Child’s Play: 9 Of The Best Kids’ Stores in New Zealand
Tell us your heart doesn’t melt at the sight of teeny booties or baby-sized sunnies, and we’d call your bluff.
Words by: Maggie Worthington
Photos by: Nancy Zhou, Anna Briggs & Ashleigh Vermaak
There are few greater joys than shopping for the little people in your life – and luckily, local businesses across the country are experts in the world of cute, quality and eco-conscious kids’ stuff. Whether you’re looking for a new picture book to spark imagination, well-made toys or a colourful tee you wish was available in your size, look no further than these leading children’s boutiques.
101 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
No one ignites the love of reading from an early age like Telling Tales. Brought alive by the same legends behind Scorpio Books, it’s no surprise this is a bookshop like no other. Endless rows of colourful spines line the shelves – from childhood classics to new modern adventures, you’re bound to find the next exciting bedtime story. Come in with the kiddos and pick a cosy spot to hang out for a while – you may just bump into Peter Rabbit or The Hungry Caterpillar.
320 Barton Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton
Little Mash is a family-owned and operated boutique that was set up to support people going through pregnancy and parenthood with quality pieces that add value to their life. If you’re a Hamilton local – and leaving the house today isn’t challenged by toddlers – then a visit to this Barton Street spot is highly recommended. Fortunately, you can find everything on their online shop too, whether that’s newborn gifts, kindy essentials or pamper products for mum.
44 Steyne Avenue, Plimmerton, Porirua
If it’s not made to be enjoyed, you won’t find it at this Plimmerton-based haven of homeware and children’s clothing. While it’s easy to head off track here and find something for your own abode, the sight of ruffled gingham bloomers, pear-shaped sippy cups and felt bunnies will steer you back on course. Discover clothing from Organic Zoo, toys from Tiny Table Co, much-loved Jon Klassen books and much more in a clean and beautifully laid out space.
Tiny Toy Shop
28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Tucked away on the upstairs floor of The Arts Centre in Christchurch, Tiny Toy Shop opens up a world of magical playtime. With the belief that our wee ones thrive best through hands-on learning, you’ll find mini gardening tools, wooden percussion instruments, play-pretend kitchen pieces (we’re low-key obsessed with the felted sandwich) and many more treasures that promote key development skills without skimping on fun. The best part? You can bring your wee ones in to test out some of the products at the play table instore. Keep an eye out on Tiny Toy Shop’s socials for upcoming workshops.
Lily & Langford
1/173 Chester Street East, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Housed in a charming red brick heritage building, Lily & Langford is a specialty boutique providing beautiful made-to-last products for under 5s – with a few much-deserved treats thrown in here and there for the mums. While there’s the option to shop online, we recommend popping in to admire the selection of local and international products. From premium threads to sparkly dress ups and eco-conscious dining sets, every pocket of Lily & Langford is focused on quality kids' products to gift or take back to your own little family.
19c Papakura-Clevedon Road, Clevedon
As a child that was constantly on the hunt for Narnia, underwater worlds and dragon-guarded castles, Leila Rawnsley-Mason started Little Gatherer as a way to bring a sprinkle of magic to the everyday lives of little families. Visit the boutique in Clevedon, just south of Auckland, or head online to browse a range of local and international children’s products in every category you could possibly think of.
1 Itchen Street, Oamaru, Ōamaru & Waitaki
One peep through the historic windows of William Bee General Merchants is all it takes to be drawn inside. Sitting handsomely on a sunlit corner in Ōamaru’s Heritage Precinct, it’s easy to whittle away a morning amongst the shelves and racks of NZ-made goods. Though you won’t have to look far to find something for yourself, the kids' selection is the real hero, with little pieces from Jamie Kay and Nature Baby, Lamington merino socks, plenty of soft new friends and more.
Addy & Lou Christchurch
12 Battersea Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
On top of housing an alluring range of furniture, homeware, accessories and beauty products for the grown ups, Addy & Lou also happens to be a top contender for supplying the cutest kidswear in Christchurch and Kaikōura. Stocking brands like By Billie, Sunday Siblings and Ziggy Lou, the selection favours the bright and the bold. Dress up the kids in your life in vibrant knits, candy-striped overalls and printed bucket hats – and prepare to have some serious outfit envy. As well as fun and fresh clothing, you’ll also find nursery decor, mealtime essentials and great toys.
Shop 2b/140 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
With kids growing up so fast, their wardrobe never stays the same for long. As well as being a bit of a pain for the parents, our planet isn’t so stoked on buying new children’s clothes all the time either. The alternative? Enter Little One, a well-loved second hand store that offers a curated range of like-new gems at every turn, including recycled kidswear, shoes, toys, books and maternity wear.
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