New York Magazine

     
  9 Day Trips  
  10 Family Getaways  
     
  Attractions  
  Carousels  
  Concert Venues  
  Kid-Friendly Landmarks  
  Museums  
  Museum Alternatives  
  Playgrounds  
  Theater, Circuses  
  Zoos, Aquariums, Farms  
     
     
  Features  
  Traveling With Kids  
  When a Child Gets Lost  
  Tipsheet: Home Exchanges  
  Kids' Gift Guide  
     
  Arts Lessons  
  Art  
  Dance  
  Language & Drama  
  Music  
  Tipsheet: Music Lessons  
     
  Sports Lessons  
  Helping Unathletic Kids  
     
  Archery
Baseball
Basketball
 
  Fencing
Golf
Gymnastics & Acrobatics
Horseback Riding
 
  Kayaking & Rowing
Martial Arts
Rock Climbing
Skating
 
  Soccer
Swimming
 
  Tennis
Track & Field
Yoga
 
  Multisport Programs  
     
  Shopping  
  Bookstores  
  Electronics  
  Kids' Gift Guide  
  Toystores  
     
  Websites  
  Websites for Children  
     
     
   
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Toystores
 

Abracadabra Superstore
19 W. 21st St., near Fifth Ave.
212-627-5194
This 11,000-square-foot thespian’s paradise specializes in costumes, magician’s supplies, and novelty items. Movie studios and TV sets routinely rent props, while puppeteers choose from a vast array of marionettes ($12–$65), puppets, and ventriloquist dolls ($68– $1200). Gongs ($450– $1,000) and crystal balls are often sold or rented for kids’ birthday parties, as are adult-size costumes.

A.I. Friedman
44 W. 18th St., near Sixth Ave.
212-243-9000
While adults browse art-studio furniture, tykes can wander awestruck through an aisle and a half of colorful, nontoxic clays ($3.95–$6.95), face-painting sets, kids’ easels ($49.99), and carrying cases filled with markers.

Custom-Built Club-Houses
 
Stiles Designs
212-427-2317
stilesdesigns.com
Trapdoors, skylights, rope ladders—you name it, and Stiles Designs will make it, safety permitting. The ultimate kids’-fort builders have constructed everything from the Victorian-style playhouse inside the Dalton School to a $15,000 treehouse in East Hampton, designed to resemble that of Bilbo Baggins (from $3,500).



American Girl Place
609 Fifth Ave., at 49th St.
800-845-0005
americangirl.com
When this 43,000-square-foot behemoth opened last fall, it came with a full line of eighteen-inch historical dolls (dressed in period clothes, $84), a café, a bookstore, and a theater that brings the dolls’ characters to life ($30 a ticket). There’s also a walk-in doll hair salon ($10–$20).

Art & Tapisserie
1242 Madison Ave., near 89th St.
212-722-3222
This tiny, family-owned store will personalize (and deliver) practically anything for your little one, from embroidered hooded towels to piggy banks and toy chests. Imported, handmade wooden toys are available alongside games like Monopoly and Scrabble. There’s also a good selection of early-childhood-development toys. Prices are mostly $40 to $80.

Babies ’R’ Us
Gateway Center, 395 Gateway Dr., near Erskine St., Starret City, Brooklyn
718-277-3400
babiesrus.com
The one-stop shop for all things baby carries a battery of early-childhood-development toys. The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Fishbowl features motion-activated aquatic sounds, lights, and music ($14.99); for budding prodigies, a Baby Einstein Sun Activity Toy features the music of Vivaldi, Bach, and Mozart ($16.99).

A Bear’s Place
789 Lexington Ave., near 61st St.
212-826-6465
e-abearsplace.com
There are tons of stuffed bears at this cozy shop. You’ll also find educational games, hand-crafted marionettes ($19), finger-puppet stages ($34–$56), and tons of canine-inspired items like adorable stuffed-puppy handbags and doggy grooming kits. There’s a cute line of children’s luggage, too ($59 to $79).

 
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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
   
   
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