Goods & Services

Best Toy Store 

Play and Learn

Union Station's wealth of Budweiser and Cardinals souvenirs make it a magnet for downtown tourists, but for the rest of us, not so much. Still, one store stands out from the mall schlock. Play and Learn is a toy store whose offerings are so virtuous that you find yourself wondering: Do kids actually like this stuff? Indeed they do. (Witness the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, which has its own corner at Play and Learn.) The store devotes sizable and prominent floor space to brainy games and puzzles, especially those by ThinkFun, maker of the award-winning Gordian's Knot. For kids who begin every sentence with the imperative "pretend," Play and Learn has quality dolls and figurines, including Groovy Girls (the plain-faced alternative to Bratz), as well as a line of incredibly detailed animals and fantasy figures by the German company Schleich.

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