When thinking about the younger generation which occupies so much space on our holiday shopping lists, consider heading out to one of local toy shops our city has to offer. I certainly know how easy it is to sit and persue Amazon for my kids, but I also like to hit the streets and find gifts at any one of our great local toy shops and children’s stores. Here is a list of as many as I can find. Some I have visited, some I have heard of, all of them deserve our business as we try to shop local this holiday season. Please see links supplied for hours, addresses, and more info.
Toy house – located in Montclair Village and family owned since 1969, I used to come here as a kid and I still enjoy visiting with my own 2 little ones. With a train table in back to keep kids occupied, hit the aisles to find all sorts of gift options, including large selections of Lego & Melissa & Doug.
Komodo Toys – A Laurel District shop that I have not yet had a chance to visit. However, they seem to be well reviewed on Yelp and I plan to pop in soon. They don’t have a website but more info is located on their Yelp Page.
Kelly’s Corner – While in the Laurel, you can also pop over to Kelly’s Corner. I use her for consignment on kids clothes, but she also has a nice selection of toys, books, and so on. She has a great kids play area in the corner as well.
Adventure Toys & Learning Center – this shop is on Lakeshore Avenue within easy walking distance of other great local retailers. I pop in here every now and then and have found great selections of learning based toys and books. They don’t have a website that I could find so please see their Yelp page for more info.
Silver Moon Kids – down the street from Adventure Toys, you will find Silver Moon. Another local resale shop for baby & kids clothing, they also stock a small selection of toys and gifts for little ones. This is another great spot with a train table to keep the kids occupied while you browse.
Child’s Play – a great resale shop right in the heart of the Rockridge Shopping District. I take clothes here often to sell, but they also have a decent selection of both new and used toys. Tons of other great retailers are in the area for all your shopping needs.
Baby World – Independent and family owned, Baby World has been in business since 1983. I was in and out quite a bit during my sons 1st year. Lots of great options for clothing and toys for the newest additions to your circle in 2015. They are also not far from the heart of the Temescal District, with many more great shops to browse through.
Ruby’s Garden – just a few blocks up from Baby World, Ruby’s Garden is a lovely little store with more toy, clothing, and gift options for babies and kids. This is another great spot for buying and selling gently used clothing. I love the fact that this shop is owned by two local moms. So many other great options nearby as well; take the kids to Big or Little Frog Park, grab a famous fried chicken sandwich from Bakesale Betty’s, or peruse the amazing stores just around the corner in the Alleys.
Surprise – A mainstay on Piedmont Avenue for quite some time, Surprise is a nice option to grab a few gifts for babies & kids, in addition to a few of the adults on your list. Holiday cards, stationary, and other gift items stock the tables and shelves in this nice little shop. It doesn’t appear they have a website, see their Yelp page for more info.
Valentine’s – Also on Piedmont Avenue, you can find Valentine’s, a great addition to the area in 2014. This is yet another option for new & used clothing, as well as gifts for babies & kids. They also have a little play area for kids to enjoy while you shop.
I couldn’t help but include a few options for the BIG KIDS on your list as well….
Dr. Comic and Mr. Games – a local shop on Piedmont Ave. since 1988, this is a great shop if you have comic book enthusiasts or board game fans on your list. I haven’t played a board game in forever, but this place has me dying to bring one out soon!
Endgame – I read about this place while researching my post on Swan Market. They occupy a huge corner of the market block, and stock a massive selection of all types of games. From board games and card games, to roleplaying games and hobby supplies, its a great spot to check out for all sorts of family fun.
It’s Your Move Games & Hobbies – Located in the Temescal District, this is a great locally owned store to hit for all sorts of board games, including classics like Chess, Dominoes, and Poker. Check out their website for lots of info about events and game nights they host as well.
I hope this list has given you some ideas of great locally spots to hit when considering the little people (and a few big ones) on your list! If I missed any shops that are your fav, let me know and I will add them on…
AND DON’T FORGET, another great gift option is an annual membership to Fairyland! Our local gem that brings us so much storybook fun is a regular on our outing rotation, why not give the gift of Fairyland to those on your list? They are great too, we were gifted a membership last year when we already had one active, they just tack it on and the new membership became active when our old one expired. More info on their website here.