Holiday Happenings: Our 2016 Gift Guide

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

$60 and up

A night’s sleep is only as good as your pillow, but how do you know which pillow is right for you? Take Slumbr’s quick online Pillow Quiz and discover the perfect pillow to support your personal sleeping style and preferences. It may not sound like the sexiest holiday gift, but a Slumbr gift card (and subsequent carefully-curated perfect pillow) is one that will pay off night after night for a lucky (and soon to be restful) recipient.


A super gift for the shake enthusiast in your life, the Hero line shows off your superpowers via the Marvel or DC character of your choice. Lightweight and portable, the shakers offer a 100% leak-proof guarantee, are BPA-free, and hold 28 ounces of liquid. A wonderful, practical stocking stuffer.

$79.99 and up

A unique way to preserve little fingerprints - — or furry noses — forever. Recipients receive an easy-to-use kit to produce the print and return. Two to four weeks later, the one-of-a-kind charm or cufflinks will be yours forever. A great gift idea for hard-to-buy-for grandparents, godparents, etc.


Developed and curated by a stay-at-home mom, these creative kits are designed to inspire hours of imaginative, open-ended pretend play for kids ages 3-7. Families can purchase solo kits or sign up for the subscription box service ($27.95/month), which delivers a themed box to your door every month. A thoughtful, fun gift with tons of replay value that runs exclusively on brain power.


This wooden playset combines two things kids love — ice cream and imagination. Constructed with non-toxic paint and all-natural wood, this set comes equipped with over 30 accessories, including scoops of ice cream, connectable cones, an ice cream scoop, popsicles, and Italian ices. A first-rate gift that will provide hours of imaginative fun.


Weighing just 5.5 ounces, the Freerain24 unfolds into a waterproof backpack that can hold 24 liters of gear for


Stylishly bring your favorite vintage on the go. VINE holds a full 750 ml wine bottle and frees you from carrying a breakable glass bottle or pouring wine from a box. Triple insulation technology keeps wine at just the right temperature for hours, ensuring your first sip will be as satisfying as your last. VINE features a secure, leak-proof top and also comes with a filling funnel and a cleaning brush. A fabulous pick for the wine-lover in your life.


If someone you love is constantly losing their phone, keys, or wallet, the TrackR will be the gift that keeps on giving. Add the coin-sized TrackR to your keyring or slip it into your wallet, download the TrackR app to your phone, and pair them. Keep the app open and it will keep an eye on your TrackR’d device, which could be anything — pets, electronics, a bike, briefcase, etc. Lose your keys? Open the app and it will pinpoint their location on a map — and ring. If you lose your phone, press a button on your TrackR device, which will force the phone to ring — even if it’s on silent. An incredibly useful gift anyone would love.


We’re warning you up front: The kids are going to fight you for this one. Able to safely transport a 15-inch laptop and much more, the Drifter Energy also sports an integrated, rechargeable energy supply that can power your laptop, phone, or other electronic device on the go. The top-loading, roomy bag also features a floating electronics pocket, which protects your gear from hitting the floor if the backpack falls off a chair or table. And fleece-lined pockets will protect cameras, glasses, and smartphones from unsightly scratches. A super pick for those always on the go.


Most parents take more pictures with their phones than their “good camera” these days. Extend the photo versatility of your mobile device and take unique, one-of-a-kind pictures with this set of lenses (a dual macro/wide lens and a 190-degree fisheye). The supplied Limeclips ensure they fit over 40 models of tablets and smartphones, from Apple and Samsung to Sony and Huawei. A gift that delivers fun and creativity all year long.


Power is at a premium in many of today’s tech-filled households, with battles over charging cables and power outlets common. Parents can solve that with The ChargeHub, a universal charging station that can power-up up to seven devices at once, all via one outlet. The Super Value Pack ChargeHub ($89.99) comes with four micro USB cables, three Lightning cables, and a vehicle power cable that lets you bring ChargeHub on the road to power all your devices on the go. We can’t think of many households in which this wouldn’t be a godsend.


The best sleeping bag for those who want to live under the sea, Enchantails slumber bag sets come with a carrying tote, designer pillow, chapter book, and wall decals. And, of course, there’s the mermaid-tail sleeping bag, complete with glow-in-the-dark thread, that’s guaranteed to be a hit at slumber parties, couch-lounging, and more. This will be a homerun with the sleepover set.

