Best of Boston 2007 Toystore
Henry Bears Park
361 Huron Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-8424; 19 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-264-2422;
685 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-646-9400
Finding the right playthings can be something of a tightrope walkthey need to be educational but not boring, creative but not too messy, fun but without an overabundance of grating beeps and whistles. Henry Bears Park has been striking that balance for three decades, with a whimsical selection bursting with enough pirates, princesses, and robots to stoke kids imaginations for years, not days. Little ones will love the wide range of Brio trains and Melissa & Doug retro wooden toys; for preteens theres more-substantial fare, such as a model kit that teaches them how to make a life-size human heart.