2021 Shop Local: A Guide to the Best Places to Shop for Kids Gifts - 510 Families
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2021 Shop Local: A Guide to the Best Places to Shop for Kids Gifts

More than ever, small businesses are threatened by the Amazon habits we have cultivated for years and that we sharpened during stay-at-home orders. While it is hard to compete with the convenience and selection of a mass retailer, it is not hard to argue that shopping locally puts money back into the community. We put together this list of the best places to shop for kids in an effort to support our local entrepreneurs.

So many great finds to be had at Toy Go Around in Albany | Photo: Julie Herson

{510} Family Faves

10 Independent East Bay Stores for The Best Children’s Gifts

Adventure Toys (Oakland)

Toys and books on Lakeshore Avenue in the heart of the Lake Merritt shopping area.
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Artist & Craftsman Supply (Berkeley)

This Shattuck store carries art supplies for every interest, from calligraphy to sculpting dough.
Visit >

Candybox (Richmond)

A favorite of families who frequent the Pacific East Mall, this shop has anime merchandise, unique candy, stuffed animals, posters, and trading cards. Beware of erratic hours (not open until 2 pm) and lack of a website to check!


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Five Little Monkeys (Albany, Berkeley)

Toys, puzzles, dress-up, and more. This mini-chain has locations on Solano Ave in Albany and on Berkeley’s Fourth Street as well as Corte Madera, Walnut Creek, Novato, and Burlingame.
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Goldenbug (Oakland, Berkeley)

With two locations, Rockridge and Berkeley’s Fourth Street, this independent shop focuses on apparel and shoes.
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Shoe selection at goldenbug shoes oakland
GoldenBug Kids in Oakland carries shoes for babies, toddlers, and big kids, up to size 5 youth | Photo: GoldenBug Shoes

Mr. Mopps (Berkeley)

This family-owned business in North Berkeley offers a broad selection of toys and books in two adjacent shops on Martin Luther King.
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Surprise (Oakland)

This gift shop on Piedmont Ave is full of stocking stuffers, stuffed animals, and other small toys and games.
Visit >

Toy Go Round (Albany)

New and gently used toys and ride-on items on Solano Avenue in Albany.
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Toy Safari (Alameda)

Always up on the trends (like fidgets) and ready with the classics (even vintage!), this shop on Park Street is the happy place of many little Alameda residents.
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Valentine’s (Oakland)

Loads of baby gifts here. Toys and apparel, both new and used, on Piedmont Ave in Oakland.
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