Travel Reference
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home. There's a full selection of Baby Einstein DVDs, books, and other prod-
ucts, as well as Chicco brand plastic toys and much, much more. In the mall at 900
N. Michigan Ave. & 312/440-9550. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State.
Kite Harbor On breezy days when the wind is just right off of Lake Michi-
gan, stop in to Kite Harbor to pick up a colorful kite. (There are the standard
kid-size kites, all the way up to spectacular jumbo kites for the ambitious—or
experienced.) The shop stocks all sorts of flying objects, from boomerangs to
whirligigs, and even juggling sets. 109 N. Marion St., Oak Park & 708/848-4907. Subway/
El: Green Line to Harlem.
LEGO Store You'll marvel at replicas of Chicago landmarks, made entirely of
LEGOs. Special-edition sets for young builders who want to create huge animals
and people are often featured, too. A LEGO Construction Zone just outside of
the store lets kids design and build in their own play area with a life-size racecar
built from LEGO bricks; LEGO walls; and tables. The play zone is open daily
from 11am to 5:30pm. The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave. & 312/494-0760. Subway: Red Line to Grand/State.
Saturday's Child This store sells everything from wagons, tricycles, and
scooters to blocks, books, wooden toys, and puppets. The clever toys here range
from rubber snakes and frogs to sidewalk chalk and kids' large-face wristwatches.
Cooperative and creative play is the focus here—not a high-tech gadget or com-
puter game in sight. Real old-fashioned toys and picture books, Folkmanis pup-
pets, arts and crafts supplies, and puzzles and games are stocked here. 2146 N.
Halsted St. (south of Webster Ave.). & 773/525-8697. Subway/El: Brown
Line to Armitage.
Toys and Treasures Tired of mass-market toys? Check out this boutique for
children that offers toys for infants up to kids age 10, baby and kids clothes up
to size 6, plus books, art supplies, and stuffed animals. Many of the toys are
handmade and have an educational and developmental bent. The store stocks a
few lines of infant clothes that are made by local women. The owner, Bea, has a
talent for matching the kid to the toy, so be sure to ask her advice! 5311 N. Clark
St. (at Berwyn Ave.). & 773/769-5311. Subway/El: Red Line to Berwyn.
Toyscape Don't walk in here expecting to buy a GI Joe or a PlayStation. This
shrine to anticommercialism sells only old-fashioned toys that let kids exercise
their imagination. Wooden toys, musical instruments, and puppets are all in
stock. The environment is friendly, and the store hosts special events during the
year. One perennial favorite is “Bunnies on Parade,” held in April, when kids are
invited to put on some ears or bunny suits and parade around and in front of
the store. 2911 N. Broadway (between Diversey Pkwy. and Belmont Ave.). & 773/665-7400. www. Subway/El: Brown Line to Diversey.
Toys et cetera Next time you're visiting the Museum of Science and Indus-
try, make the short trek into Hyde Park to visit this special toy store. Although
it's known for its excellent website, you'll have more fun at the real store. The
space is small but packed with educational puzzles and games, and toys, toys,
toys. (Check out the wide assortment of dolls.) Dress-up clothes and an arts-
and-crafts area round out the store. 5211-A S. Harper (in Harper Court Shopping Center)
in Hyde Park. & 773/324-6039. Bus: 4.
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