The holiday season is upon us once again, which means you’re scrambling to find the best gifts for your kids! While electronics and online stores may be an easy option for your toy shopping, exploring local toy stores may be a great way to find the perfect present.
Whether they’re large franchises or smaller mom-and-pop shops, toy stores offer up classic products that will thrill any child. Even though electronics have seemingly taken over, children will never stop loving the joy of unwrapping a toy they never realized they wanted or the experience of walking through a toy shop and hand-picking the perfect product for them.
Luckily for you, New York City is home to some of the most extravagant, unique and whimsical toy shops you can find! Here are a few of the best toy shops to keep in mind while you do your holiday shopping.
Want to take a trip to your local bookstore instead? Check out our list of the best libraries and indie book shops in NYC!
LEGO Store - Flatiron District
The LEGO Store is all about innovation and design. Kids will have a great time seeing intricate displays, looking through exclusive toy sets and taking part in family-friendly events. For example, The Mosaic Maker lets guests purchase their own personalized LEGO mosaic portrait. The machine captures your image and you will then get printed instructions and the bricks required to complete your LEGO portrait. 200 5th Avenue, 212-255-3217
Disney Store - Times Square
This NY location offers all the latest official Disney merchandise. This includes clothes, costumes, collectibles and loads of toys! You’ll see merch of characters from all the Disney Princesses, Fairies, Frozen, Buzz Lightyear, and so many more! If your child is a fan of Marvel, they have loads of Avengers items. This store is also home to live stream movies like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 1540 Broadway, 212-626-2910
Grandma’s Place - Harlem
Grandma’s Place is full of great children’s books and toys that promote creativity and active learning. The shop itself has a homey appeal and is full of nostalgic games, toys, and entertaining puzzles. They established it in 1985 by “Grandma” Dawn Harris-Martine. She imagined a place where adults and children could gain knowledge and experience. It’s a place that wants to support parents, guardians and teachers. Coming from a teaching background, Harris-Martine has handpicked each book and toy, making sure that everyone can learn from them. 84 W 120th St, 212-360-6776
American Girl Place - Midtown Manhattan
This store is known for its wide array of dolls and variety of accessories. Their selection is pretty diverse, so your child will have their pick of any kind of doll they could possibly want. Your kid can get a doll, plus everything it’ll ever need — books, bags, pets, and even furniture. It’s also home to tons of events like Radio City showings, hair salon tutorials, tea parties, and much more! 75 Rockefeller Plaza, 877-247-5223
Build-A-Bear Workshop - Midtown Manhattan
Here kids get to experience the hands-on and interactive process of making their own stuffed animal. They can choose what the animal will look like, add stuffing, make a wish on a heart, and even record their voice for the plush to repeat! Best of all, there are tons of clothes and accessories to personalize the animals. There are even themed plushies for kids to decorate their bear, from Toothless to Pikachu and even Elsa! 22 W 34th St, 212-863-4070
Acorn Toy Shop - Boerum Hill
Established in 2004, Acorn carries handcrafted toys that allow children to expand and explore their imaginations. This Brooklyn-based toy shop stocks wooden toys, Waldorf dolls, select furniture and mobiles, as well as unique, high-quality clothing and artwork created by talented designers and artists. All products are crafted using environmentally sustainable practices and materials made by artisans. 323 Atlantic Avenue, 718-522-3760
Dinosaur Hill - East Village
This fun-filled toy store is a great place to score some gifts that will thrill your kids this holiday season. Choose from Dinosaur Hill’s collection of handmade wonderments, toys, and clothes that challenge the mind and stimulate the senses. This cozy, small-town vibe shop offers an amazingly large assortment of products sure to make any kid smile. 306 East 9th Street, 212-473-5850
Boomerang Toys - Tribeca
Boomerang Toys is a family-owned toy store that believes children learn through play. They offer toys that can aid in enhancing learning. They actively strive to give the best possible play options for children of all ages. Buyers can find plush toys, Skyrail tracks, toy cars, dolls and more. 119 W Broadway, 212-226-7650
CAMP - Downtown Brooklyn, Chelsea, & Near Union Square
CAMP is more than just a toy store! Families are welcome to come into any CAMP location to participate in free, hands-on activities while they shop for the best toys. Shoppers can explore the magic of nature, arts and crafts, sports, theater, and fun. Upcoming activities include Make Your Own Tambourine, Melting Snowman Slime, and Mason Jar Snow Globes! 1 Dekalb Avenue, 110 5th Ave, 20 Hudson Yards Fl 2
Toy Tokyo - East Village
Toy Tokyo is more known for its huge array of collectibles and figures. However, they note that they have toys of all kinds for all ages. Many of their items are directly from Hong Kong and Japan, but they also have all the latest domestic toys. You can find items like Funko Pops, blind boxes, and more. 91 Second Avenue, 973-759-0200
Playing Mantis - Tribeca
This unique little shop in the heart of Tribeca has set out to introduce children to natural wooden crafts before they are given electronics and plastic toys. Playing Mantis carried hand-crafted toys, crafts, games and accessories made from wood and recycled materials, making their products personable and environmentally friendly. 32 North Moore Street, 646-484-6845
Kidding Around - Midtown
Kidding Around is New York City’s premium indie toy store. For 20 years, both of their locations have been built around high quality, value and great customer service. Voted the Best Indie Toy Store by New York Magazine, they provide an eclectic and unique range of toys, dolls and games that are centered around inspiring creativity. 60 West 15th Street, 212-645-6337. 107 East 42nd Street, 212-972-8697.