To celebrate ASTRA Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Saturday, November 12, 2011, many local independent toy stores around Chicagoland are planning special events and activities. Children and parents can attend these events to view, try out, and purchase all of the Best Toys for Kids 2011 singled out by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association this year.
The ASTRA Best Toys for Kids for 2011 consist of newly released quality toys that offer safe and unique play opportunities for everyone from toddlers to teens. To make it easy for shoppers to find just the right toy from the list, winners are divided into categories such as constructive play, game play, creative arts play, and different kinds of pretend play.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day Passport Promotion
Three Chicago toy stores — *play, Building Blocks Toys, and Cat and Mouse Game Store — have joined together to celebrate locally owned independent toy stores. Families that stop by all three stores on either Saturday or Sunday to get their passport stamped with stickers will receive $30 in gift certificates to spend on toys ($10 for each store). In addition, each store will be holding its own activities and events:
- Visit *play for snacks and giveaways scheduled throughout the day.
- Visit either location of Building Blocks Toy Store for activities including meeting Elmo and Dora the Explorer, an author meet-and-greet with Sherri Rinker (author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site), balloons, and giveaways. Check out specific details at and be sure to RSVP on their Facebook page to reserve an awesome goody bag full of $50 of great toys.
- Visit Cat and Mouse Game Store for snacks, goodie bags as prizes for kids who complete in-store scavenger hunts, and prizes for winning competitions such as the 11:00 a.m. Hexbug Nano Races (kids can bring their own nanos to race for a chance to win a Hexbug Elevation set), the noon Dexterity Triple Challenge (at which kids play ASTRA Best Games Perplexus Rookie and Fastrack, as well as Icky Poo, for a chance to win the Perplexus Epic), and the Play to Win Game Challenges (starting at 1:00 p.m., the store will teach customers how to play a new game each hour; kids will receive one raffle ticket for learning each game and 2 raffle tickets for winning any of the games; at 45 minutes past each hour, the store will raffle off a copy of the game being taught that hour; games include Top Trumps, Jungle Speed, Spot It, and Shake N Take).
The Children’s Gift Shop
Visit The Children’s Gift Shop in Northfield to enjoy giveaways and play day art activities. The store will also be encouraging customers to participate in two local charity drives:
- Operation Overcoat, which provides children in need with winter coats (organized by the Winnetka Rotary Club)
- Bookworm Angels, which collects gently used children’s books for lending libraries for inner-city schoolchildren.
Families can bring donations for either of these charities to the store.
Oakridge Hobbies and Toys
Visit Oakridge Hobbies and Toys in Darien (7511 Lemont Road) for giveaways, coupons/sales, and craft activities.
Brilliant Sky Toys and Books
Visit Brilliant Sky Toys and Books in Deer Park (21540 W. Field Pkwy., Unit 60) for product giveaways and coupons/sales including selling all of the ASTRA Best Toys for Kids 2011 at a discount.
Becky and Me Toys
On Friday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m., visit the Evanston location of Becky and Me Toys for a special storytime with Carolyn Crimi, author of books such as Boris and Bella, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, and Rock and Roll Mole.
Then on Saturday, November 12 at the Evanston store, enjoy Peaceable Kingdom games and sticker activities (ages 3 to 6) from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Linklet jewelry-making (ages 3 to 6) and Mindware games (ages 6 and up) from noon to 2:00 p.m., and Gamewright games and Klutz Safety Pin bracelets (ages 8 and up) from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
On Saturday, November 12, visit the Glenview location of Becky and Me Toys for a 10:15 a.m. storytelling session, a Sticky Mosaic art project (for ages 5 and up) and face-painting for everyone from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Zing product demonstrations and a Perplexus contest (for ages 6 and up) from noon to 2:00 p.m., and playing with Doodle Cars (for ages 4 and up) and building with nanoblocks (ages 8 and up) from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
At both stores on Saturday, enjoy goody bags for all kids and many drawings to win great prizes. Also, toys bought in the stores to be donated for their Toys for Tots drive through December 19 will be sold at a 20% discount.
Galt Toys + Galt Baby
Visit the Old Orchard location of Galt Toys and Galt Baby on Saturday to save 15% off all toys all day and enjoy toy demonstrations throughout the day.
Timeless Toys Ltd
Visit Timeless Toys Ltd. in Lincoln Square from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday for game demonstrations, art projects, face-painting, prizes, and an official announcement and unveiling of the ASTRA Best Toys for 2011.
Shoppers looking for ideas for holiday presents may also be interested in:
- Disney Most Wanted Holiday Toys List 2011
- Toys R Us Hot Holiday Toy List 2011
- LEGO Holiday Gift Shop toys for 2011
Never miss a new article! SIGN UP for free email notification. Read us on Facebook • Twitter