Experience the best New York has to offer this holiday season at our favorite toy stores around town.
Whatever the kids in your life have on their Christmas wish lists, you’ll find what you’re looking for at these stellar NYC toy stores. Channel your inner child and take these six magical destinations by storm in preparation for Santa’s arrival.
Is shopping for gifts your favorite part of the holiday season? Or would you rather cozy up by the fire, travel with family, or engage in a good old-fashioned snowball fight? Share the comforts and joys of your holiday season with us on Twitter with the hashtag #AffiniaHoliday. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative and interesting responses!
1. The Children’s General Store
This Upper East Side gem is a fantastical hub for all things childhood. Candy, toys, books, and stuffed animals line the shelves, and the floor is carpeted with “grass” for kids to wriggle around on. The store has a vast and rotating selection of handpicked toys that will please any princess, magician, or pirate you may be shopping for.
2. Kidding Around
No joke — Kidding Around is one of the best places to spend an afternoon in the city, whether you’re 5 or 45. Deemed the “Best Toy Store in New York” by New York Magazine, the shop is filled to the brim with toys that will bring kids delight and make you feel nostalgic for some of your own childhood favorites. With two locations in New York, and one in New Jersey, Kidding Around is a great spot to escape from the cold for an afternoon.
3. Macy’s Santaland
The ultimate spot for all things toys and Christmas, Macy’s Santaland is absolutely one for the bucket list, for kids and parents alike. The elves at Macy’s transform the store into a magical North Pole village, and animatronic toys, trains, and decor line the path to visit Santa himself. After they sit on Santa’s lap, take your kids upstairs to Holiday Lane, or stop in for a snack in the store.
A few general rules of thumb: make a reservation online ahead of time if you can. We recommend visiting earlier in the day rather than late afternoon or evenings, and weekends tend to be busier than weekdays.
4. Acorn Toy Shop
If you’re on the hunt for educational, socially responsible, or community-oriented toys this holiday season, look no further than Acorn Toy Shop. Located just over the Manhattan bridge in Brooklyn, the store features handcrafted wooden toys, dolls, furniture, mobiles, clothing, and artwork made by New York-based designers and artists. Acorn is committed to environmentally sustainable practices and supporting artisans who receive a living wage for their work, and they also donate a percentage of sales to national and international schools and organizations that provide services for children.
5. Dinosaur Hill
Dinosaur Hill is a wonderfully kitschy East Village toy store featuring games, books, toys, puzzles, art supplies, artwork, quilts and other handmade trinkets. We recommend keeping an eye out for some of the unique specialty items on display, such as kalimbas, Glockenspiels, and handcrafted music boxes.
6. Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
With delightful toys, decorative items, furniture, and accessories for kids of all ages (and their parents too), Annie’s Blue Ribbon is a must-visit destination located in the charming neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Owner Ann Cantrell is constantly on the lookout for whimsical novelty items, and it shows in the store’s eclectic collection. After you let the kids add an item or two to their list for Santa, consider browsing the shelves for a little gift for yourself, too.