You’ve already mastered the marathon shopping sprint through the supersize box stores, but as a Portlander holiday shopping doesn’t feel right without supporting hard-working small business owners. So the next time you head out to check the next gifts off your list, keep it local and original. Read on for 11 fantastic and unique indy toy stores where you can always find that perfect something for that special someone.

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 Photo: Jessica Lucia via Flikr

Finnegan’s Toys & Gifts
This beloved downtown Portland toy store has been keeping families happy since 1977. With an impressive selection of toys for active play, books, puzzles, board games, musical toys, bath toys, activity books and more, the staff at Finnegan’s know their stuff and are happy to help you find the perfect gift for any age. (They’ll even gift wrap it!) You’ll find favorite brands like LEGO and Playmobil, puppets by Folkmanis and a nice selection of Pacific Northwest items. Finnegan’s is a hands-on kind of place, and your little ones will have a ball playing as they explore. For an extra bonus, park at any Smart Park and Finnegan’s will pay for an hour of parking when you spend $20 or more.

Finnegan’s Toys & Gifts
Mon. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
820 SW Washington St.
503-221-0306
Online: finneganstoys.com

Oodles 4 Kids
This bright and welcoming store in Sellwood carries a thoughtfully chosen selection of art and science toys, as well as games, books, cars and trains. You can also find favorites like Corolle dolls, recycled play vehicles by Green Toys, beautiful wooden items by Hape, Brio train sets and colorful sticker and activity books. Be sure to join the Oodles 4 Kids mailing list, or check the event page for fun in-store happenings and celebrations.

Oodles 4 Kids
Mon. – Fri., 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
7727 SE 13th Ave.
503-719-7670
Online: oodles4kids.com

Child’s Play
With shelves full of imaginative toys, bright decorations hanging from the ceiling and play tables peppered throughout the store, Child’s Play brings out the kid in everyone. Tucked in the bustling Northwest neighborhood, this store has popular science toys like Snap Circuits, activity kits by Klutz, cooperative games by Peaceable Kingdom, art materials by eeBoo, coloring books, dress-up items, Pokemon, card games by Gamewright and much more. From newborns to big kids, Child’s Play has something special for everyone in your crew. When you’ve finished shopping, take a stroll down the street to Poplandia Gourmet Popcorn & Saint Cupcake for a sweet finale.

Child’s Play
Mon. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2305 NW Kearney St.
503-224-5586
Online: childsplayportland.com

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  Photo: Elena A. via Yelp

Kids at Heart
This gem on Hawthorne is a go-to spot for toys and gift shopping. Don’t miss the cozy book room in the back along with the wall of stickers. The store also carries popular items like Playmobil, Squishables, magnetic Tegu blocks, Blade and Rose baby leggings, Usborne sticker books and Brio. Check out the assortment of treasures near the counter, where you might find mini animals, finger tentacles, tiny bouncy balls and other surprises. Train lovers will adore the large train table next to the huge assortment of plush animals.
After you’ve worked up an appetite playing, hop down the street for a fresh and healthy meal at The Whole Bowl.

Kids at Heart Toys
Mon. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3445 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
503-231-2954
Online: kidsathearttoys.com

Grasshopper
As soon as you step into Grasshopper’s bright and airy space, you’ll understand why it’s an Alberta Street favorite. The carefully selected and gorgeously displayed items are perfect for finding a last minute birthday gift or unique baby shower item. Along with clothes, baby gear, shoes and games, Grasshopper carries board games, an impressive selection of art materials, wooden toys, trains and vehicles and lots, lots more. You’ll also find items by brands like Petit Collage, Plan Toys and Skip Hop, along with Djeco games, soft pajamas by Hatley and crave-worthy baby items from Nobodinoz. Be sure to check out the book collection at the back of the store. Sit and share a story with your little sidekick (and maybe take a quick nursing break!).

Grasshopper
Sun. & Mon., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
1816 NE Alberta St
503-335-3131
Online: grasshopperstore.com

Hello! Good Morning!
In Hello! Good Morning!, owner Amy Wulfing has created one of Portland’s most magical places. After opening this past year, the store has continued to delight customers with its carefully curated selection of whimsical items. You might find colorful skateboards by Penny, pinhole cameras, sweet Pastiglie Leone candies, rainbow makers, painted ceramics by BreadPress or temporary tattoo kits. Don’t miss the wall of must-have books at the back. Kids and their grownups will love eleven-foot “Whaley,” the paper-maiche whale that cheerfully hangs from the ceiling. With non-stop wonder at every turn and on every table, Hello! Good Morning! is truly something special.

