Hey, you made it! The summer is winding down, which means it’s time to start thinking about heading back to school. (Although FYI: it’s not too late to get to some of these spots and events in the dog days of summer.) That said, there’s nothing like back-to-school shopping to get everyone excited about getting back to class. We checked in with local NYC boutiques for their picks on the coolest back-to-school gear, clothes and more, for kids just starting school to those too cool for it. (i.e, your seven-year-old, etc.) Read on to send your kid back to school in style!
Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store
An “everything but the kitchen sink” independent shop, Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store has many great backpacks at various price points (including State Bags, shown here, that have a compelling “Give Back” model). Plus, lunch boxes such as Yumboxes that make it really easy to pack lunch thanks to little compartments, as well as lots of Stainless Steel options too. To pack along with lunch, Blue Ribbon sells lunch box notes and to write thoughtful and fun messages for your kid. They also have several teaching games and tools, such as multiplication flashcards, sight word cards, games for learning about money, math, reading, and maps too!
232 5th Ave. Brooklyn
This year, CAMP has so many fun and unique products that would make any kid excited to hit the books again. With four shops between Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s your one-stop back-to-school shop for play, media and merchandise that’s enriching and, of course, fun. Popular items include Ooly Left-Right Ergonomic Crayons, colorful EPIC everyday backpacks, corkboards, unicorn erasers, and CAMP's own signature duffle bag.
110 5th Ave
10 Columbus Circle
The Shops at Columbus Circle,
20 Hudson Yards
1 Dekalb Ave.
Popular items for kids returning to school this year at Smoochie Baby include CarlijnQ Backpacks—an all-organic brand from the Netherlands—Old Soles Champsters high-tops, the Rowdy Sprout Frank Zappa tee, My Little Cozmo Dakota Sherpa Jacket and Fairwell sweats.
110 Berry St.
Your local independent bookstore is also often a great place for distinctive writing materials. Book Culture, which has four locations sells pencils, pens and groovy notebooks, as well as stylish ways to tote them around, like pencil cases, backpacks and more.
26-09 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City
536 W. 112th St.
Not many second-hand kids' clothes shops remain, but Jane's Exchange, the largest and oldest children's and maternity Store in NYC, recently opened its second storefront in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Fashion-wise, new this season are fall corduroy pants, overalls, and overall pinafores. High-quality basics from Mini Boden, Hanna Andersen, Primary, Milo, Rock Your Kid are all the rage in shades of softer greys, browns, muted colors and animal prints. Plus, sneakers from Jordans to Vans are attracting kids of all ages.
191 East 3rd St.
443 7th Ave.
Recently featured in Humans of New York, Grandma’s Place is your one-stop-shop for toys, games, and books—it’s a real neighborhood gem in Harlem. Many books and toys they sell have an ethnic focus, such as the books Tea Cakes for Tosh, Sulwe, Curls, and the coloring book Princess Planet. Outdoor, musical, and Melissa & Doug toys are also available.
84 W 120th St.
Parachute Brooklyn offers gently used modern and vintage clothing for kids ages 0-10. The boutique also carries a selection of new accessories as well as small-batch, one-of-a-kind pieces from local designers with a focus on upcycled materials. Big hits this fall include Parkland backpacks, socks from Happy Socks and Little Stocking Co., hair accessories from Chunks and Wunderkin Co., Umbrellas from Hipster Kid, and quilted jackets from SAJ. The shop’s selection of second-hand jackets and sweaters are among the top sellers this season.
151 Norman Ave.
It’s fashion-forward in this downtown NYC shop. Babesta’s newest collection of Rowdy Sprout T-shirts are in, and they're essential for making a style statement this fall. Tagless and made in LA, there's a Rowdy Sprout t-shirt for every music fan, big and little.
56 Warren St.
Two Kids and a Dog
A DUMBO destination for families with kids for, Two Kids and a Dog sells a mix of baby, kid and tween goods. Here’s where you’ll find a ton of toys, kids' clothing, shoes, scooters, birthday gifts and more—i.e., a well-curated inventory of a little bit of everything. Pick up your child’s high-quality essentials here, such as colorful water bottles from Eco vessel and Swell, backpacks from Herschel and Parkland, and lunch boxes from Yumbox and Omielife.
65 Pearl St.
This one-of-a-kind gift shop carries everything from New York-themed mugs and baby gear, to swirly pastel chalk and Grow-Your-Own-Unicorn toy eggs. Staffers say all things organizing are hot for back-to-school, such as the Julie Mollo clutches shown here, whimsical “To-do” pads, feelings trackers, and general self-care goods.
617 Flatbush Ave.
(between Fenimore Street and Rutland Road)
Prospect Lefferts Gardens
main photo: Rowdy Sprout