August 29, 2005

Baby Store Recommendations In [Your City Name Here]

A while back someone [who missed some good stores on his trip to NYC, I believer[ had the suggestion to get people to put together a list of favorite stores in their home towns.

So let's see what we can come up with. If a dad or dad-to-be is passing through your city and can only stop at one or two [or three or four] kid-related stores, where would you send him?

For example:

In NYC, check out Kid-o for learning toys and design, and Estella and Space Kiddets for downtown clothes. For sweet vintage kids clothes, go to Stinky & Minky.

In DC, I'd say head to Piccolo Piggies for what Washingtonians call "hipster" clothes.

48 Comments

In Minneapolis, Pacifier near downtown is a small boutique with a small amount of books, clothes, and toys, but well-selected. In St. Paul, Baby Grand is an indie shop that has a large selection of everything in every style.

In New Haven (CT), Urban Objects has a small baby selection (which they call Urban Baby), that has some nice stuff. Plus it is a good excuse to go to one of the many great restaurants downtown...

At least most of you don't live in a town where everything has to be ordered. I don't even try to shop at the stores in my city. Every time my son sees a delivery truck he thinks it coming to our house.

San Francisco: Lavish is the best.

In Rochester, NY...check out Simon's Baby Furniture (www.simonsbabyfurniture.com). It's the only "one stop shop" in the city for hip alternative baby gear from the likes of Skip Hop, Fleurville, Phil and Ted's, Zooper, Taggies, etc.

Now, if we can only get them to carry Bugaboo...(sigh)

Citikids (http://www.citikids.com/about.php) is the place to go in San Francisco. They've got the largest selection of strollers I've seen in a single store with all the top-tier brands represented.

Though, of course, they don't carry Quinny. I had to bring mine back from John Lewis - http://www.johnlewis.com/ - in London. :)

Boston Area:

Stellabella Toys
1360 Cambridge St., Cambridge
617-491-6290

Henry Bear's Park
stores in Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge
http://home.henrybear.com/

Calliope
33 Brattle Street
Cambridge (Harvard Square)
617.876.4149

Curious George Goes to Wordsworth
1 JFK Street
Cambridge (Harvard Square)
617-498-0062
http://www.curiousg.com/

Black Ink
101 Charles Street, Boston
617.723.3883
also in Harvard Square, Cambridge

Red Wagon
69 Charles Street, Boston
617.523.9402

In Sacramento - Goore's (http://www.goores.com)- family owned and they know everything about anything kid related. Experts in kids furniture, strollers, accessories... etc... That's where we got our Bugaboo instead of the Xplory that we had originally ordered.

The key DT-class stroller store in the Boston area would be Magic Beans in Brookline (see, for example, this DT post announcing the first Stokkes in North America).

The stores associated with the Isis Maternity education centers are probably the best places to shop for newborns and infants.

[must. not. think. of. Saturday. Morning. Shazam/Isis. Show. -ed.]

Buck, with all respect I have to STRENUOUSLY disagree with you about CitiKids. It is the worst place to go for interesting kids' gear in San Francisco, given that we don't have a babies-r-us in town. Citikids would be the next-to-worse if we did. From the surly, inattentive teenage staff, to the general filthiness of the store and everything in it, to the prices, there is not a single redeeming thing about CitiKids. The worst thing about it is the complete failure by the store's proprieters to give any attention to interesting products. The clothes are like what you'd find at a Carter's outlet in the midwest, the furniture (while ample) is hideous, and the strollers are overpriced. A few blocks away in Laurel Heights (actually, on Sacramento in Presidio Heights) there are a dozen or so baby stores within a few blocks of each other that beat CitiKids hands down. Laurel/Presdio heights in the baby district of SF. Just follow the Trinidadian nannies.

Check out modernmini in Menlo Park, CA 650.233.9260
It's a small store, just opened and they carry some unique stuff for babies kids.
They also have a website www.modernmini.com

So, if you look at this quote: "hip alternative baby gear from the likes of Skip Hop, Fleurville, Phil and Ted's, Zooper, Taggies, etc." and think to yourself, "hip? alternative? that stuff is all 100% mainstream! totally soccer mom!"...

just how far gone are you?

[target and babies r us are mainstream, sarah, stores that only a red vines-craving new yorker would make seek out while on the road. -ed.]

