Best of Boston

2003 Best Toy Store

Stellabella Toys

Children grow up way too fast. But at Stellabella Toys, everything slows down—at least long enough to free the inner child—in as many parents as kids. More of a play studio than a toy store, this expansive space in Inman Square is stuffed with educational resources for child-rearing. The colorful dolls, storybooks, science kits, and costumes are displayed in a space that’s big enough to also fit a playroom and a toy house kids can climb on. The store hosts playgroups for infants and toddlers, family yoga, new-parent meet-ups, and musical get-togethers. With its strict no-guns-for-sale policy, this is more than just a neighborhood toy store: It’s a mini enclave of enlightenment.

1360 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-491-6290,