Shop These Local Long Island Toy Stores 2019 471

Had enough of Cyber Week and shopping online? Small toy shops are the go-to destinations for those who prefer to shop brick and mortar stores for their gifts.  Shopping these smaller local stores gives a more personal shopping experience and patrons can find unique and fun gift ideas.  These shops often provide demonstrations and offer one-on-one assistance to ensure you select the perfect gifts.

At these local Long Island shops you will find everything from the hottest new toy trends to the classics, educational toys, party favors and much more:

 

Funky Monkey

Funky Monkey Toys and Books Is A Trendy, Funky, Cool Store That Will Keep You One Step Ahead! You should definitely plan to stop here if you’re looking for what’s new and hot, as they often get a hold of popular and trendy products before other stores. Watch for in-store and seasonally-themed events as well.

More information: 360 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale; 516-484-0966; Click here for more info

 

 

Fun Stuff Toys

Specializing in kids’ toys. Shop for creative, educational, developmental games, puzzles, and specialty toys.  Fun Stuff Toys has a friendly staff who hold playful demos on the latest and greatest toys. There are many seasonal and trendy toys, action figures, models, educational toys, riding scooters and mainstream items for children of all ages.

More Information: 3639 Merrick Rd., Seaford) 516-409-8697; Click here for more info

 

 

Stevenson’s Toys and Games

With two locations in the Hamptons, Stevenson offers a variety of main stream and rare toys.  They pride themselves on offering toys from around the world that are both fun and stimulating.  Some toys will rekindle memories from your own childhood; others are new and exciting.   Free gift wrapping on all purchases.

More Information: Southampton (631-283-2111) and East Hampton (631-527-7222); Click here for more info

 

 

M.J. Beanz Toys

At M.J. Beanz Toys you’ll find toys of the trendy and educational variety, as well as the traditional activity and coloring books, dolls, stuffed animals, puzzles and arts and crafts kits. There are also party favors and educational products.

More Information:  345 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview; 516-827-7700; Click here for more info

 

 

G. Willikers

At G. Willikers seasonal gifts and trendy board games are the norm.  Here you can find educational toys, dolls, action toys, cuddly stuffed animals and items for babies and toddlers. Art tools and kits, outdoor riding toys and books are also mainstays.

More Information: 22 Forest Ave., Locust Valley; 516-671-3335, Click here for more info

 

 

Einstein’s Attic

At this store in the heart of Northport village, you’ll find more than just toys from major manufacturers, but also handmade and specialty items for dolls and collectibles. Educational and science toys are available too, as are seasonal offerings.

More Information: 79 Main St., Northport; 631-261-7564, Click here for more info

 

 

Funni Business

Toys are the main option of this playful shop notable for the large “Gumby” statue that stands in front of its window, but stock also includes seasonal and lawn games, as well as party favors, collectibles, retro toys, baby playthings, books and candy.

More Information: 30 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay; 516-922-3900, Click here for more info

 

 

Boardwalk Games

Boardwalk Games has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a child or a seasoned gamer, the store specializes in strategy games, jigsaw puzzles and chess sets. Boardwalk Games sells collectible versions of classic games. The store has a wide array of chess sets and variation chess games as well as a large selection of Monopoly sets.

More Information: 35 Creek Rd., Port Jefferson; 631-928-4263; Click here for more info

 

Matty’s Toy Stop

A family-owned operation, this local chain of stores has 4 locations serving the Long Island area.  Each locations has a variety of mainstream toys as well as educational items and playthings for babies. Rows of shelves filled with games, toys, books and puzzles, this store is a fun house for young kids.