I wish I knew somewhere in Tampa. There are a few stores we haven't chaceked out, but that's primarily because we can't justify $36 on a onesie he'll outgrow in 3 weeks.

Sarah, darling...

Up here in GRACOLAND...Skip Hop, Fleurville, etc are A BREATH OF FRESH FREAKING AIR! No one around here knows what a taggie is, no matter how wonderfully useable. A Phil and Ted's Me Too chair would stick out like tiny, well-crafted sore thumb in a sea of hideous plastic/gingham Evenflo behemoths. And everyone...and I mean EVERYONE actually uses that scary Peter Rabbit diaper bag that comes free with a sample of Enfamil during pre-natal classes. A Fleurville is downright lovely to see. And a Skip Hop? A glorious thing.

Don't know what kind of soccer Moms you are used to÷but sounds like yours can come hang with me any day. I'll take their leftovers.

Neil, you clearly have too much sense to be going to this site with any frequency.

More in Boston:

Lester Harry's in Boston (newbury st)
http://www.lesterharrys.com

Bambini in Brookline
http://www.bambini-design.com/

Is there something like the Isis Maternity Education Centers in NYC? What about a nursing specialty store (that carries every breast pump there is?)

[I'm supposed to say, 'go to the Upper Breast Side,' but the woman there shut the door in my wife's face when she was searching for some specific nursing bra with a 'i'm the only one in town who carries it, but I won't help you,' so I won't. She wasn't the only place, btw; I found it somewhere else, and you should, too. -ed.]

Hey dutch,

The Carter's outlets out west and out east are just as bad as the ones in the midwest.

"The clothes are like what you'd find at a Carter's outlet in the midwest,"

If you can stomach the snotty Rittenhouse Ladies, there is a pretty good shop in Philadelphia, Born Yesterday (19th & Walnut St., right off of Rittenhouse Square). It doesn't really have anything particularly unique or "modern". But we've always been able to find something there, be it a gift or something for our nut goody.

Other than that, I've got a lot of ideas for a new shop, if someone wants to join force$.

In CHICAGO:

For high-end (read very expensive but also very cute) baby clothes, I would suggest MiniMe on Mich. Ave. in the Bloomingdale's mall. In the same bldg. you can also find Galt Toys--not a whole lot of selection, but they are one of the few in the area who carry things like the Stokke crib.

In Albuquerque,
We like:
Other Mothers - Trade Kids Clothes, Maternity, and other junk. Their stock turns over about once a week so it's always fun to go look.

Out of the Blue - Nice local toy store. I admit to spending several hours playing while my daughter slept in my arms.

My two favorite kid stores in New York City: Kidding Around amd Ibiza Kidz.

Dutch, I can appreciate some of your points for sure re: Citikids but I didn't have as bad an experience there as it seems you've had. The day I went in a pleasant, middle-aged gent demonstrated the ins and outs of no less than four strollers I was looking at and he patiently answered every inane question I could come up with. While the aesthetics left a bit to be desired, I was treated well during my visit which counts a lot in my book. Then again, I was solely on a stroller tour and didn't pay much attention to the other stuff or the rest of the staff.

That said, I don't live far from the Laurel Heights baby corridor so will take your advice and check it out.

Denver:

Studio Bini- Mostly locally designed clothes (wish they made them in my size), some accessories. Moved to Speer Blvd. & 10th, althought I think there is one at Lowry too.

Real Baby- Accessories, Bugaboos, etc. No furniture to speak of. 32nd and Lowell.

In San Francisco, the best baby store is Giggle on Chestnut St. The store is small but the selection is very well-edited.

BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA -

MODERNMINI
2087 AVY AVE. MENLO PARK , CA 94025
WWW.MODERNMINI.COM

THEIR SITE IS GREAT TOO !

(Boston area)

I agree, Magic Beans is awesome.

Also, a little further out, check out The Construction Site in Waltham. As the name implies, they specialize in construction toys, so you've got Lego, K'nex, Erector Sets, cool stone and wood blocks, etc., etc.

To chime in w/Helena - WHY isn't there a decent nursing specialty place in NYC?!! Someone please open one. And don't even mention the Upper Breast Side. That woman seems cuckoo -- the last thing you need when you're struggling with a new baby and giant boobs!

