Play is the work of childhood and Mass Ave Toys knows a thing of two about this. Nestled in the back of a collection of small businesses on the corner of 54th Street and the Monon, Mass Ave Toys is hard to miss with its playful red light up bears and toys decorating their windows. My children let out audible gasps when we approached the storefront. But why is it called Mass Ave Toys if it isn’t on Mass Ave? Well, from 2006 to 2016, the storefront was located there but after the building was sold, owner Natalie Canull scoured the city and found this now booming area to set up shop.
The art of play is whimsical and magical and Mass Ave Toys captures this essence so beautifully. The store is filled with high quality toys and resources to spark your child’s imagination. The store prides itself on selling toys from lesser known brands or hard to acquire items. My children were immediately drawn in and were so excited to try out a variety of the toys in the shop. While it is important to remember that this isn’t a playroom, kids can test out a few of the toys and the store is truly theirs. I loved watching them and seeing what was of interest to them. The sales staff loved having the kids in the store and showed them so many things, it was just wonderful to have that personal touch. They even went so far as to learn my children’s names!
If you love wooden or open-ended toys, this is the place for you! Create an Instagram worthy playroom with the resources available here. Grimm’s, Hape, Melissa & Doug, and Haba were among the brands I came across during my perusal. I made a note to myself that this is the place to buy those special gifts for little ones. These toys are special. You can’t find these toys in all the big box stores; they are unique and many are made by small businesses. I was excited to find toys in the shop that I thought I could only order online. There were also gifts for the young at heart. Beautiful cards, small gift items like coffee mugs and notebooks, and intricate posters were all available for purchase. I found the perfect book for a friend and was even offered free gift wrapping! Speaking of books, there is also a fantastic selection of children’s books. These are great to add on to any gift you may purchase!
It is clear to see why Mass Ave Toys has won many awards for being a great toy store. There is an additional reason why this new location is special though. There is a birthday party room in the back! This party space is decorated with colorful streamers, stars, and pompoms. Everything is bright and colorful, perfect for a cheerful celebration. Included in the room are 2 puppet theaters for kids to play with, tables and chairs with space to comfortably hold 20 to 30 people (especially small children), a refrigerator and a microwave. You are welcome to bring in whatever food and drinks you would like and clean-up is a breeze. Just throw your trash away and you are good to go. This space is adorable and is only $99 for 2 full hours!
Mass Ave Toys is excited to be able to share this space with the community and is ready to host more than just birthday parties. If you see this space and think it would be great for a pop up art class, meeting location, baby shower or even a story telling for children, do not hesitate to contact them! Weekends can fill up quickly with birthday parties but time slots during the week are also available.
We felt so welcomed in this space. The employees are eager to help you find that perfect toy and know so much about the products in the store. It was great to see them interact so effortlessly with my children and help them discover the toys surrounding them. That is truly part of the beauty of a small business. You come across people who care and are passionate about their work. We take play very seriously in my family and I am glad to see that Mass Ave Toys has the same philosophy.
Mass Ave Toys is located at 1057 E. 54th St. Studio J Indianapolis, IN 46220. Any questions about renting the back room or inquiries into toys can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (317) 955-8697. They are currently open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm with the exception of Mondays. During the holiday seasons, these hours change slightly with the addition of Monday hours.
Article By: Jessica Deubner
1057 E. 54th St. Studio J