Your kids love visiting the toy store, but some part of you dreads having to chase after them, picking up the toys they’ve cast aside in their excitement and admonishing them to use “inside voices.” That’s why a visit to Play is so refreshing. This charming toy boutique in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood truly lives up to its name, with an extremely helpful—and amazingly patient—staff that understands the boundless energy kids have. With a playful and interactive environment, you can let go of the kids’ hands as they roam the aisles, taking in all the amazing toys, books, and games on display, from a (nearly) life-sized giraffe to an old-fashioned set of Tinkertoys.
Afraid they’ll ruin the displays? Looking with your eyes and not with your hands doesn’t apply here, so the kids are welcome to test out the display toys or even start reading one of the many books. So take a moment to show off your yo-yo skills, then watch your kids try to replicate your elegant flick-of-the-wrist move. Their eagerness to learn, combined with your nostalgia, will likely convince you to purchase the classic trinket for them. One more feature that parents will love: free assembly of toys marked with the dreaded “some assembly required” label, so the kids can start playing the moment they get home, and you can relax.