Boston’s Best Toy Stores

May 6, 2014 6:00 AM

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(Photo credit: stellabella toys/Facebook)

(Photo credit: stellabella toys/Facebook)

Stuffed lions, cuddly tigers and teddy bears, oh my! Whether you’re shopping for your own kid or getting a gift for someone else, is there anything more fun than going to the toy store? The following shops put the fun back in fun and games. And several have goodies with which even the grownups will fall in love.

Eureka Puzzles 
1349 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 738-7352
www.eurekapuzzles.com

Eureka Puzzles is a great shop for kids and adults. As you can probably guess from the name of the store, puzzles are the main attraction. On top of puzzles and all kinds of puzzle-themed books, you’ll find an amazing selection of games, toys and science kits. One of the best things about this shop is the span of ages that can find something fun here. If you’re gift shopping for an entire family, it is truly one-stop shopping. There’s even a department of fun Boston-themed items that are perfect for your out-of-town friends.

(Photo credit: Boing! JP’s Toy Shop)

(Photo credit: Boing! JP’s Toy Shop)

Boing! JP’s Toy Shop
667 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-7800
www.boingtoys.com

Boing is a great little toy shop with a lot of heart. You won’t find your run-of-the-mill, made-in-China toy selection here. The shop shelves are full of fun, artistic, interactive and educational toys your kids will love. And if you’re shopping for a gift, the store has many to choose from that you won’t find at a big box national retailer. Boing wraps your gifts for free. What could be more convenient than that?

Photo Credit: Magic Beans via Facebook

Photo Credit: Magic Beans via Facebook

Magic Beans
312 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 383-8250
www.mbeans.com

Magic Beans is a great store with a wide selection of fun toys and even a play area in the back of the store. But while this is a great store for parents, it’s an even more fantastic store for people shopping for new parents. On top of all of the kids books, toys and games, the store also has a department of various baby gear, which makes it the perfect spot for those shopping for a baby shower. You can purchase something necessary, say a stroller or car seat, and get to shop for the fun stuff all in the same spot.

Related: Boston’s Best Places For Homemade Gifts 

(Photo Credit: Tadpole)

(Photo Credit: Tadpole)

Tadpole
58 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 778-1788
www.shoptadpole.com

Tadpole is a thoroughly modern toy store with every gadget and good that hip young parents could want. Even better, this shop’s customer service harkens back to the good old days when the customer was always right and the salespeople knew you by name. Yes, there are still places, even in the big city, where old school customer service comes from a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The fantastic selection of toys at this store is made all the better by having the right salesperson there to show you where it is.

(Photo credit: stellabella toys/Facebook)

(Photo credit: stellabella toys/Facebook)

Stellabella Toys
Inman Square
1360 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 491-6290
www.stellabellatoys.com

Stellabella is a wonderland of toys. It has a huge selection and the products it carries feel almost curated. While you’ll find a smattering of the big brand name plastic toys, the real deal here is all of the stuff that can’t be found at your big box stores. It has old fashioned, wooden, educational and hands-on interactive toys that not every kid on the block will already own. The staff is very helpful if you’re a toy-buying novice who needs some help finding the right thing for the right age.

Related: Boston’s Best Stores With A Cause

Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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