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Holiday Gift Guide

The Pinwheel Gift Guide has become something of a tradition around here, so without further ado, here is the guide for 2014—a roundup of kid-centric gifts from the best local and national sources. Enjoy and happy holidays!

 

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Magnetic Mighty Mind, $23.99 at GaltBaby.com

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Movie theater in a box, $39.95 at MySweetMuffin.com

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Chi Girl tee, $22 at theredballoon.com

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Robot puzzle kit, $15.95 at RobotCityWorkshop.com

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Geometric doll house, $59.99 at FatBrainToys.com

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Pop-up Jungle Book, $27 at Barneys.com

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Wizard dress, $79 at SweetWilliamltd.com

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Atari Flashback 5 game console, $68 at UrbanOutfitters.com

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Paint-Your-Own tea set, $12.99 at WorldMarket.com

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Little Hero mask, $15 at FawnandForest.com

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Retro Lite Brite tablet, $29.95 at YoungExplorers.com

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Zoob building set, $22.95 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation

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Junior microscope, $21.95 at American Science + Surplus

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Fleece pajamas, $29.50 for top, $29.50 for pants at GarnetHill.com

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Planet plates, $36.99 at PerpetualKid.com

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Bicycle bubble machine, $21.95 at YoungExplorers.com

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GoldieBlox, $21.95 at Chicago Architecture Foundation

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Wooden tree house, $150 at AcornToyShop.com

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Dress-A-Saurus Rex, $34 at LandofNod.com

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Regatta swing, $149 at MagicCabin.com

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Fashion plates, $29.99 at Marbles: the Brain Store

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Wooden school bus, $25 at Etsy.com

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Chicago floor puzzle, $12.99 at Chicago History Museum

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Personalized books, $34.99 at ChronicleBooks.com

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Kids cooking kit, $35 at The Kids’ Table

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Monster art center, $99.99 at LillianVernon.com

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Wooden fire truck toy, $24.95 at GreenHeartShop.org

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Local Love tee from local designer typebaby, $24 at typebaby.com

 

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Circus train play set, $80 at MomaStore.org

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DIY Board game, $29.95 at Marbles: The Brain Store

 

Bowl for a Turkey

Looking for something to get the kids out of the house on Thanksgiving Day while you cook? Classy bowling alley and restaurant Pinstripes (1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook, 847-489-2323; 100 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington, 847-844-9300; Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, 630-575-8700) will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with dinner available from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Reservations are recommended.
And if you’re looking to score a turkey platter, stop in to bowl throughout the month of November. Any bowler who receives a ‘turkey’ (three strikes in a row) receives a complimentary turkey platter.

Everyone wants to teach their kids to be grateful and Thanksgiving is a perfect time to instill that. But this year, Netflix is also celebrating Friendsgiving to teach kids the value of friendship. Check out this list of titles for kids that celebrate friendship.

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Bert and Ernie? Friends til the end.

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Bob and Larry continue their adventures in the new Netflix original VeggieTales in the House.

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My kids are crazy for Martin and Chris from Wild Kratts.

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Jake the dog and Finn the human have crazy adventures that mom and dad can also enjoy in Adventure Time

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Charlotte’s Web, a classic tale of love and friendship.

And for mom and dad…

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The sassiest, fast-talkingest mother-daughter duo ever on television, Lorelai and Rory.

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Friendship, hilarity and some games of True American remind parents young and old of their fancy-free, pre-kid days.

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Jack and Liz. Tracy and Kenneth. Liz and Jenna. Just watch it.

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Party time. Excellent.

Candy Turned Furniture

I came across this company Jellio, which takes retro whimsy and turns it into furniture. Want to sit on a Lego brick or have a chandelier made out of gummy worms? Well, you’re in luck. Check out their offerings below, which would be a playful (if spendy) addition to any playroom.

 

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Lego-style benches come in single ($550), double ($700) and triple ($850)

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Spinnable view frames to display your own photography, $99

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Light table with re-positionable pegs, $650

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Ice cream bench, $950

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Acrylic gummy bear chandelier, $6,500

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Cone counter stools, $750

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Button bench, $1,200

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Cupcake table, $750

 

Reusable Juice Boxes

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Juice boxes may be an easy addition to a school lunch, but environmentally friendly they are not. But this reusable juice box, which is both BPA and phthalate-free, leaves a gentler eco footprint. The durable design has a lockable latch and leak-proof silicone seal so kids can still have their lunchbox beverage without spillage. Available for $12 at UncommonGoods.com.

 

Sales This Weekend

Saturday, November 8th is Neighborhood Toy Store day. Stop by your local shop and support boutique owners in addition to Amazon.com this year!

 

 

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Remember screening jumpy old family reels on projectors? This retro-inspired projector allows you to project videos from your phone onto a wall so that everyone can now be subjected to your Vines. The projector is made from cardboard and amplifies the sound and video, and has two slots to accommodate a charger. (No additional power source necessary.) Available for $28 at Urban Outfitters.

Make-Your-Own Board Book

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These blank board books let children make their own custom creations or to make a gift for a sibling or friend. Each book comes with eight blank pages plus a front and back cover. Small books are 5″ square ($3.50), medium books are 8″ square ($5) and large books are 8″ by 11″ ($8).

 

Sales This Week

Happy Halloween! Here’s a roundup of the week’s sales.

Piggy Toes (4548 N. Western Ave., Chicago, 773-281-5583) offers 40 percent off everything through Saturday, Nov. 1st.

Share Our Spare is holding a donation drop off day on Saturday, Nov. 1st at 935 W. Chestnut Street in Chicago (enter on Sangamon Street). Drop off new or gently used baby carriers, swings, clothes up to 4T, high chairs and strollers.

Monica + Andy holds its annual fall fashion show to benefit the Chicago Children’s Choir on Sunday, Nov. 2nd. at 11 a.m. at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.,  Chicago). RSVP at rsvp@boldfacechicago.com by Oct. 31st.

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Poncho, a personalized weather service, is now available in Chicago. The hoodie-clad cat offers tailored forecasts through text, email or both, based on your personal preferences.

Sign up for the free service and enter your zip code and answer a few questions like what time you wake up, how you commute, whether you have allergies or whether you want to know how the weather will affect your hair. So the benefit of the service, with all due respect to the venerable Tom Skilling, is that it doesn’t break down the humidity index or show weather fronts, it just tells you if you need a jacket and if your hair is going to frizz out.

Visit http://poncho.is to subscribe.

 

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