Travelling to London soon with little ones in tow? Then you’ve no doubt started to do some research to find out the best ways to spend your time, making sure the kids are happy and entertained.
Whilst we’re in a world of technology, with iPads and phones seeming to take over, the power of a good, old fashioned toy shop can often get forgotten. Though there’s arguably no better way to delight and excite your little ones, allowing them to spend their hard-saved pocket money at a beautiful, enchanting toy shop. And London has some absolutely incredible options that will amaze the whole family – kids and kids at heart alike.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourites to help get you all inspired for your next trip. Just don’t forget to up their allowance in time!
Also, before you get lost in the world of toy shops, make sure you check out some of the best Paddington Hotel Deals with us at The Devonshire London. On an elegant London street not far from Hyde Park, The Devonshire is something of a hidden gem.
Both a top visit spot, with customary school events scheduled in for youngsters (check the site), and an enormous toy shop, Hamleys has all the must-have toys, alluringly displayed. Masterminded on five boisterous floors, with lively demonstrators flaunting different products on each one, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily spend the bulk of an afternoon here. There’s a lot to see: from intuitive toys to softer options for extra-teeny tots, floor one is all games, two is for preschoolers, and the list basically goes on all the way up to the cafe located on the top floor.
Disney Store, Oxford Street
The Disney Store on Oxford Street is the biggest of its kind in Europe, so Disney fanatics need to add this gem to their London bucket list. Its glass customer-facing facade contains a 267ft high Princess Castle with a working clock, where Princesses show up in windows and Tinkerbell flies over the dividers throughout the day. Mickey and Donald watch the store and loads of other mysterious things occur inside. You can also expect the regular magic of typical Disney stores across the globe, and it’s packed with all the latest fun and love from the world’s favourite franchises.
Harrods Toy Kingdom, Knightsbridge
Harrods’ Toy Kingdom is an incredible 26,000sq ft. in size. To make it a really special retail experience, Harrods allows a playing experience as well as making a genuine toyshop, so youngsters can really contact and play with the toys instead of simply taking a gander at them behind glass cases. With six distinct universes inside the space, it is anything but difficult to lose all sense of direction in the Enchanted Forest or the Space Odyssey – incredible for grown-ups who wish they were kids once more. It’s also noted for being a really progressive store, as the toys are displayed by themes and age rather than gender.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping, make sure you book into a hotel near Paddington Station like The Devonshire. That way, you won’t be stuck lugging bags filled with toys too far.
Sylvanian Families Shop, Highbury
The long-adored Sylvanian Families toys have been putting smiles on the faces of children – and adults too – since the mid-’80s. But how could they not? The little fuzzy, flocked plastic creatures are adorable and reek of nostalgia, with an array of retro countryside settings, including manors, cabins, windmills and other fairly middle-class locations, to house more than 60 different animal families. This shop in Highbury stocks the lot, plus a few discontinued and rare items to boot.
Buggies and Bikes, Hackney
Hackney’s bohemian Broadway Market pulls in youthful families in their droves (especially when the market’s going all out), so this charming little shop capitalises on this passing exchange. As well as an array of amazing bikes, the stock is comprised of fun bits of nursery gear, garments for infants to 12-year-olds and a scope of covetable toys. The owner is quick to show the knitwear and embroidery of neighbourhood crafters; there are some superb little cardigans for babies, fine print dresses for little children and lovable booties. The ground floor is offered over to youngster’s exercise classes (such as yoga) and can be hired out for parties, alongside the little nursery.
Ottie and the Bea, Blackheath
This charming little shop in Blackheath stocks a wonderful array of carefully-picked things that will charm kids and adults the same. Inside this welcoming south London shop, guests will find Japanese collectables and imaginative wonders alongside standard toys, excellent books and everything you’ll need to throw a kid’s party. They additionally run fun events and workshops for an assortment of ages, such as exercises, for example, as well as stuff like hero cape making, dreamcatcher-production and kids’ journalism classes.
Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop, Covent Garden
Set up initially in 1856 in Hoxton, Benjamin Pollock’s moved to Covent Garden in 1980 and today remains one of the top toy shops in the West End. As well as selling their popular, intricate paper theatres, they additionally have an enormous scope of books, figurines, music boxes and conventional toys. Long stretches of pleasure and interest for all the family all point towards the other general wonders of the area, where outside the store the whole family can revel in the magic of the street performers hard at work.
The LEGO Store, Leicester Square
The Lego Store at Leicester Square is the biggest store of its kind on the planet! It covers two stories, packs in 914 square meters of Lego fun and even showcases a tremendous Lego model of London’s iconic clock tower, Big Ben. Transcending at a mind-blowing 6.53 meters tall, Lego Big Ben has a working clock that is lit up during the evening time – just like the real thing! As well as Big Ben, there are heaps of other fabulous models to delight avid Lego fans. Another Leicester Square feature is the Lego Mosaic Maker. The Mosaic Maker offers Lego fanatics of any age the opportunity to get their own special mosaic picture!
With the holidays right around the corner, there’s never been a better tie to visit one of these toy stores. Start planning your trip now!