- Play Kids
676 Flatbush Ave., nr. Hawthorne St., Prospect–Lefferts Gardens; 347-715-9347; playkidsstore.com
Play Kids doesn’t just have great toy-store requisites like wide aisles and a big selection, with plenty of “manipulatives” and other items that encourage open-ended play. It’s curated with a conscience: Owners Shelley Kramer and Carl Blake, parents of two children under 5, heavily favor products that are ecofriendly or local (T-shirts from Brooklyn Rocks, sleep sacks by Baby Dee Dee, puzzles by Red Fish, building kits by Williamsburg’s OgoSport), or both. Every item for kids under 1 year old is BPA-, phthalate-, and PVC-free. Thanks to daily programming that includes art and music workshops and story time, the store has become a gathering place for families looking to make new local friends.
Best Toy Store
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).