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!

Uncle’s Games

If your little birthday reveler is into amazing puzzles like 3-D ones or theme games like Catan, then look no further than Uncle’s Games. With a location in Redmond Town Center as well as Crossroads and Tacoma, Uncle’s Games offers a wide variety of traditional items like playing cards, but with a unique twist (think My Little Pony or Spiderman-themed decks). Tons of Ravensburger puzzles abound, along with 3-D princess puzzles for creative minds, brain games for older kids and much more. The best part? You can try before you buy. With a wall of open games and the entire back section of the store filled with tables and chairs, it’s the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon and pick up the perfect gift.

7325 166th Ave. N.E., Suite F150
Redmond, Wa 98052

15600 N.E. 8th St., Suite K10
Bellevue, Wa 98008

4502 S. Steele St., Suite 157A
Tacoma, Wa 98409


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