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Photograph: Courtesy Build-A-Bear Workshop

The best toy stores in NYC

The best toy stores in NYC have all the toys your kids want plus fun activities and more

Written by
Hannah Doolin
,
Allie Early
&
Danielle Valente
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The best toy stores in NYC offer everything your little one’s heart desires. These shops make it easy for you too, whether you’re looking for the latest must-have toy, educational toys that will put their STEM skills to use or the perfect birthday gift. Shopping at these NYC toy stores is actually one of the best things to do with kids in NYC, as many of them offer more than just toys. You’ll find interactive activities, events and even story times, so the kids can get a little entertainment (and even education) in addition to finding their next favorite plaything. From a world of wonder like FAO Schwartz to carefully curated corner toy shops, these stores carry toys that are stimulating, educational and of course fun. And as a bonus, with all the additional activities on offer, you can add these toy stores to the list of fun things to do indoors when the weather outside is not-so-fun.

Best toy stores in NYC

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West

From stuffed animals and board games to dolls and STEM products, FAO's selection is nothing short of generous. All interests will find something that strikes their fancy, but perhaps what's so lovable about the store is the extra step it takes to make the experience interactive. Not only will kiddies be able to find a new toy, but they'll be able to enjoy hands-on activities (some of which are free) that'll spark a bit of imagination and playfulness. Look out for magic tricks, science experiments, spa treatments and, of course, don't forget to play the grand piano!

  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

No need to leave NYC for an authentic camp experience. At CAMP stores, kids are not only invited to browse the collection of toys and games, but they can participate in interactive experiences like dancing, sports, crafts and everything they love about camp. CAMP is also a great place for birthday parties.   

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Upper East Side
  • price 1 of 4

When it comes to mom and pop shops, it doesn't get sweeter than Mary Arnold Toys. The family-run operation specializes in the newest trends to nostalgic pieces. such as the smiling rotary phone from Fisher-Price, circa 1960s. Considered the oldest toystore in NYC after FAO Schwarz, Mary Arnold has been operating since 1931, providing kids not only with a place to shop, but a destination to gather for story times, events and a personal experience. 

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West

The 40,000-foot shop spans two levels and offers some pretty amazing features, including a salon for dolls and kids! Tots can get their hair cut and primped right alongside their favorite doll. A signature studio allows kids to personalize a doll with their own designs. The shop also offers private party rooms with themed packages, projection equipment and other features that will make your child’s next event the talk around school.

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  • Shopping
  • Midtown West

If STEM activities are a hit with your kiddos, they're going to go gaga over the LEGO flagship store. Not only will the giant structures of Gotham hotspots like the Statue of Liberty make their jaws drop, but the wide selection of products will definitely give them a hankering to get building. Plus, there are monthly events (some of which are free) and store experts on hand to help your budding engineers crack any building-block challenge that might arise. 

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West
  • price 1 of 4

Little mouseketeers get a taste of the happiest place on earth right in NYC thanks to the Disney store. There's no shortage of stuffed animals, princess garb and Gotham-inspired trinkets for shoppers to browse. Whether patrons are in search of a classic Mickey stuffed animal, need to find a dress for the ball or simply can't live without those Nightmare Before Christmas sweatshirts, they'll find it here.

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  • Shopping
  • Design and interiors
  • Boerum Hill
  • price 2 of 4

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 tots with adorable stuffed animals, puzzles, DIY craft kits and cute trinkets like pencil toppers, tiny army men with parachutes, magnets, gag gifts and jewelery. There's also stuff for adults too, including mugs, candles and quirky gifts.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West

When kids step foot inside Build-A-Bear, they embark on an adventure to customize the furry friend of their dreams. First, little ones select an animal—the typical bears, dogs and cats are up for grabs, along with the popular selections such as Pokémon characters and Marvel-inspired teddies. From there, it's about stuffing the toy and bringing it to life (which includes adding a small heart for good measure). Then, young toy makers must accessorize their new prize with fun outfits and gear! 

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Carroll Gardens

Perhaps one of Court Street's most frequented mom and pop stores, Pizzazzz Toyz is always hoppin'—especially when little ones catch a glimpse of the exciting merchandise. Shoppers will make their way through today's popular craze but don't be surprised by the puzzles and classic games in store. The shop itself is tightly lined with wall-to-wall shelves of goodies that the youngsters will love.

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

Everything's ultra modern at this Billyburg baby mecca, a spin-off of Brooklyn design store Two Jakes. Look for the latest bags, strollers and cribs from brands like Oeuf, Argington and Bloom when you make your visit. 

  • Shopping
  • Kid's clothes
  • Tribeca
  • price 2 of 4

Owner Carol Adams transformed her successful store Babylicious into Torly Kid—a one-stop shop for both tots and tweens. Best-selling lines like Pink Chicken, Nununu, Alex Toys and Appaman are now stocked in bigger sizes as well as small. The online store also has an extensive selection of camp items during the spring and summer season.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Upper West Side
  • price 1 of 4

This family-run institution has been selling toys, games and books to uptown children since 1981! You can find traditional New York-themed selections, classic wooden toys, books, party favors, educational toys and toys geared specifically to special needs children, travel and outdoor play.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

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

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

This local favorite offers everything from playhouses and puzzles of varying difficulty to ride-on toys, terrarium and garden projects, dress-up items and accessories for pretend play, action figures, bath toys, musical instruments. You name it, Kidding Around has it! 

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Greenpoint

Kids of all ages will find something to love at this Brooklyn shop, which carries name brands such as LEGO, Thomas and Friends and more. Don't forget to scope out the educational games, international items and bikes when you make a visit. If you're in search of a present, head to the venue's website for age-appropriate suggestions for your birthday boy or girl.

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  • Shopping
  • Kid's clothes
  • Chelsea
  • price 2 of 4

This cozy shop located on a sleepy stretch of Ninth Ave is stuffed with durable kids' clothing from labels such as Imps&Elves and Splendid. Browse blankets and muslin "sleeping bags," accessories and a toy stash of covetables like mini kick scooters and Jellycat stuffed animals.

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

This Park Slope venue provides parents with beautifully designed and eco-friendly toys, decor, books, crafts and baby gear. The husband-and-wife team also added a backyard playspace behind the shop—a welcomed addition to this family-friendly nabe.

  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Astoria

The Asian-inspired store is a go-to place if your little ones can't get enough of Pusheen and Hello Kitty. The Queens toy store and stationary store not only sells fun toys and games, but kid-friendly accessories, too. Does your little one need a new backpack for school...or perhaps an alarm clock so he or she gets up for school in the first place? You can find all of those goodies and then some at Morning Glory. 

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Staten Island

Part event space, part toy store, Steph's Creavtivity Corner helps little ones bring their visions to life. Craft classes are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays for $10/child and birthday party options are also available for those who are looking to create on their big day. Don't forget to check out this locale's toy offerings such as Shopkins, bracelet-making kits, sticker books and more.

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