In St. Louis...

City Sprouts on Delmar in the U. City Loop carries a well edited selection of books, clothes, toys and furniture.

Chocolate Soup at the corner of Clayton and Mason in West County offers a nice selection of high quality and less common baby and kids clothes at multiple price points.

Laguna Magoo Toys has multiple locations and offers a great selection of better quality, ie not mass market, toys.

Imagination Toys on Clayton in Frontenac offers an excellent selection of learning toys and books. Independently owned.

St. Louis Mills Mall offers tons of kid / baby outlet shopping. Carters, Osh Kosh, Nautica Kids, Tommy Kids, Gap/Baby Gap, a Laguna Magoo and a Books A Million. Oh, and they have two good sized, kid safe indoor playgrounds, an indoor skating rink, indoor skatepark, ESPN outdoor racing park, mini-golf, etc...

Santa Monica: LifeSize Kids @ Fred Segal.
And all my NYC friends swear the Bugaboo is the new Peg Perego Milano- great expensive stroller for the first year, but then too big and unwieldy after that when kids are walking and you need something that folds easily, so they all wind up with Maclaren Techno.

Since you mentioned the Bugaboo, Marc, I just wanted to say that after having three kids, the youngest just turned one. I really wonder how do people get along with a child in one hand, three bags on the shoulders and somehow having to fold and lift the Bugaboo so that the airline checking gate man can take it away.... ?
Or just lifting it ten times a day to get it in and out of the car...

And since you mentioned the Maclaren, I was actually able to
manage the flight scenario with the Maclaren time and time again.

just my two cents.

Seeing as I live in bloody Ottawa, the options are limited, however, I do like Kiddytown, but really because its the only damn place out there.

I have to confess, I buy my "girlfriends with girls" dresses from April Cornell in the Glebe, very frou frou. I have all boys so generally, whatever fits and smells clean.

So, I peruse ebay for all the necessary accoutrements like naturino shoes and Birks for kids.

Vancouver has Crocodile, but everyone with spawn knows this.

Back to the original post's motivation about dads passing through your town, San Franciscans, I have a question: of the places you've mentioned, which are worth the effort to get there if you've only got your feet, a stroller, a Bjorn, and public transportation (and little sense of the layout of neighborhoods)? We're coming at the end of Sept. for my wife's conference, and it'll be just me, babygirl, a Maclaren Global, and a bus/trolley daypass for 4 or 5 days while's she's at the convention center (we're staying in Union Square). So any help/specifics would be appreciated (that post about following nannies to a specific neighborhood or block of unnamed stores? I'd just get lost--not good with an 11-month-old). Thanks!

Near our old neighborhood in LA, Grometville and Furthur Kids are a block or two apart in Silverlake.

We're now in Bakersfield, home of cows, grapes, oil, Buck Owens, and Republicans, and I don't know why you'd pass through, but just in case, there isn't a lot. (We live at Target--don't hiss at me! For all you modernists out there, I just had to replace the '50's vintage short/squat Danish modern rocker I spent months on eBay finding with Target's knockoff of the Ikea Poang because after 9 months, my wife was fed up with trying to nurse at 2 a.m. with no head/neck support, fyi.)

Anyway, in Bako--there was a place called Lemonstix that was 3/4 adult home furnishings and 1/4 kiddie clothing, and had stuff like Zutano, Neptune Zoo, and Von Dutch Baby, but a water main broke and flooded it.

We like a cafe/bakery/boutique called Sweet Surrender (great cookies), which has in its boutique of seasonally changing home accessories and women's clothing a baby corner with stuff from Sozo, Best Buddies/Chums, the occasional Diaper Dude, etc.

JM's Just for Children is an all-purpose baby store--expensive (for Bako) clothes, cribs, strollers, etc. But they do carry Maclarens and Peg Peregos (but even your dreaded Babies R Us, which is here too, does that), plus diaper bags like Petunia Picklebottom and Fleurville.

Lou Ella's was an old, family-owned place that specialized in upscale (for Bako) kids' clothes like Le Top Baby and stuff for christenings. It was sold to new owners and moved, and though they said they were going to keep the old brands, I did see an ad trumpeting the arrival of Juicy Couture Baby. (Yikes!)

