I cringe at the thought of a visit to Toys R Us. In fact, I can
probably count on both hands the number of times I've gone in one.
The endless aisles of plastic toys made in China, the hundreds of
Lego options that will certainly end up stabbing me in the bottom
of my foot as I kiss my boy goodnight, the often-violent video
games, the mass commercialism…yuck. No, thanks!
But play, the
toy store in Logan Square? Wonderful! Ann, the owner, has a
fabulous flair for stocking her adorable store with high-quality,
unique toys. Parents and kids alike will enjoy the cool finds that
range from 50 cents to several hundred dollars.
The store is decorated with original
artwork from local artists, including my absolute favorite print
that I've posted for you all to see! Each plush toy is somehow
unique. Play offers gift wrapping and handily creates party favors,
The dress-up section is centered
around Ann's father's dresser from when he was a baby, and his crib
is also a fixture in the store (which I found to be incredibly
sweet). Doors have been turned into tables. Church pews have been
turned into bookshelves! I really loved the artistic attention to
detail that made this store so special.
But my favorite was the fantastic
children's book section. I spent a long time reminiscing over some
of our family's favorites and discovering perfect gift options for
the future. I've heard that their story time is rockin', with kids
filling up the whole place! I will definitely back to shop for
While visiting, Ann and I also
brainstormed about some cool family events for the future! Multilingual Chicago will be offering Spanish
classes starting soon, and One Fit Mama will be offering a six-week
fitness session for families in May and June for just $60. We're
also planning a Family Night Out, as well as a lunch-n-learn
seminar for the summer. I'm beyond excited to PLAY!! And I'm
feeling more and more at home in Chicago.
My one caveat - parking was iffy for
me. I found some free parking on Logan Boulevard, after learning
that the parking spots in front of the store were all 15-minute
loading zones. But I later learned that there is plenty of metered
parking on Milwaukee. Phew!
I'm new here…tell me about your
favorite local Mom and Pop-type shops that cater to families!
Tricia Streit Perez is partner to Dan, mom to Caleb, and founder of One Fit Mama®. She lives in Wicker Park.
See more of Tricia's stories here.
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