Merry Malls

When your gift list is long, it is sometimes easiest to go where the stores are plenty and the retailers offered are a good mix of department stores, specialty retailers and independent boutiques. With a large variety of stores, malls make it easy to cross off the names on your gift list.

Although there may be crowds, the malls are also fun places to do holiday shopping as they can easily get you in the spirit of the season with never-ending holiday music, elaborate decorations and festive events.

Glenbrook Square

4201 Coldwater Road

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This mall has four major department stores — Carson’s, Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney —  and more than 150 specialty stores providing everything from home furnishings to designer fashions. Glenbrook Square also houses the sit-down restaurants Red Robin and TGI Fridays as well as several quick-service restaurants such as Panda Express, Starbucks and Inside Scoop Candy when you need a quick pick-me-up during all your holiday shopping. The mall has special holiday shopping hours and is offering photos with Santa through December 24 at the Macy’s court.

Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center

4110 W. Jefferson Boulevard

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This Mediterranean-style, open-air complex centered on tree-lined courtyards offers more than 50 big-name specialty stores including Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Vera Bradley, Jos. A Bank, Loft, Eddie Bauer and Brighton. The dining options include the more formal Eddie Merlots, Tucanos and Biaggi’s; for more casual dining there is Chipotle, Panera, Smokey Bones and McAlister’s Deli as well as a food court. If you need a break from your holiday shopping, you can sneak into Carmike Cinema, an 18-screen stadium-seating movie theatre.

Jefferson Pointe is hosting a Christmas tree show nightly every half hour from 6-11 p.m. The shopping center has special holiday hours and the opportunity to visit Santa’s reindeer. The reindeer will be on view through December 24, every Saturday from 5-7 pm and Christmas Eve day from noon to 2 pm in front of Simply Mac.

If you seek a one-of-a-kind holiday gift for that special someone, Jefferson Pointe is hosting the Art Studio Holiday Gallery every weekend through December 24. The gallery offers a diverse selection of masterful creations by local and area fine artists and craftspeople. The Art Studio offers collectible gift items from children’s books to handwoven shawls to intricate jewelry. The Art Studio is open Fridays 2-8 pm, Saturdays noon-8 pm and Sundays noon to 5 pm.

Downtown Fort Wayne

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Although not necessarily a mall, downtown Fort Wayne does offer nearly three dozen shops, plus a great selection of restaurants and bars. These days, the shopping district stretches down South Calhoun Street and west to Broadway. Gifts, clothing, antiques and jewelry – plus TinCaps wear for our baseball team’s many fans – are waiting. Shop for used books inside the Allen County Public Library (perfect for stocking stuffers), and don’t miss the City Exchange — a collection of pop-up style boutiques on West Wayne Street. Plenty of parking is available, both on-street and in several public parking garages. Venture west along West Wayne and Berry streets toward Broadway and west on Main Street across the river to find new and fascinating shops, bars and restaurants.

The Downtown Improvement District hosts the Downtown Holiday Window Decorating contest; take a stroll and view the participating businesses which festively decorated their windows based on the theme “Walking in a Window Winterland.” The winning windows will be announced on December 15.

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