That's it for Bako. BTW, my aunt is a lactation nurse/specialist who owns a nursing speciality store (with classes, consulations, products, etc.) in Tarzana, CA (the Valley) called MommyZone (www.mommyzone.com), and they have lots of stuff and very helpful staff.

In Grosse Point Woods, MI there's "Madi Lu & Ethan Too" on Kerchival. The staff and owner are quite possibly the friendliest people around.

Jason- The best thing to look for in San Francisco, I think, is baby stuff created by local designers that really isn't available anywhere else. The store I mentioned in my first post, Lavish, has a lot of that kind of stuff. I think the place Nicole mentioned is similar.

As far as getting around, don't be afraid to get lost, even with an 11-month old. There really aren't any neighborhoods in SF that are dangerous during the day at least (in fact, I'd say the scariest neighborhood to have a baby is right near Union Square- the tenderloin. lots of hypodermic needles and human feces on the sidewalks) Get out and see Hayes Valley or the Mission or the Marina. The shangri la of SF high-class baby shopping is Presidio Heights, on Sacramento Street starting at Presidio. It's where rich Marina chicks with giant diamond rings go to settle down and raise a family. Take the California Street Cable Car to Van Ness, walk one block north to Sacramento, get on the "1 California" bus and that will cross Pacific Heights and take you to Presidio in no time. Beware this bus though, as
this might happen to you. If you take the cable car to Van Ness, you avoid most of that though.

Also, be sure to check out the store at SFMOMA, you don't have to pay admission to the museum to shop there and they have the best collection of baby toys and design-type kiddie stuff around.

those of you engineer types coming to Beaverton or Hillsboro, OR (Portland suburbs) to the Nike World HQ or one of the many Intel campuses, with no time to go downtown, can easily check out Segal's for Children (the website is lacking but it has directions; http://www.segalsforchildren.com/), where they keep a healthy stock of Stokke, Bugaboo, Robeez, Fleurville, BumbleBags, PPB, Maclaren, and BOB products (among many others). Their staff is very knowledgeable and courteous and their product assortment is definitely worth checking out. And the clearance section can yield some pleasant surprises!

I confess to doing most of my kid shopping at Target, Nordstrom Rack and the nearby consignment store. Our budget cannot accomodate trendy or hip baby things, so I just stay away from the cool stores downtown... but I think I'll go check them out this week and report back, for those of you who may come visit the Rose City soon.

Just outside of Atlanta is a great store- Serindipity Baby (serindipitybaby.com). It doesn't carry strollers, highchairs and things like that, but it does have a cute clothing/bedding selection.

Greg,
You've got to get out of your own DC neighborhood once and a while! Over here in Capitol Hill (where we're having a mini-echo baby boom), we've got Dawn Price Baby just down from Eastern Market on 7th Street SE. They've got a good selection and friendly service. Some people think it's overpriced, but they probably don't shop in Georgetown for baby clothes, either.

Hello Daddy Types,

This is Mary, owner of a super-cute baby store in La Canada, California. We specialize in designer baby clothes, Child Halloween Costumes, swimwear, Christening clothes and lots more. We carry items for children from preemie through infant, toddler, child or kid, and for both boys and girls. Some examples of our boutique brands include Le Top Baby Clothes and Anita G Girls clothing. So if you are in the Glendale / Pasadena area of Los Angeles, please stop by our store. Or, shop online. Thanks so much and hope to see you soon!

[Thanks, for the heads up, Mary, but free-riding my site to the top of the search engine results with a dozen links to your store isn't what I call super-cute. Rather than just delete this comment--deep down, you see, I'm a nice guy--I decided to keep it to make a point: I'm a lot more interested in reader/customers' recommendations than in store owners' plugs for their own outfits.

I AM working on a top-secret two-part system, though, that will allow retailers and manufacturers and such to get the word out about their offerings. The first part I'm calling "wordy, effusive announcement accompanied by free samples and sucking up delivered by perky, young college grads," and the second part is tentatively called, "pay me to distribute your commerical information alongside my editorial content." Still working out the details on those, but I'll be sure to let you know when they're ready. I think they could be huge. -ed.]

