The best toy stores in British Columbia

Where you'll find the best toys in BC.

By Lisa van de Geyn
The best toy stores in British Columbia

This shop encourages letting kids’ imaginations run wild with their toys. They carry a huge selection of wooden figures perfect for inspiring creativity, great house play pieces (stoves, dressers, tea sets), dress-up costumes and a wall of stuffed animals. They also have an art area set up with chairs and crayons for kids to let out their inner artisan while parents peruse. 1161 COMMERCIAL DRIVE, VANCOUVER. 604-252-9727; DILLYDALLYKIDS.CA

Just inside the entrance to Granville Island, you’ll find the Kids Market — an old two-story factory that was converted into a shopping destination just for little ones. With 30 stores, an arcade, a concession counter and a play area perfect for birthday parties, there are plenty of unique shops with hard-to-find items. Aspiring magicians will love Clownin’ Around Magic; Just Imagine Fun Clothing has everything kids will need to stock their tickle trunks; and Kites and Puppets has an impressive selection of people and finger puppets and stunt kites. 1496 CARTWRIGHT STREET, VANCOUVER. KIDSMARKET.CA

Not sure what to get your little one’s BFF for her birthday? Looking for the perfect gift for your book- loving tot? Not only does The Village Toy Shop boast an awesome selection of toys, they’ve got lots of Canadian- made finds (like Kiss Naturals craft kits), retro games and giant stuffies, but if you’re having a hard time picking that perfect gift, don’t fret: The store’s on-site experts — the “toyologists” — are always ready to share their knowledge. 262 NEWPORT DRIVE, PORT MOODY. 604-949-0444; VILLAGETOYSHOP.CA

The folks at this store pride themselves on wholesome playthings that promote creativity and imagination. They carry loads of wooden toys (including an elaborate road and rail system, tableware and pull toys), as well as lifelike puppets, and neat puzzles; their layered, wooden puzzle of the human body would thrill any kid who’s into science. 3070 EDGEMONT BOULEVARD, NORTH VANCOUVER. 604-986-4111; BCPLAYTHINGS.COM

As their silly name suggests, this place is all about having fun. Their unique line includes cast iron brain teasing puzzles from Hanayama and lifelike figurines of almost every animal on the planet from Schleich. They have a large collection of Playmobil mini figurines, as well as Bruder trucks for the construction-obsessed kid in your life. 1225 7TH AVENUE, INVERMERE. 250-342-2515

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter this toy store/modern-day trading post are the enormous, bigger than-life-sized displays and dioramas set up around the shop, like the almost-eight-foot-tall Optimus Prime Transformer, and a 17-foot-long Star Destroyer from Star Wars. (Let the kids look all they want; displays are part of the store’s permanent collection and not for sale.) What makes this place different from the rest is that, besides the brand-spanking new toys for sale, they operate a Trade Centre (open Tuesdays to Saturdays) where they allow customers to bring in used toys and collectibles and trade for Trader Bucks (in- store credit). Find online the list of the items they accept. 19888 LANGLEY BYPASS, LANGLEY. 604-532-9516; TOYTRADERS.CA

This article was originally published on Oct 19, 2012

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