Chicago shoppers kick off holiday season with 10th annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago residents were invited to embrace their inner child on Saturday.

Many looking to get a jump start on holiday shopping attended the 10th annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

It's a celebration in which independent toy shops kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local. The events include child-friendly activities such as face painting, craft projects, live performances and, in many toy stores, a charitable component to give back to their local communities.

Several stores throughout the Chicago area were offering special discounts Saturday.

"It's an opportunity to come out to your neighborhood toy store, visit with the toy store owners and the folks that work there," said Kimberly Mosley, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. "It's the date they open the doors to the community to come in and it's a big thank you."

Mosley said it's important to "support your local community."

As the holiday shopping season begins, Chicago-based ASTRA encourages shoppers to remember local businesses this year.

"You've got that expertise, you've got folks that know the products that are on their shelves," Mosley said.

The Best Toys for Kids Award honors the new and improved toys that promote open-ended or creative play, incorporate innovative design features and maintain exceptional safety standards.

See the list of this year's winners and past winners at besttoys.astratoy.org.
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