BEST TOY STOREBuilding Blocks Toy Store
An early August rainstorm inflicted severe water damage on the Lakeview location of this beloved toy store, but the silver lining was an outpouring of community support, which raised more than $5,000 to offset the store’s losses. Customers showed their love by patronizing the shops, too, with kids in tow eager to test out the enormous selection of toys. And there’s plenty to choose from: Shelves are stacked high with dress-up gear, dolls, games, pull toys and other kiddo delights, but most impressive is Building Blocks’ selection of brainy and beautifully designed European toys, including German Playmobil figures, Italian ride-on Gymnic Rody horses and beautifully illustrated French puzzles by Janod. Of course, as readers point out, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, the super helpful staff is quick to demonstrate products or help pick out the perfect gift—all traits we’d agree make this store worth saving. 3306 N Lincoln Ave (773-525-6200) and 2130 W Division St (773-235-1888).
Other nominees Timeless Toys, Toys et Cetera, Galt Toys + Galt Baby, Play, Becky & Me Toys