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!

Whitehorse Toys

With the tagline of “Usual and Unusual Toys and Games,” how you can you go wrong at this Gillman Village spot. A deceptively sprawling store featuring learning activities, entertainment for infants, baby toys, stuffed animals, puzzles, you name it! Whitehorse strives to stock their shelves with safe, child-tested toys for smart and healthy kids and with a huge variety of options that you can’t go wrong with.

317 NW Gilman Blvd., #13
Issaquah, Wa 98027

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