The holiday season is in full swing, and according to a recent sales forecast, retail sales are expected to grow approximately 5-6 percent over last year and could top $1.1 trillion.

National retail sales already increased by .2% last month, as strong sales tied to holiday shopping were offset by lower gasoline prices. In Greater Boston, we expect a busy and festive season, as the area continues to produce homegrown business talent, with companies viewing the region as an ideal location for their operations. In fact, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) recently predicted a 3.8 percent gain in retail sales compared to the 2017 holiday period. That would translate to $18 billion in November and December retail sales in Massachusetts alone.

Online shopping is an increasingly popular way to score gifts for family and friends. But let’s not overlook the convenience and community benefits of shopping locally, and in-person. RAM is encouraging consumers to support at our area’s merchants through its social media campaign, #BuyInMA. In that spirit, and as we continue to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season, we’ve identified several one-stop Boston-area shopping and dining locations that will ease the stress of last-minute holiday planning.

One Seaport

Located on Seaport Boulevard, One Seaport is home to dozens of shops, restaurants, and amenities. Friends and colleagues can gather for some holiday cheer at restaurants such as Tuscan Kitchen, Scorpion Bar or bowl a few rounds at King’s. Shoppers can find something for everyone on their list at stores such as L.L. Bean, Lululemon, and Outdoor Voices. Reenergize after a day of running around by getting your caffeine fix at Caffè Nero or La Colombe.

Boston Landing

Boston Landing, located alongside the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton, brings shopping and dining together with sports facilities (a fitness center and the Auerbach Center, the Celtics and Bruins’ practice facility) and office space. Popular dining and retail spaces include New Balance’s global headquarters, Kohi Coffee, Flatbread Company, and Rail Stop Restaurant and Bar. If you’re looking to avoid the hassle of driving, Boston Landing conveniently has a stop on the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line.

Assembly Row

Somerville’s popular shopping and dining destination Assembly Row has over 40 shops and 25 restaurants for shoppers to select from. Those looking to take a break from the stores can catch a film at AMC Theater, or check out Lucky Strike Lane with games, food, and a 60-foot island bar with craft beverages. Assembly Row makes sure everyone is in the festive spirit, with holiday music provided by Boston Free Radio every Saturday.

South Bay Shopping Center

Located on Allstate Road in Dorchester, conveniently by Newmarket Station and off the Expressway, South Bay Shopping Center has a variety of shops. The recently renovated center is home to retailers such as Target, Starbucks, Ulta, a LOFT outlet, Converse, and Carter’s. Across the way sits District Avenue, which connects the South Bay mall area to a Boston Street bypass road and the top of West Howell Street, a 12-screen AMC cinema sits above a Forever 21, Nike, Chipotle, and Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese BBQ restaurant.

Whether you are scrambling for last minute gifts, or simply enjoying all the festivities the city has to offer, we are proud to have worked with these facilities to ensure they were prepared for the holiday hustle. Give them a visit and see what you can find for those last minute gifts. Happy Holidays!

Original Article BLDUP