Best Toy Store

City Paper

5004-B Lawndale Ave., (410) 532-8384,

With all things childhood having long ago been “R-Us”-ized into mind-numbing predictability, it’s nice to visit a neighborhood store—in the city!—where the staff actually cares about children. There’s a train track for your kids to play with as you shop, and although Shananigans has the newest smarty-pants toys, you’ll probably walk away with one of the classics you remember, like jacks, or one of those big balls with a handle you used to sit and bounce on, or the water arcade with the button that makes the little charms swim. Shananigans’  tight space is overflowing with toys, any one of which—the Cthulhu Hand Puppet, perhaps?—will snap your child back into consciousness when they finish cramming for the MSAs.

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