How to celebrate April Fool’s Day with tiny tots, whose pre-emergent senses of humor start with “knock-knock” and end with a potty joke? Watch here while we pull a rabbit out of our hat. Hit the following Atlanta-area novelty stores to score gag gifts galore. Read on for our inside tricks to tuck up your sleeve to avoid any added hocus pocus. Shazam!


Richard’s Variety Store
Family owned and operated in Atlanta since the 1950’s, Richard’s has been the go-to spot for generations looking for everything from whoopie cushions to measuring cups. Two stores, located in Midtown and Buckhead, stock their aisles with household objects, children’s toys, and novelty items (think unicorn horns for cats, snap-your-finger chewing gum packs, and toilet paper rolls that won’t tear).

Trick of the Trade: The Buckhead location has a killer Thomas the Train table in the middle of their train merchandise. Plan to go alone or spend at least an hour in the store while your conductors geek out on Planet Sodor.

Details: Richard’s Variety Store, 2347 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30305, 404- 237-1412 and 931 Monroe Drive NE, Suite # 113, Atlanta, GA 30308, 404-879-9877


Eddie’s Trick Shop
Home of the color-changing hankie and original magic wand, Eddie’s Trick Shop is another Atlanta institution that specializes in magic, theatrics, and novelties. The store’s location on the Marietta Square spans nearly a city block, and staff are on-hand to help you decipher which magic tricks you (or your kiddo) can manage without a last name like Houdini. An additional store in the front of its Decatur warehouse is filled with their best-sellers, like the pen-through-the-paper illusion and cups-and-balls kits.

Trick of the Trade: Eddie’s has everything your kiddo could want by way of “magic training” (DVDs and instructional kits). Head here to get your guppies started off on the right foot for their inevitable performances in Vegas.

Details: Eddie’s Trick Shop, 70 S. Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060, 770-428-4314 and 262 Rio Circle, Decatur, GA 30030, 404-377-0003


The Junkman’s Daughter
Fun, with a sprinkling of freaky and a dash of frightening, The Junkman’s Daughter in Little Five Points is your go-to spot for novelty items, gag gifts, and funky fashion (shoes with monster teeth, anyone?). While much of the merchandise is pure kitsch than any kid would love to peruse, keep in mind that you’ll also be passing aisles of clothes, gags, and paraphernalia that just might jump-start some uncomfortable conversations with the littles.

Trick of the Trade: Pick up your stash of gag items here when you have a little time to kill on your own, and while you’re there, don’t leave the neighborhood without having stopped at The Vortex for the best burger in Atlanta.

Details: The Junkman’s Daughter, 464 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-577-3188


Remember this place? Once found in nearly every mall in America, most of us witnessed its metamorphosis from gag gift emporium to fetish general store as we perused its aisles before or after the 7 p.m. PG-13. A decade or two later, you can still find a Spencer’s in a few malls, and it seems that they’ve settled on a marketing strategy that pays homage to both its innocent past and its dabble on the dark side. The bottom line? Atlanta proper is home to Spencer’s at the Cumberland Mall, and it’s a sure bet for finding practical joke materials to share with your kids on April 1st.

Details: Spencer’s, Cumberland Mall, 770-438-6835


Are your tots into tricks? Where do you go for a laugh? Share with us below!

—Shelley Massey

Photos courtesy of Richard’s Variety Store via Facebook, Eddie’s Trick Shop via Facebook and the author