Twin Cities Toy Stores for Every Family

A Toy Store for Every Family - Featuring Logos of independent toy stores in twin cities

Family-owned toy stores offer a unique (and we think better) shopping experience. Who knows toys better than parents and kids? Like bookstores, we are lucky to have several independently owned Twin Cities toy stores in the Minnesota metro area. Some are geared towards older kids, while others are specifically geared toward babies and toddlers. Whatever you are looking for, we think we’ve found the best toy stores in the Twin Cities. We have mostly picked locally owned toy stores; and most of these businesses give back to the community. Best of all, each of these toy stores has its own unique personality. Here is a list of the best toy stores in the Twin Cities area for shoppers:

Our 12 Favorite Twin Cities Toy Stores

1. GoodKids | White Bear Lake

4758 Banning Ave, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
GoodKids Toy Store sells baby items, kids stuff, toys, and games. They have “play experts” on hand to help shoppers find the perfect toy. The employees love what they do and are enthusiastic about the products they carry. This is a great store for everyone.

GoodKids - Baby, Toys, Games - Twin Cities Toy Stores

2. Brickmania Toyworks | Minneapolis

1618 Central Ave. NE, Suite 110 Minneapolis, MN 55413
Now back in NE Minneapolis, this specialty toy store is the place to go for LEGO building kits that go beyond the basics. They particularly specialize in military kits. They sell both genuine LEGO parts and quality after-market add-ons. This is more for the family that likes to build with than to play with LEGOs.

Brickmania Toyworks in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lego Display at Brickmania

3. Games by James

Burnsville Center, 1178 Burnsville Center Burnsville, MN 55306
Mall of America, 358 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Ridgedale Mall, 12401 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Rosedale Center, 1595 Highway 36 W #652, Roseville, MN 55113
Southdale Center, 10 Southdale Center, Edina, MN 55435
One of the longest-lasting toy stores in the Twin Cities, Games by James specializes in games but also carries hobby items and some toys. This is the toy store for families who love spicing up family game night with new material.

Games by James - Twin Cities Toy Stores

4. Hub Hobby Center | Richfield & Little Canada

6410 Penn Ave S, Richfield, MN 55423
82 Minnesota Ave, Little Canada, MN 55117
Hub Hobby Center is the place to go for hobby items. In fact they claim the title of the largest hobby shop in the midwest. It carries model trains, radio control toys, model rockets, plastic models, and pinewood derby parts. You can also find classic board games, trading cards games, tabletop games, puzzles, toys, science projects, art and craft kits at this store. This store is great for when you want a toy or game to do together.

5. Kiddywampus | Hopkins & Chanhassen

1023 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343
860 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317
Kiddywampus has a laid-back, creative attitude. My favorite part of our visit was one little display doll that was obviously well-loved by the littlest shoppers.  In fact my own toddler wouldn’t part with it. Amy, the owner of Kiddywampus, told me the doll gets dirty and washed regularly. I love the fact that they stock unique toys that can withstand real play. This would be the place to go if you want to inspire creativity in your children.

kiddywampus an inspired place for kids - 2 Twin Cities Toy Stores

6. Lakeshore Learning | Maplewood & St. Louis Park

1721 Beam Ave., Suite A, Maplewood, MN 55109
5699 W 16th St, Saint Louis Park, MN, 55416
Lakeshore Learning is the one non-locally owned store in this list, but the company is still pretty small and independent and we love the interactive environment that allows shoppers to get an idea what they are purchasing. They offer weekly free craft activities and the stores have play areas where kids can play while parents shop. Lakeshore Learning will have quite a bit of overlap with Creative Kidstuff, but it seems geared towards teaching through play as opposed to learning through play. This gives it a subtly different atmosphere. I go to Lakeshore when I’ve identified something I need to work on with my kids and need some tools for teaching it.

Mom and daughter sharing their Crafts made at Lakeshore Learning in Maplewood, Minnesota

7. Legacy Toys | Multiple Minnesota & North Dakota Locations

Ridgedale Center, 12401 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Mall of America, 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Galleria, 3510 W 69th St, Edina, MN 55435
Legacy Toys has three Twin Cities locations – The Galleria, The Mall of America and Ridgedale. You can also find them in Duluth and North Dakota. They strive to offer unique toy store experience that helps kids “ignite their imagination through exploration and play”. First opened in Ely, Minnesota, Legacy Toys claims to be an experiential toy shop.  They encourage families to laugh, play, and grow together because they believe that making the world a better place for our kids is the best legacy they can have.  And I know the manager.  He takes his fun seriously.  I’m not even joking.  At our church, he is called the Hat Guy.

