This year, instead of heading to a big box or chain store, make a conscious choice to pop into one of these locally owned toy shops (or check them out online) that offer a wide selection of thoughtful, hand-selected items that totally rock.
This exceptional locally owned on-line toy company creates plenty of hip, organic toys for today’s modern family. Bannor Toys was started in the founders’ small basement workshop building toys for their in-home daycare. The range of wares they offer is impressive, and makes one-stop shopping convenient for busy parents. Beautifully handmade toys and games include their Original State Rattle, Personalized Name Blocks, puzzles, teethers, toy cars, toy boxes and more. Unfortunately Bannor Toys does not offer local pick up, but they do offer a lower local shipping rate for those in the Des Moines Metro. Email them at Bannortoys@gmail.com for the code to receive the lower rate.
2761 100th Street • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 331-8008
A perfect, kid-friendly pit stop in Urbandale is a super-sized store that’s packed to the hilt with play items for kids of all ages. The largest store of its kind in the Des Moines area, The Learning Post has reigned supreme as a teacher’s and educational resource for over 30 years. You’re sure to find any toy you’re looking for in the well-merchandised aisles of wares ranging from arts and crafts, puzzles, Playmobil, puppets, LEGOS, animal figurines, a great variety of books and so much. Prices are also competitive, making it easy to support this local retailer and teachers can sign up for discounts to save.
Valley West Mall • 1551 Valley W Drive • West Des Moines, IA 50266 • (515) 267-8222
Located on the lower level of Valley West Mall, Games & Mores is a kids and gamers paradise. This locally owned toy store truly has something to suit every taste, from babies to big kids to adults. They feature many games, kits, ride-on toys, small and large toys, stuffed animals, Melissa and Doug and other well-known toy makers. They rival big-box retailers with their extensive selection and affordable prices. Games & More staff is also very knowledgeable, care about what they’re selling and take pride in delivering great customer service.
Merle Hay Mall • 3850 Merle Hay Road • Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 270-8494
Merle Hay Mall’s independently owned build-your-own plush animal toy store offers a fun and interactive stuffed animal experience built around your child’s unique personality. Choose an animal from a variety of options from all over the animal kingdom. Pick a wish from the wishing well to put in your animal. Stuff your new friend at the stuffing machine. Accessorize from a variety of clothing options from costumes, super hero, occupations, sports and more. Give your animal a name and fill out a birth certificate. Teddy Bear Connection offers gift cards making holiday shopping a cinch. They also host kids’ birthday parties.
What’s your favorite toy store in Des Moines? Give it a mention in the Comments below!