etc., to create a curated gift basket for a friend in need of a relaxing night in.

Unearthed Arts is a unique gift store that offers a variety of handmade gifts, but most notable is its collection of crystals, stones and other space-cleansing products.

For that hard-to-shop-for person on our list, you’ll find a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gift at One Boutique. The store specifically works to support artists who have overcome or are working to overcome difficult circumstances.

Ready to Explore the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area?

Get a free printed map mailed to your home!

Get Help From
the Experts to Plan Your Trip

Want to know the best spots in Minnesota? How about tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city? Our Minnesota experts can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you. For free.

Sign Up for Our Minnesota Newsletters

    Plan Your Trip with Our Free Travel Guides

    Order Yours Now