More Information: Locations: 19 Covert Ave., Floral Park, 516-358-4010; 1350 Peninsula Blvd., Hewlett, 516-295-2555; 2138 Merrick Mall, Merrick, 516-771-4209; 284 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre; 516-634-0030; Click here for more info

 

Goldsmith’s Toys and Electronics

Recently reopened in a new space slightly down the block, Goldsmith’s is still well known for its large collection of rubber ducks; it also carries plush toys, beach and bath toys, books, art supplies, kites, puzzles and more. They carry a full line of Thomas the Tank Engine, Lego, Melissa and Doug, and Lionel Trains. Oh and Goldsmith’s also has electronics, just in case you need batteries, cables or a new phone charger.

More Information: 128 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-0466; Click here for more info

 

Learning Tower

LearningTower Toys features hard to find, innovative, high quality games and toys. Their mission is to provide children with quality products that foster personal expression and self esteem. Learning Tower features mainstream toys, but also focuses on interesting board games, collectibles, figurines and building toys. Be sure and explore its puppet section, which includes a wide selection of well-crafted options that range from finger fun to hand dolls that work best with practiced manipulation.

More Information: 4747 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station; 631-928-2040, Click here for more info

 

 

Lakeshore Learning

Lakeshore Learning may not be a traditional toy store but it carries hands-on learning materials. Customers can open any product to take a closer look before making a purchase, and the store hosts free events for kids every Saturday. Some things you’ll find there: building sets, educational toys, science kits, math/reading games and art supplies.

More information: 2079 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park; 516-616-9360; Click here for more info

 

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Bellport High School Robotics Team Attends First LI TECH Challenge Qualifier 50

Bellport High School’s Bellport Clippers Team 12899 participated in the FIRST Long Island TECH Challenge qualifier, a robotics competition, held at William Floyd High School on Jan. 11. Under the direction of high school technology teacher Jaime Canjura and alumnus Brian Larkin, the 11-member robotics team competed against 21 Long Island teams from Suffolk and Nassau counties.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge each year. The team’s next competition will be held on Feb. 2 at the Long Island School for The Gifted in Huntington.

Since the 2018-19 school year, the team has doubled in size and hopes to continue growing due to the interest of incoming eighth grade students participating in the Bellport Middle School FIRST Lego League.

“The team’s philosophy is to inspire students to be and do their best,” Mr. Canjura explained. “We follow the concept of Gracious Professionalism, a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.”

The South Country Central School District extends team members Joseph Balsamo (lead software engineer and programmer), Jake D’Esposito (programmer and IT), Robert Gronenthal (secretary and robot chassis designer), Isaiah James (team president and lead designer), Chris Lannon, Thomas Miller (treasurer), Ainesis Reid (media, marketing and programming), Soteria Reid (media and marketing specialist), Antonio Suarez (mechanical hardware technician and designer trainee), Jack Stark (mechanical hardware technician and designer trainee) and Michael Vengroski (team captain and lead designer) best wishes for success.

Photo caption: Members of Bellport High School’s Bellport Clippers Team 12899 held their robot designed for the FIRST robotics competitions.

Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

 

Raise Your Bar Serving These New Year’s Eve Cocktails 578

Blood Orange Gin Punch Recipe

Get the party started with this simple cocktail, this modern take on a classic screwdriver is an easy-drinking crowd-pleaser. To keep the party moving, put it in a punch bowl and let your guests serve themselves.

Recipe Serves 10

Shopping List
⅓ cup cane sugar
5 sprigs organic fresh rosemary
11 or 12 organic blood oranges
1¾ cups gin
1¼ cups prosecco
5 cups ice

Tools
Peeler, punch bowl, small sauce pot

1. Make the simple syrup
In a small sauce pot, combine 1½ cups water and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add 3 rosemary sprigs and bring to a boil (set aside the remaining 2 sprigs for serving). Remove from the heat and let steep until cool, about 30 minutes.

Discard the rosemary. Measure ½ cup simple syrup; save any remaining simple syrup for another use.

