Kids gift guide 2008
All natural, supercute and easy on the wallet, North Star Little Rollies collection is made with domestic woods and coated with nontoxic mineral oil using environmentally sound practices. At this price, you can spring for the whole collectionelephant, helicopter, duckie and trainwithout breaking the bank. $6 each at natandhelens.com.
Break out the mini oven mitts and packets of cake mix: its Easy-Bake Ovens 45th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, manufacturer Hasbro has created a new design using the original , gender-neutral aqua color. The classic, side-loading oven still bakes with a how-retro-cool-is-that light bulb and comes with three recipe mixes, two baking pans, recipes and other utensils. $25.99, hasbro.com.
Local music icons Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms and Jon Langford don their alter egos and Santa hats for Holidays Gone Crazy, their latest release as kiddie rockers Wee Hairy Beasties (Wee Beatz). Tracks on the upbeat, smart CD include one about a Santa-loving dinosaur and wise-cracking PSAs about eating your greens and the dangers of yellow snow. $9.70, cduniverse.com.
Putting on the Ritz
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago is welcoming its new downstairs neighbor, American Girl Place (Water Tower Place, 835 N Michigan Ave), with an American Girl hotel-stay package for fans of the lifelike historical dolls. Starting with the personalized note your child and her doll receive from the five-star hotel at check-in to a bevy of American Girl gifts (doll clothes and accessories) and accoutrements (milk and cookies for your child and her American Girl, a bed for her little likeness to sleep in), the Ritz doesnt miss a trick with the baby-doll set. Boys arent left out of the funthey get a Cubs or White Sox hat compliments of the hotel. Ritz-Carlton Chicago, 160 E Pearson St at Michigan Ave (312-266-1000, ritzcarlton.com). Packages start at $395 per night for a standard double room.
Suit your Muu-d
All the pieces in the new line of baby and kids furniture from Muu can be modified to meet your childs growing body and changing taste. So the sliding door panel with the cute, little elephant on Juniors dresserwhich also doubles as a changing tablecan be switched out for one with a boom-box design when hes older. The debut Sam collection includes a crib, nightstand, dresser, storage unit, twin bed and toddler bedall made by woodworkers and craftsmen in the United States with sustainable materials. $80$1,395 at Grow Modern Kids, 1943 W Division St, 773-489-0009; grow-kids.com.
The moms on your list might enjoy a gift certificate for an hour-long facial to give their tired skin (and selves) a boost, but who has the time? Instead, get them philosophys microdelivery mini peel pads, which exfoliate and moisturize in the time itll take to put their hair in a ponytail. Even better, theyre designed to help protect the skin from nasty free radicals and contain anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe skin and cure blotchiness. $35 for 60 pads; philosophy.com.