Toy stores

Ann, the owner, has a fabulous flairfor stocking her adorable store with high-quality, unique toys.Parents and kids alike will enjoy the cool finds that range from 50cents to several hundred dollars, and the children’s book section,which also hosts a rockin’ story hour, is stocked with favoritesyou’ll remember from your own childhood.

The artistic attention to detailmakes this store extra-special. The store is decorated withoriginal artwork from local artists. Doors have been turned intotables. Church pews have been turned into bookshelves! Thoroughlycharming.


My new favorite toy store, and other thoughts about playing in Chicago

I cringe at the thought of a visit to Toys R Us. In fact, I canprobably count on both hands the number of times I’ve gone in one.The endless aisles of plastic toys made in China, the hundreds ofLego options that will certainly end up stabbing me in the bottomof my foot as I kiss my boy goodnight, the often-violent videogames, 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 originalartwork from local artists, including my absolute favorite printthat I’ve posted for you all to see! Each plush toy is somehowunique. Play offers gift wrapping and handily creates party favors,too.

The dress-up section is centeredaround Ann’s father’s dresser from when he was a baby, and his cribis also a fixture in the store (which I found to be incrediblysweet). Doors have been turned into tables. Church pews have beenturned into bookshelves! I really loved the artistic attention todetail that made this store so special.

But my favorite was the fantasticchildren’s book section. I spent a long time reminiscing over someof our family’s favorites and discovering perfect gift options forthe future. I’ve heard that their story time is rockin’, with kidsfilling up the whole place! I will definitely back to shop formore!

While visiting, Ann and I alsobrainstormed 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 forme. I found some free parking on Logan Boulevard, after learningthat the parking spots in front of the store were all 15-minuteloading zones. But I later learned that there is plenty of meteredparking on Milwaukee. Phew!

I’m new here…tell me about yourfavorite local Mom and Pop-type shops that cater to families!

Fair Game, which opened last winter, features what owner JoshStein calls “hobby games,” ones not found at big-name retailers. Soyou won’t see Monopoly here, but you will find the German game DerSchwarze Pirat (“The Black Pirate” in English), in which playerssqueeze a little hand-held device to blow their ships around theboard. There’s also a library of about 80 games you can test-drivebefore buying, plus a space for parties.

Fair Game, Downers Grove

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