Skip the hefty price tags for toys that fall apart immediately, and head out to toy stores that actually care about your kids. From educational and interactive to exciting entertainment, the area’s best toy stores know what families need. For hours of engaging fun pack up the kiddos and discover their new favorite place to play right in East Bay.
Five Little Monkeys
1224 Solano Ave.
Albany, CA 94706
Five Little Monkeys is a green certified Bay Area business, which means its toys are chosen for their limited effect on the environment. It also means the toys pass rigorous safety standards and meet or exceed all laws regulating toys. Whether the family’s looking for a traditional sock monkey, a unique teether for baby or entertaining and educational games for older children, Five Little Monkeys in Albany is a great place to shop. With a true commitment to families, Five Little Monkeys supports local schools and organizations geared toward expanding education for little ones.
Boss Robot Hobby
2953 College Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
For Radio Control toys or rare and unusual Japanese collectables, Boss Robot Hobby is the place to shop. Family-owned and open since 2004, Boss Robot Hobby is the place that hobby and robot enthusiasts depend on for high-quality products and expert staff. This store even carries Gundam and educational kits to help everyone from novices to experts build the robot of their dreams. Expect stellar assistance, no matter what you’re building, and hobby toys galore at this Berkeley-area shop.
The Ark Toy Store
1812 4th St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Carrying Waldorf School toys and games since the late 1980s, The Ark has expanded to include exceptional heirloom toys. Wooden toys, old-school outside options and imagination-inspiring surprises fill every shelf. Although ordering online is an option at this store, no child wants to miss out on the fun of a visit here. Whether it’s fairy tales or outer space, the staff of The Ark helps families find the perfect toy for every child. Shop online to skip label reading if you love organics, or if you’re looking for something super-specific, as online shopping at The Ark is a breeze.
5511 College Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618
With more than 30 years working with children, the staff of Rockridge Kids has just the right toys for boys and girls of all ages. In addition to carrying a full line of fun, imaginative and educational toys, Rockridge Kids also hosts classes taught by Tulip Grove. Families come to Rockridge for classes on topics ranging from financial planning to teaching music to toddlers. New for the store, local artists will soon be featured both at Rockridge Kids and on its website to further its educational mission and bring a little funky flavor to this local favorite.
Kimono My House
1424 62nd St.
Emeryville, CA 94608
Specializing in anime and sci-fi toys, this is a one-stop shop for everything from trading cards to plush toys. Kimono even carries apparel featuring kids’ favorite anime and sci-fi characters. Whether the kids want to add to a collection of robots and super heroes, or you’re trying to find the perfect action figure for a gift, Kimono My House is the place to find it with more than 3,000 items. This funky fresh store really caters to its clients, so feel free to ask about family favorites if they’re not in-store.
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