We’ve all been invited to that kid’s birthday party. You know the one – where the pint-sized guest of honor already owns every toy imaginable – throwing you into a mad panic about what you could possibly bring as a gift. Fear not, friends. We’ve put together a list of some incredibly creative local shops that can help you find a present that’s not only perfect, but oh-so-original.
Best Overall Gift Shop
Tweak The Original Giftery
Tweak owner, Tara Riceberg, refers to herself as a “Giftologist” and the title couldn’t be more accurate. She has gift giving down to a science by demanding that all carefully curated items in store meet certain criteria – they must make your life more convenient, make you smarter or make you smile. Her staff especially digs items that appeal equally to an adult sensibility as well as that of a child so parents stay engaged while playing with little ones. When kiddos stop by the shop, they’re encouraged to play and explore. All non-breakable items are displayed at grabbable height and a coloring and art table allows tots to let loose while mom and dad browse. Favorite gift recs at the moment include the Innovative Kids Play, Draw and Create Kits; beautiful wooden Hape toys like the Roller Derby and Might Mini Band; and Alex Toys’ Toddler Art Gallery. All items are adorably pre-wrapped for grab-n-go convenience making last minute shopping sprees a breeze.
Savings Tip: Once a month, the shop features a 30/30 sale where shoppers have 30 hours to shop for items online at 30% off. Sign up for the shops’s email blast for notification.
8384 Beverly Blvd.
Mid-City, Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 653-6531
Best Kids’ Bookstore For Extra Special Reads
Children’s Book World
If you’re searching for a special gift for tiny bookworms, look no further than Children’s Book World in West LA. For 28 years, this incredible bookshop has featured one of the most extensive collections of classic children’s literature in the city, as well as a fantastic array of puzzles, puppets and educational activities. The incredibly knowledgeable Children’s Book World staff spends hours pouring over advanced reader copies of kids’ books from various publishers. With their suggestions, as well as those from customers and her own history as a bookseller and buyer, owner Sharon Hearn personally selects which titles make the cut. When it comes to gifts, the shop can put together beautiful custom-made baskets that feature just the right collection of books for any special birthday boy or girl.
Savings Discount: By signing up for the shop’s newsletter, customers get access to occasional discount coupons.
10580 1/2 W. Pico Blvd.
West Los Angeles
Phone: (310) 559-BOOK
Best Gifts That Stick With You
If visions of colorful sticker books conjure up some of your fondest childhood memories, walk don’t run to Sticker Planet at the Original Farmer’s Market. Since 1991, the uber friendly Kraft family has had one motto – if it sticks, they carry it. With the largest selection we’ve ever seen, Sticker Planet features stickers for kids, crafting and collecting. From Hello Kitty to scratch and sniff, there’s literally something for everyone. Top gift favorites for tikes include tub stickers made of foam that liven up bathtime, wall decor stickers that bring a child’s room to life with their favorite characters, sticker laminated placemats and every sticker possible and then, of course, stickers from Frozen.
Reader Discount: Sticker Planet is generously offering our readers 15% off any purchase over $10 made through July 31, 2014 when you mention “RED TRICYCLE” in store.
Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax
Mid-City Los Angeles
Phone: (323) 939-6933
Best Personalized Gifts
If you’re really looking for a gift that goes the extra mile in one-of-a-kind-ness, there’s nothing quite like personalization. For over 20 years in Beverly Hills, Monogrammit has offered expert monogramming and embroidery on everything from baby blankets and onesies to toddler robes and Chuck Taylors – you name it, they’ve done it. The shop offers an extraordinary collection of items to choose from in store, but they’re also the only spot in town that allows customers to bring in personal items and merchandise purchased elsewhere. With a wide variety of font styles and thread colors to choose from, you’re bound to create something super special for the tikes in your life.
251 S. Robertson Blvd.
Phone: (310) 652-6001
Where do you go for really unique gifts? Give us the lowdown in the comments section below.
– Jennifer O’Brien
Photo Credit: Tweak The Original Giftery, Children’s Book World Bookshop, Sticker Planet and Monogrammit on Facebook