Play

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, and the children's book section, which also hosts a rockin' story hour, is stocked with favorites you'll remember from your own childhood.

The artistic attention to detail makes this store extra-special. The store is decorated with original artwork from local artists. Doors have been turned into tables. Church pews have been turned into bookshelves! Thoroughly charming.

 
 

Fair Game, Downers Grove

Fair Game, which opened last winter, features what owner Josh Stein calls "hobby games," ones not found at big-name retailers. So you won't see Monopoly here, but you will find the German game Der Schwarze Pirat ("The Black Pirate" in English), in which players squeeze a little hand-held device to blow their ships around the board. There's also a library of about 80 games you can test-drive before buying, plus a space for parties.