Since kids first figured out how to hit a rock with a stick, toys have been a childhood staple. Developing minds need them not just for entertainment, but for education and developing motor skills. Skip the big chain stores, and snag a little one-on-one time with the kids at local businesses that specialize in the one thing those kids of yours really care about: toys. Minnesota’s best toy stores offer all fun new and old with a side of child-oriented ambiance that’ll have the kiddies begging for more.
ABC & Toy Zone
122 17th Ave.
Rochester, MN 55901
With ABC & Toy Zones in Rochester, Chanhassen, Richfield and Burnsville, every area family gets a chance to try one out. The stores specialize in educational toys as well as classroom supplies and furnishings. It also features a wide range of learning levels to suit each individual child. These levels vary from infant and toddler to early childhood, language arts and critical thinking as well as categories for active play, arts and crafts and constructive play.
310 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Pacifier has two stores in Minneapolis: its flagship store on East Hennepin Avenue and a store located at the city center. Count on toys for nursery babies to the preschool toddler set. Pacifier features a large selection of wood toys as well as a line of green toys, portable iDolls and tea collections. Parents who are also searching for bassinets or other nursery furnishings will find everything they need at Pacifier.
Al’s Farm Toys and the Toy Box
1208 7th St. Northwest
Rochester, MN 55901
At Al’s Farm Toys and the Toy Box in Rochester, find any type of farm toy perfect for every animal and future farmer in the family. Designed by a dad who wanted to pass on his father’s lessons, this place is designed with outdoorsy, manual labor in mind. Not only does the store feature standard toys such as wooden trains, puzzles and games, but it also offers a large selection of mini farm equipment. Find John Deere toys, farm machinery, bobcats, Caterpillars and construction toys, all at this little farm-filled toy store.
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394 Lake Ave. South
Duluth, MN 55802
J. Skylark is a toy store full of games, gifts, puzzles books and more. It is located in Duluth, on the shores of Lake Superior, upstairs in the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace, and promises the perfect place for parents to find the most unique gifts for crafty kiddos. J. Skylark, a locally owned toy store, has been in business for more than 20 years. Offering everything from rubber stamps to old-school stationery, this place appeals to adults as much as it does kids. The Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace was created in 1985 and is home to a number of restaurants, cafes and gift shops.
Main Street Toys
1500 Jackson St. Northeast, Ste. 319
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Main Street Toys is a completely different toy store from anything else in Minnesota.This is grandma and grandpa’s chance to shine in the toy department, explaining the shop’s vintage space toys and robots to old-school wind-up toys. It also features collectible Power Ranger and G.I. Joe action figures, and a variety of other vintage action heroes. Make purchases online, or call for an appointment to check out the whole inventory in person.
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Christina Majaski is a full-time legal assistant and freelance writer for online and print publications. She has an obsession for all things related to social media and invites you to follow along with her on Twitter @cmajaski. She currently resides with her daughter in central Minnesota. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.