Hello! Good Morning!
Wed. – Sun., 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Mon. & Tues., Closed
2419 NE Broadway St.
503-841-5120
Online: hellogoodmorningkids.com

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Photo: Paty E. via Yelp

Thinker Toys
True to its name, this popular hands-on toy store in the heart of Multnomah Village boasts a wide selection of toys that inspire creativity and thinking. You’ll find STEM science kits, social board games, Klutz activity kits and puzzle games by ThinkFun, as well as treasured brands like Ravensburger and HABA. Gift wrap is free, and customers are rewarded through the Frequent Buyer program. Kids will love searching for Elliot, a 3-inch bunny that changes location weekly. Eagle-eyed finders receive a candy prize and an entry into a drawing to receive a $25 gift certificate.

Thinker Toys
Mon. – Fri., 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat., 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
7784 SW Capitol Hwy
503-245-3936
Online: thinkertoysoregon.com

Piccolo Mondo
This family-owned business has two locations, so families can double their toy-searching fun. Meaning “small world” in Italian, Piccolo Mondo is dedicated to raising cultural awareness by featuring a different country each month with books and toys in their “Around the World” section. You’ll also find an assortment of Magnatiles, science kits, LEGO, marble runs, active toys, board games, crafting items and story cards for creating adventurous tales. Piccolo Mondo offers free gift wrapping, and customers receive a $10 gift card for every $200 spent though the Customer Appreciation Program.

Piccolo Mondo Toys- Bethany Village
Mon. – Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 pm.
4768 NW Bethany BLVD., #C5
503-617-0250

Piccolo Mondo- Progress Ridge
Mon. – Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
12345 SW Horizon Blvd., #43
Beaverton
503-579-8100
Online: piccolomondotoys.com

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Photo: Belle B. via Yelp

Spielwerk Toys
Spielwerk is committed to high quality toys that inspire imaginative free play. You won’t find electronic toys that flash and beep here, but you will find beautiful wooden items, building blocks, puzzles, musical instruments, outdoor toys, board games, books, spinning tops, fairy kits and bins of small treasures.
The front area of the store has a spacious play area with a loft, a play kitchen and a table for creations. Kids will love hanging out and playing if parents need more time to browse. There’s no restroom inside of the store, but you can find one down the hall in the shared building. To be the first to know about occasional workshops, classes and special happenings at the store, keep an eye on Spielwerk’s Events Page or join their mailing list.

Spielwerk Toys
Mon. – Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
3808 N Williams Ave #121
503-282-2233
Online: spielwerktoys.com

Seahorses
Seahorses is a store that focuses on dads, although all parents and caregivers are welcome at this modern spot on Hawthorne, featuring high-quality and functional products. You’ll find car seats and strollers by Doona, toys by Melissa & Doug, shaving gear, sturdy bags, Leatherman products, children’s books, clothing and a good assortment of local items.Wifi and a fully enclosed play area mean that parents can get some work done while the kids enjoy having fun. There’s also a community space that holds events, workshops and music classes. Check the Events page or join the mailing list for the most current happenings.

Seahorses PDX
Sun., Noon- 5 p.m.
Mon., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tues., Closed
Wed.- Sat., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
4029 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
971-352-6130
Online: seahorsespdx.com

Black Wagon
So, your shopping list includes a pair of Nintendo Vans, art supplies and a copy of Rad American Women from A-Z? Head to Black Wagon. Owner Sarah Shaoul is constantly keeping things fresh and hip at this sweet boutique on Mississippi where you’ll find clothing, toys, books and more. With shopping available both in-store and online, parents have tons of options for scoring the perfect gift. It might be baby gear and décor from Wee Gallery, shoes by Native or PLAE, Petit Collage puzzles, cool t-shirts or a game of Cosmic Checkers by Mighty Fun! You’ll find a ton of unique items to make you smile, and the staff are always happy to help you find that cool gift that you didn’t even know existed.

Black Wagon
Mon. – Fri., 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sat., 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
3964 N Mississippi Ave.
503-916-0000
Online: blackwagon.com

What’s your favorite toy store in Portland? Let us know in the comments below!

—Anna Doogan