Christmas is the obvious time to check out these local toy stores, but there are plenty of other occasions during the year when kids make toy requests: birthdays, post–dentist visits, after a good report card...okay, pretty much anytime. Why hit up these shops rather than Amazon? Because the selection is more curated, so you won't get overwhelmed with options, and toy shops often put fun items on display for hands-on playing, making the stores something like an indoor playground. And if you're an adult who happens to love toys (no shame), toy stores are the best places to nerd out with likeminded people.
Best toy stores in Chicago
This veritable palace of playtime locomotives lures regular customers to suburban Berwyn not just from Cook County but from northern Indiana and southern Wisconsin, too. (Toy-train enthusiasts from around the world have also been known to visit this family-owned shop, which has been operating for two decades.) The colorful displays of train sets you can play with will entertain your kid (and you) for hours. From Thomas the Tank Engine to Playmobil toys to Radio Flyer wagons to old-fashioned marbles, there's something for almost everyone.Read more
Heading to a baby shower? GALT Toys & Baby is your new best friend. You’ll find a range of infant and toddler toys, such as plush books and rattles. Moms and moms-to-be can find specialty strollers and nursery furniture. The store has certified technicians on hand to help answer questions or do car installations.Read more
Don’t go looking for any Barbie Dolls in this classic, European-inspired toy shop. Head to Geppetto’s for its collection of wooden toys from responsible manufacturers. The shop stocks puzzles, building toys, craft sets, books and more to please parents and kids of all ages.Read more
Looking for a Godzilla figurine? Head to this toy shop in Bridgeport. Owner Loris Basso shares his love of the famous movie monster with shoppers in the form of Godzilla posters, figurines imported from Japan, DVDs and more. But it’s not all Godzilla, all the time. The shop also features figurines of Scarface, Freddy Krueger, KISS band members and more.Read more
What ever happened to good, clean, fun? It took up residence in Oak Park, at this funky shop. Expect to find an eclectic selection of old-school favorites like retro robot toys, 1980s postcards and vintage-inspired tchotchkes. From Wonder Woman to Betty Boop and Dr. Who, the gang's all here—at affordable prices.Read more
With three Chicagoland locations and a robust e-commerce website, Toys Et Cetera puts more th an 10,000 toys at your fingertips. Shopping local has never been more convenient—we're talking complimentary gift wrapping, free shipping when you spend over $199 and pickup at any store location.Read more