The 2018 Smarty Holiday Toy Gift Guide is sponsored by our favorite local toy store, Toys & Co in Cotswold. Find everything on your child’s wish list and then some at Toys & Co! And guess what? They will wrap every gift BEAUTIFULLY and oh-so-expertly – so you don’t have to pull an all-nighter on Christmas Eve! Check out Toys & Co’s 100 Best Toys List as well as their lists for Ages 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11 – you’ll have everyone covered on your list!
This is our BIG week here in Smartyland – our annual holiday toy gift guide. We divvy ’em up by ages and our Smarty bloggers get to work helping Santa figure out who gets what.
We bring you our Gift Guide for Tweens & Teens (these terms are totally interchangeable!), by our Smarty tween & teen team, we brought in the teen experts themselves for this bad boy!
It’s all about technology for the tween in your household…
If your teen is begging for an iPhone upgrade, the holidays is the perfect time to give it to him or her. Here’s a Smarty idea: have Santa give you the iPhone Xs and give the kids your old one. Genius, right?
AirPods are the sleekest way to listen to music and talk to friends:
The Apple Watch is also super popular for all ages, tween and up:
Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones – the best in speaker technology:
JBL flip 4 – so much fun to jam to music with friends:
Amazon Echo – play tunes, set an alarm, and so much more:
It’s always good to have a portable charger:
Any Wild flower phone case – these are so popular and really good quality. Teens love the tie dye and plaid ones:
Or a goPro for your budding youtuber!
How about a new bike from our Smarty experts at the Bike Source in Park Road Shopping Center?
Springfree Trampoline. This gift never gets old, for any age:
Getting a ping pong table will provide years of family fun!
ENO Hammock. So fun just to hang in the backyard, stacked one on top of the other, super fun and great for sleepovers!
Keep ’em hydrated in style with a Hydroflask (make sure you also get a straw!):
Camp & Adventure Under the Tree!
This is the best grandparents gift EVER. Whether it’s day camp like Camp Thunderbird, dance camp like Jami Masters School of Dance, or overnight camp like Camp Harrison, super popular teen adventure trips like Wilderness Adventures, they will all be a hit!
Voice and Music Lessons Charlotte Star Room has the BEST voice lessons in the QC (and if you’ve got a birthday coming up, check out their awesome Pop Star Parties!). They also do video production, so if you’ve got a budding artist or theater lover, some time with the professionals at Charlotte Star Room is the perfect gift. We also love Bold Music Lessons if you’re looking for in-home music lessons. They teach all types of instruments and are a top-rated group of music professionals who are willing to do all the driving for you by coming to YOUR house. The gift of music is always a winner!
For the girls:
The Shoe Box NYC has an amazing sneaker selection, check these fab ones out by Vintage Havana, these are the latest rage for teen girls (make sure you sign up for the newsletter, there are sales often, like 60/70% off sales sometimes):
Vans Slip-on – girls like either a solid color or checkerboard:
Check out the Nike Air Force 1 (white, super easy to wear with anything):
For the book/movie lover: To all the boys I’ve loved before (the book of the hit Netflix movie):
Original Cinema Lightbox, Black/White: Back-lit like a marquee, this lightbox lets your display your message – using the different letters and characters – in cinema style.
Cookbooks for – and sometimes by – kids cover a wide array of cuisines, themes, and skill levels: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs and The Minecrafter’s Cookbook: More Than 40 Game-Themed Dinners, Desserts, Snacks, and Drinks to Craft Together
Blochair™ Inflatable Ottoman in Gold Glitter: Less expensive and way cuter than your typical bean bag chair.
Adidas Hoodie – nothing screams cool like Adidas:
Wallet: The girls who are driving will love a new wallet to keep their licenses or permits in! Kate Spade and Tory Burch wallets are very popular, stylish, and will hold up well, but other cute wallets or wristlets can be found at half the price if you’re willing to look!
For the girl who wants to be a little “lighter,” check out these credit card holders for phones from Wildflower:
Jewelry: This is a classic. Kendra Scott pieces are top of a teen girl’s list.
Workout Clothes: Lululemon shorts – all teenagers wear these:
Room: For some reason, many tween/teen girls always want to change something about their room. Help her decorate her room with a makeover that will last! If this is done right, the addition/removal of a few items can give a room a whole new look without being too expensive. Anthropologie, PB Teen & Homegoods are all great places to start!
Candles: Girls LOVE a good candle – Volcano candles are the fave on the teen circuit due to the fabulous vase.
Gift Cards to her fave boutiques and restaurants:
The Shoe Box (see above!), Sephora, Boem, KKBloom, Vestique, Bakersfield Tacos, Paco’s Tacos, Bricktop’s, Babablu, Brixx, Jolly Rolls, Rico’s Acai, Tupelo Honey, Crispy Crepe, Pike’s Soda Shoppe and more!
Fitness: A membership at the Y, her favorite yoga, barre or cycle studio – our faves are Pure Barre, Carolina Barre & Core, Cycle Bar, Y2 Yoga. Or find one close to your house! Make sure you ask for the student rate!
Concert tickets – find out when the next rapper is hitting the QC, every teen from every high school will want to be in attendance!
For the boys:
Teen boys are a little trickier, boys tend to be lower maintenance and less vocal about gifting!
Sports: If he is into sports (as many teen and tween boys are), you can’t go wrong with sports equipment. A jersey or any merchandise from their favorite player or team will be sure to put a smile on their face! If he is an athlete, ask him if he needs any new equipment (odds are he will, teenage boys tend to be rough, regardless of the sport). Any boy would also love tickets to a professional sports game to see their favorite team (we have the Panthers, the Hornets, the Checkers, the Knights, the Hounds and Independence all right here in the QC!).
Gaming: The Nintendo Switch is the gaming system of this holiday season. This is fun for the whole fam, but it’s usually the boys who hole up in the bonus room for hours on end. Games for the system are a must if you purchase one.
All the boys are playing NBA 2K19:
On-Demand TV: Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGo are all great subscriptions for teen boys on your list.
Gym: Many teenage boys enjoy going to the gym, and if yours fits that description, a youth gym membership can be a great investment for him and one that he will love!
Clothes: This is what we usually end up buying for him when we can’t think of anything else, but clothes can be a great gift! A Vineyard Vines pullover or Patagonia jacket will look great on any guy! Just make sure it is something that he would like to wear instead of something you would like him to wear!
REI: If he’s the outdoorsy type, a trip to REI will do you wonders. Camping, fishing, or hunting equipment can make a great present! You could also plan a trip to take him on where he can try out his new gear!
For his stocking:
Ca$h and food gift cards, boys are always starving: Chick-fil-A, Cookout, Chipolte, McDonald’s, Starbucks – you get the idea!
For all of your toy gift needs, head over to Toys & Co!
You can find Toys & Co at:
Cotswold Village Shops
Charlotte, NC – 704-365-7980
Mon-Sat 9a-9p, Sun 12p-6p