New York Magazine

  9 Day Trips  
  10 Family Getaways  
  Concert Venues  
  Kid-Friendly Landmarks  
  Museum Alternatives  
  Theater, Circuses  
  Zoos, Aquariums, Farms  
  Traveling With Kids  
  When a Child Gets Lost  
  Tipsheet: Home Exchanges  
  Kids' Gift Guide  
  Arts Lessons  
  Language & Drama  
  Tipsheet: Music Lessons  
  Sports Lessons  
  Helping Unathletic Kids  
Gymnastics & Acrobatics
Horseback Riding
  Kayaking & Rowing
Martial Arts
Rock Climbing
Track & Field
  Multisport Programs  
  Kids' Gift Guide  
  Websites for Children  
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Toystores continued

Big City Kites
1210 Lexington Ave., at 82nd St.
You’ll find a seven-foot shark kite ($25) and jet airplane kites ($23) in the form of Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. But there’s also a selection of non-kite toys, like the Kick It Stick It hover disc, a giant hockey puck that floats on a cushion of air ($24.95).

Big Fun Toys
636 Hudson St., at Horatio St.
This store is an explosion of toys: Rows of bins overflow with water guns, pogo sticks, and scooters ($35–$100). Most popular are gag toys—hand buzzers, fart whistles, and rubber chickens ($2 and up)—and quirky, ironic stuff like a pig catapult and a Jesus action figure.

Boomerang Toys
173 West Broadway, near Day St.
This small newcomer opened after the owner realized there was nowhere in Battery Park City to buy birthday gifts. Popular with artsy Tribeca moms as well as nearby finance dads, Boomerang carries a large selection of puppets and quality European imports, including Kettler trikes.

Bu and the Duck
106 Franklin St., near Church St.
This small Tribeca shop deserves an award for originality. It’s hard to say what’s cooler: vintage strollers (averaging $1,000) or handmade Raggedy Ann dolls with personalized messages embroidered on their tummies ($250). Though it may seem like collectors’ stuff, the store insists that it stocks for kids first and foremost.

Bike Pimping
Chelsea Bicycles
156 W. 26th St., near Seventh Ave.
Kids who want to add a little flash to their bikes can request a simple change of color, or go for something pictorial—from Spider-Man to sunflowers. After the bike is dismantled, cleaned, and stripped, graphic artists finish the job; from $250.

The Children’s General Store
Grand Central Terminal, in the Lexington Passage
This tiny shop’s curvy aisles have stuffed animals, windup toys, costumes, and puzzles for every budget. Everything is organized by category and age so you can zip in and out.

Classic Toys
218 Sullivan St., near Bleecker St.
Come here for a mind-boggling selection of new and antique toy soldiers, windup toys, and model cars for young military buffs. Historically accurate soldier sets start at $24.95 per item, with military vehicles running $75 to $110. Folkmanis stuffed puppets are $24.50.

Cozy’s Cuts for Kids
1125 Madison Ave., near 84th St.
448 Amsterdam Ave., near 81st St.
After years of giving skittish tots their first haircuts, the folks here understand the calming power of mini-bubbles, bath crayons, and doll strollers (all $2.50–$15). Other palliatives include sweet handmade tutus (starting at $20) and party favors ($4 and up).

Dinosaur Hill
306 E. 9th St., near Second Ave.
At this whimsical shop, you’ll find unusual handmade marionettes from the Czech Republic dangling from the ceiling ($21–$90), plus sequined wooden horses from Burma and Thailand and jack-in-the-boxes (cat-, dog-, and cow-in-the-boxes, too).

Disney Store
Call 800-328-0368
You may have to drag your kids out of these dizzyingly colorful stores by their mouse ears. The purveyor of all things Disney offers the widest variety of Disney characters and themes, both classic and contemporary. The stock changes constantly, so check in often.

E.A.T. Gifts
1062 Madison Ave., near 80th St.
Next door to Eli Zabar’s gourmet shop, you’ll find all sorts of fanciful party-favor treats and trinkets, and even a selection of piñatas to stuff them in. There’s an extensive collection of Olivia, Eloise, and Madeline goodies. Board games ($30), journals ($15 to $25), and dolls are popular items.

280 Park Avenue, Ste. E (actually on 48th St.)
This store sells high-end, diecast model cars, trucks, motorcycles, and some planes and boats, in mainly exotic brands (Corvette, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari) as well as miniature replicas of what mommy drives (think shoe-size Discovery Land Rovers). The average car is $20 to $100. Italian models are more expensive, and if it’s the red Ferrari 12-volt go-cart your 7-year- old covets, expect to spend nearly $800.

FAO Schwarz
767 Fifth Ave., near 58th St.
Manhattan’s most famous high-end toy store fell victim to bankruptcy in early 2004. But it’s expected to reopen under new ownership in late fall 2004, with the same focus on ultra-exclusive goodies for the little ones.

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
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