8. Mischief Toys | St Paul

818 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Since I first published this article, Peapods owners Millie Adelsheim and Dan Marshall, closed Peapods several years ago and opened a new toy store in the same location on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. As their own family has started to grow, so have their interests. Where Peapods was geared to babies, Mischief Toy Store is geared toward older children. In fact, in 2020, their oldest daughter joined Dan and Millie as part owner of the store. You can read more about them in Gianna’s article here. This is the toy store for the family with multiple aged children. They cater to all ages but you will find things like kinetic toys, jewelry, games and outdoor adventure gear.

Mischief Toys, Saint Paul, Minnesota

9. Owl and the Octopus | Wayzata

1135 E. Wayzata Blvd. Wayzata, Minnesota 55391
Relatively new on the Toy Store scene, The Owl and The Octopus opened in November of 2018 in Wayzata. They combine small-town charm and a friendly, knowledgeable staff with an extensive modern inventory.

10. Pacifier | Minneapolis

219 N 2nd Street #102, Minneapolis, MN 55401
714 Cleveland Ave S, St. Paul MN 55116
4942 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55410
812 Lake Street East, Wayzata, MN 55391
Pacifier has locations in Minneapolis North Loop neighborhood, St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood, on France Avenue in Edina, and Wayzata. Pacifier chooses toys by their coolness factor. This is the place to go for snarky t-shirts and things that your 20-year-old hipster niece would love. This is your store if you want your kids to eat sushi and dress like rock stars.

11. Air Traffic | 4 Twin Cities Locations

Burnsville Center, 1178 Burnsville Center Burnsville, MN 55306
Mall of America, 358 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
Ridgedale Mall, 12401 Wayzata Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Rosedale Center, 1595 Highway 36 W #652, Roseville, MN 55113
“Local, family-owned store dedicated to and passionate about play”. A go to shop for outdoor games, like disc golf and kite flying.

Other Toy Stores in the Twin Cities Worth Visiting

One of the best things about these toy stores is that they are located in places where you go to shop, so you can combine non-toy shopping into the trip:

JM Cremps Adventure Store

Mall of America, 60 East Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
When visiting the Mall of America, JM Cremps is a fun toy store to visit. Gianna’s family always makes a point of stopping in to shop.

More MOA Toy Stores:

Kremer’s Toy and Hobby

1011 61st St NE #120, Albertville, MN 55301
A family-owed toy and hobby store in Albertville, Minnesota.

Something Safari

310 Water Street, Excelsior, MN 55331
This small toy store would be a fun addition to a day in Excelsior’s shopping district.

Pinwheels and Play Toys

4313 Upton Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55410
In the old Creative Kidstuff space in Linden Hills, add this toy store to your Linden Hills exploration.

ArtStart ArtScraps

1459 St. Clair Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105
Not really a toy store, but a great place to buy art supplies.

Articles Related to the Best Toy Stores in the Twin Cities:

You’ve visited all the best toy stores in the Twin Cities? Want to go on a toy-shopping road trip? Or are you ready to make good on your threat to get rid of every toy you own? We have resources for that, too!

Family Day Trip: LARK Toys in Kellogg, Minnesota

Girl riding flamingo merry go round at Lark Toy Store in Kellogg, Minnesota
The Carousel at Lark Toys in Kellogg

Minneapolis Toy Library

Now you can borrow some of your favorite toys from the best toy shops around! Membership is incredibly affordable.

What happened to My favorite Local Toy Store?

We were sad to lose Creative Kidstuff in 2019. Unfortunately, they announced they were going out of business in the spring and closed over the summer. The good news is that you can still shop online with Creative Kidstuff and proceeds go to various charities including children’s charities like, autism and literacy. Find more information in our directory.

As we mentioned above, Peapods closed in 2015. On a happier note, the owners opened Mischief (above) a few months later.

Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store was sold to new owners in the summer of 2019 and did not survive the 2020 closures but are looking for a buyer. Stay tuned.

This article was originally published Feb 23, 2015 by Joy Peters and has been updated as needed.

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