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What’s Sprouting?

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon December 13-19 Friday-Sunday, December 17-19 Cultural Survival Bazaar It may seem odd to have native artisans and fair trade companies from around the world showcasing their work in a mall, but you can combine big name shopping with unique finds. There will be art, jewelry, clothing ... Read More »

Stocking Stuffers: Small but Special

There’s nothing like seeing a huge present with your name on it underneath the Christmas tree. Big boxes, wrapped in festive paper, topped with a red bows, can be the highlight of Christmas morning. But, who  says bigger is better? Some of the best presents you’ll ever receive, like engagement rings and plane tickets, come in small boxes. Or stockings. ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting? December 10-12

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon Friday, December 10-19 Scrooge-The Musical Ebenezer Scrooge gets a visit from three ghosts on Christmas Eve, making him rethink his life and character in this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Riverside Theatre Works, 45 Fairmont Ave., Hyde Park. Visit the website for the full ... Read More »

Confessions of a Toy Copywriter – and a Cool Giveaway

For almost a year now, I’ve had a bit of an obsession. Can I trust you with my secret? OK, I love Sticky Mosaics by Orb Factory. There, I said it. As a writer for Magic Beans, I get to play with all the toys I want. I stack blocks, deal cards, enjoy craft projects, play with teeny animal figurines, ... Read More »

In Happyland

Life is apparently much more fun on Mars. At least, if alien abodes are anything like the new Happyland Martian Moonhouse from ELC USA imagines them to be. This plastic playhouse is packed with wild and whimsical features, including two rocket ship vehicles, a rooftop landing pad, and a garage directly below a trapdoor that deposits the members of the alien ... Read More »

Do you Tegu?

Last night was the second night of Chanukah, and we gave our kids a 52-piece Tegu Block set. These blocks are a new arrival here at Magic Beans, and they’re addictive. They are wooden blocks embedded with magnets. The magnets are fully encased and powerful enough to support the weight of the wood without being so strong as to make ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting in Boston?

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. By Kim Foley MacKinnon Thursday-Sunday, December 2-5 Gingerbread Festival Gingerbread houses are always fun to see, especially when there are more than 100 in one place. Check out dozens of creations built by community members, businesses and families. Jeremiah Lee Mansion, 161 Washington St., Marblehead. Various times. Visit the website ... Read More »

What’s Sprouting in Boston?

Your weekly curated guide to activities in and around Boston. by Kim Foley MacKinnon November 22 – 30 Friday, November 26 Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction This annual family fest at the MIT Museum has teams link their machines together for a crazy chain reaction. MIT Museum, Rockwell Cage Gym, 77 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. From 1-4 p.m. Visit the website ... Read More »

5 products that make me thankful

This time of year, we’re supposed to count our blessings. For me, it is a very, very long list — too long for a blog post, certainly. Instead, I decided to focus on five products I’m thankful for as a mom, which is a much shorter list and seems more appropriate for this particular venue. 1. Xplory stroller Now that ... Read More »

10 reasons to shop locally this holiday

Your dollars spent at Magic Beans and other local businesses have three times as much impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When you shop local, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development. Did you know that small businesses are the largest employer nationally? We ... Read More »