I kind of feel like a celebrity when I’m visiting my local toy stores. Not only do most of the clerks know my name, they also know my kids’ names, their birthdays, and what our favorite brands are. They will let me know when they get something in they know I will love, and they raid my contact lists for recommendations of what to bring into their shops on a regular basis. Admittedly, we spend a lot of time just hanging out at toy stores.
And, why not? There’s just something special about popping in to pick up a present for friends or letting the kids spend their birthday cash knowing that we are having fun and supporting our local shops that we love so much. It’s in these shops that we’ve played with nearly every toy under the sun, from science to stuffed animals, and have figured out what toys really are worth bringing home. And, some really cool toys come home with us this last weekend as we celebrated Neighborhood Toy Store Day in Seattle.
This was our second year celebrating and we were really excited about it for weeks before the event, especially as we began to research all the stores that would be celebrating near us. We mapped out our plan ahead of time and figured out the best way to hit the stores we really wanted to make it to, and we were positively giddy as we waited for November 12th to roll around. Finally it did and the whole family was so excited to go that we got an early start and headed out for breakfast.
We started out our Neighborhood Toy Store Day events by meeting up with some friends from out of town at Top Ten Toys in Greenwood and spent hours going around to their booths they had set up for the event. The kids got their faces painted, adopted balloon dogs, made “snow”, decorated puppets, and made flowers to bring home, and at each station they collected prizes for their goody bags that they could take home. Of course, I snuck away for a moment and got a little present for the holidays so I was really glad they also had gift wrap so I could disguise it once purchased.
Next we went to Planet Happy where we heard all about their green and sustainable products recommended by ASTRA, drew pictures together, and even made a button and a magnet the girls could take home. The kids liked their live birds and their adorable hedgehog pet that are all kept in the store, and I loved that the shop’s smaller retail area was well utilized and allowed for some good browsing while we still watched the kiddos. We also bought a few small things for stocking stuffers at the store, but will definitely come back to get the other item we have our eye on that couldn’t be covertly purchased in front of the kids.
I was thrilled to see so many happy faces out celebrating Neighborhood Toy Store Day last weekend with us at both of the stores we visited. There’s nothing like a fun event to help kick off the holiday season right and get you in the mood for all the upcoming festivities. After participating for two years now and seeing how well our toy stores party, I would love to see this become a family tradition that officially starts off the holiday season for us.