Meddy Teddy


It doesn’t get much cuter than this guy, a 100% yoga poseable mindfulness bear. Exuding calm and peace, he’s the perfect

$33.95 and up

Let kids stand out for the cool, unique people they are with purposely mismatched clothing from Chooze. Fashion

$10.50 and up

Be it the 1984 or 2016 movies, Ghostbusters is always fun, and a new line of plush pals from Underground Toys (several variations of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or Slimer the ghost) will fit the bill for the fan of any age. Press their center and the stuffed characters either play sounds from the movie or part of the series’ iconic theme song. Mini figures come with clips and can be hooked on backpacks or bags.


Author Gemma Barder provides many nights’ worth of fun for girls and their friends. There are a ton of fun activities in areas kids love, ranging from creativity (movie-making and book writing) and crafts, to recipes, spa fun, fashion, music, and more. A fun, affordable gift for hard-to-buy-for tweens.

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Faber-Castell Creative Studio Kits

$21.95 and up

Faber-Castell’s Getting Started Kits offer the materials and instructions needed for budding artists to enjoy several media. Kits available include Getting Started Color Pencil Art; Getting Started Water Color Pencil Art; Getting Started Soft Pastels; Getting Started Manga and Comic Illustration Kits; and Getting Started Watercolor and Acrylic Paints. A great gift for hard-to-buy-for kids of all ages.


Instead of gifting a stuffed animal, give a child (or adult!) everything he or she needs to make their own. Each kit comes with reclaimed wool; detailed instructions and pattern; hand sewing needle and thread; and Cate & Levi’s signature eyes. Even better, the gift box can be upcycled into a home for your new friend.


Specifically designed for tweens and teens, Crayola’s new line bridges the gap between kid coloring and adult coloring, and features cool and unexpected pop culture-inspired content ranging from graffiti to zombies and more. A cool stocking stuffer for tweens and teens.

$27 and up

Kits from start-up Technology Will Save Us give children everything they need to make, play, code and invent with technology. With the DIY Gamer Kit (above), kids can build gear, learn about electronics and programming, play classic games, and learn how to code. Other available kits include DIY Synth (make your own synthesizer), DIY Speaker, and more. A unique choice for tech-loving kids ages 10+.gaming gear

Starter pack $79.99 and up; additional packs, $11.99 and up

LEGO Dimensions, which blends the best of LEGO and beloved pop culture icons with console gaming, is back this fall with new characters and adventures. The game allows players to combine characters from a variety of franchises on one adventure; for example, Batman, the Ghostbusters, and Harry Potter come together for a unique, epic adventure traveling down the Yellow Brick Road. New character packs available this fall include the Ghostbusters, Adventure Time, Harry Potter, The Goonies, and more. Truly fun for the whole family, it’s a game everyone will love.

$49.99, $39.99 (mini)

Your game is only as good as your controller, which is why these are a great gift for your favorite gamer. The Fusion Controller sports six Interchangeable Analog Sticks, two Quick-Trigger Locks, and two Advanced Gaming Buttons (mappable to the settings of choice) for fine-tuned accuracy and improved speed. There’s even breathable grips, a 3.5mm audio input, and 9.8-foot braided cable so you can game in comfort and style. The mini is a terrific choice for kids, those with a smaller grip, or if you’re traveling and want a smaller footprint.


Take your adventures to the next level of audio and comfort with this new headset from PowerA. It provides a host of features (on-ear controls, flexible/detachable boom mic, and more) for a great value, and is compatible with Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, and mobile devices.

Turtle Beach Stealth 350VR


The virtual reality gaming revolution is here, and the Stealth 350VR helps gamers make the most of their immersive environment. The first gaming headset specifically created for VR, the Stealth delivers virtual reality audio loud and clear with battery-powered amplification, Variable Bass Boost, and an ergonomic “built for VR” design that provides clearance for VR headbands and cables. It is compatible with all VR devices, including the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Gear VR, etc. At this affordable price, it’s a first-class piece of gear to add to your VR fan’s gaming lineup.

Turtle Beach PX24


Superior audio at an affordable price, the PX24 is a multiplatform headset for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and mobile/tablet devices. It features the all-new SUPERAMP battery powered in-line amplifier that delivers Superhuman Hearing, Virtual Surround Sound, Variable Bass Boost, and Variable Mic Monitoring in addition to crisp highs and thundering lows. A fantastic gift for the seasoned gamer.