Raising Wilshire

A blog about parenting and car-lite living in Los Angeles

Month: May 2018

The 4 Best Non-Obvious Places For Children’s Toys in Santa Monica

Wilshire Matute plays with his BBB toy on his 1st birthday party.

This is part of an ongoing series where I talk about where I buy stuff for Wilshire in Santa Monica.

They say that play is the work of children – and my child takes his play just as seriously as anyone else. I want to facilitate that play through tools (toys) that allow my son to stretch his creativity, develop his cognitive skills and vocabulary, and bring him joy and laughter. We have gotten Wilshire some of his toys online (namely his train set), but I have had some good times searching for things that might resonate with him in Santa Monica, especially in some not-so-obvious places. They include:

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Raising Wilshire in Arizona

Climbing up “A” Mountain at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.

Wilshire Matute made it to Arizona in March. We traveled to Scottsdale, AZ to stay with friends. Amongst the highlights: Spending time with our friends’ dogs, Annie and Tesla; seeing abandoned bus shelters; and going to visit the McCormick-Stillman Train Park.

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These shoes are for walking (Santa Monica edition)

This is part of an ongoing series of resources tailored for parents of young children in Santa Monica.

So your kid has just started walking! It’s time to get shoes for your kid that are truly meant for walking.

I tried purchasing shoes for Wilshire online. In my experience, it has not been worth the additional hassle of returning shoes that do not fit or work out. It has been more efficient for me to take Wilshire shoe shopping in person.

Bonus: I have traveled to these places without driving.

Brooks Shoes for Kids. This is a full-service children’s shoe store located on Wilshire Blvd. and 17th Street. The staff is is highly knowledgeable about their inventory, which includes quality brands like Stride Rite, Nike, See Kai Run, Pediped, and Saucony. They also know how to coax cooperation out of young toddlers. To that end, do not do what I did, which was buy off the clearance rack; all shoes from there are final sale. If you purchase the shoes at full price (and most shoes are sold at MSRP), then you have a small return window.

1703 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-315-9898.
Accessible from Big Blue Bus 2, 41, and 42; Metro 720 (exit the bus on 14th St.)

Nordstrom (Santa Monica Place)
Comparable prices and brands to Brooks, but with the customer service you’d expect of Nordstrom including a more accommodating return policy. Also, Nordstrom will give your kid a helium balloon. Not a joke. Our kid walked out with a pair of shoes he loves and wears every single day.

220 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-7552-2701.
Accessible by over 10 Big Blue Bus routes, Metro Expo Line, and 3 Metro Bus lines.

Gymboree
Gymboree has a small selection of inexpensive shoes.

395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica. 310-451-2751
Accessible by over 10 Big Blue Bus routes, Metro Expo Line, and 3 Metro Bus lines.

RIP to…

  • Lorin Shoes. They also carried a similar selection of brands as Brooks and Nordstrom and had the benefit of being right on the Promenade.

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