Iconic toy store FAO Schwarz is offering New Yorkers the chance to turn their childhood dreams into reality by allowing them to hang out inside the shop all by themselves before it opens to the public. That means you'll get to dance on the infamous giant piano and peruse the various toy collections without anybody else around you. As we said: a dream.
The best part? The experience, which you can book for about $260 right now over here via Viator, will benefit Candlelighters NYC, a charity that provides emotional and financial support to children with cancer and their families.
The specifics: on select mornings starting now through January 8, you can book a tour of the store either alone or with friends and family. A resident toy soldier will walk around with you and tell you all about the destination's history (did you know it's the oldest toy store in the United States?). You'll also get a 20 percent discount on select merchandise.
FAO Schwarz first opened in 1862 in Baltimore. It then moved to New York—where it proudly stands today—in 1870 but has switched locations within the city multiple times since then. In January 2004, when the store iconically resided on Fifth Avenue, it had to temporarily shutter. The closure became permanent in 2015. A new company eventually acquired the brand and re-opened the destination, this time at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (where it still is today), in November of 2018. Needless to say, much joy surrounded the re-launch of the shop.
We expect that hanging out inside FAO Schwarz before-hours will soon turn into a New York holiday must-try—an experience as unique as seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, perhaps, or catching the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall—so try and book that time slot ASAP.
Meanwhile, here's what we'll be doing during our visit: