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Friday, November 3, 2017

The 30 Best Science Toy Stores--Part 1 by Guest Blogger Andrea Cunningham

Today we feature Guest Blogger, Andrea Cunningham, presenting the 30 Best Science Toy Stores in America. This original article was presented at, a great website that is composed of  (in their words!), "a group of science-loving nerds who hand-pick some of the best products on sale today." 

Today we present stores in States A-M and will continue with the rest of the list in our post next week.

Now, in Andrea's words:

If you believe that play is important, and that it helps children grow and learn, then our list of the 30 best science toy stores in American is for you.
That’s because the following retailers believe passionately in the concept of play and that some of the best toys for children to play with are those related to science or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
You’ll not only be able to find science toys at the following 30 retailers, you’ll also be able to find knowledgeable and dedicated individuals who care about your kids and the quality of toys they play with.
Our list includes toy stores from 19 states. Some are in major cities, while others are found in small towns. Some of our entries are a single store while others have multiple locations. None of the following stores belong to a national chain. 
All our selections carry well-made and educational toys that will expand your child’s imagination and provide them with countless hours of enjoyment.
Entering any of the 30 stores listed below will likely put a smile on your child’s face, and yours too.


 Homewood Toy & Hobby

2830 18th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35209
Why kids love this store: Bright, colorful, fun
Why parents love this store: Huge selection of toys for every member of the family regardless of age
What’s sciencesy about this store: Science selection includes chemistry, optics, and zoology toys
Must have toy: BNF Quadcopter
Founded in 1950, the family-owned Homewood Toy & Hobby is the oldest toy store in the Birmingham area. They carry quality toys, and their affable staff knows the merchandize inside and out. If that wasn’t enough, HT&H has one of the largest selections of remote control vehicles in the county.

 Dilly Dally’s Toy Store

The Shoppes at Pinnacle Hills
3301 Market Street, Suite 103
Rogers, AR 72758
Why kids love this store: Lego and Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld under one roof!
Why parents love this store: Educational toys, books, and games
What’s sciencesy about this store: Stocks science toys not found anywhere else in Arkansas
Must have toy: Gravity Maze
The family-owned Dilly Dally’s Toy Store offers kid coins, gift wrapping, personal shopping, monogramming, and curbside pickup. If you think finding and buying gifts for your kids is stressful, you need to visit Dilly Dally’s. They make shopping for the young people in your life fun and easy.

Stocked shelves at Dilly Dally's Toy Shop.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.

 Cheeky Monkey Toys

640 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025-4503
Why kids love this store: Ten Wishes program is great for birthdays (see their website for more information)
Why parents love this store: Complimentary gift wrapping
What’s sciencesy about this store: Impressive selection of science toys
Must have toy: Fizzy Foamy Science Kit
Cheeky Monkey Toys carries products that are fun, interactive, and imaginative.  What age do they specialize in?  How about newborns to adults.  Their awesome staff will answer all your toy questions as well as help you locate gifts that are age-appropriate for everyone on your shopping list.  CMT opened in 1999.

 The Dinosaur Farm

1510 Mission Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Why kids love this store: Dinosaurs!
Why parents love this store: Dinosaurs!
What’s sciencesy about this store: Dinosaurs!
Must have toy: Any of their dynamic dinosaur collectibles
Owner Dave Plenn should get a trophy.  Why?  When you operate a successful toy store that’s largely dedicated to dinosaurs you deserve some hardware.  Obviously, the Dinosaur Farm is "not your ordinary toy store," but they do carry more traditional toy store wares like art supplies, books, and infant toys. 

 Landis' Labyrinth Toy Shop

140 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90004
Why kids love this store: Pogo sticks, Pokemon, and plenty Unicorn Snot!
Why parents love this store: Stocks current toys as well as classic toys
What’s sciencesy about this store: Science-related brands like Kid Galaxy, Blue Orange, and Alex Brands
Must have toy: Shrinky Dinks
Owner Devoney Wolfus has three built three terrific storefronts at Larchmont Village.  One is this entry, Landis' Labyrinth Classic Toy Shop.  The other two are the Landis General Store and Landis' Labyrinth Early Years.  You should definitely visit all three.

