This Holiday Season, Buy Local!

Whether you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift or unique birthday present, these local toy stores have just the right mix of selection and customer service to steer you in the right direction.  Our local Mom Reviewers checked them out and found they were well worth the trip. We’ve shortened their reviews here, but check out our website for the full version. So shop locally and enjoy custom perks like story times, knowledgeable owners, gift registries and even free gift wrapping!





Capitol Hill Books

This used-book store atop Capitol Hill is one of the best places to find rare books, including first-edition volumes. The staff is extremely helpful in trying to assist you with whatever book you are trying to find, they will even try to find it at auctions and estate sales for you!

Capitol Hill Books • 657 C Street, SE • Washington, DC •


Architecturally inspired furniture is available at Contemporia. Owned by architect Deborah Kalkstein, only the swankiest and sleekest furniture is on display in the showroom. Some of the featured designers are FreiFrau, Kartell and Woodnotes.

Contemporia • 3303 Cady’s Alley, NW • Washington, DC •

Darrell Dean

Darrell Dean is one of the most established antique dealers in the region. Unique decorative items, for any style, can be found at this shop.

Darrell Dean • 1524 Wisconsin Avenue, NW • Washington, DC •

Eastern Market

Eastern Market is D.C.’s largest food and arts market. Featuring vendors of all kinds seven days a week, including soapmakers, butchers, florists, confectioners and farmers. Artists and craftspeople also sell their pieces on the weekends.

Eastern Market • 225 7th Street, SE • Washington, DC •


GoodWood is an ecelectic store that can only be categorized as an “American mercantile and dry goods store.” The store offers a wide variety of new and old, high- and low-brow products are available making it your place to find hidden treasures.

GoodWood • 1428 U Street, NW • Washington, DC •

Hill’s Kitchen

Established in 2008, Hill’s Kitchen is a gourmet kitchenware shop, located in a renovated townhouse, that is a cook’s paradise. With a variety of bakeware, knives and kitchen gadgets, you will certainly find what you were looking for. The shop also features U.S. state-shaped cookie cutters (except Hawaii).

Hill’s Kitchen • 713 D Street, SE • Washington, DC •

Homebody DC

Homebody DC is your go-to shop for eclectic and whimsical home furnishings. This contemporary themed design boutique has lamps, sectionals and rugs. Don’t forget to look into their full interior design consultations to make sure you’ll have the perfectly designed home.

Homebody DC •725 8th Street, SE • Washington, DC •

Home Rule

Home Rule features houseware items, coffee accoutrements, kitchen gadgets, men’s cosmetics, Provence soaps and a plethora of scented candles. This vast variety of all sorts of products makes Home Rule the perfect place to find gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people.

Home Rule • 1807 14th Street, NW • Washington, DC •

Hugh & Crye

Hugh & Crye features men’s shirts for all body types. Their shirts come in a variety of patterns as well as collar types making it easy to find that perfect shirt right off the rack! The store also offers blazers and pocket squares.

Hugh & Crye • 3212 O Street, NW #5 • Washington, DC •

J. Press

J. Press is a full-service menswear shop that has been providing D.C.’s men with classic American looks for decades. The shop has everything a man needs to look as dapper as he can. Custom suits are never inexpensive, but investment pieces will last much longer.

J. Press • 1801 L Street, NW • Washington, DC •

Jeweler’s Werk

This gallery is a jeweler’s jewelry store offering cutting-edge designers from around the world, Munich especially. Find avant-garde pieces from Rebecca Hannon, Ulrich Reithofer and Sally Marsland. The shop has an ever-changing inventory, so be sure to stop in for a look!

Jeweler’s Werk • 3319 Cady’s Alley, NW • Washington, DC •

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

This independent bookseller has a brainier-than-average clientele. The shop has selections dedcated to tops like travel and politics. It also has a full-service cafe and restaurant which is appealing to those who like to sip on coffee or snack on a scone while reading their latest purchase.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe • 1517 Connecticut Avenue, NW • Washington, DC •


This unique shop carries video games galore! Labyrinth also features jigsaw puzzles as well as board games. “D.C. games” involving politics, legislation and dirty tricks are also available for purchase.

