Travel Iowa

Official blog for Iowa Tourism promoting Iowa's attractions, events, communities & destinations.

Get your free account at Travel Iowa.

  • Vote

    for your favorite new posts
  • Publish

    your own original blog posts
  • Earn

    $20 for your posts voted to Top Posts
  • Sign Up!
Cy's Holiday Gift Guide
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

Cy's Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! The holidays bring lots of joy, laughter and of course, presents. If you’re stressing about how to shop for everyone on your list, don’t worry. We’re here to help! Check out the great list of gift ideas below. And the best part? You can get all these fantastic gifts in the Ames and Iowa State University area!

For your mom who considers herself a foodie. . .

  • Get her the latest kitchen gadget at Cook’s Emporium. This locally-owned kitchen store offers all the kitchenware she would need for creative cooking. The store has a knowledgeable staff to help with any of your culinary questions, as well as private cooking classes! 
  • Give her a bottle of wine from Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards to enjoy with dinner. This family-owned winery offers wines from estate-grown grapes, meads and hard apple ciders. Try their famous Honey Moon Red! Available at their Tasting Room and local Hy-Vee and Fareway stores.
  • What foodie doesn’t enjoy trying a new restaurant? Spend some quality time together and eat at Bar La Tosca. This Italian-Mediterranean style restaurant uses locally-sourced Iowa ingredients and is sure to offer something she’ll enjoy!

For your adventure-loving brother. . .

  • Buy him a ski pass to Seven Oaks Recreation! In the winter, this Boone facility offers downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Is he more of a summer sports kind of guy? They also have canoes, kayaks, river tubing and paintball in the warmer months.
  • Get him some new hiking boots at JAX Outdoor Gear. The store is staffed with knowledgeable employees who can help you pick out quality sporting goods, gear and apparel for all his outdoor and sporting adventures.
  • Every athlete needs to stop for lunch now and then! Get him a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings. This restaurant offers wings, beer and a great place to watch the game. They serve a full menu seven days a week until 1 a.m., so he can stop by anytime during his busy schedule.

For your cousin who is a freshman at Iowa State. . .

  • A gift care to the ISU Book Store. The ISU Book Store has everything she needs to be successful at Iowa State! From pens to textbooks, to sweatshirts to laptops, they have anything a student can need, conveniently located right on campus.
  • School can be stressful. Treat her to a massage at Massage Heights to melt the tension away! They have licensed, registered and certified massage therapists who provide customized, therapeutic massage treatments.
  • Buy her a cute long sleeve tee shirt from Dogtown University! This Campustown favorite is the go-to place for Iowa State apparel. Want something extra unique? They also offer custom screen printing and embroidery.

For your Dad who loves the arts. . .

  • Take him to see a performance at the Iowa State Center! Offering everything from global performers, like Mannhiem Steamroller, to local productions of A Christmas Carol by ISU Theatre. There’s sure to be a play or concert he’d love!
  • Support local artists and buy him a one-of-a-kind piece from the Octagon Center for the Arts art shop. These pieces are all created by featured Iowa artists. Would he rather create his own masterpiece? They also offer a variety of classes!
  • Buy him season tickets to the Central Iowa Symphony! This community orchestra offers reasonable ticket prices and great performances. Let him enjoy all the great music Central Iowa has to offer!

For your grandparents who are enjoying their retirement. . .

  • Treat them to a long weekend away at Hotel Pattee! This well-known, 100-year-old historic hotel is a destination within itself. The full-service Perry, IA hotel has been recently renovated and offers themed rooms to suite a variety of tastes.
  • Let them work on their golf swing at Homewood Golf Course! A season pass at this beautiful, well-groomed 9-hole, par 34 golf course in north Ames is a gift that keeps on giving long after the holiday season is over! Open daily April through October and suitable for players of all ages and abilities.
  • Gift them a beautiful glass ornament to decorate their tree from Ciccotti Art Glass. This business offers unique, hand-blown glass work that is sure to be unlike anything they’ve ever seen! Feeling adventurous? Sign them up for a glass-blowing workshop!

We hope this this list has given you some great gift ideas. Still looking for more?

Visit for a full list of things to EAT, DO, STAY and SHOP this holiday season!

Photo Credit: Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thanks for this fantastic and thoughtful holiday gift guide!
    Log in to reply.


Connect with Travel Iowa

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.