The season for giving is officially here. While some have been waiting all year to write out their holiday shopping list, others are procrastinating and panicking over gift ideas. Regardless of which category you fall into, you can take solace in Downtown Fort Wayne’s expansive retail scene, where you can find presents ranging from unique to boutique.
When you shop DTFW, your patronage supports local businesses, and you get to ditch the long lines at the department stores. Bonus: While you’re in town, you can enjoy some of DTFW’s holiday festivities. It’s a fun, breezy approach to the chore of holiday shopping. So, write out your list and make an adventure of it!
Here’s our 2022 guide for holiday shopping in Downtown Fort Wayne:
For the fashionista
David Talbott Collection is the place for men’s designer apparel and accessories. Owner, David Rabideau, combines the best brands and his passion for men’s fashion in his carefully curated collection. It’s a great option for any men on your list who are looking to upgrade their wardrobe. Bonus: David Talbott carries premium grooming brands that make ideal stocking stuffers.
Eye Specs on Main, inside The Bradley hotel, is an optical boutique that specializes in chic eyewear. Gift a new pair of specs or sunglasses from a variety of high-end brands like Prada and Tom Ford. It’s the perfect place to find the finest in eye fashion.
Idlehour Boutique is a small-but-mighty woman-owned boutique attached to Pure Movement Pilates, offering a mix of stylish staples, in vogue athleisure, and adorable accessories. In addition to their clothing selection, they offer an array of candles, beauty products, and home goods. There’s no shortage of options for the feminine fashionista.
The Urban Hippie is a bohemian boutique located on The Landing, offering a modern take on timeless threads. Shopping for someone with an eclectic style? The Urban Hippie has your back with down-to-earth, yet eye-catching ensembles. You’ll feel even better with your purchase knowing that the Urban Hippie donates monthly to animal rescue groups.
If it’s jewelry you’re looking for, Downtown Fort Wayne is home to a spectacular jeweler—Pacula Diamonds.
For the foodie
Debrand Fine Chocolates is known for its world-class, artisan chocolates—perfect for the foodie in your life. You can play it safe with a box of their classics, filled with favorites like caramel and fruit cremes. Or get a little adventurous with their connoisseur collection, featuring more exotic ingredients like chili powder and jasmine tea. You can’t go wrong treating your foodie friend to their own private chocolate tasting.
Kilwins is a go-to for anyone with a sweet tooth on your list. During the holiday season, they offer special-edition holiday gift baskets and popcorn tins in addition to their usual selection of delectable sweets. Once you catch the aroma of their in-store crafted waffle cones wafting through the air, it will be impossible to leave without treating yourself to something, too.
Poptique Gourmet Popcorn is the place to stop for tasty stocking stuffers. Supply your loved one with an unforgettable snack attack with some of Poptique’s unique flavors, like dill pickle or frosted cinnamon roll. They even have seasonal festive flavors like peppermint bark, Christmas cookie, and apple cinnamon.
Utopian Coffee is a top-notch gift choice for the avid coffee drinker in your life. You can stop by their cafe on The Landing to pick up some beans or merch. If you want to take your gift to the next level, Utopian Coffee offers year-round coffee subscriptions featuring their ethically sourced coffee. On so many levels, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Downtown is home to some of Fort Wayne’s finest restaurants. So if you’re out shopping for a foodie, consider grabbing a gift card to any of Downtown’s staple eateries. Check out our Downtown dining guide to see all your options!
For the arts & culture enthusiast
Cinema Center is Fort Wayne’s only not-for-profit arthouse theatre, exploring the world through the art of film one showing at a time. If you have a film buff in your life, you can purchase some Cinema Center merch (all designed by local artists) or give a membership in their honor, which serves as a donation, but also provides some sweet perks, like discounted tickets year round.
The Conservatory Shop at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is a must stop for any greenthumbs on your list. This gift shop has everything you could imagine for plant lovers—from books on bonsai to houseplants and garden essentials. You can also gift a membership, so your loved one can enjoy free visits to the Botanical Conservatory and other member benefits.
Creative Women of the World (CWOW) is a non-profit organization and artisanal shop that partners with women from all over the world to empower and support their entrepreneurship and artistry. At CWOW, you’re sure to find unique, cultural handcrafted gifts. And when you purchase any of CWOW’s handmade gifts or artwork, it directly sustains that artisan, her family, and her community. It’s the ultimate feel-good gift.
Fort Wayne Dance Collective is a local dance studio and non-profit aimed at inspiring and empowering people of all identities, abilities, and stages of life through movement arts. If someone on your list is interested in taking dance classes, the Dance Collective offers a diverse array of workshops—for children and adults alike. So, consider giving the enriching gift of movement!
The Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre is a go-to for live performances. Every year, the Embassy brings in the best musical, theatrical, and comedic performers—all to be enjoyed in its beautiful, historic venue. Experiences are some of the most memorable gifts. For some once-in-a-lifetime gift ideas, check out the Embassy’s upcoming season, which includes: William Shatner, Buddy Guy, Jerry Seinfield, and Bluey’s Big Play.
