Another weekend, another birthday party and another we-gotta-find-a-good-gift shopping mission. If you’re tired of feeling uninspired in the big box stores and ready to up your gift giving ante, we’ve rounded up 16 shops where you can score the perfect (unique) gift for that special birthday boy or girl on your list. From 3-D puzzles and brain games, to pirate treasures and vintage toys, your gift is sure to be the hit of the party!

Snapdoodle Toys

With two Eastside locations, Snapdoodle Toys is the perfect place to let the kiddos play and wander the aisles in search of the perfect gift. Full of the birthday standby’s like LEGOs, board games and arts and crafts, Snapdoodle also sells baby items, costumes, train and marble sets, workbooks, stuffed animals and creative science and craft items for a variety of ages. The best part? Snapdoodle has a rewards program and Birthday Club for the Littles as well as free gift wrapping, Paint Me a Story events on Fridays, monthly LEGO meet-ups, Crafternoon Wednesdays and a free latte or tea (for adults) while shopping at the Kenmore location.

Good to Know: The newly remodeled Doodle Zone at the Kenmore location is available to rent for your next birthday bash or festive event.

7330 N.E. Bothell Way
Kenmore, Wa 98028

15752 Redmond Way
Redmond, Wa 98052


photo: Jennifer B. Davis

Still stymied? Other ideas include picking up an animal-themed gift at the zoo (Woodland Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium or Cougar Mountain Zoo) or the Aquarium gift store. Arty-themed gifts can be found at the Seattle Art Museum or MOPOP gift shops. And check Bellevue’s new KidsQuest Museum or the Pacific Science Center for STEM-themed gifts.

Where do you like to shop for cool and unique birthday gifts. Share your ideas with others in the Comments below.

— Jennifer B. Davis, Allison Rasmussen & Sara Billups