Stocked shelves at Landis' Labyrinth Toy Shop.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.


 Timbuk Toys

Lowry Town Center
200 Quebec Street, Suite 600-121
Denver, CO 80230
Why kids love this store: Cool music, art, and dance programs
Why parents love this store: Knowledgeable and passionate staff
What’s sciencesy about this store: Even kids who aren’t into science want toys from Timbuk
Must have toy: HEXBUG Battlebots Arena
While Timbuk Toys has four locations, they are not a chain.  They are owned by one woman and managed by bona fide “toy experts.”  Regardless of which location you visit (two in Denver, one in Highlands Ranch, and another in Lakewood), you’ll find a toy store that believes in imagination, joy, and learning.

 The Wizard’s Chest

451 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
Why kids love this store: Encouraged to play before their parents buy
Why parents love this store: It’s a destination where they can feel young again
What’s sciencesy about this store: Science toys for scientists of all ages
Must have toy: Ultimate Laser Lab
It might be odd to include a toy store named “The Wizard’s Chest” on a list of the best “science toy stores.”  After all, magic and science are opposites.  Yet, when you’re making a rundown of the best toy stores in the U.S., you must include this Mile-High institution.  It also helps that their selection of science toys is magical.


 MOORE Toys & Gadgets

107 East Front Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Why kids love this store: Perfect place for birthday parties
Why parents love this store: Local haunt that sells quality toys
What’s sciencesy about this store: A sense of discovery is found in just about every toy they vend
Must have toy: Geckobot
MOORE Toys & Gadgets has a wide range of games to rent.  This allows families to check out a game before they buy.  How cool is that?  Some of the games available to rent include Math Explosion, Gigamons, and Circuit Maze.  Visit their website for more information.


 Mass Ave Toys

1057 East 54th Street Studio J
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Why kids love this store: Owl Puke (and yes, it’s really owl puke)
Why parents love this store: It’s cute but sophisticated, fun but intelligent
What’s sciencesy about this store: Remote Control Machines, solar system mobile, and The Book of Wildly Spectacular Sports Science
Must have toy: Hoberman Rainbow Sphere
Owner Natalie Canull opened Mass Ave Toys in 2006 on Massachusetts Avenue (hence the name).  She moved into her new digs in early 2017.  Canull’s award-winning toy store specializes in science toys, gifts, gadgets, and fun stuff that you won’t find in those big, vapid box stores.


 A2Z Science & Learning Store

57 King Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Why kids love this store: Free yo-yo classes
Why parents love this store: Shelves are stocked with toys that educate, inform, and/or enlighten
What’s sciencesy about this store: Carries minerals and fossils
Must have toy: Braintopia 
A2Z Science & Learning Store bills itself as "The Store with a lot of Really Neat Stuff!"  We totally agree.  This is also a toy store that takes the yo-yo very serious.  We agree with that too.  When you visit A2Z, make sure you say hello to Cookie, the toy store’s resident cat.

Cookie and dinosaur at A2Z Science & Learning Store.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.

 Boing! JP's Toy Shop

667 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Why kids love this store: Kindness Club (see store’s website for more information)
Why parents love this store: Friendly and knowledgeable staff; store is clean, safe, and inviting
What’s sciencesy about this store: Selection of science toys produces smiles and smart kids
Must have toy: Aqua Dragons Underwater World Boxed Kit
Owner Kim Mitchell has turned Boing! JP's Toy Shop into a pillar of the community.  Her commitment to Jamaica Plain is what makes shopping at Boing! smile inducing and civically satisfying.  It also helps that her store has tons of toys and her staff are customer service superstars.

