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!

Simplicity ABC

Located in the heart of downtown Kirkland, just a block from the waterfront, Simplicity ABC is a locally owned store that offers a place for children and their parents to live, laugh and learn. The refreshingly calm and spaciously laid out store focuses on products for kids in three categories: Live (small-scale furniture, bedding and bedroom décor), Laugh (toys, activities and games) and Learn (books, educational toys and science projects). The staff at Simplicity ABC are always helpful and they offer free gift wrapping, so you can get to the party on time! And when you shop at Simplicity ABC you’re supporting a local business and owner A (whose siblings are B and C – for real).

Good to Know: Simplicity Décor is just a few shops to the east down Park Lane, also owned by A, and offers darling gifts for the adults in your life (or a treat for yourself). We won’t tell!

107 Park Ln.
Kirkland, Wa 98033

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