Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Toy Store

ABC & Toy Zone

Let's say you need to buy a gift for a kid, maybe a kid you don't know super well but still care about pleasing. At some stores, it's difficult to choose any kind of present unless you know your recipient is a fan of a certain licensed character. On the other hand, smaller, more charming stores can have limited selections that don't leave enough options open for unsure gift-givers. But ABC & Toy Zone, a local chain with three Twin Cities locations plus one in Rochester, is a veritable good-toy paradise. There are no crappy playthings in sight, but neither are you limited to expensive handcrafted objects. ABC & Toy Zone is also a teaching-supply store, so there are plenty of educational options along with the just plain fun stuff. Puzzles abound for all levels of ability, and there's a big array of Wow vehicles, which rely on friction for their movement so batteries are never a concern. There's a crazy selection of crafting kits at the Richfield store, which is deceptively big and also happens to be in the same strip mall as Patrick's Bakery, so be sure to reward yourself with a delicious pastry after your successful shopping trip. When your gift reaches its target, you're all but guaranteed to be rewarded with an enthusiastic hug and the sweetest misspelled thank-you note ever.

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Best Art Supplies Wet Paint

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Best Boutique I Like You

Best Children's Clothing Store Pacifier

Best Comic-Book Shop Big Brain Comics

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Best Frame Shop Mitrebox Framing Studio

Best Garden Center Mother Earth Gardens

Best Haircut HAUS Salon

Best Head Shop GM Tobacco

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Best Lingerie Store Nordstrom

Best Makeup The Elixery

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Best Men's Clothing Store MartinPatrick3

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Best Place to Buy Furniture The Cottage House

Best Place to Buy Jewelry Hunt & Gather

Best Place to Buy Vinyl Eclipse Records

Best Salon/Spa Mezzanine Salon

Best Smoke Shop Perfect Ash

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Best Used Clothing Store Everyday People

Best Vintage Clothing Store B-Squad Vintage

Best Women's Clothing Store Primp