There’s nothing like an authentic toy store to transport you back to childhood and fill you with nostalgia.
Pittsburgh parents seeking a special toy shopping experience have plenty of mom-and-pop classic toy stores and some unique specialty national shops to choose from for their little one’s playthings.
Whether it’s holiday gift giving time or your special tots birthday, it’s hard to find quality toys in big box chains or online shopping. If the child you’re buying for is not your own, it’s hard to know what toys they want and what toys they already have, so a Giftya personalized egift card is the perfect option to ensure the child gets exactly what they want! You can customize the egift card and easily send it to the gift receiver — an easy, thoughtful gift for any occasion!
Finding a neighborhood locally owned toy shop guarantees a charming experience and personalized service. Here are the best mom-and-pop shops to buy toys in PIttsburgh:
630 Smithfield Street
108 Ivy Street
5856 Forbes Avenue
With three locations in Downtown, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside, S.W. Randall is Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest specialty toy store.
Bringing children delight since 1970, you’ll find everything from classic playthings to the latest trends and character toys. WIth over 20,000 items in stock, you could easily get lost in this magical toyland like no other in the Burgh.
“...I hope this place stays open forever. It's really the coolest toy store I have ever stepped foot in, and I wish I would have gone there as a kid. My mind would have been absolutely blown. I highly recommend bringing kids here, and give them a chance to explore this awesome toy store.” - Yelp Review
5421 Walnut Street
Transport back in time to a traditional neighborhood variety store at the Shadyside Variety Store.
Located in the heart of the quaint Shadyside shopping district, the cozy shop offers simple classic toys for every age, along with new toys like coveted LEGO sets and craft kits. They even have an antique cash register for a charming toy buying experience.
“Love this store, they are always happy to show you new items and find something to meet your personal or gift needs. So much to see, don't forget to look up and see what is on the higher shelves...” - Yelp Review
3609 Butler Street
The perfect, hip boutique featuring everything you need from infants through toddlerhood, in Pittsburgh’s hippest neighborhood, Lawrenceville.
Dedicated to providing organic, sustainable, ethically-made goods, from apparel and dinerware, to quality books and playthings for the coolest kids on the block.
“...They have the coolest toys and learning activities...They also carry a lot of gender neutral items which I loved!...They do choose them and source them with great care to ensure that they can last generations and be used between siblings...Overall, this place is great!...” - Yelp Review
558 Lincoln Avenue
Another must stop for parents from newborns to toddlers featuring unique, natural and sustainable toys and gifts, cloth diapers, and baby and parent accessories, Happy Baby Company is located in the heart of up and coming Bellevue.
You’ll find quality brands like Melissa & Doug, Skip Hop, Tagu, Haba, Eco-Kids, and Fat Brain Toys in this quaint shop with a very friendly and helpful staff. They’re also Pittsburgh’s experts on cloth diapering and babywearing!
“Super cute and super unique clothing, toys, and health and wellness items for babies and toddlers...Happy Baby Company is amazing!” - Google Review
738 Copeland Street
This specialty shop is full of all things Kawaii-- “loveable, cute, adorable” -- Kawaii refers to the culture of cuteness in Japan.
From bento boxes and kitschy stationary, to plush toys and collectables, there’s no other shop quite like it in Pittsburgh.
"...Definitely the most awesomeness per square inch. I can't go in without buying something. Staff are great. Want something you don't see? Ask! They are very helpful and help create a welcoming atmosphere. Love this place.” - Yelp Review
223 Commercial Avenue
Tues-Fri: 10AM-5PM | Open until 6PM on Thu
Another one of a kind speciality shop located in Aspinwall, Lynlott Miniatures is heaven for dollhouse and miniature enthusiasts of all ages.
You can explore the vast collection including pieces from select artisans, estate sales, and custom built dollhouses. They can even restore old dollhouses for you.
Get lost in the exquisite details found in every miniature item from delicate afternoon tea settings to realistic miniature macbooks.
“...Sales and crafts people really know what they're doing; they carry quality houses (no tab and slot) and they build/custom build for you, too...Attention to detail on their houses is fabulous.” - Yelp Review
There are some quality national specialty shops that are worth a trip. Here are our picks for the best national specialty shops for toys in Pittsburgh:
172 Bakery Square
1500 Washington Road
Hours Vary by location
Enjoy a friendly, hands-on environment and engage with the knowledgeable toy experts on staff to find the perfect gift for littles ones from birth through 11+.
From STEAM toys and puzzles to games, dolls, stuffed animals and books, you’ll find a wide array of quality toys at Learning Express.
“...They are patient with the kids and their bazillion questions!...They make bday gifts, favors, and holidays just so dang easy!” - Yelp Review
1000 Ross Park Mall Dr D04
LEGOs have a cult follow from toddler to teens to the young at heart.
The magical building block has an empire of special building sets from Star Wars and Marvel, to Disney and their own line of elves, architecture, and robotic building sets.
The new store located in Ross Park mall features some amazing showpieces from a realistic Bugatti to an ornate Asian Pagoda, the Millennium Falcon to a grand working ferris wheel. There are play tables to build on with Duplo pieces, build your own character bins, and a wall of bin for a pick your own piece pack.
“...They have a good selection of different types of Legos grouped by age...in the back of the store they have an area called "pick and build." I inquired about this section and was told that you get a container and fill it with as many different color Legos you want and only pay what you are able to close the lid on...” - Yelp Review
Ross Park Mall, 1000 Ross Park Mall Dr D04
South Hills Village, 301 South Hills Village Spc 1135A
The Mall at Robinson, 100 Robinson Centre Drive Spc 1110,
A teddy bear or stuffed animal is one of the most classic, heartwarming toys a child can posses. Help your child create their very own stuffie from scratch at Build-a-Bear!
Children can pick their favorite furry friend to bring to life, from traditional teddies to their favorite characters. The customization doesn’t stop there — they can add sounds (like a personalized recorded message!) and scents, and last but not least, their iconic special heart. After giving them their first hug to make sure they are just right, they can give their new friend a bath, then choose an outfit for them to wear.
They even host birthday parties, just pick a package and their team does the rest.
“It's always great to see a child's face light up. I know this place is a chain and it is most certainly a gimmick of a chain. But to see a child smile ear to ear...or even have a meltdown is worth coming in here.The selection rotates depending on what's popular at the time and the prices are usually reasonable...” - Yelp Review