Your first inclination when it comes to picking out a birthday or holiday gift for a child may be to hop online or go to your nearest big box store, but here in the Kansas City area we have so many GREAT toy stores to choose from. These stores are great for shopping, with wide selections of toys for all children and informed employees to answer questions and make suggestions. Your kids can also have SO MUCH FUN while they shop! With toys set out specifically for kids to play with and explore as well as special programs such as story times, music classes and workshops, these stores are a great place for an outing on a cold (or super hot) day. Worried about saving money? Most of these stores have sales and send out coupons to people on their mailing list so you can check out the toys in store, have fun with your kids AND save money. Many of these are even locally owned, so you are supporting a local business.
Fat Brain Toys: If you’ve ever shopped at Prairiefire, the giant toy ferris wheel in their window display has probably lured you and your kids in to look around. My daughter loves seeing which toys are on display, and I love that they carry many unique toys you won’t find at other stores like Squigz and SpinAgain! Follow their Facebook page to see upcoming events. They have a fantastic line up of Toddler Tuesday programs!
Lakeshore Learning: This store in Merriam is packed to the gills with educational toys and also has a separate section for teacher supplies and classroom tools. I love that they have a free craft activity every Saturday! Make sure to get on their mailing list for catalogs and coupons.
The Learning Tree: This locally owned store has two locations: one in Leawood and one in Prairie Village. You’ll find story times at both and a music class offered at their Corinth Square location. I love shopping in store, but I also love that you can make a wishlist on their website, shop online, and pick up in store! Make sure to get on their mailing list as they send out catalogs with coupons. While in store, don’t forget to sign up for their Treewards loyalty program, as well!
Brookside Toy and Science: This locally owned store located in the cute shops at Brookside has been in business since 1964. In addition to toys, you’ll find it’s a one stop shop for science fair goods! Follow their Facebook page for information about upcoming events and story times.
The Toy Store in Lawrence: OK, so technically this toy store is not in Kansas City, but it is absolutely worth the drive to downtown Lawrence! I’ve been shopping at this store since I was a kid and it’s amazing to see how much it has grown. Now occupying three whole floors, this store has everything you can dream of. The top floor is where you will find books, dolls, dress up clothes, and all kinds of pretend play toys. The main floor has baby stuff, Legos, stuffed animals, and games. In the basement you’ll find scooters and other outdoor toys, activity and art sets, and an entire section of toy trains with multiple train tables to play with. Also in the basement is the special room of DEALS! I found my daughter’s scooter here for a STEAL and there are all kinds of great finds at bargain prices. The Toy Store encourages you to try before you buy. They have toys set out everywhere for kids to play with and experience. You can seriously spend hours here (I know this from experience). Pair a visit to The Toy Store with lunch in downtown Lawrence and a stop at nearby South Park and you’ve got a sweet day trip that your whole family will enjoy!
Go Big Skill Toys: This locally owned store has only been around for about four years but has a faithful following. Their focus is on skill-toys like yo-yos, juggling, and more. They offer free skill workshops each week so your kids can learn from the pros and spend time honing their skills. Follow them on Facebook to stay on top of upcoming events!
U.S. Toy: I recently visited this store for the first time and WOW! It is HUGE! In addition to a large selection of toys they also have teacher supplies, party supplies, and a separate wing just for costumes. In the center of the store you’ll find a play area with lots of toys set up for kids to play with. Locally owned and operated since 1953, this store has everything you might need. Get on their mailing list for coupons and watch their Facebook page for upcoming events.