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic orchestra, often performing Downtown at the Embassy, is selling tickets to their 2022-2023 season—the perfect gift for any musician or melophile on your list. Some of their upcoming programs include: Ann Hampton Callaway Sings The Streisand Songbook, Beethoven Violin Concerto, “Go Now” Music of the Moody Blues, Bach in the Barn, and Constantine Conducts Classic Broadway. Any show from the Fort Wayne Phil will be an experience your loved one won’t forget!
Friends of the Third World Shoppe is a non-profit organization that operates job training programs at its Downtown Fort Wayne building, and markets handmade crafts from 80 partner groups in 35 countries. At its cultural gift store, you’ll find a wide variety of handcrafted, ethically sourced, and fair trade goods. Anything you’ll find at Friends of the Third World Shoppe is truly a gift that gives back.
The HEDGE Creative House began as a fine art print shop and has since evolved. Local artist, Julie Wall, is the creative force and renaissance woman behind The HEDGE—offering prints, letterpress services, workshops, engravings, calligraphy, and her own line of unique products, like statement jewelry, stationery, and artistic house wares.
The Paradigm Gallery at Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMoA) is the gift shop for local art collectors. It offers fine crafts and original art from local artisans and artists. You’ll find everything from jewelry and apparel, to ceramics and prints. Bonus: if you’re an FWMoA Member, you’ll receive a discount on all purchases at the gift shop. And remember, memberships make good gifts too!
For the home entertainer
House to Home is a boutique furniture and home decor store on The Landing, carrying almost every style and trend imaginable. If you know someone who hosts a lot of parties (or is simply a homebody), any gift from House to Home will elevate the ambiance of their home environment. Pick out a piece or give them a gift card so they can visit this stylish shop in person! Either way, they’re in for a treat.
Speaking of house parties…if you’re looking for a bottle of wine, craft beer, or spirit, both Belmont Beverage and Cap n’ Cork are locally owned and have everything you need to throw your own holiday party, or gift a special bottle to your favorite host.
For the fitness fanatic
YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne’s Central branch and Skyline branch are both conveniently located Downtown, offering memberships and classes that any fitness enthusiast would love to tear open this holiday season. Purchasing a membership unlocks access to the Y’s eight regional locations so your loved one can work out Downtown or wherever it’s convenient.
Baptiste Power Yoga Fort Wayne and Discover Yoga are two stellar yoga studios in town, offering a range of classes. Check out their websites to pick the studio that fits the style and tempo of the yogi you’re shopping for.
Pure Movement Pilates is a wellness studio providing pilates, barre, sculpting, and stretching classes. They offer group classes and private sessions, so you can take your pick of experiences to give to the wellness warrior in your life.
For the cigar connoisseur
For the Fort Wayne devotee
The Visit Fort Wayne gift shop is a great place to nab some Fort Wayne-centric art, apparel, or specialty gifts—all made locally. If you’re shopping for someone with lots of Fort Wayne pride, stop in and check out their collection of souvenirs.
Coney Island is a Fort Wayne institution, making the Coney Island Gift Shop the perfect destination for someone who loves their midwestern roots. The gift shop is packed full of apparel, mugs, memorabilia, and of course, gift cards to Fort Wayne’s beloved coney stand.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps Official Store is an excellent option for any local sports fans. Grab some apparel or collectibles—or go big with season tickets, so your loved one can enjoy all 66 home games next season at state-of-the-art Parkview Field.
For the jokester
Stoner’s Funstore is a quirky novelty store specializing in costumes, gag gifts, and magic tricks—perfect for the comedian in the family or a little one who wants to host their own magic show. It’s always a fun time at Stoner’s where you’re bound to find a gift that’s truly unique.
For the history buff
History Center of Fort Wayne’s gift shop is a noteworthy option for any history buffs on your list, offering a sprawling collection of books on our local history. In addition, you’ll find prints of historical buildings and other souvenirs centered around Fort Wayne’s past.
A little bit of everything
B&B Loan Company is a locally owned and operated pawn shop that specializes in musical instruments, electronics, jewelry, bicycles, hunting and fishing supplies, collectibles, and more. Every item on their shelves is guaranteed to be thoroughly cleaned, tested, and restored. You can find everything from a 2021 Macbook Pro to a Nintendo Switch. They’re definitely worth checking out!
The Find is a boutique that has something for the fashionista, foodie, home entertainer, and the little ones. From classy candles to cocktail sets, men’s grooming products to handmade toys, this hip spot offers a little something for everyone. As a bonus, they offer jewelry, apparel, and beauty products from local makers.
Can’t make it out? These locations also offer online shopping:
Whoever you’re shopping for this holiday season, do it Downtown; you’re sure to find perfect gifts for your closest loved ones, distant relatives, and everyone in between.
Molly Conner is a Fort Wayne native and freelance writer. Having lived in Downtown Fort Wayne throughout her twenties, she loves watching her stomping grounds grow. With her love of storytelling and community in tow, she’s eager to tell Downtown Fort Wayne’s story piece-by-piece—exploring the people, spaces, and organizations that make it thrive.