With Christmas approaching, I know what’s on the mind of most children – toys!!
While many people enjoy shopping online, I really prefer to shop in person, if possible. It’s even better when I can shop at a locally owned store.
This past year I’ve started to explore more parts of Columbus and along the way, have fallen in love with a few of our best toy stores. Since this is the time to be shopping for toys, I thought I’d share my favorites with you here today!
Cub Shrub, Grandview
This place is one of my favorites! It’s so colorful, fun and welcoming the moment you step foot into their store. They have a large selection of Hape and Grimm’s toys. This is the only local store I’ve seen Grimm’s sold at and it was nice to see the items in person before buying. (P.S. My kids love their rainbows!) They also have a large assortment of adorable clothes, which would be great for your own kids or to give as gifts. This store is so much fun for me to shop at because many of their items are not found elsewhere in town.
Learning Express, Upper Arlington, Worthington and New Albany
The Learning Express has three Columbus locations. They carry a wide variety of toys, ranging from small stocking-stuffer items to art supplies, to sports equipment and more. One of my favorite things about Learning Express is their large selection of Usborne sticker books. These are a favorite of my daughter and perfect for those cold winter days when we’re stuck inside. They also carry a large selection of Melissa & Doug food items, cars and puzzles.
Naturally Curious Kids, Westerville and Easton
This is another personal favorite. My children also enjoy visiting either location because they have play areas to keep them occupied while I browse. I loved their assortment of Playmobil and Brio train items. They also have a large selection of Hape toys and are one of the few places I’ve seen Little Adventures brand of dress-up clothes. These clothes are soft and easy for children to get on and off on their own. The Westerville location also has an upstairs area with items for older children, which I thought was nice!
Dublin Toy Emporium, Dublin
I just recently found this store and it’s quickly become a favorite! They have a large selection of Hape toys, which are one of our favorite brands. They also have a nice selection of art/craft items like Melissa & Doug sticker books, Water Wow! and puzzles. My son, who’s 18 months old loves their room with toy cars and a play area. They have several items from Green Toys, which he really likes playing with and I enjoy because they’re environmentally-friendly. They have a lot of fun events at this store and many of them are free!
Oh, Know! The Knowing Place, Upper Arlington
This quaint store is located very close to the Shops on Lane Avenue. They focus mainly on education items and have a lot of different books to help your child with learning. They also had a large collection of puzzles, which my daughter loves! I also enjoyed their small section on cooking and they even had a few items created by local Upper Arlington residents, which was a nice touch!
Lilly Limes, Worthington
If you’ve ever visited the play area inside the Shops at Worthington Place, you and/or your child have probably been here before. It’s a charming little shop with clothing, toys and books. They have the sweetest outfits for your little one, including those from the Beaufort Bonnet Company, which would be great for a special occasion. They might be considered more of a children’s “gift shop” than toy store, but they’re such an adorable store I felt I needed to add them. This store also holds story time, as well as many other toy stores.
Lakeshore Learning, Polaris
Lakeshore Learning, as the name implies, has a focus on learning. Part of the store is dedicated to teacher needs, but they also have a lot for parents as well. I love their art section, full of paper, crayons, paint, easels and more. They also carry a lot of other toys like puzzles, books, musical instruments, blocks, etc. If you’re planning to visit, Saturdays from 11-3 are a great time because they have a free craft for kids every week at this time.