You don't have to wait until Black Friday for the best deals in Ames. Holiday shopping starts early in the Main Street Cultural District.
The Main Street Cultural District's Snow Magic Kickoff is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Activities include visits from Santa, horse drawn and trolley rides, a gingerbread house contest and a tree lighting at 6 p.m. at Tom Evans Plaza.
Holiday Open House weekend is Saturday and Sunday at participating businesses. Free trolley and horse carriage rides and visits from Santa will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Octagon Center for the Arts' Festival of Trees begins Friday. The display is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 2.
Children can participate in free activities from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and again Dec. 1.
Local businesses will also participate in a Gingy Scavenger Hunt from Nov. 16 to Dec. 16. Participants will be asked to look for the gingerbread character from the Shrek and Gingy movies for a chance to win four tickets to Shrek the Musical at the Iowa State Center.