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Talulah Jones. Photo by Chris Gaumer.

Gift Guide 2017: Our Top Picks for Denver-Area Toy Stores

If you're looking for something a little different for the kiddos in your life this year, check out these toy stores. You’ll find great stuff while supporting local, independent business.

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This article was originally published in the November issue of Colorado Parent and has been edited for length and clarity to appear in 5280.com’s Gift Guide. Read 5280’s entire 2017 guide to Colorado gift giving here.


Talulah Jones

Talulah Jones owner Robin Lohre takes great care in selecting toys that are produced using environmentally friendly processes and materials. All the toys in this certified green store are “imagination powered and do not require batteries,” says Lohre. The store carries a large selection of Plan Toys, a company known for sustainable manufacturing and materials, including kiln-dried rather than chemically dried wood. It sells a wide selection of Maileg toys—little mice in matchboxes—in addition to clothing and books. Lohre says the store focuses on offering quality products at reasonable prices. “If we get a good deal on something, then our customers get a good deal,” Lohre says. “It’s a unique experience here. We have customers that have been coming for years, and they look for their favorite salesperson and they know they’ll have success.”

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Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative PlayFolkmanis 
puppets. Sturdy, soft puppets that look like stuffed animals.
Family GameTableTopics by Ultra PRO International. A question game available in many different themes, designed to inspire interesting conversations.
Staying Active: The Original Rody Horse by Rody Toy. A blow up bouncy horse that encourages balance and exercise among young children.
$25 or less: Pop to Play Castles by Djeco. Cardboard structures that you assemble, in medieval or princess themes.

1122 E. 17th Ave., Denver, 303-832-1230; talulahonline.com

JAKE’s Toy Box

Jake’s was the first retailer in Colorado with an NAO—an interactive, programmable robot. Visitors to the store can see the largest public display in the state of a G-scale train, operating daily, as well as a Zoltar fortune telling machine. “Jake’s is the reason to make the drive,” says Dan Driver, vice president. “Regardless of age or ability, all will find educational puzzles, games, and toys within this magical environment.”

Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative PlayMy Dream Horse by Breyer. A paint-your-own horse kit with model horses, paint, and brushes.
Family GameTraveling Animals by Traveling Animals Inc. The strategic wildlife education game in which you compete to save animals across the globe (an Evergreen, Colorado company).
Staying ActiveSno-Striker by Ideal/Alex Brands (for outdoor use). 
A blaster for launching snowballs. Twangled by MindWare (for indoor use). A game where you step over and under colored, stretchy bands, to tangle and untangle yourself.
$25 or lessThinking Putty by Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld. Containers of putty that won’t dry out in many unique colors and styles.
15530 W. 64th Ave., Arvada, 720-974-3222; jakestoyboxonline.com

Wonderland Toys
Wonderland Toys. Photo by Heather Gott.

Wonderland Toys

Wonderland Toys values community, and offers activities and a play area for children while their parents shop. Throughout December, the store will host game nights every Friday, 5 to 6 p.m. Shoppers receive complimentary gift-wrapping, which is “one of the employees’ favorite parts of the job,” says Stephanie Woolley, marketing manager.

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Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative Play
Plus-Plus by Fruugo. Hundreds of building bricks in one simple shape for the creation of mosaics or 3D designs.
Family GameSLAPZI by 
Carma Games.  A simple-to-learn and fast-to-play card game where the clue is a word and the answer is an image.
Staying Active: OgoDisks 
by OgoSport. Hand-held trampolines for two players on which you bounce, throw, and catch a ball.
$25 or lessLollipopter by Beyond123. A colorful, uniquely-shaped toy that transforms into different designs with a quick twist of your hand.

9579 S. University Blvd., Suite 170 
Highlands Ranch, 720-925-1674; mywonderlandtoys.com

Beyond the Blackboard

Beyond the Blackboard began as an educational supply store geared toward teachers. “Everything we do remains rooted in the education and development of children,” says Carah Killian, district manager. In addition to an array of do-it-yourself kits, games, and puzzles, they have an ever-expanding selection for kids with special needs. Both locations offer kids workshops related to a variety of topics, including cooking, art, and science throughout the year.

Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative PlayCalico Critters by EPOCH Everlasting Play. Miniature animal figures for imaginative play for age three and up. Empower Poster Kit by Craft-tastic. A decoupage art kit with materials designed to help kids age seven and up create posters that represent their special qualities.
Family Game: I Got This! by Fat Brain Toys. The game where you earn points by completing active challenges.
Staying ActivePlasmaCar by PlaSmart Inc. A kid-powered vehicle where you wiggle the wheel to make it go.
$25 or less: Bubble Gum Factory by Scientific Explorer. A science kit with materials and instructions to make chewing gum.

6155 S. Main St., Aurora 
(Southlands Shopping Center), 303-627-5791; 7721 Wadsworth Blvd., Suite B, Arvada, 303-422-5151; beyondtheblackboard.com

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Timbuk Toys

“The holidays are a very special time at Timbuk Toys, and we love to make shopping fun and easy with free gift wrapping and lots of great toy advice,” says Sallie Kashiwa, owner and president. Other times of the year, music loving kids newborn to age six can sing, dance, and play at the store’s award-winning Songs for Seeds classes, Mondays and Tuesdays at University Hills (multiple times available, see website for current schedule).

Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative PlayMad Mattr Brick Maker by Relevant Play. A kit to create bricks and build structures using Mad Mattr molding dough (a Colorado company).
Family GameClue Harry Potter by USAopoly. The classic game of Clue redesigned with a Harry Potter theme.
Staying ActiveNinjaline by B4Adventure. An obstacle course kit for your backyard, with accessories to customize it (a Denver company).
$25 or lessMagformers Rainbow 14 piece set by Magformers. The starter set of magnetic triangle and square shapes for engineering 3D creations.

2526 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver (University Hills) 303-756-2522; 200 Quebec St., Denver (Lowry Town Center) 
303-366-1755; 9315 Dorchester St., Highlands Ranch 
303-346-3030; 7830 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood 
303-985-0035; timbuktoys.com

Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe

Grandrabbit’s in Boulder celebrates its 40th birthday this year, and is well known locally and in other states. “Our community is really important to us and we make kids a priority in our business decisions,” says founder Lynne Milot. One way she does this is through the Bunny Bucks program, in which 5 percent of purchases can benefit a local school of the customer’s choice. Their loyalty program works with the Bunny Bucks program, in addition to earning points for dollars spent.

Staff Picks For…

Hands-on/Creative PlaySinging Machine by Alliance Entertainment. A karaoke machine with new high-tech options.
Family Game: Braintopia by Asmodee. A game that tests your mental speed, where you try to solve fast-paced challenges and puzzles before your opponent.
Staying Active: Micro Maxi Deluxe Scooter by Micro Kickboard. A Swiss-designed easily-maneuverable scooter.
$25 or less: The Amazing Star Cube by California Creations. A geometric puzzle you manipulate and transform.

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2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-443-0780; 14644 Orchard Pkwy., Suite 1000, Westminster (Orchard Town Center), 303-815-1500; 180 E. Flatiron Circle Dr., Broomfield 
(Flatiron Marketplace), 303-465-8005; grtoys.com


Read 5280‘s entire 2017 guide to Colorado gift giving.

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