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!

Curious Kidstuff

Curious Kidstuff’s interactive displays and train tables make it a shopping trip your kids will want to go on for a change. You’ll find wooden and green toys for little ones (birth to age 12) as well as travel toys, science toys, pull and push toys and detective and spy gear at the more than 18-year-old West Seattle store, as well as balance bikes, dollhouses and trampolines. Plus, the more than 3,000-square-foot space hosts birthday parties in a room complete with decorations, an art activity and cool take-home favor bags for guests.

4740 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116

photo: Curious Kidstuff

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