Labyrinth • 645 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE • Washington, DC •

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot

This vintage store offers anything and everything its owners find at estate sales as well as auctions. The shop features such a wide array that the inventory turns over frequently because it appeals to every home.

Miss Pixie’s Furnishings and Whatnot • 1626 14th Sreet, NW • Washington, DC •

Proper Topper

Need that perfect hat for the Steeplechase? Proper Topper is the place to go, offering an array of hat styles including cloches, fedoras and fascinators. Not in need of a hat, no worries, Proper Topper is also a full-scale cothing and gift store. Find socks, watches and frocks from designers like Sweet Marcel, TOKYObay and Bryon Lars.

Proper Topper • 1315 Connecticut Avenue, NW • Washington, DC •


Pulp is one of D.C.’s favorite stationary suppliers. Clientele know where to go to find the perfect greeting card for any and every occasion. Don’t let this small shop fool you, they also have unique Washingtonian gifts like D.C. flag tea towels and other locally made products.

Pulp • 1803 14th Street, NW • Washington, DC •


Established in 2006, Redeem is a boutique store featuring designers like Mary Meyer, Natalie Wood and Jennifer Park. These modern designers appeal to the city’s younger crowd with more casual attire and accessories. The store also gives love to local wares like Mutiny.

Redeem • 1810 14th Street, NW • Washington, DC •


Relish provides D.C. with artsy, international designer brands, including Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela. This light-filled boutique store is the anti-power suit. The shop also offers personal styling services to help fine-tune your new look.

Relish • 3312 Cady’s Alley, NW • Washington, DC •


This consignment shop features only top brands that make it seem like a trendy boutique. Its clientele seek out designers including Rag & Bone, Salvatore Ferragamo and Susana Monaco. Be sure to check the shop out in February and August during their blowout sales to guarantee the best deal!

Secondi • 1702 Connecticut Avenue, NW • Washington, DC •


This quirky shop has something for everyone. Featuring not only houseware items, but also gift shop items. Pendants, kids’ pillows and ceramic vases are just a few of the offerings of Tabletop.

Tabletop • 1608 20th Street, NW • Washington, DC •



Barstons Child’s Play

Review by Janice R., Gaithersburg. MD


My first thought as I walked into Barstons Child’s Play toy store in theCongressional Plaza was, “Wow!  There’s a lot of stuff in here!”  The store is rather small and packs lots of toys, games, activities, dress-ups and books from floor to ceiling.  Despite the small square footage, they carry tons of items.  I went with my two daughters lookingfor Legos for my son.  The sales associate walked us to the Lego section, explained how they were organized by theme and age group, and even suggested some items that my four year old might enjoy.

Barstons Child’s Play • 1661 Rockville Pike • Rockville, MD • 301-230-9040

Additional locations in Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Arlington, VA and McLean, VA •


Located in the heart of Bethesda’s shopping district, Ginger is an upscale clothing boutique. Featuring clothes and accessories for all occasions. The shop carries designers such as Trina Turk, Tracy Reese and White + Warren.

Ginger • 7114 Bethesda Lane • Bethesda, MD •


Do you have trouble finding that perfect pair of denim? Look no further than Luna, featuring a variety of washes and cuts from some of the most trendy denim makers in the business, including Adriano Goldschmied, DL1961 and Hudson. The shop also has a collection of chic jewelry.

Luna • 7232 Woodmont Avenue • Bethesda, MD •


Red Orchard

Red Orchard is a whimsical and unique little gift shop. One-of-a-kind items can alsways be found inside its walls, many of which were produced by local artisans!

