Best of Boston

BEST Toy Store

2013 BEST Toy Store
Photo by Jesse Burke

Curious George

Cambridge

Anatomy of a Winner: We all shed tears when our favorite impetuous primate and his long-suffering companion, the man with the yellow hat, lost their Harvard Square home in 2011. Luckily, the world’s only Curious George store reopened in the… read more»

2012 BEST Toy Store

Stellabella Toys

Cambridge

What you won’t find here: Bratz dolls, shoot-’em-up Xbox games, and Disney Princess overload. What you will find: instruments, fantastical costumes, and puzzles you’ll be tinkering with long after the kiddos are in bed. read more»

2011 BEST Toy Store
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Henry Bear’s Park

Boston

This locally grown stalwart earns our salute by appealing to kids and parents alike. Stocking time-honored brands like Alex, Gund, and Manhattan Toy at a variety of price points, Henry Bear’s makes it that much easier to say yes to… read more»

2011 BEST Toy Store
Photograph by Jared Leeds

Persnickety Toys

North Adams

You won’t find any beeping plastic doodads here. The name of this shop evokes both the fantastical nature of the toys on sale and the owner’s choosiness in selecting only those that meet her exacting standards. Shelves here overflow with… read more»

2009 BEST Toy Store, Children's
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Stellabella Toys

Cambridge

Playtime is a serious business for this locally owned favorite, which packs its sizable stores (including a new Burlington outpost) with 2,000-plus toys that skew eco-friendly, high-quality, and American-made. Parents’ peace of mind comes with purchase, if not—given the volume… read more»

2008 BEST Toy Store

Stellabella Toys

Cambridge

You’ve got years to share the benefit of your lessons learned with the next generation (video-game mastery is not a marketable skill; Elvis Costello is always better with the Attractions). For now, let your kids figure things out by doing… read more»

2007 BEST Toy Store

Henry Bear’s Park

Boston

Finding the right playthings can be something of a tightrope walk—they need to be educational but not boring, creative but not too messy, fun but without an overabundance of grating beeps and whistles. Henry Bear’s Park has been striking that… read more»

2006 BEST Toy Store

Stellabella Toys

Cambridge

Toys that don’t require multiple batteries or power cords took a hit after the advent of the Xbox. But Stellabella has brought them back in the form of high-quality educational games and perennial favorites by Playmobil and Lego. Check out… read more»

2005 BEST Toy Store

Henry Bear’s Park

Brookline Village

Scorning soulless plastic and cynical corporate tie-ins, Henry Bear’s makes a specialty of medieval castles, wooden blocks, dinosaur hand puppets, and dolls ready for teatime. Toys run the gamut from baby gyms to electronic circuitry kits, and kids are encouraged… read more»

2004 BEST Toy Store

Henry Bear’s Park

Cambridge

The best toy stores have irresistible playthings and eye-popping colors, which is why Henry Bear’s Park in Cambridge is our winner. From dress-up dolls to Go Fish!, this educational outlet has an impressive slew of books including ones by local… read more»