Photograph: Courtesy Build-A-Bear Workshop

The best New York toy store locations that families love

Toy stores in NYC are great for tiny urbanites—and even parents. Check out the latest craze, old-school games and more!

By Danielle Valente, Allie Early and Hannah Doolin

We scoured the boroughs for the best New York toy store, and one thing's clear: With so many adorable options, it's pretty difficult to choose just one! A safe bet would be to put each charming location on your list of things to do with kids in NYC

Whether you're in search of the must-have seasonal item—Hatchimals!, Fingerlings!—or want to put the kiddo's STEM skills to good use, toy stores in NYC have patrons covered. From FAO Schwarz to LEGO and everything in between, these shops are a must-visit if you have birthday parties for kids coming down the pipeline...or if your own tykes deserve a little reward. 

Not only are these locations great places to shop, but they offer plenty interactive activities, too, such as events and storytime for kids. Now that you're ready for a shopping spree, which NYC toy store will you and the kids hit first?!

Best toy stores in NYC

Photograph: Danielle Valente

1. FAO Schwarz

Shopping Toys and games Midtown West

The beloved toy store opened the doors to its new permanent home at 30 Rock, and the endless stacks of empty red shopping bags aren't going to fill themselves. 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 furry friend or snag Hatchimals eggs, 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! All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy CAMP

2. CAMP Stores

Things to do Flatiron

No need to leave NYC for an authentic camp experience. At the newly opened CAMP store in Flatiron, kids are not only invited to browse the collection of toys and games, but they can participate in interactive experiences. Littles can make their way past a secret door and enter a world of dancing, sports, crafts and everything they love about camp—right in a 10,000 square-foot space. Beginning May 10, the immersive hotspot will introduce shoppers to its new theme "Cooking Camp." Whether youngsters are planting their own seeds at the Miracle-Gro farm, gathering goods at the grocery store or whipping up a delicious dish, they will learn all about the food evolution, one fun activity at a time.   

Photograph: Courtesy Mary Arnold Toys

3. Mary Arnold Toys

Shopping Toys and games Upper East Side

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 (think Harry Potter-inspired LEGO sets) 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. 

Renderings: Courtesy FRCH Design Worldwide

4. American Girl Place

Shopping Toys and games Midtown West

American Girl’s new retail space is every little girl's dream. The 40,000-foot shop spans two levels and offers some pretty amazing features, including a salon for dolls and kids! Tots will be able to get their hair cut and primped right alongside their favorite doll. A signature studio will allow kids to personalize a doll with their own designs and a media studio will host instructional classes as well as health and wellness activities. If your kids are complete fans of American Girl, then why not host their next birthday party there? The shop offers private party rooms with themed packages, projection equipment and other features that will make your child’s next event the talk around school. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Build-A-Bear

5. Build-A-Bear

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! 

Photograph: Shutterstock

6. LEGO Flagship Store

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. 

Disney Store Times Square
Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello

7. Disney Store

Shopping Toys and games Midtown West

Mickey's magic isn't reserved for theme parks. 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. Just beware: Much like theme parks in Florida and California, this Disney hotspot gets very crowded. 

Photograph: Driely Schwartz

8. Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store

Shopping Design and interiors Boerum Hill

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. Don't miss Annie's annual easter egg hunt, a beloved event for Park Slope locals.

Grandma's Place
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

9. Grandma's Place

Shopping Toys and games Harlem

This Harlem shop emphasizes imagination over electronic gadgetry; the cozy storefront sells dollhouses, educational toys and more.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Carolina C.

10. Pizzazzz Toyz

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 (Hatchimals galore) 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. Don't forget to have a look at the outdoor toys stationed at the entrance—most likely next to a kid-sized LEGO figurine. 

Photograph: Courtesy of Dinosaur

11. Dinosaur Hill

Shopping Toys and games East Village

This top-rated establishment carries creative gifts for kids of all interests! Young children will be entranced by Dinosaur Hill's striking collection of European-made marionettes–especially those from Prague—in addition to a wall-to-wall setup of toys, books, stuffed animals, school gear and other great stuff. Parents and gift-givers will also appreciate the array of items available.

Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castell

12. Mini Jake

Shopping Toys and games Williamsburg

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy + Alexandra Z

13. PiccoliNY

Shopping Kid's clothes Little Italy

What to get a hip city kid who has it all? This adorable store definitely has something to suit their fancy. They stock little Brooklynite onesies, graphic tees, animal bathtoys, temporary tattoos and tons of other fun toys for the youngsters you love.

Photograph: Courtesy Caroline Voagen Nels

14. Torly Kid

Shopping Kid's clothes Tribeca

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.

West Side Kids
Photograph: Jennifer Bergman

15. West Side Kids

Shopping Toys and games Upper West Side

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.

Photograph: Courtesy + Acorn Toy Shop

16. Acorn Toy Shop

Shopping Toys and games Boerum Hill

Acorn stocks educational and community-minded toys in its Brooklyn outpost. 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. 

Toy Tokyo
Photograph: Alex Strada

17. Toy Tokyo

Shopping Toys and games East Village

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.

Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castell

18. Kidding Around

Shopping Toys and games Flatiron

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! 

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

19. Boomerang Toys

Shopping Toys and games Tribeca

Stop by Boomerang for super-cute plush toys, trains, wooden toddler toys, adjustable scooters, Playmobil, fidget spinners and more! Chances are you'll love it just as much as your kiddos' do! 

Eli's Properties
Photograph: Brian Tisza Photography

20. E.A.T. Gifts

Shopping Specialist food and drink Upper East Side

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.


21. LuLu's Cuts and Toys

Health and beauty Hair salons Park Slope

Owned by local mom Brigitte Prat, this hair salon doesn't just offer kids stylish cuts. It also sells a diverse collection of toys, including Schleich animal figures and ride-ons.

store 4_hr.jpg
Greg Kessler

22. My Little Sunshine

Shopping Kid's clothes Chelsea

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.

Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

23. Norman & Jules

Shopping Toys and games Park Slope

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.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Herman H.

24. Greenpoint Toy Center

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. You can't go wrong with a selection from this beloved locale. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Ted C.

25. Morning Glory

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. 

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Steph's Creativity Corner

26. Steph's Creativity Corner

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. All ages. 


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