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The best toy stores in NYC

Find the latest playthings—dolls, trucks, games and more—at the very best toy stores in NYC for kids

Photograph: Jessica Lin
FAO Schwarz

Next time you're hunting for that perfect gift—whether for Christmas or your little one's birthday party—head to one of these fantastic toy stores in NYC. Peddling everything from puppets to high-tech gadgets to plush toys, these kidcentric shops make it easy to find a winning present. You may even find some top picks from these stores in our holiday gift guide for kids!

RECOMMENDED: All shopping for kids in NYC

Toy stores in NYC

Acorn Toy Shop

Acorn stocks more educational and community-minded toys than you can shake an artisan-made rattle at. Play tents in bright colors replace the old-fashioned pillow-and-blanket fort, and a wooden animal menagerie has all the variety of Noah’s Ark without the pesky religious literalism.

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Boerum Hill

Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store

Critics' pick

At this Kelly green, 1,100-square-foot spot with a backyard for events, whimsical housewares, novelties and whatever owner Ann Cantrell deems “best in show” crowd the shelves. Its rotating lineup is heavy on items for little ones, so spoil your nieces and nephews with adorable stuffed animals, puzzles, DIY craft kits and more.

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Boerum Hill

Area Kids

The shop mostly stocks clothing from local designers (Egg & Avocado, Appaman), but you’ll also find imaginative and unusual toys from France and Germany.

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Park Slope

Boomerang Toys

Owner Karen Barwick equips her stores with the latest Bruder trucks and Playmobil sets. Her lucky sons even help test potential merchandise.

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Tribeca

The Children's General Store

This small toy shop on the Upper East Side is packed with classic playthings like puzzles and arts-and-crafts kits and also offers complimentary gift wrapping.

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Upper East Side

Dinosaur Hill

The Hill carries original and creative toys for all kids, from newborns to tweens. Best of all is the store's striking collection of European-made marionettes–especially those from Prague.

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East Village

Disney Store

The House of Mouse has opened its largest store ever in Times Square, where you'll find tons of Disney goodies, a theater and an interactive princess castle.

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Queens

E.A.T. Gifts

At the nonedible arm of the Eli Zabar empire, parents can stock up on whimsical paper goods and kid-friendly baubles including everything from stickers and erasers to cupcake-shaped lip glosses and silly straw sunglasses.

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Upper East Side

FAO Schwarz

Although it’s now owned by Toys "R" Us, this three-story emporium is still the ultimate NYC toy box. Children will marvel at the giant stuffed animals and LEGO figures, and there are lots of opportunities to create custom playthings at the Madame Alexander Doll Factory, Styled by Me Barbie area and Muppet Whatnot Workshop.

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Midtown East

Kidding Around

Grab costume dress-up sets, Folkmanis goodies, kiddie furniture, electronic toys and more at this local favorite.

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Flatiron

Mary Arnold Toys

The specialty toy shop carries unusual, hard-to-find playthings, like a flat-car racing set. Also head here if you're looking for Madame Alexander dolls, Jellycat animals, Legos and other kid (and grown-up) classics.

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Lenox Hill

Norman & Jules

This two-year old toy shop provides Park Slope parents with beautifully designed and eco-friendly toys, decor, books, crafts and baby gear. Earlier this spring, the husband-and-wife team also added a backyard playspace behind their store.

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Park Slope

Space Kiddets

The great vintage toys and gear at this Flatiron shop really make us wax nostalgic, and will probably make you do so too. Check out Elvis-print shirts and the huge selection of Astro Boy products.

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Flatiron

A Time for Children

You don’t have to feel guilty about splurging at this combined clothing and toy store: 100% of its profits benefit the Children’s Aid Society. Sizes run from infant to eight years, and brands include Petit Bateau and Pluto.

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Upper West Side

Torly Kid

Owner Carol Adams has transformed her successful store Babylicious into Torly Kid—a one-stop shop for both tots and tweens. Best-selling lines like Tooby Doo, Lunchbox and Appaman are now stocked in bigger sizes as well as small. The store also has an extensive collection of party favors.

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Tribeca

Toy Space

Owner-mom Louise Simon’s superpopular Slope spot stocks everything from überhip European toys and games to classic stuff (Rubik’s Cube or Etch A Sketch, anyone?). It’s also one of the few shops in the city to boast a kid birthday registry.

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Park Slope

Toy Tokyo

Critics' pick

This Asian toys and tchotchkes mecca houses dizzying displays of memorabilia—half of which is from Japan. Snatch up quirky bubblegum-pink Gloomy Bear stuffed animals, Godzilla figurines, kaiju models and more.

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East Village

Toys “R” Us

With a 60-foot indoor Ferris wheel and a 20-foot-high animatronic T. rex, this store has become just as much a part of the delirious Times Square spectacle as the iconic neon and LED lights outside. Other attractions include a Willy Wonka candy shop, a make-your-own robot lab and a Babies "R" Us department.

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Midtown West

West Side Kids

This family-run institution has been selling toys, games and books to uptown children for more than two decades.

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Upper West Side

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