Taking control of a pirate ship can make you work up a mighty appetite. Luckily, there's a wooden kitchen. At E2 Toys2Try, LLC there are plenty of eco-friendly, lead-free toys and play stations to gallop to and from. The space abounds with baubles that run only on imaginations instead of batteries or vengeful, displaced souls. Along with the pirate ship there's a pedal truck, wooden kitchen, and indoor castle clubhouse. The playground's team stretches kids' imaginations further by engaging them in arts activities, which parents can watch from the cozy confines of a lounge replete with complimentary coffee and free WiFi. Upstairs, staffers stock a boutique toy shop's shelves with wooden and nonmechanized playthings from brands such as Bruder, Haba Toys, and PlanToys.
S.W. Randall Toys & Gifts' impressive catalogue features more than 20,000 specialty toys and games by brands that include Hasbro, Mattel, and Milton Bradley. During safaris through one of the store’s ample toy pastures, a Toysmith explorer telescope ($16.95) offers aid to patrons observing the gluttonous habits of Hungry Hungry Hippos ($22.95). A rousing game of Twister ($18.50) can vastly improve flexibility and hand-dot coordination—both important skills to demonstrate at college orientation sessions—and for those seeking shenanigans beyond what Trouble the board game ($14.95) has to offer, a multivoice changer ($14.95) easily befuddles McDonald’s drive-thru attendants with its 10 distinct sound modulations.
At Smart Toys, parents don't have to choose between fun and educational. That's because the staff at each location stocks their shelves with toys that fit both categories. Youngsters can learn as they play, developing eye-hand coordination while operating flying helicopters or practicing parallel parking with Hot Wheels. They can also express themselves creatively with art supplies by Crayola or boost critical thinking skills with board games including Clue and Monopoly.