comScore

Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Toy Store

Peapods

Independent toy stores are getting fewer and farther between: Essence of Nonsense in St. Paul and Wonderment in Minneapolis and St. Paul closed last year. But luckily things are going well for Peapods, which relocated in January from Snelling and St. Clair to bigger digs in the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood, a storybook-perfect area that fits this delightful shop to a tee. The spacious new digs feature gorgeous blond wood and plenty of breathing room. While browsing contentedly, you won't find battery-operated hunks of plastic with blaring speakers and flashing lights; the focus here is on toys that require using some imagination. You will see whimsical wonders like gargoyle and peacock puppets; board books for babies featuring the art of Monet and Picasso; plenty of wooden toys, including swords, fishing poles with magnets to catch wooden magnetic fish, and made-in-Minnesota cars and trucks; tons of games and puzzles; play tea sets made from recycled materials; and sleek rattles from Germany. You'll also find super-cute clothes for babies and toddlers, plus a selection of cloth diapers. Peapods' toys are very appealing to kids, yet they also engage rather than annoy grown-ups.

Best Toy Store (2013) Peapods

BEST BABY GOODS STORE (2008) Peapods

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