This article first appeared on Kidsburgh.org. which is published by NEXTpittsburgh.
Shop local at these Pittsburgh toy stores and find unique gifts for your favorite kids. With warnings of slower-than-usual delivery times from big online sellers, there is even more reason to venture to these fun destination stores. Buy securely in store or schedule curbside pickup or delivery. You will also find some really big items and lots of little Christmas stockings.
1. Xplor store
The Carnegie Science Center’s Xplor store is more than a museum gift shop. The store is currently open online only and features exciting items from all four Carnegie Museums. The merchandise collection is as remarkable as the Science Center’s programming. Shoppers are drawn to the blinking and glowing black light nook, where you’ll find Star Light fiber optic lamps, a variety of dinosaur night lights, and the Vortex Money Box. In the technological field, choose from Robotics Workshop, Tincan Edge Detector Robot, as well as Coding Critters for the youngest scientists. Nature also has its due with a butterfly farm, a ladybug grow kit and an ant farm.
2. Have fun buying the book
The store started out focused on LEGO and K’Nex. The kids could come in, build something, and then buy their build, depending on the weight. So the name made perfect sense: Fun Buy the Pound. Since then, the Sewickley toy store has expanded its convenient play section (temporarily closed due to COVID) and inventory.
Check out favorite rugged brands like Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, and cute Calico Critters. You’ll find a delicious selection of role-playing costumes, from pirates and pilots to nurses and mermaids, and loads of puppets. STEM kits include the Circuit Blox collections, the Crash Test Lab, and a variety of crystal cultivation projects. Buy in-store or online, with curbside pickup or $ 1 personal delivery within 10 miles.
3. Unlimited games
Games Unlimited works on the premise that tabletop games and puzzles foster relationships, develop mental abilities, and cultivate fun. The 42-year-old Pittsburgh boutique has just moved to a new Squirrel Hill location with its extensive collection of classics and the latest releases. You’ll find cool games for little kids – like Slamwich, Rat-a-tat Cat, and KeeKee the rocking monkey – that are fun for adults too.
From there, the choices multiply exponentially, with group games, skill games, and solo games. Don’t know which one to select? Host a virtual consultation on Zoom and let the experts at Games Unlimited guide you. And don’t forget the puzzles: the selection goes from 12 to 18,000 pieces. The store is open for navigation seven days a week. You can arrange curbside pickup or order online.
4. SW Randall Toys and Gifts
Over the past 50 years, SW Randall Toyes & Giftes has grown and contracted with its time. The three current stores – Downtown, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill – continue the quest for quality specialty toys. Junior chefs will revel in the selection of cooking and food play sets. Kids’ puzzles go above and beyond with Giant Road, a large interchangeable floor puzzle, and large My Body puzzles that demonstrate the muscular, skeletal and arterial systems. There is a large selection of DIY kits. And the range of KidzLabs and Green Science projects will wow the science aficionado on your list.
Stores host get-togethers, like a yo-yo club where kids and their adults can learn specialist skills, a Pokémon league, and a home for Magic the Gathering fans. Buy in-store or call ahead for curbside pickup. Online shopping takes place in the Amazon Marketplace.
5. Toys, etc.
The number one reason to travel to Butler to visit Playthings, etc., is that this huge toy store is shaped like a stealth bomber. Brilliant! The second reason is the huge inventory of over 6,000 toys and games. Watching employees demonstrate unicycles, rc cars, and pogo sticks prompts kids to suddenly add additions to their wishlists.
Tech toys include the XTREM Bots, the Aquapod Bottle Launcher, and the build-it-yourself Vitascope Movie Projector. Seasonal snow gear, like sleds and slides, is sparking interest in the sports and recreation department. You’ll also find generational classics like Jacks, Tiddly Winks, and Roy Toy Log Building Sets. You can buy online, but the online store of Playthings, Etc. It is only in its infancy and new articles are still being added.