Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Family Shop
Constitution Ave. at 10th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20560
It may be surprising, but one of the best Washington, D.C., toy stores is actually a gift shop in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Called the Family Shop, it has an excellent selection of plastic and rubber insects, reptiles, mammals and dinosaurs available by the fistful in bins. There’s also a wide selection of books about nature. Of course, if you’re also looking for postcards, t-shirts and mugs with “Washington, D.C.” on them, this shop has you covered, too. An added bonus at this and all Smithsonian shops: No sales tax.
Barston’s Child’s Play
5536 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20015
Girls and boys can find plenty to smile about at Barton’s Child’s Play. Sure it carries trendy, eco-friendly toys, but it’s also packed with a little bit of everything else making it the go-to place for local parents looking for many types of toys under one roof. Since its debut in the mid-1980s, four sibling stores have opened in the suburbs and Baltimore. A helpful Web site lists toy recommendations by age. One of the best toy stores in Washington, D.C., Barston’s also holds story times three times a week.
International Spy Museum Store
800 F St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20004
It’s no secret that one of the best Washington, D.C., toy stores is part of the International Spy Museum. It’s easy to find ultra-cool stuff in this well-stocked store. Junior spies will find all the tricks of the trade: walkie-talkies, invisible ink, nifty flashlights and lots of how-to books. But even kids who don’t want to act like sleuths might enjoy the wigs, sunglasses and hats.