2014 Locavore Holiday Gift Guide: Malls to Shop

Published on: December 9th, 2014

The 29th Street Mall has an intriguing combination of indoor and outdoor stores, with a beautiful view of the mountains and a few homeless folks. The addition of Trader Joe’s on the outskirts creates some tight parking but everyone’s used to that. Expect more sports apparel stores than the other malls. Moosejaw, Lululemon, Lucy and more. Of course they have a slew of healthier quick food options: Mad Greens, Native Foods, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, Jamba Juice, and a bunch of organic crap that no one outside of Boulder eats. Warning, be sure to haul in all of your shopping bags or you will be charged their 10 cent “I obviously hate the environment” bag tax.

There’s a kind of community friendliness at the southern side of 95th and Arapahoe, Lafayette, not found in most shopping areas. The Atlas Valley Shopping Center’s grown to become rather chic, with boutique shopping and a variety of coffee shops. Start your shopping day with breakfast at Morning Glory Farm Fresh Café, then head to The Purple Poppy for fancy gifts and décor. Don’t forget that dogs like to shop too! Drop on by the Struttin’ Pup to keep your holiday hound happy. Load up lunch at the Walnut Café’s Super Mini because you’re gonna’ need your strength for all the cast iron critters you’ll find at Country in the Village. Grab an afternoon coffee at the dinner and a concert at Nicci’s and you’ll barely have time to shop.

Shopping at Flatiron Mall’s a lot like coming home for the holidays. The large, welcoming fireplace, the familiar stores, lots of families hanging out. H&M, Build-A-Bear, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, White House Black| Market, Macy’s; all the good stuff. The greatest advantage of an indoor mall? Santa! The Village outdoor region still struggles but 2nd and Charles livens it up. Lean in, closer… closer. Ditch the official Disney store unless you’re shopping for a princess gown. 2nd & Charles had a larger selection of Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy and t items at cheaper prices. Just don’t make eye contact with the kiosk people.

Thank goodness the Orchard Town Center hosts so many plus size stores (hello Cacique, I will be buying some lingerie there since Santa’s been so good) with Lane Bryant, Torrid, Cacique, CJ Banks, Motherhood Maternity. Suck it, Boulder, we like our looks! The Center’s gone upscale, with plenty of boutique-y spots, even a wine and cheese bar. You and your gal pals may want to join me at Party Cloz & Bridal store trying on tiaras after a few glasses of wine.

From Aéropostale to Zumiez, the Promenade in Loveland has all the stores the young whipper snappers want to shop at. If you’re in the area it’s certainly worth a shop stop and it’s much less tragic than stopping by the Loveland Outlets. The economy has not been kind to the outlet stores. Things look threadbare at the outlets but you can still find shops for the stylish man with Ralph Lauren and J. Crew. Keep your eye out for quality. Be sure to check your favorite store’s website to make sure they’re still open.

Shop, have a snack, do your nails done, clean your teeth, get your back cracked, visit the doctor, deposit a check, play some pool, work out. Do it all at Larkridge, Colorado’s largest shopping center that has every giant box store that you can imagine, from CostCo to Home Depot. This isn’t the sort of mall that you can park up and walk around – this is a driving mall. There are towns smaller than this place, and you can find just about anything here.

90 percent of the shops at The Village in Boulder are local, and it’s the home of McGuckin Hardware, Rocky Mountain Kids, and Colorado Multisport. They say, “Whether you are looking for a quick cup of coffee, a loaf of homemade bread, a silk scarf, new shoes for your tot, a hammer and nails or a romantic dinner – The Village is your stop.”

Shop for country to classy gifts at The Lafayette Marketplace. Jax Mercantile and Lafayette Homebrew Supply carry your artisanal and sporty gifts or go fancy pants at the Gourmet Cheese Pantry Shoppe, Cottage Home, or the Boulder Piano Gallery.

It would be impossible to talk about malls in Boulder County without exploring the local institution that is the Pearl Street Mall. This popular destination for tourists and UC students looks great thanks to the many beautiful examples of public art, including fountains and sculptures, and a number of small gardens. Stretching from 11th to 15th Street, Pearl Street Mall has a warm, family-friendly feel combined with a very Boulder, youthful vibe. From high end clothes stores to places that sell Colorado memorabilia, toy shops to soap stores, and plenty of great bars and restaurants, it’s easy to spend the whole day on Pearl Street.

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