The best toy stores in Alberta

Where you'll find the best toys in Alberta.

By Lisa van de Geyn
The best toy stores in Alberta

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a new baby or a puzzle the kids will love to do with Grandma, this store’s 3,000 square feet of toys, games, puzzles, dress-up clothes, trains, books and Lego is sure to deliver. The staff scour the world for eco-friendly products for their customers, like wooden Automoblox Cars with interchangeable parts. Bonus for shoppers: They have a loyalty program (collect points and redeem in- store) and a “Birthday Box” registry so parents won’t have to wrack their brains coming up with the perfect gift. 30 MCRAE STREET, OKOTOKS. 403-995-2233; MONKEYMOUNTAIN.CA

Fans of mind-busting games (like the Settlers of Catan board games), miniature models of soldiers, ships and castles, and the Warhammer games will be in their glory. The shelves are also full of just about every animal finger puppet you can imagine and a wide selection of books. Families who love to camp will want to get their hands on Marshmallow Bow and Mallows – a marshmallow bow-and-arrow shooter. 10032 100 AVENUE, GRANDE PRAIRIE. 780-532-1963; WONDERLANDTOYS.NET

Sure, they carry Thomas the Tank Engine play sets, Sesame Street beanies and a ton of dress-up jewellery and capes, but, like they say, they’re not your average toy store. The older crowd – and young jokesters with a silly sense of humour – will get a kick out of their novelty gift shop, which includes sandwich cutters in the shape of mustaches and puzzle pieces, and ice cube moulds in the shape of princess castles, vampire fangs, high heels and the freaky, famous face of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. 616 PATRICIA STREET, JASPER. 780-852-2222; TREEHOUSEONLINE.CA

As the biggest independent toy store in western Canada (don’t worry – they ship all over the country), you’ll find everything from the Guess How Much I Love You Jack- in-the-Box to just about all of the Playmobil figures on the market. If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, moms and dads (or grandparents) who remember playing KerPlunk will get a kick out of the I-Play Honey Bee Tree Game – it’s one of their bestsellers. If you live near one of their four locations, take your little one into the store and let them pick what they want for their birthday by filling up one of their “birthday bins” with toys. (Friends and family can later visit the store and pick gifts from the bin so that he’s guaranteed to get something he loves.) 5015-111 STREET, EDMONTON. 780-988-8927;
9752-170 STREET, EDMONTON. 780-436-8697; 168 270 BASELINE ROAD, SHERWOOD PARK. 780-467-8799; 110 392 ST. ALBERT ROAD, ST. ALBERT. 780-460-8007; LAUGHNLEARN.CA

Located in the Chinook Centre Mall, you can’t miss The Discovery Hut – it’s the store with the jungle trees, vines and monkeys out front. Full of specialty toys, the shop carries brands that aren’t easily found in other toy stores, like the Only Hearts Club dolls (soft dolls that are made to look and dress like real girls) and Giant Microbes (stuffed animals that look like gross germs and microbes like the flu and lice). 6455 MACLEOD TRAIL SOUTHWEST, CALGARY. 403-301-4180; DISCOVERYHUT.COM

This article was originally published on Oct 19, 2012

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