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The 5 Best Toy Stores in the US

posted in: Fun, Guides  |  posted by: Jennifer Gregory on December 8, 2008  |  8 Comments

Whether you’re five years old or simply a kid at heart, nothing beats a trip to the toy store. In today’s consumer driven society it’s often difficult to find a place where you can not only shop but spend a little bit of time browsing and simply having fun. We’ve searched the world for some of the best toy stores in existence and present them to you in the hopes that you will enjoy them as much as we have!

FAO Schwarz – New York City, New York

FAO Schwarz

Remember the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks? When Tom’s character suddenly grows up he has no other choice but to learn to adapt in the adult world, but that didn’t stop him from taking a trip to Toys R Us, where he played with whatever he could get his hands on. He ended his visit with a song and dance on the largest keyboard in the world – built right into the floor!

FAO Schwarz is perhaps one of the most famous toy stores in the city of New York. Founded by Frederick August Otto Schwarz and his three brothers, the concept for the store was created almost 150 years ago.

FAO Schwarz Toys

Children of all ages enjoy running around the New York FAO Schwarz store, located right in the heart of famous Fifth Avenue. It’s here that you’ll find everything you could possibly imagine, from dolls to action figures, games to science projects, and even eco-friendly alternatives.

Inside most FAO Schwarz stores you’ll also find a handful of incredible “Build-Your-Own” workshops where you can create Muppet Whatnots, monsters, and your own dolls. FAO Schwarz has activities and toys to occupy boys and girls from all walks of life!

The LEGO Store – Chicago, Illinois

LEGO Store

As a child I remember spending hours on the floor after a holiday trying to piece together elaborate cities and displays made out of nothing but Legos. The folks at LEGO must have a set of geniuses on staff at all time, because the new kits they come up with constantly amaze both children and adults alike.


Chicago’s dedicated LEGO store can be found in Westfield Shoppingtown. To celebrate the grand opening of the store, LEGO staff and area children worked together to construct an incredible mural of the Chicago City skyline.

Visitors to the LEGO store will enjoy browsing the hundreds of themed products, stopping at incredible LEGO workstations, and viewing the pre-constructed LEGO creations. Buy a custom set or create your own masterpiece. The sky’s the limit with LEGOs.

Ambassador Toys – San Francisco, California

Ambassador Toys was founded in 1997 with a unique goal and purpose. Every toy designed and sold by this incredible company is designed to educate children about other cultures while teaching them respect for others.

Ambassador Toys

With four stores in California, two of which are in the San Francisco area, Ambassador Toys has had a significant impact on the community. The Guardian even awarded them with the “Best Toy Store You Wish Had Been Around When You Were a Kid” award in their 25th anniversary edition.

You name it and Ambassador Toys probably has it. There are hundreds of entertaining options including action figures, arts and crafts, bikes, books, dolls, foreign language toys, kites, puppets, science sets, and tons more!

The Fun-est Toy Store Ever! – Ephrata, PA

The Fun-est Toy Store Ever

Yes, the name is correct. In Ephrata, PA you’ll find The Fun-est Toy Store Ever, stocked wall to wall with toys for children of all ages, including newborns and toddlers. It’s here that you’ll find toys from some of today’s most popular lines, including Thomas & Friends, Webkinz, Playmobil, and more.

So what really makes this store special? There aren’t too many stores that encourage children to come in and play, let alone linger and stay. The Fun-est Toy Store Ever will be happy to host your next birthday party, rending their party room for as many hours as you’d like to stay. They’ll help you get things rolling by providing you with a couple of themed activities and then leave the rest up to you.

Make sure you say hello to Swizzles when you stop by. This lovely duck lives right at the store and is always looking for a few kids to share his toys with!

Toys R Us – New York City, New York

Toys R Us

Inside this enormous store you’ll find a number of themed areas. Little girls will love shopping for accessories in Barbie’s Dollhouse while little boys will have a blast hunting for treasures with T-Rex in Jurassic Park. Don’t want to spend all day shopping? Try taking a ride on the spectacular 60-foot indoor ferris wheel!

Toys R Us NYC

Older children and teens particularly will enjoy a trip to the “R” zone. Filled with all things electronic, they’ll be sure to find their favorite video games, music, and DVDs.

Toys are meant to be enjoyed. No matter what toy store you visit you should be able to touch, try, and play with samples while enjoying your time with your children. Visit one of these incredible toy stores and you’re sure to have an unforgettable time!

Image credits: 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 2a, 2b, 3, 4, 4a, 5

Responses to this Article

8 Responses to “The 5 Best Toy Stores in the US”

  1. Dave@dressup games says on

    wow just wow…. i had know idea sure makes all the stores i have been to pretty plane.

  2. dee@Toys says on

    I’ve been in NY my whole life and I still haven’t been to FAO Schwartz, the closets I’ve been to it was the movie BIG

  3. Holly MillerShank says on

    I LOVE the Fun-est Toy Store Ever and I also like that you listed a local family owned business in your top 5. Not only is the Fun-est Toy Store Ever a great place for kids it’s also a wonderful asset to the Ephrata Community.

  4. Ginger says on

    As someone who makes annual pilgrimages to FAO Schwarz, it really is amazing. Toys R Us is mostly crowded and overpriced, however a feris wheel in Times Square is certain attention grabbing whether on it or just watching.
    But the little local shop mentioned, the Fun-est Toy Store Ever is by far the most intactive for my younger childern (under 6yrs old)and really a great find!
    The staff is freindly, pricing is good and the quality & variety of the toys is wonderful! My 3 yrs old is currently planning his vacation trip to this store!

  5. rachel says on

    were is this store and can i have more pictures of this store

  6. Scott says on

    It might not have made the Top 5 list, but if you’re ever in the Minnesota area, LARK Toys in Kellogg, MN is SO worth the trip!… Family owned/operated and known as “the largest independent specialty toy store in the country,” LARK Toys offers thousands of toys, games, puzzles, arts & crafts, and more. They have a beautiful hand-carved carousel, 18 holes of outdoor mini golf, gourmet fudge, a candy store, an incredible children’s book store, miniature llamas, a cafe, candy store, an antique toy museum, hand-made wooden pull toys & puzzles (made on-site), vintage toys, collectibles, gifts, gags, and oddities. A whole family adventure.

  7. portee says on

    i what to go to the place that it looks like a fair

  8. Joel Diffendarfer says on

    I’ve been to all five that you have rated–the best of the best is the Fun-est Toy Store Ever! It’s not as “glam” as the others but, it is “real”. The parents that care go there!


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