Wednesday, November 20 is Universal Children’s Day – what better day to spend some quality time with the youngsters in your life?
When it comes to shopping, dining, and playing with children, downtown Ithaca is a sure bet. Children’s clothing, toys, books, and delectable delights abound in the downtown shopping district, and there are multiple play hubs centered on stimulating child development. Options for adventurous older youth are revealed in a glance through a storefront window on the Commons, while new and expectant parents can seek out advice from trained professionals who offer high-quality, innovative products and services. Read on to discover the best local gems for children that downtown Ithaca has to offer:
171 The Commons, 272-6885
Alphabet Soup is locally owned and operated providing imaginative toys, puzzles, games, and books for children on the Ithaca Commons for over 25 years. We are open 7 days a week and provide free giftwrapping. Come in and visit an old-fashioned local toy store!
134 The Commons, 272-2012
Bloom, where budding minds go to play, has an indoor play spot for children aged 1-8. It is also an educational and recreational center for families, and a retail clothing store specializing in American made, fair trade, organic, recycled, or handmade clothing and toys for children aged 2-8 and high quality, responsible clothing for women.
The Cat’s Pajamas
Dewitt Mall, 272-5582
Ithaca’s original store for kids and kids at heart! Fun starts one step inside the door at this timeless children’s destination. This unique toy shop holds a variety of classic wooden toys artistically crafted, high quality infant and toddler clothing, animal themed rain wear and much more to bring the inner child out in everyone.
171 The Commons, 272-1237
Jillian’s is a small, mom-owned, local natural parenting store dedicated to helping customers find high quality toys, baby carriers, shoes, breastfeeding products, nursing tops, and of course, cloth diapers! Their community room is full of education and fun… FREE Breastfeeding clinic, new mom groups, a dad’s group, weekly drum circle, baby signing, yoga, and so much more!
119 The Commons, 272-4011
Thrifty shoppers can find gently used items for the whole family. Name brand products fill the shelves for children big and small. Shoes, strollers, play mats, holiday outfits and more.
Life’s So Sweet
116 W. Green St., 882-9842
Host your next birthday party at this kid-friendly candy store. There’s a fully restored and functioning 1949 Bastion and Blessing soda fountain – that’s right, you can get that ice cream float you’ve been craving! Party Packages are intended for children ages 5 and up. Parties start at $15 per person and include crafts, balloons, soda fountain demonstrations, “Create Your Own Sundae or Decorate Your Own Cupcake”, 2 hours of fun party time and a unique take home goodie bag or favor. Contact the shop in advance for more details.
Autumn Leaves Used Books
115 E State St., (607) 273-8239
Autumn Leaves offers the selection and quality of a new book store at used book prices. Their spacious, well-lit store is designed for comfortable browsing. The educated staff is always available to answer questions. The lively children’s corner is a great place to make friends with a new character in a story. Fun for the whole family can be found in this downtown treasure!