It's no secret that shopaholics love Melbourne. Famous for its boutiques, markets and one of a kind finds, Melbourne is also home to a plethora of inspiring and amazing children's stores. If you find yourself scrambling for the perfect gift for a kid's birthday or baby shower, then this list is for you.
THE LITTLE BOOKROOM
Did you know that Melbourne is lucky enough to be home to the world's oldest children's bookstore? The Little Bookroom opened its doors in 1960 and is the type of store that you could literally spend hours in (even if you don't have kids). Their collection is so clever, creative and innovative, it will inspire absolutely every age group.
The Little Bookroom will make a one-year-old fall in love with Mr Darcy, thanks to an awesome baby Pride & Prejudice book; make a toddler gasp with delight over an incredible pop up book; or inspire a child to read their first novel. In a world filled with technology and gadgets, it's always refreshing to see a child's imagination come alive in a good book. Dr Seuss said it best, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." So off you go and enjoy The Little Bookroom!
The Little Bookroom
759 Nicholson Street in Carlton North | 03 9387 9837
5 Degraves Street in Melbourne | 03 9654 4104
NAUGHTS & CROSSES
Naughts & Crosses' motto is 'Beautiful things for little people,' and they certainly live up to this. Their gorgeous vintage style shop is styled to perfection; every item in the store projects a retro or quirky twist making Naughts & Crosses a feast for the eyes.
Crochet telephones, retro style party frocks, hanging hot air balloons, baby mobiles – it's all positively perfect! There's even a bubble machine out the front, so if you get lost just follow the stream of bubbles (doesn't get much cuter than that). If you love old world treasures but with a modern twist, you will definitely fall in love with this Elwood gem.
Naughts and Crosses
Rear of 104 Ormond Road in Elwood | 0402 612 364
After the success of a thriving online store, Invite Me has recently set up a scrumptious little shop in Yarraville. While their signature collection is gorgeous kids partyware, Invite Me also carries a wonderful range of children's gifts. Whether it be locally made dolls, cute woodland animals, craft kits, giant paper butterflies or delicious looking ice cream push lamps, Invite Me is so darn cute you'll be sure to find something adorable for all ages (and you'll probably walk out with some super cute drinking straws too).
66 Anderson Street in Yarraville | 03 9318 9330
If you are after Australia's largest collection of wooden toys, look no further than Honeybee Toys. Located in Malvern, Honeybee Toys is a colourful and inspiring shop that will no doubt bring back many childhood memories. Honeybee Toys only stock products that are safe for children, environmentally sustainable, and, most importantly, toys that stimulate children's imagination. If you are nostalgic and prefer a wooden version of your favourite toy, whether it be a cash register, teething ring, pram, alphabet set or building blocks, you can always count on Honeybee Toys. I would say these guys have everything but the kitchen sink, only I'd be lying. You can in fact buy a wooden kitchen sink from Honeybee Toys.
264 Glenferrie Road in Malvern | 03 9500 8632
Small Dreams have a fabulous collection of educational, imaginative and musical toys, so be careful taking children in, as they will never want to leave. While the toys are educational, kids will have so much fun playing with them they have no idea they are learning at the same time – bonus! Small Dreams have created a gorgeous one of a kind store in Northcote; it's so amazing it will really make you think twice about ever buying a plastic toy again.
255 High Street in Northcote | 03 9486 4688
If you shy away from main street clothes and prefer something unique for little ones, make Hoochie Coochie your one stop children's boutique. Hoochie Coochie proudly support established and emerging Australian designers, which is a great reason to shop here. They stock popular brands such as Sooki Baby and Rock Your Baby, so your little one is bound to be the best dressed kid in town. If you are shopping for a gift, the staff are very helpful with sizing, trends and functionality. If skinny jeans or tutus intimidate you, never fear, Hoochie Coochie also stock great kids' gifts too.
220 St Georges Road in North Fitzroy | 03 9486 4200
Owned and operated by an ex school principal, it's safe to say Tiny Polkadots really understand what children want. This chic and beautiful Port Melbourne store stocks amazing gifts for newborns to five-year-olds, and has a lovely collection of clothing, accessories and toys. And better still, they have a fabulous little play area for littlies, so you can shop in peace. If you don't have kids and have no idea what to choose, the staff are all mothers so don't be afraid to ask for help. Tiny Polkadots also offer gorgeous free gift wrapping, so buying that perfect present just got easier.
293 Bay Street in Port Melbourne | 03 9676 2532
Located in the lovely Block Arcade, Dafel Dolls & Bears has been open since 1945 and has become a Melbourne institution. The store is packed to the brim with soft toys, dolls, teddies, puppets and miniatures, making it a breeze to choose the perfect gift. Perhaps one of the cutest and unique services I've ever encountered is their adopt-a-doll nursery. If you make an appointment, you can meet with Nurse Lisa to adopt your very own new doll from their nursery. Little girls will utterly adore this novelty.
Dafel Dolls & Bears also offers repair services for teddies and dolls, and even has a doll dressing service, which is too cute for words. So between their makeshift doll hospital, adoption nursery and gorgeous teddy bears, Dafel Dolls & Bears is one of the most heartwarming shopping experiences around.
Dafel Dolls & Bears
282 Collins Street in Melbourne | 03 9654 3882
Image Credit: The Neon Blonde