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The exterior facade of Timeless Toys
Photograph: Ashley Landon

The best toy stores in Chicago

We've found the best toy stores in Chicago and the suburbs to reward a little one or just geek out on your own

Written by
Jess Keys
,
Morgan Olsen
&
Samantha Nelson
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Whether you’re shopping for a kid or a kid at heart, visiting a toy store offers a great place to buy a unique gift or pick up something for yourself. If you’re looking for a Christmas or birthday present or want to add some retro collectibles to your own collection, stores throughout Chicago provide a place to stop on a stroll and seek inspiration with the help of knowledgeable staff. It’s an experience you just won’t get buying online or from the toy aisle at a big box retailer. From new businesses to places that have been bringing joy for decades, these are the best toy stores in Chicago.

The best toy stores in Chicago

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

With locations in Logan Square, Lincoln Park, Andersonville and the West Loop, Play offers a curated collection of toys, mostly from small companies, along with books, board games and puzzles. You’ll find everything from rattles and plush toys for infants to educational crafting kits. They offer free gift wrapping year-round and will assemble complex toys for you.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Lake View
  • price 2 of 4

The knowledgeable staff at Building Blocks has been providing recommendations for shoppers for 26 years. With locations in Lakeview, Wicker Park and Lincoln Park, the business celebrates the importance of play at all ages, selling craft kits, costumes, board games and books. The stores also help local schools and nonprofits with toy drives and “play it forward” days where they donate a portion of sales.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Sheffield & DePaul
  • price 2 of 4

Parents may enjoy this modern play mecca more than their kiddos—but rest assured, there’s something here for the youngsters too. Stocking vinyl figurines, blind boxes, Mermicorno backpacks and plush toys, Rotofugi has garnered attention for its expansive inventory, including designer toys, pop-culture collectibles, and local and national art.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 2 of 4

A haven for kids and families since 1993, the Lincoln Square shop emphasizes the importance of play in a child’s physical, emotional and cognitive development. Their selection ranges from teethers for infants to toy cars for toddlers, dollhouses for preschoolers and Lego sets for older kids. Teens and adults, on the other hand, can pick up a complex board game or puzzle.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Oak Park
  • price 3 of 4

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.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Hyde Park
  • price 2 of 4

With a Hyde Park store and a robust e-commerce website, Toys Et Cetera puts more than 10,000 toys from around the world at your fingertips ranging from puzzles to art supplies. Shopping locally has never been more convenient—we're talking complimentary gift wrapping and orders that can be placed online and picked up in person.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Suburbs
  • price 2 of 4

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 three decades.) The colorful displays of train sets you can play with will entertain your kid (and you) for hours. From Brio and Thomas the Tank Engine to Legos, Carrera, Breyer horses, puzzles and crafts, you can easily spend the day in this store.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4

Heading to a baby shower? Galt Toys + Galt Baby is your new best friend. You’ll find a range of infant and toddler toys like plush books and rattles. Moms and moms-to-be can find specialty strollers and nursery furniture—the store even has certified technicians on-hand to help answer questions or do car installations.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

You might bring your kid along to Quake Collectibles, but you're secretly going to relive your childhood. While the shop also carries modern toys, its real bread and butter is the best of the glory days: old-school Transformers, GI Joe, throwback Star Wars action figures, Strawberry Shortcake, Pez dispensers, vintage lunch boxes and so much more. You can't not find something you want here.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

Toy de Jour is a trip back to the 1980s, with vintage toys, clothing, knickknacks and art from the era. Pick up your nostalgia here with figurines from classic franchises like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, Star Wars and My Little Pony, or get your fill of it from the selection of equally nostalgic home decor and apparel.

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