Lately, you’ve been dying to get to Venice to check out the new hot restaurant, tea bar and French vinotherapie skincare spot. Your kids interest in this outing? Zero. But with the opening of Huzzah Toys, the new (and awesome) indie toy store, suddenly your kids are the ones dragging you westward. This welcoming spot encourages kids to test out the toys while parents rediscover classic games and other treasures for the young – and young at heart.
Huzzah – a medieval version of the word “hooray” which is what kids say when they walk in the door- caters to the young at heart with a thoughtfully edited selection of diversions for everyone from babies to eight year-olds to even “your friend who is trapped in a cubicle all day and desperately needs to play,” says owner Joe Falzarano.
Transplanted New Yorkers, he and wife Tracey owned stores in the West Village and Hoboken for over a decade before heading to the Left Coast for work (he runs one of the top stand-up comedy schools in L.A.; she’s a movie producer). Seeing a hole for a cool toy shop for the beach communities packed with young families, they finally found the perfect location on Lincoln Boulevard, which is gentrifying at the speed of light.
Don’t be surprised if you get an itch to instate family game night once you set eyes on the selection of classic vintage edition board games like Yahtzee, Twister, Monopoly and a must-own Ouija Board. Encouraging customers young and old to trade in the X-Box for old-fashioned interactive and creative play is precisely the point.
New classics include best-selling games like Goldie Blox, the amazing girl empowerment series that teaches girls construction skills, and The Great Cheese Chase that emphasizes cooperation rather than competition.
For those in search of a giggle, there’s a wall filled with fart machines, Bigfoot action figures, gnarly teeth and gags galore.
That’s A Wrap
The shop managed to score a helium tank (apparently there is a shortage – who knew?) so all kiddos leave feeling inflated (literally) with a balloon. Names of lucky gift recipients are boldly drawn on brightly wrapped gifts and there’s plenty of one-hour street parking in front. Be sure to check the store’s Facebook page for perks and community events. This month, they’ve been giving away free arts and crafts samples like Wikki Stiks, Faber Castell crayons and colored pencil sets.
Huzzah to that!
2010 Lincoln Boulevard
Phone: (310) 452-2900
What are your favorite indie toy stores? Please share in the comment section, as we’d do anything to avoid visiting the plastic filled giant mega stores!
Photo credit: ©2014 Jon Hill