Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Kids Toys Gift Shops
Tired yet? The schlepping, the decorating, the card-writing, the- Pamela Grossman; Dec 17, 2007
party-going, and, yes, the shopping: Sometimes it can start to feel like too
much of a good thing. (And then there've been the ice-storm blasts of
the last week or so, which have felt like too much of a not-so-good
thing.) I'm getting pretty beat, I must say. (It doesn't help that my
sister happened to give birth to my wonderful niece and nephew on December
6th and December 12th, respectively!) But a visit to Ibiza Kidz
revived my spirit by reminding me of how sweet gift-giving can be; especially
if your recipient is little enough to fit into, say, a size 6 Curious
George rain slicker.
This family-run kids' store, featuring toys, shoes, and accessories,
has a cozy and laid-back vibe, with sales people who are helpful but not
pushy. I was given plenty of time and leeway to mill around, even as
eager shoppers all around me scooped up merch for the younguns.
I'll start with ensembles cute enough to make even the most
child-phobic consider a family. Imagine a cool, dark, and rainy afternoon. Not so
terrific. But now imagine it with a winsome little one decked out in a
matching slicker, umbrella, and boots. Sounding brighter already!
Ibiza has several of such sets. A Curious George fan pretty much all my
life, I fell for the bright-yellow George-printed slicker ($36), umbrella
($16), and Wellies ($32). Too adorable! Of course, in real life, the
child will leave the umbrella at school, and you will never see it again;
and suddenly, on the rainiest of days, this child will refuse to wear
the boots because he/she feels like wearing sandals. And you will still
be required to love and care for this child; so think carefully before
Toy-wise, I loved the set of glow-in-the-dark planets and 100 nova
stars ("Create the Milky Way in Your Room," the box says, which sounds
awesome), $16; a word game called Bananagrams packaged in a yellow cloth
"banana" with a zipper ($20); a silver-plated tea set that every future
hostess will covet ($25); a stuffed-animal/blanket hybrid, available in
duck, bear, and frog ($20); an especially durable plastic kalaidescope
($10); and monkey stationery with a heart-print pen ($10, also
available in lion). For the monkey pattern, there are matching pink-monkey
stuffed animals (from $19). All together now: "Aaawwww!"
In an amazing $5 bin, I found baby booties printed with peppermints,
stuffed-animal puppies with yarmulkes--a *perfect* Chanukah gift for a
little one, and indeed I got one for my nephew--and stuffed-animal bears
dressed in scarves and santa hats. $5! Really!
Back in the wearable cuteness, there's a charming selection of kids'
shoes (but trying to get your child in and out of the shop for shoes
without buying a toy will likely not work in your favor) and onesies (one
reads, "Party at my crib, 3 AM); $28.
So lovely. Though the weather outside remained frighful, I felt
renewed as I left this shop with the toy puppy in a yarmulke and a "kids'
introduction to blues music" CD for my musician friend's son (so happy to
find such a cool gift, I forgot to record the price). Let it snow!