Bambini design in Brookline MA is the best childrens store in Boston. They have a really unique collection of furniture, clothes, toys as well as the bugaboo. They are the Bugaboo experts, not only do they stock it, they also put it together and won't let you leave until they are sure you know how to use it. They have a website which does not give justice to the store,so if in the area its worth a trip. www.bambini-design.com or call 617 7304114

In Brookline, check out Village Baby - lots of upscale clothes (think Tea Collection, etc), interesting selection.

Also, I just came back from Philly, and I loved Happily Ever After - TERRIBLE website, great store. Most items (books, games, toys, clothing) ingeniously grouped by theme (Muppets, Sendak, Seuss, Curious George, etc). Sweet!

ok, so if you're looking for toys in Downtown Portland, OR check out Finnegan's Toy Store (www.finneganstoys.com), it's on the corner of 9th & SW Yamhill, across from the Public Library (and a great store for grownups called The Real Mother Goose). Hubby and I checked it out yesterday and I was promptly warned that he should never be sent there by himself... they have all the cool old-fashioned wooden toys, Duncan Yo-Yos, paper dolls, plus Brio and Lego, etc. Very sweet store! Make sure you go to "Big Finnegan's", they have a "Little Finnegan's" shop next door that's geared to novelties for grownups, not really stuff for the kids.

If you ever make it to Belgium, there are some gorgeous baby shops there. For some strange reason, there are tons of really funky Belgian designers doing baby/kids clothes and tons of baby stores selling it. And when I say funky I mean these clothes are not as twee as French stuff and not as out there as some Dutch stuff.

Usually they're in more adult palette colors--they're not afraid to use greys, plums, deep rust colors; I've even seen black stuff (though that was too sober even for me). The cut of the clothes is great--they seem to follow the body much better and not make my daughter look like a mini-rapper. My favourite Belgian kids designers are Ten, Simple Kids, Maan, Quincy (designer used to do kids clothes at Dries Van Noten), and Minisu. Some cool Dutch ones are Kidcase, Ikks, Lottum and Imps & Elfs(sic).

If you are in Brussels, the best places are Kat en Muis (32 Antoine Dansaert), Boucle D'Or (Rue de Magistrat, Ixelles), Claude Hontoir (14 Place Brugmann, Ixelles), Parachute Jump Junior (206 Rue Washington) and Tinok (165 Avenue Louise, Ixelles). Needless to say they are really expensive, which leads me to DOD Junior a store next to Tinok. It is excellent--it's a designer outlet for babies/kids and if you hit the January/July sales you can get a seriously cool wardrobe for your kid for under 100 euros. If you're in Antwerp, there are tons of cool kids stores in the main shopping area near the APC store. If you're in Gent there's another discount designer store stocked with Belgian/Dutch/French designers called Kids Outlet (Korte Meer 6A)--though its not as cheap as DOD.

[holy smokes, this is an awesome list. All that's missing is Margiela baby clothes... -ed.]

Canada - why has no one talked about the great shopping up here? Of course there's Sears or e-Children for the zapp. Other great shopping experiences include:

The Hawthorne Tree in Calgary for children's clothing

Modernkid is scheduled to open Oct 2005 in Vancouver (think modernseed but in Canada!) www.modernkid.com

Online shopping for haba toys at www.peekaboobaby.ca based out of Edmonton

Cinnamon Baby in Edmonton

And soon enough...Holt Renfrew will be opening their baby department at locations across. I believe this is scheduled to open by the end of 2005.

If you're in Toronto, Canada check out Moms to be...and More (formerly Crayons)

and on the worldwide web, tyhere's www.pinkgorillas.com
kidscase, kik-kid, imps & elfs, mr. tiny, batik dinosaurs and giraffes, and more -- very cool clothes age 0-6 yrs

Hi -
We're going to New York in March - does anyone have a list of great baby/kid stores? We want to hit some of the more modern ones...
Thanks Kerry

RHODE ISLAND:

Thank goodness two women in RI finally opened a store that isn't a Babies R Us. No stroller, but lots of accessories and diaper bags. Everyone is knowledgeable and if they don't have it for you, they order it immediately!

Bellani Maternity www.bellanimaternity.com
in Warwick, Rhode Island


If you are on the islands, check out Little Bits in Newport, awesome products, and Monica is super easy to work with

In Atlanta: Try New Baby Products on Cheshire Bridge Rd.

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