Best children's toy store 

Woodbury Mountain Toys

Inside Chittenden County

Woodbury Mountain Toys

Toys "R" Us

That Woodbury Mountain Toys is independently and locally owned may matter to the grownups, but when kids enter the jam-packed shop on Montpelier’s State Street, all they care about is play, play, play. Karen Williams-Fox bought the toy store 11 years ago from the original owner. Luckily, her vast merch wasn’t in the basement during Montpelier’s flood this spring.

What’s hot this year? Gogo’s, says sales associate Emily Diferdinando, 31 and the mother of 5-year-old twins. Kids can’t tell from the outside what little plastic figures are in the three-to-a-pack collectibles, so “they have to take a risk,” she says. Also popular is the foam Stomp Rocket, which even little tots can safely load, shoot, chase and reload. Hello, exercise — outdoors.

SEVEN DAYS: What do you wish you could play with right now?

EMILY DIFERDINANDO: We actually do play with toys for most of the time we’re here. But it would be the Thunder Tube. It’s a musical instrument that looks sort of like a drum with a long string attached to it … it is so cool; it makes these very dramatic, satisfying thunderclaps.

— Pamela Polston

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