Red Orchard • 10253 Old Georgetown Road • Bethesda, MD •


Toy Kingdom

Review by Janice R., Gaithersburg, MD


The thought of taking three young children into a toy store can be a bit overwhelming, but Toy Kingdom put my fears aside by having a very kid friendly environment.  The store is large and spacious, has several hands-on areas (such as a train table and book area), and even holds story times. My children were interested in browsing with me, and once their attention spans were spent, they enjoyed checking out the toy cars and trucks on the train table. The selection at Toy Kingdom is extensive!  They have lots of preschool pretend play and learning toys, building toys, bath and outdoor toys, dolls and a fair selection of children’s books as well.


Toy Kingdom • 36 Maryland Avenue, Unit C • Rockville, MD • 301-251-0220 •



Dash’s of Old Town

This dapper menswear shop has been keeping men looking sharp for over 3 decades! The shop features Luigi Bianchi Mantova suits and ties which are made from the finest Italian fabrics, not to mention Bruno Magli oxfords to complete the look! A line of casual wear is also available.

Dash’s of Old Town • 1114 King Street • Alexandria, VA •

Go Bananas!

Review by Lucia A., Sterling, VA



Nestled in the Dulles Town Center is the envy of all toy stores, aptly named Go Bananas!  The store is stocked wall to wall full of goodies andis bright, colorful and inviting. The staff greeted us warmly as we entered the store. At the back of the store, right below a great big Go Bananas! sign is a small play area with toys to keep children occupied while their parents shop. The items are arranged by theme/interest, suchas books and puzzles, dress up clothes, music and movement, crafts, cars, trucks, trains, scientific items, and even a space specifically for babies. If you are looking for a new lunch box or backpack, they have that covered too.

Go Bananas! • 42395 Ryan Rd. • Ashburn/Brambleton, VA • 703-327-1900

Additional location: 19352 Promenade Dr. • Leesburg/Lansdowne, VA • 571-333-4514 •


Kinder Haus Toys

Review by Sarah G., Leesburg, VA


 Stepping into Kinder Haus Toys is a magical moment of being transported to an enormous toy wonderland; and if the parents’ “oohs” and “ahhs” areany indication, a re-living of your childhood! My four-year old daughter stood agape at the rows of beautiful costumes, and was magnetically drawn to the huge collection of princess outfits, complete with matching glass slippers and wands.  Then, while I browsed the aisles, she headed to the two gigantic train tables, well-supplied with Chuggington and Thomas & Friends trains, where she happily played train conductor for the entire hour I spent shopping.

Kinder Haus Toys • 1220 N. Fillmore St. • Arlington, VA • 703-527-5929 •


Random Harvest

This traditional furniture store carries all of the necessities to complete your home. The shop has its own line of upholstered Beth Aberg pieces, who also happens to be the owner of the shop.  Great selections of antiques and Belgian grain boxes are also available at Random Harvest.

Random Harvest • 810 King Street • Alexandria, VA •

Red Barn Mercantile

Red Barn Mercantile features a hodgepodge of items for both gifts as well as housewares. The shop features a vast array of items, including toys, artisan food products, vibrant rugs and bedding.Letterpress stationary is also available for those that want to send the perfect letter via snail mail.

Red Barn Mercantile • 1117 King Street • Alexandria, VA • 

Toy Corner

Review by Cynda Z., Oak Hill, VA


Toy Corner in Oakton, VA, is all that you expect and want from a local, independent toy store. Carol Zimmerman opened Toy Corner 27 years ago – and she still runs the place.  Toy Corner is a good sized store with an impressive selection of merchandise. They carry all those specialty items you don’t find in the “big box” stores. Carol has been at this long enough that she selects the award winning toys (you know, the ones with those Oppenheim, Parents, etc. stickers) even before they win the awards. She’s a big fan of the timeless toys – the best of books, puzzles, games, dress up, science experiments, crafts – all the types of activities kids have appreciated forever.

Toy Corner • 2918 Chain Bridge Rd. • Oakton, VA • 703-255-3232 •


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