 Eureka Puzzles and Games

1349 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Why kids love this store: Game nights, and during school vacations, game camps!
Why parents love this store: Eureka believes that toys should stimulate the mind and the spirit
What’s sciencesy about this store: Stocks around “500 items directly related to Science”
Must have toy: Code Gamer
Eureka Puzzles and Games is not afraid to sell toys that confound, perplex, and challenge.  Of course, every science toy they offer is super fun.  Eureka also carries thousands of puzzles and games.  When you visit, make sure you keep your schedule wide open.  You’ll lose track of time looking through all their cool stuff.


 Fair Day's Play

7050 Carroll Avenue Suite 102
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Why kids love this store: Tons of toys to try
Why parents love this store: Owner Lisa Ripkin has a background in child psychology
What’s sciencesy about this store: Wide range of science-related books for young readers
Must have toy: Any one of their amazing science kits
Fair Day’s Play believes play is very important.  It’s more than just the opposite of work.  They view play as a creative process.  To that end, FDP’s dedicated cadre helps customers find toys that fit their child’s age and interests.  If you can’t find the toy you want at Fair Day’s Play, they’ll special order it for you.


 Rainbow Toys

The Shops at Falmouth Village
240 US Route 1
Falmouth, ME 04105
Why kids love this store: Atmosphere is designed specifically for them
Why parents love this store: Carries traditional toys as well as the hottest new toys
What’s sciencesy about this store: They create an environment where it’s fun to learn
Must have toy: Bug Vacuum Set
Juliette and Karl Steinbach have owned and operated Rainbow Toys since 1996.  They’ve managed to thrive for more than two decades because they sincerely care about their customers, community, and employees.  Oh yeah, they also know just about everything there is to know about toys.


 Explorations Teaching Aid/Toy Store

2322 Mountain Shadow Drive
Duluth, MN 55811
Why kids love this store: Can preview the latest games on their game table
Why parents love this store: Experienced staff, huge selection of quality toy brands
What’s sciencesy about this store: Ant farms, butterfly gardens, rock tumblers
Must have toy: Thames and Kosmos Biology Tk2 Scope
The goal of Explorations Teaching Aid/Toy Store is for kids to enjoy their toys and for parents to enjoy their kids as they enjoy their toys.  That’s why they stock more than 10,000 products.  Besides science and science-related toys, Explorations peddles books, puppets, and arts & crafts.  They are also Duluth’s premier kite dealer.

Storefront of Explorations Teaching Aid/Toy Store.  Photo courtesy of toy store’s Facebook page.


 Brookside Toy and Science

330 West 63rd Street
Kansas City, Mo 64113
Why kids love this store: Real-life alligator heads!
Why parents love this store: Has been offering timeless toys since 1964
What’s sciencesy about this store: They are “your science fair headquarters”
Must have toy: Estes Model Rockets
Kids who visit Brookside Toy and Science usually say it’s “the best toy store ever.”  Parents say the same thing, but their comments are due to BTS’ expert staff and gigantic selection.  Brookside’s shelves are packed with a cornucopia of science kits.  They can also set up your kids if they want to start collecting bugs.

 Imagination Toys

9737 Clayton Road
St Louis, MO 63124
1-888-250-TOYS (8697)
Why kids love this store: They have the hottest new toys as well as all the classics
Why parents love this store: Free gift wrapping
What’s sciencesy about this store: Science section enjoys a prominent position
Must have toy: Geosafari Jr. Bug Viewer
Imagination Toys offers the "highest quality educational, developmental and creative toys."  Their 4,000 square feet of retail space also contains puzzles, games, and award-winning books.  You can relax when your kids play with their products.  Imagination Toys is serious about safety and closely monitors all play stations.

Follow us next week with the rest of Andrea's picks for great Science Toy Stores in the United States!

Andrea Cunningham is from Boston and holds a science degree in biology. She interested in things that affect her children's educational lives, like schools, children's TV programming, and toys that promote learning. She loves going to new toy stores when she travels and has been to many in America and Europe. Andrea lives outside of Boston with her husband, three children, and two Labradoodles (a mixed lab/poodle dog).

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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