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Travel BLOG
August 31, 2011

A Kid-Friendly Time-Out in Downtown Santa Cruz

With so-called “brat bans” making the news these days, a parent can feel pretty self-conscious about taking their children out in public. I have to say, this isn’t the case in Santa Cruz. In fact, I feel like Santa Cruz is doing everything right to welcome families with kids of the two and four-legged varieties. Now, it’s pretty much a given that a toy store is a kid-friendly place, but Lolly Tree Toys makes parents feel at home too! There is something so calming about the sky blue walls adorned with local photography. Add a cozy corner complete with loft bed and pillows and I have to stop myself from declaring naptime for my kids! Owner Christy Paul carefully selects toys for their educational and interactive value, and says, “Open-ended toys help stimulate children’s imaginations and creativity, helping them develop problem-solving skills while they’re little.” She is, of course, a kid at heart and has succeeded in hiring a friendly staff that most likely will stop what they're doing to play with your child. Sunday’s are free craft days, but any day of the week, kids are welcome to play and explore while parents shop or take a break in the comfy adult-sized chairs sprinkled throughout the store. There’s a train table, slide and dollhouse to name a few fun activities, but my kids particularly enjoyed slingshotting a loud flying monkey around the store with permission and encouragement from the staff. Next time someone from Santa Cruz talks about someplace warm, inviting, and relaxing, don’t just assume they’re referring to one of our luxurious spas. They just might be talking about Lolly Tree Toys, newly re-located on Pacific Avenue.

 



9 Comments


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  • Blair Petroske 6 years 30 days ago
    Thank you

    Reply
  • Christine@TheAums 6 years 50 days ago
    I know, hard to believe relaxing in a toy store, but it's true! And if moving's out of the question, just come for a visit :)

    Reply
  • Christine@TheAums 6 years 50 days ago
    Brandi, I get so many great ideas when I'm there- for my kids and upcoming friends' birthdays. And you're right...they'll be interested in stuff I wouldn't think of myself. Overall, a great addition to downtown Santa Cruz!

    Reply
  • Runnermom-jen 6 years 52 days ago
    Wow!! I think I need to move to Santa Cruz...seriously, that sounds heavenly!

    Reply
  • Brandi 6 years 77 days ago
    Toy stores that actually let kids play with the toys are incredibly awesome! There have been so many times when I think my daughter wants something and get it home to find she isn't interested in it. The flipside to that is that she often picks things to play with that I never would have thought! I'd love to visit Lolly Tree Toys!

    Reply
  • Christine Candelaria 6 years 82 days ago
    Lolly Trees is great for multi-tasking downtown. You can run your personal errands and take a break to do something with and for your kids. If you have birthday parties coming up, the staff is so helpful. I literally went in and said I have a 5 year old boy bday and 6 year old girl bday and they gave me ideas plus beautiful gift wrap!

    Reply
  • Christine Candelaria 6 years 82 days ago
    Seriously, bringing 4 kids into a store and being able to relax is a true test and Lolly Tree Toys passed!

    Reply
  • Nicole Jacobs 6 years 83 days ago
    Sounds like a place my daughter AND my husband will enjoy visiting. We'll have to plan a trip downtown soon. Thanks for the info.

    Reply
  • Liz Henry 6 years 83 days ago
    I love the idea of Sunday craft days! My family is always looking for free activities on the weekend. Plus, I get to relax a little bit while my daughter plays.

    Reply