The showroom at Baby's 1st hosts a menagerie of baby toys, gifts, accessories, and parental aids that cater to new, expecting and seasoned parents and their children. Expecting mothers can delight in the soft, cradling embrace of the Medela Abdominal Maternity Support ($24.95), which provides back relief by supporting wombs of all sizes, or slumber deeply while embracing a hypoallergenic upper body ergonomic pillow ($44.95), designed to satiate a primal need to hug large sacks of grain. Toddlers can unwind with a variety of colorful wooden puzzles, such as the wood puzzle boat ($9.95) or puzzle train ($9.95), while infants can stay stylish with the child's sheepskin aviator hat ($38.95), which warms tiny noggins or large melons. A natural Moses basket ($49.95) cradles children safely in shades of pink, blue, sage, or ecru gingham, while the bug net system for cribs and strollers ($19.95) emulates the excitement of tropical living.
Dalton Brody provides an upscale boutique atmosphere nestled in a cozy storefront of mottled stone and regal green awnings. The shop is stuffed to the rafters with crystal and glassware, painted serving trays, candles, handbags, picture frames, and much more. Fill your home with the mingling aromas of lavender and rosemary from a petite air essence incense-like air freshener ($45), or dappify the gentleman of your choosing with a pale-green American–sailboat tie ($75). For the homosapien who has everything, leather money clips ($38) come in a variety of grains and colors, while a small photo album bound in gentle green-and-pink floral tapestry ($34) will hold a variety of memories, images from the future, and souls. Dalton Brody also stocks numerous gifts for new moms and their babies; perk up a nursery with a pink piggy bank ($52) coated in white polka-dots.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
Next to New houses a continually growing collection of clothing and accessories for infants, adolescents, and moms-in-the-making. Owner Jennifer Hertzog and her staff pride themselves on handpicking only items that are in excellent condition. They fill the shop’s shelves with almost-new apparel for every season of the year, in addition to clothing and accessories for American Girl dolls, baby equipment, and toys. To up the convenience factor, Jennifer and staff even keep a “Wish Book” handy. In that, customers who can’t find what they’re looking for in the shop can list it down alongside their name.
When kids want to play Hot Lava Monster on a jungle gym, hone their athletic skills on shock-absorbent basketball courts, or swing for the sky on a backyard swingset, Superior Play Systems helps them on their way. The company creates play equipment crafted with safety in mind. Some of its trampolines, for example, come with safety enclosures to keep kids from accidentally jumping onto Pluto.
Swingsets are made from hardy California redwood and cedar; this durable craftsmanship is reflected in the company's warranties, which guard against everything from breakage to carpenter bees. And while the company's gear outfits backyards and playgrounds across the country, its staff also runs play centers, where kids can stop in for unstructured play or a birthday party.