When we’re searching to get the best gift for our child, local toy stores come to the rescue. These independent toy stores even pulled out all the stops during the pandemic (shop by phone, free delivery, curbside pickup) to keep customers happy. And now’s our turn to support them now more than ever.
Plus, we love how these small businesses offer a great environment for kids with train tables, book nooks and more to make them feel welcomed. Here are our recommended independent toy stores to shop all year round in Chicagoland.
- Address: 2071 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago; 3306 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 2130 W. Division St., Chicago
With three Chicago locations, Building Blocks Toy Store is a neighborhood staple, offering a great selection of well-curated toys and books. Having trouble finding the perfect gift? Call the store, tell them the price range and who you are shopping for and they’ll pick the perfect gift, wrapped and ready for you to pick up.
- Address: 1137 S. Delano Court, Chicago
In addition to offering some trendy clothes for your stylish littles, this Black-owned business offers an array of toys and curated collection books that teach little ones about diversity and race.
- Address: 3109 W. Logan Boulevard, Chicago; 2462 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 5311 N. Clark St., Chicago; 1112 W. Madison St., Chicago
With four Chicago locations, *play is the place to go for educational and imaginative toys. But rather than carrying various versions of the same toy, they carefully curate the top toys in each category.
- Address: 4749 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
This cozy, yet well-stocked Lincoln Square toy shop lives up to its name. The store has an old-time feel, packed to the brim with retro wooden toys, creative playthings, puppets, games, books and more.
- Address: 310 N Happ Road #128, Northfield
Children’s Gift Shop stocks well-designed, safe gifts from trusted sources. Find games, classic and on-trend toys, puzzles and more for everyone from infants to teens.
With locations along the North Shore, the goal of The Wild Child is to get kids unplugged and engaged in pretend play and interactive activities. The store features a unique selection of books, toys, dolls, clothes, stuffed animals, jewelry, artwork, crafts and science projects.
Based in Palos Park, this online family-owned toy store is a one stop shop for all ages.
- Address: 18 Countryside Plaza, Countryside
The south suburban location of this popular retail chain carries games, plushies, crafting and science kits and more with an emphasis on educational, creative play.
- Address: 111 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville
With over 30 years of toy buying experience, Anderson’s is one of the best resources around for hot trends and classic favorites. When you step inside Anderson’s you will find a wide assortment of specialty brands, not often stocked in larger stores.
- Address: 730 Lake Street, Oak Park
Geppetto’s is a European-inspired toy shop filled with back-to-basics toys made from wood and natural fibers. These are toys that feel good, look good, and can withstand years of play and exploration.
- Address: 19 S Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills; 1420 Commons Dr., Geneva; Baker Hill Shopping Center, 900 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn; 315 S Rand Road, Lake Zurich
Visit one of five Chicagoland locations of this popular retail chain. Learning Express Toys carries games, plushies, crafting and science kits and more with an emphasis on educational, creative play.
- Address: 107 E. Front St., Wheaton
This charming store in historic Downtown Wheaton has a wonderful selection of high-quality, unique gadgets, toys, games and puzzles that are fun and educational for the whole family.
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