A toy store is a truly magical place where imaginations run wild and magic lingers in every corner. Independent toy stores are even more special because it’s an experience to wander through their aisles and browse a meticulously curated selection of toys and treats. Boston is home to various independent toy stores that aren’t just amazing places to shop but also integral parts of our community. I’ve compiled some information on my favorite Boston toy stores for you to check out; keep reading to learn more!
Henry Bear’s Park is one of my family’s favorite toy stores, and for good reason! They are an independent shop that believes play isn’t just fun – it’s critical to physical, social, and mental growth. That’s why they work hard to bring high-quality and developmentally appropriate toys and games to the families they serve, so all kids can create, use their imagination, and explore the world around them through interactive engagement! Plus, people always come first at Henry Bear’s Park, which is one of the reasons they’re committed to staying independent; that way, they can better deliver exceptional customer service that will keep families coming back to find new ways to play.
As self-proclaimed “defenders of playtime,” Henry Bear’s Park incorporates the spirit of play into everything they do. Whether you’re 1 or 100, taking the time to play is important. That’s why their toys inspire active participation, are made from sturdy and durable materials, and encourage open-ended play where kids can freely explore their imaginations. While the store is a must-see wonderland of incredible toys, their online store is pretty epic. You can find toys and gifts categorized by age, interest, and best sellers, so you’ll easily find exactly what you’re looking for. I’m sure your family will love Henry Bear’s Park as much as mine, and you’ll be supporting an outstanding local business with a passion for letting kids be kids!
There is a beautiful story behind The Happy Journey and how it got its name. Owner Lindsay was a teacher at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she worked with children at their bedside in the oncology and cardiology units. One of her dearest patients, Emmet, passed away on her last day working there. Eventually, his spirit and wisdom inspired her to write a children’s book, The Happy Journey. When she decided to open a toy store several years later in 2021, the name The Happy Journey just seemed to fit.
The store is inspired by classics like Madeline, Eloise, Paddington, and Corduroy and is designed to take you back to your childhood. There’s also a wide selection of wooden toys and educational games from around the world. Their shop is constantly restocking with unique, high-quality products that their customers may have never seen before, and plenty of the fan-favorites that keep families coming back again and again.
Trend-loving grown-ups may already be familiar with the boutique Magpie. They carry a wide range of unique products and gifts made by local Boston and New England artists. Still, the newest addition to their stores is Magpie Kids, which specializes in playful, shiny things for your baby’s nest (get it? Like how magpies collect shiny, beautiful objects?). Magpie Kids carries products from larger trusted brands like Tea Collection, Milkbarn, Angel Dear, Plan Toys, and many more, as well as independent local artists that love Boston as much as they do!
Whether you’re looking for an adorable onesie, an engaging new book, or a classic wooden toy that will inspire your kid’s imagination, Magpie Kids has a full inventory of great baby and children’s items to browse. From precious stuffed toys to durable bath time toys to science and art kits, you can find the right gift for any kid at their store. Their whimsical window art will pull you off the street, but their selection of adorable and trendy products will keep you shopping. This is another family favorite for us, and we love visiting whenever we’re searching for the perfect gift or just looking for a great experience that gives us a place to play!
In addition to being a one-stop all-things-baby shop in Boston, Tadpole has a fantastic selection of toys, books, and decor for babies and kids. Their store carries a variety of high-quality products from reliable big brands and small mom-and-pop companies, all of which have been proven safe and passed the Tadpole test of approval. Since 2006, they’ve been a trusted place for families to find fun and trendy gear and toys. Additionally, they’ve recently expanded their e-commerce platform for a convenient and comprehensive shopping experience.
Tadpole’s mission is to serve as a liaison when researching what to put on your baby registry and what gear best meets your needs and budget. Still, they can also help refer you to the perfect book or toy for your little one. Whether you need a soft and cuddly stuffed animal for snuggling, dolls or toy cars to stimulate active imaginations, or stickers and art supplies for your little artist, Tadpole is a great place to find something fun and new that kids of all ages will love.
Did you know that in French, “CouCou” is the term they use for “peek a boo?” The owners of this sweet Boston toy store wanted to capture the whimsy of the simple childhood game in the name of their company, and thus CouCou Boston was born. They aim to keep the spirit and magic of childhood alive in children and adults. So that everyone can enjoy spending time at their beautiful boutique.
When you pass CouCou on the street, there’s no doubt it is somewhere special, with whimsical window displays and a bright and airy store. They carry dozens of designers and brands across their clothing, toys, and home decor selections. When you shop online, you can sort by designer, gender, or category to narrow down your search. Yes, shopping online is convenient, and you’ll still be able to browse their selection. But visiting CouCou in person is definitely worth the visit!
These Boston toy stores are fabulous places to find a slew of new treasures and toys for the little ones in your life. Be sure to check them out for yourself! But don’t be surprised if you find a few extra treasures along the way!
It is so easy to get lost in the craziness and forget what a joy motherhood can be. As a mother, I get it! That is why I love getting to connect with everyone I work with and help them with blogs like these! So check out more of my work and other helpful tips in the links below. Reach out today to chat about your dream family photo session in Boston!