Looking for a great place to shop for kids’ toys, enjoy story time, or even hold a birthday party? The Curious Bear Toy & Book Shop has you covered. Lovingly curated by mother-and-daughter team Jennifer Luna and Laurie Hicks, this  Fircrest shop is winning fans for their thoughtful selection of inventory, kid-friendly environment and friendly staff.

Jennifer and Laurie already owned Paper Luxe, and opened the toy shop in the space next door to create a place where parents and other doting grown-ups could find high-quality items for kids in the South Sound. Their great aesthetic creates a pleasing environment at The Curious Bear, where you’ll find yourself entranced with the choices. From Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty to Brackitz, just about everything you can imagine is here.

Owner Jenn says she was inspired to create a store by being a mother herself, and wanting to create a spot here in Pierce County where parents and caregivers of all ages could reliably come to find quality items in one spot.

The Curious Bear Fircrest
Staff member Kierstin Schroader notes that both the book selection and Tuesday Story Time are popular at The Curious Bear. Photo credit: Gale Hemmann

“The Curious Bear is a fun and engaging experience for both adults and children,” says Jenn. “We love seeing parents get super excited about toys they had as kids and discovering new ones for their children and grandchildren. They get to touch and feel the toys, read the books, play in the kitchen or with the magnets. It’s a chance to ditch the electronics and stress of our fast-paced lives and get lost discovering and exploring and playing.”

One thing that’s great about The Curious Bear is that they are a kid-friendly space. There are interactive toys including the popular Rock-It-and-Roll-It keyboard game set up, so kids can play and have fun while adults shop. (What fun is a toy store if kids can’t enjoy it?)

Staff member Ann Wiley says, “I like that The Curious Bear is a really unique place to come to. I love watching kids come in, especially on their birthday, when they have some birthday money to spend! It’s also really fun seeing kids come in for our story time.”

Another impressive feature is that they have something to offer every age group and interest. For infants, there are baby sleepers and soft toys made of durable, high quality materials (they are also a popular stop for baby showers). For toddlers, Baby Stella dolls and Tender Leaf toy sets abound. Pre-schoolers will dig into paint dot kits and plush toys of every variety. For the school age set, there are art sets, STEM science toys, and just plain fun items like mood rings and Sling-a-Dino. And the outstanding selection of board games and puzzles offers great rainy day fun for the whole family.

The Curious Bear Toy Store
From floor puzzles for youngsters to jigsaws that will challenge the whole family, you’ll find a delightful array of puzzles in stock. Photo credit: Gale Hemmann

Another thing that’s charming about The Curious Bear is that, in an age of video games, they offer simple, hardy toys that will last. All the popular best sellers are here. But equally popular are magnetic wood blocks (with magnets safely built in), tea party sets, colored pencils and rocks to collect. Not to mention the thoughtful selection of classic and contemporary children’s books. The Curious Bear encourages kids to pair their items with thought, imagination and active engagement.

They also make shopping an easy, pleasant experience for parents and other adults on the go. They are now open seven days a week, and they ship anywhere in the U.S.A. They offer an attractive selection of gift wrap and will even wrap your gifts for free – and you can find cards next door at Paper Luxe – to make it an all-in-one stop. And last but not least, the staff is very friendly, ready to tell you about their products and help you (and your little ones, if they are accompanying you) feel welcome while you find the just the right items.

The Curious Bear currently offers a free Story Time every Tuesday that is already at hit. They will soon be offering children’s birthday parties in the covered atrium connecting them with Paper Luxe.

Other bonuses include the Birthday Club where kids and adults can sign up for a coupon good for two weeks before and after their birthday and a free balloon. Customers can even create an online wishlist on the Curious Bear website.
Tacoma Baby Shopping
From bath time supplies to gift wrap, The Curious Bear makes a great stop for baby shopping for expectant parents or baby showers. Photo credit: Gale Hemmann

Easily accessible on Mildred Street in Fircrest (just down the block from Tacoma Community College), The Curious Bear is sure to charm both children and adults. Owners Jennifer and Laurie are always scouting for the best new additions to bring to their growing customer base. It’s definitely worth stopping by to see what delights they have in store for your own “curious bear.”

To see a selection of what The Curious Bear has in store and to stay up-to-date with their offerings, find them online and follow them on Facebook.

The Curious Bear Toy & Book Shop is located at 2061 Mildred Street West in Fircrest. Stop by or give them a call at 253-328-7192 for more information.

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