The 10 Best Independent Kid’s Stores Around Chicago
Between the restaurants and nightlife of Chicago, there are enough things to do for adults. However, it’s only fair to stop in at one of the area’s unique stores for kids so your child can have some fun too. These stores have a mix of classic toys, books, and new favorite games, and many of them host events you can enjoy with the whole family. Let’s look at some of the best independent kid’s stores around Chicago.
Play is a toys, books, and gifts store with locations in Lincoln Park, Logan Square, and Andersonville. You can shop in these locations or online for merchandise for kids of all ages. They offer several product categories, like “Active and Outdoor” where you can buy things like blow-up forts and yard games. You’ll also find books and toys beneficial for a child’s learning and development as they enter different life stages, such as a puzzle that teaches your child about Chicago’s geography. Enjoy services like gift-wrapping, toy assembly, and shipping for added convenience.
Anderson’s Toy Shop
Anderson’s Toy Shop in Naperville offers both classic toys that you might remember from your childhood and the latest trends. Check out the sensory bins for toys to get the imagination going or explore some of the family-friendly games for a fun night in the living room. You can also bring home plush animals that your babies can snuggle with or get a LEGO set to keep the older kids busy for hours.
Peach Fuzz is a great place to stop after a walk in Humboldt Park. With merchandise mostly focused on young children, you’ll find a wide variety of toys, books, and clothing. If you’re expecting a new baby, you can easily sign up for a registry so loved ones can purchase gifts, or find your friends’ lists to get the items they need. Besides the toys and crafts, you’ll also find the store’s practical inventory that sells items like blankets, diaper bags, and kitchen equipment to help you along your parenting journey.
Building Blocks is a local chain with locations in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Wicker Park. Whether stopping in or browsing its easy-to-navigate website, you’ll find toys and games for babies and kids of all ages. They also offer personalized services, like silhouette carvings or personalized Easter baskets where you can make unique gifts for family and friends. The website also features regular deals and staff favorite picks if you want some help to choose the right toy.
Cat and Mouse Games
Cat and Mouse Games is a puzzle and games store for products that allow families to problem-solve together, plus games that allow kids to explore new skills independently. They offer a full range of jigsaw puzzles, whether you’re starting out or want to challenge yourself by playing a puzzle with over 4,000 pieces. You can find classic games, like Chess or Checkers, or more modern games to play with the kids. This store also offers adult games that you can enjoy during a game night with friends, like Pub Trivia, or strategy games like Catan or Dungeons & Dragons.
Emmerson Toys, Gifts & Hobbies
You can find Emmerson Toys, Gifts & Hobbies in Palos Park. This shop offers toys in many categories, like skills development, sports activities, or magic. Its arts and crafts section has products for all ages, like excavation kits, coloring books, and do-it-yourself kits that can keep the kids occupied for hours. If you or your children have particular needs, you can book a private shopping experience before the store opens or after closing. This gives you and your kids 60 minutes to browse the store away from the crowds.
Toys Et Cetera
Toys Et Cetera is a toy shop located in Hyde Park. You can check out its FUNdamentals system, where the staff categorizes toys based on learning type. For example, they label toys based on whether individuals can play with them versus a group, plus any items focused on sensory needs, language development, and more. You can also browse by product category, like puzzles or country of origin, to find what you need. Toys Et Cetera also has an annual holiday catalog, where you can browse the latest toys when shopping for the perfect gift.
Kido Chicago is a boutique store in the South Loop section of Chicago. With products for ages up to six and up, you’ll find a variety of kids’ clothing, books, and toys. This store also focuses on worldwide diversity, meaning kids from different backgrounds can find a book that represents their lived experiences. For example, you can shop in book sections called “Young, Gifted, and Black” and “Latinx Leaders” that focus on the perspectives of Black and Latinx children, respectively. You’ll also find events like singalongs, dance parties, and giveaways if you stop in on the right day.
Gepetto’s Toy Box
Gepetto’s Toy Box is a fun-filled store in Oak Park. Inspired by European toy stores, it offers wood-based and natural-fiber toys for more durable and eco-friendly playing experiences. You’ll find tons of physical activity, building, and science-based toys to stimulate learning during playtime. You can also pick up specialty gifts like piggy banks or gemstone necklaces for events like baptisms and communions. Gift choices here range from newborn to 17 and older.
Moore Toys and Gadgets
Located in Downtown Wheaton, Moore Toys and Gadgets is a family-owned shop stocked with the latest toys and games for your children. Its website features the store’s most popular toys, and it’s updated regularly as they receive new stock. Moore Toys and Gadgets even has a remote gaming section where kids can connect with each other over long distances through toys. You might explore the Mensa Select section for games to stimulate the mind for some brain exercises.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the local kid’s stores in the Chicago area be sure to stop in to browse for a fun afternoon with the family. Feel like a kid again when shopping with your children for fun toys, books, games, and activities. Did you enjoy our list? Did we miss a local favorite? Contact us today and we’ll be sure to add it to our next list.