For the second year in a row, Downtown Iowa City has partnered with GreenState Credit Union to bring the Kids' Market back to the Ped Mall!

If your kids want to do their own Christmas shopping this year, the Downtown Iowa City Kids’ Market is the place to be. The event, which officially kicked off on November 7th, takes place in the Black Hawk Mini Park in the Ped Mall and allows kids to select gifts for loved ones without their parents present. According to a new article from KCRG, "parents submit a list of all the gifts that need to be purchased, as well as the budgets for each person." Then, "Santa's Helpers" help the kids shop for the perfect presents while the parents wait. Local shops take part in the event, and there are gifts ranging from $5 up through $50. They will even wrap the gifts before sending the kids back to their parents! The Corridor Business Journal reports that the Director of Creative Services Betsy Potter said, “the Downtown Kid’s Market is a chance for kids to gain independence shopping on their own, learn about budgeting while shopping, and widen the options kids have for gifts to give. ”

If the Downtown Iowa City Kids' Market is something your children are interested in, 45-minute shopping appointments can be made daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. until November 23rd. As of this morning, November 12th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd are all booked up. You can reserve a shopping time for your kids online HERE.

When I was in elementary school, we had something called "The Santa Shop," and the premise was pretty much the same as the Kid's Market. Basically, your parents would send you to school with a few bucks and you could select items to buy for family members based off your budget. Unfortunately, the selection wasn't great, so my mom ended up with two (ugly) glass Christmas bells when my brother and I accidentally bought her the same thing one year. Whoops! Luckily, it sounds like the Kids' Market in Iowa City will have much more to choose from. You can check out the official event listing HERE.

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