We love getting lost in a toy shop. Now that holiday season is here, it will take J.J. Abrams to find a way to wrangle us out of Building Blocks, which has two packed-to-the-gills locations. Here are our favorite finds.
Green Toys Pink Dump Truck, $29
The less-macho take on a dirt mover gets the job done in bubblegum colors. It’s made from recycled milk containers, so you’re doing Earth good for the long haul.
Seedling Design-Your-Own Superhero Cape, $40
Your little day-saver will go up, up, and away (or at least into the neighbor’s yard) in a one-of-a-kind cape. Embellish it with felt shapes, glitter glue, stars, and other out-of-this-world art supplies.
Djeco Chbada Cat Pull Toy, $20
After he takes those first steps, put this wooden plaything in his hand for instant bobbling, wiggling, rolling companionship.
Calico Critters Caravan Family Camper, $70
On a cuteness scale from one to ten, we give this preschooler-friendly set a 200. Your little one will love to play house in a vehicle equipped with mini dishes, board games, and more.
Pigzup Game, $20
Build piggy totems in a fun stacking game that teaches numbers, colors, and motor skills. The action moves fast, so be prepared to go hog wild.
Take all the browsing time you need.
Building Blocks, 3306 North Lincoln Avenue, at School Street (773-525-6200); 2130 West Division Street, between Hoyne Avenue and Leavitt Street (773-235-1888 or buildingblockstoys.com).
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St. Helen School Tenth Annual Christmas Fair
What: Rustle up spirit with make-and-take ornaments, cookie decorating, Santa photo ops, family games, a silent auction, and more.
Why: Giddyap, giddyap, giddyap, let’s go.
When: Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: 2347 W. Augusta Blvd., b/t Western Ave. & Oakley Blvd. (773-486-1055).
Roscoe Village Winter Wonderfest
What: Neighborhood businesses get holly jolly with everything from DIY gingerbread houses to magicians to sing-alongs.
Why: The sugar plum fairy visits Baby Take a Bow, and there’s a dance party at Musical Magic.
When: Sat., 5-9 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m.
Where: Roscoe St., at Damen Ave. (773-327-5123).
Chicago Trolley Holiday Lights Tour
What: Previously available to only groups, the narrated urban excursion whisks you past the city’s best shimmery sights.
Why: Passengers can hop off at Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights and Daley Plaza’s Christkindlmarket.
When: Thru Dec. 23. Fri. & Sat., 5:30, 6, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
Where: Tours depart from Chicago Water Works Pumping Station, Michigan Ave., at Pearson St. Info at 773-648-5000. Tickets online at chicagotrolley.com. Adults, $26; children 3-11, $19.
Photos: Courtesy of Green Toys; Courtesy of Hotaling Imports; Courtesy of Blue Orange Games