Visiting FAO Schwarz

Hudson’s actual birthday was scorching hot (which was fitting, actually, considering he was born in a heat wave), and made our initial plan for a picnic in Central Park seem out of the question. We wanted to do something that he might choose if he could, so after loading him up on raspberries, we took a taxi up to FAO Schwarz. None of us had ever been and it seemed like one of those things one does while in New York. Right?

Actually, it was Aron’s idea and I was a little skeptical at first: it will be too crowded… he won’t actually get to run around… they won’t let him touch (i.e. lick) anything and he’ll just be upset… blah blah blah. But it was fantastic!

It wasn’t empty, but it never felt overcrowded. And because the store was, for the most part, filled with parents, you felt a little less concerned about his being stepped on. In fact, screeching mini-people were expected! We took a photo with the real toy soldier holding the door and found ourselves loving watching Hudson darting around the stuffed animals and gasping in delight.

Children of the Tom Hanks-in-Big generation, Aron and I both were curious to see the giant piano–and I couldn’t resist jumping on it with Hudson. (It was smaller than I’d imagined.)

Bouncy balls and train tables and giant nerds and giant lego people… it was quite overwhelming, but a lot of fun. And when Hudson collapsed into a sleepy heap on Aron’s chest an hour or so later, we walked across the street and looked around in the adult toy store, Crate and Barrel (though the real equivalent is more aptly the Apple Store, right across the plaza).

I get the sense that if you want to have a pleasant and not completely overwhelming experience visiting the legendary toy emporium, that you should try to visit on a weekday–the earlier the better. There did seem to be a mark-up (I laughed when I noticed a swaddle blanket with an MSRP sticker still in place beside the FAO label–the MSRP was lower!), but if you’re visiting from out-of-town and have your heart set on a one-pound gummy bear, I heard they will at least deliver things to your hotel for free.

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