2. Prep the orange wheels and twists; mix the cocktail

  • Cut 1 blood orange in half, then cut one half crosswise into thin slices. Do not remove the peel; discard any seeds. Reserve the other orange half for juicing.
  • Using a peeler, remove the zest in 2-inch-long strips from the blood oranges, being careful to remove only the outermost orange layer and leave behind the bitter white pith. You’ll want 1 strip per serving, or 8 to 10 total.
  • Juice enough oranges to measure 3¾ cups.
  • Cut the remaining rosemary sprigs into 1-inch pieces and set aside for garnish.
  • In a punch bowl, combine the orange juice, gin, prosecco, simple syrup, and 1 cup ice. Stir until well incorporated, then add blood orange rounds.

Serve
Set out rocks glasses and the remaining ice and invite everyone to make their own cocktail, garnishing with an orange twist and a rosemary sprig.

Tip: To save time, make the simple syrup the night before; let cool and refrigerate in an airtight glass jar. If you prefer a nonalcoholic cocktail, skip the gin and prosecco, increase the amount of orange juice, and add a splash of soda water or iced tea just before serving.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of SunBasket

 

Giggle Juice

Giggle Juice is delicious combination of moscato, lemonade, and vodka that is sure have all your family and friends laughing.

Recipe Serves 8

Shopping List

Ice
Lemons
Sugar
1 (750-ml) bottle moscato
3 c. pink lemonade
1 can lemon-lime soda
1 c. vodka
2 c. sliced strawberries

Tools
Pitcher, stirrer, glasses, knife, plate for sugar
1. Rim glasses with lemon wedge and dip in sugar.
2. In a large pitcher, stir together moscato, pink lemonade, soda, vodka, and fruit. Add ice and stir to combine.
3. Divide among glasses and serve
Recipe & Photo courtesy of Delish

 

Kombucha-Campari Spritz 

The fermented tea everyone’s drinking has recently made its debut as a cocktail mixer. When you think about, that makes a lot of sense. Kombucha is tart, fizzy, and a little bit funky, just the thing to mix with your favorite spirits. Here pair ginger kombucha with Campari for a low-alcohol drink you can sip all night.

Recipe Serves 2

 

Shopping List
1 organic lemon
2 ounces Campari
2 cups ice
4 ounces ginger kombucha

Tools
Cocktail shaker, medium frying pan

1. Char the lemon garnish
Cut the lemon in half crosswise, then cut half into thin rounds; save the remaining half for another use. In a dry medium frying pan over medium-high heat, add the lemon rounds and cook, turning once, until fragrant and lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Make the Campari spritz 
In a cocktail shaker, add the Campari and half the ice. Shake well, about 30 seconds.

Serve
Fill two rocks glasses with the remaining ice. Strain the Campari into the glass and top off with as much kombucha as you like. Garnish each glass with a charred lemon slice and serve.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of SunBasket

 

Moscow Mule Recipe

A Moscow mule is actually very easy to make. It only has three ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, and lime. We like to garnish it with mint, but it’s not necessary.

Recipe Serves 2

 

Shopping List

Ice
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. (12-oz.) can ginger beer
Lime wedges, for garnish
Mint (optional for additional garnish)

 

Tools
Cooper mugs, Stirrers, knife

1.Fill two copper mugs with ice. Pour 1 ounce vodka and 1/2 ounce lime juice over ice in each mug. Pour ginger beer into each cup until mostly full. Stir.
2. Garnish with mint and lime wedge to serve.

Throwing a Party and don’t want to play bartender all night?  Serve this Moscow Mule punch- which is basically one giant Moscow mule.

Shopping List
4 c. ice
4 c. ginger beer
3 c. vodka
1 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 c. mint leaves, plus more for garnish
limes, sliced, plus more for garnish
Tools
Punch bowl, Ladle, Cooper mugs, Stirrers, knife

1. In a large punch bowl, combine ice, ginger beer, vodka, lime juice, lime slices, and mint
2. Ladle punch into glasses or copper mugs and garnish with more mint.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of Delish

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