Address: Dewitt Mall, 99 East Seneca Street, Ithaca, NY
Phone: (607) 272-5582
There is something magical about walking into a store as a child and feeling surrounded by toys. That experience is sadly becoming far less common for the kids of today. First, Toys ‘R’ Us threatened to put small toy stores out of business, and then Toys ‘R’ Us went out of business last year. Big box stores, Barnes & Noble, and online stores are the most common places to find toys now, but small toy stores definitely still exist. They will only continue to thrive if people actually buy things from them, though! And shopping online or at a big box store simply does not provide the same experience for a child as being in a dedicated toy store. A haven of toys such as this exists in downtown Ithaca, and it’s called The Cat’s Pajamas.
The cozy Dewitt Mall is best known as the home of the world famous Moosewood Cafe & Restaurant, which my husband and I make a point of visiting every time we are in Ithaca. Moosewood itself is clearly a local treasure, but so far I have not decided to review restaurants on this blog. There are several other fantastic stores in the Dewitt Mall in addition to Moosewood and The Cat’s Pajamas, so even if you’re not in the market for toys or lunch/dinner, it’s worth visiting.
But back to the toys. This store is heaven for those who love Melissa & Doug. My kids have outgrown most of the toys we have from Melissa & Doug, but they are hesitant to part with them. In particular, their wooden puzzles hold a special place of affection for both kids. We bought most of them from the small toy store that went out of business in our town about four years ago. For a small store, the selection of Melissa & Doug products at The Cat’s Pajamas is vast, and there is something for any child there.
The Cat’s Pajamas has dress up clothes, dolls and stuffed animals, Folkmanis puppets, games, and several clothing items as well. And let’s not forget about their wall of sticker rolls behind the register. In my experience, kids never get tired of stickers, and seeing a wall full of sticker rolls is a real treat for any kid.
There are many great reasons to head to the Ithaca for the day, and add The Cat’s Pajamas to that list. Stop in to Moosewood for dessert afterwards – you won’t be disappointed!