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Toy Stories

Four shops for the kids that are all dolled up.

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

New York
After a friendly welcome from the singing clock tower, channel Tom Hanks from Big on the giant keyboard before heading over to the Muppet Whatnot Workshop, where kids can create the next Elmo. Don't miss the 45-minute pre-opening guided tour (including prototype tests and a continental breakfast) led by the store's live toy soldiers.

767 5th Ave., 800-426-8697
 

Hamleys

Hamleys

London
Although the official supplier to Buckingham Palace opened its doors in London over 250 years ago, Hamleys is still young at heart. You'll find everything from Scalextric miniature racetracks to magic props for budding wizards inside the 54,000-square-foot space. Challenge your little one to spot superheroes hanging from the ceiling, and make sure to shake paws with Paddington before you leave.

188-196 Regent St., 44-87-1704-1977
 

Lark Toys

Lark Toys

Kellogg, Minnesota
Wooden-toy creators Sarah and Donn Kreofsky literally built this shop by hand. Donn drew up the plans for the carousel that holds centre stage – an intricately sculpted dragon, ostrich, pig, unicorn and sea horse that go round and round – while Sarah designed the adjacent minigolf's waterfalls, ponds and green spaces. Pick up an original rocking moose, caterpillar on wheels or parrot puzzle.

63604 170th Ave., 507-767-3387
 

Mastermind Toys

Mastermind Toys

Toronto
It's almost impossible to walk past this Queen Street shop without saying hello to the over two-metre-high stuffed toy giraffe (not to mention the giant Noah's ark, rocket ship and colourful kites). Give your little Mozart a helping hand with a Symphony in B 13-piece electronic orchestra – just one of the educational toys that are this store's stock-in-trade.

2134 Queen St. E., 888-388-0000

 

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LONDON     MINNESOTA     NEW YORK     THE SHORT LIST     TORONTO     TOYS    

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