Shops for keeping the kids entertained

We count down London's best shops to thrill the kids. And hopefully tire them out a bit.

Yes, if you're looking to buy children in London - we round up the best outlets.

We josh, of course.

A recent study showed that the emotions of "excitement" and "happiness" are pretty much one in the same in children. So how must we keep the little darlings happy?
Keep them excited.

... but that's no easy feat when you're doing the weekly grocery shop. So maybe intersperse your regular shopping route with one of these hotbeds of excitement for child-like minds. (They'll probably keep dads entertained too.)

Go on, give the kids a treat...

Hamleys Of London
188-196 Regent Street Mayfair W1B 5BT
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: One of the world’s most famous, Hamleys is the king of London’s toyshops. Multiple floors of fun, toy testers and exotic, unheard of games make it a child’s paradise. Located on Regents Street, Hamleys is an experience; after all, it’s the world’s biggest toy store.

The Toy Box
223 Victoria Park Road Homerton E9 7HD
Region: Homerton
Nearest Station: London Fields (0.6 miles)

AIL Says: The Toybox is an independent shop in the East End’s Vitoria Park Village. Selling a mixture of contemporary and classic toys and games, the shop is a big hit with the local families. Providing an old fashioned service is part of the charm and the great selection of toys does the rest.

225 Ebury Street Belgravia SW1W 8UT
Region: Belgravia
Nearest Station: Sloane Square (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Celebrity fans alert! Semmalina was established by television’s Emma Forbes and her sister Sarah. Selling sweets, wooden toys, plastic dinosaurs and clothing, Semmalina is a popular stop on the Belgravia circuit. What is even more popular is the shop’s bespoke party bag service for kids and adults alike.

Forbidden Planet
179 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8JR

Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: You are never too old to be into the likes of Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Spiderman and other cult brands and Forbidden Planet is proof of that. However, just because adults love the collectibles on offer at the Shaftsbury Avenue shop that doesn’t mean to say that children don’t appreciate them just as much. Dinosaurs, spaceships, light sabers? How could they not?

Olive Loves Alfie
84 Stoke Newington Church Street Stoke Newington N16 0AP
Region: Stoke Newington
Nearest Station: Stoke Newington (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: Olive Loves Alfie is located on Stoke Newington’s Church Street. The shop is a chic boutique of kids clothing, which parents might want to utilize for a dose of individual, kitsch design . There are also equally brilliant toys, games and books with a classic heirloom quality, but the real winners at Olive Loves Alfie are the natty designs for discerning little ones.

10 Greenwich Market Greenwich SE10 9HZ
Region: Greenwich
Nearest Station: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich

AIL Says: Tired of Cluedo? Bored of Risk? Then get yourself down to Compendia in Greenwich Market. A traditional games shop selling board games, playing cards, dominoes and jigsaw puzzles, Compendia is a fascinating throwback. Pick up a new set of dominoes, a classic dice game or grab the latest board game out of Japan.

Disney Store
350-352 Oxford Street Marylebone W1C 1JH
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Bond Street

AIL Says: Man, woman or child; everybody loves a little Disney in their life. At London’s Disney flagship store on Oxford Street, customers are called ‘guests’, staff are ‘crew members’ and there is no shortage of fairy dust in the air. Find anything from princess costumes to board games – all Disney branded, of course.

International Magic Shop
89 Clerkenwell Road Clerkenwell EC1R 5BX
Region: Clerkenwell
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: The International Magic Shop is a family run business on Clerkenwell Road. The name says it all; it is a treasure trove of trickery and deception. Enter the small red door and the shop opens up. The likes of whoopee cushions and wigs line the shelves but there is much more going on behind the counter. Magic books, complicated tricks and instructional DVDs are on sale to those who take the game of magic seriously.


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