I would love to say that my children’s favorite place to visit in Taos, New Mexico during our recent family vacation was the Taos Pueblo, which is the oldest inhabited pueblo in the United States. Without electricity or running water, the Red Willow tribe has inhabited the pueblo for over a 1000 years and about 80 people still live there. It has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. Our visit coincided with the annual festival of Santa Ana.
But, I had mistakenly promised the kids that we were also going to go to this really cool toy store after the Pueblo and. . .well, even Cesario, the wonderful 19 year old Red Willow guide, couldn’t get them to think about anything other than the toy store. They were sure that any time spent at the Pueblo would mean we’d arrive after the toy store closed.
Oh. . .but what a store!
Tucked away in the corner of the Taos Plaza, Twirl Toy Store is part store, part playground and entirely a child’s favorite place EVER.
The store itself is a 150 year old adobe building with low ceilings and doorways, wooden beams, and fantastical murials over the walls. This place is a cross between a child’s fort and a hobbit’s burrow.
Going through the store and to the back entrance leads to its best feature: A magical
Of course a cool play space also needs its own wading fountain.
Besides the ample shade to cut out the hot New Mexico sun, Scott really liked the chairs to sit and watch the kids play. He thought a margarita would make this place darn near perfect.
The play space was actually a combination of several different spaces with things for children to do what they do best: PLAY!
How creative is THIS idea?! I think almost anyone could make this xylophoneand hang it outside.
The children did select a toy to buy with some “pin” money that there grandmother had given them for this occasion. The negations were intense as the boys realized that if they pooled their money they could by something larger that they could all share. . .well, that was the marketing strategy.
The children could have probably bought everything online for less money. . .but this was a lesson in supporting a local store that seemed to believe that PLAY and IMAGINATION are more important than the bottom line.