Named the best toy store in Western North Carolina by Mountain Xpress for five years running, Dancing Bear Toys overflows its two locations in Asheville and Hendersonville with an ever-evolving stock of high-quality playthings from top designers. Co-owners since the first store’s opening in 1993 and sisters since well before, partners Erika and Sarah routinely travel to the New York City International Toy Fair to scope out the latest and most exciting boons to kids’ imaginations, from wooden trains to broccoli-eating robots. Within the shops’ colorful walls, giant stuffed animals from Melissa and Doug smile down on Playmobil action figures, educational kits and puzzles, and a variety of children’s books, movies, and games.
Peek-A-Boo Couture, an "elite children's clothier," helps guardians to gussy up youngsters ranging from newborns to teens in accessories and clothing that accentuates what makes each child special. Pintsize fashionistas can don vibrant flower headbands, which are perfect for baby announcements or attracting curious hummingbirds. The sociable staff also helps shoppers to navigate racks overflowing with frilly pageant dresses, whimsical animal-print onesies, and vintage dresses, all hanging in a bright, airy boutique with hardwood floors and pink accents.
Each of the family-owned shops in Toys & Co.'s chain is an oasis of fun and interactive play for kids, housing shelves loaded with dolls, stuffed animals, and games. During visits to the magical emporium, children while away the time playing with trains and melting away the stresses of preschool or slow business at their lemonade stand. Kids of all ages can sharpen cognitive skills with diversions such as puzzles and word games, including developmental infant toys to boost burgeoning motor functions.