Okay, so this isn’t exactly Baltimore-centric—but we’re putting it in the “worth a trip from anywhere” category. If you’ve visited downtown Frederick any time in the last, say, twelve years, you may have had the pleasure of stopping into Dancing Bear Toys—an old-fashioned, neighborhood toy store. To owners Tom and Marlene England, that means that nothing they sell requires a battery, or a plug, or a screen to attach to. They’re specialists in fun the way it used to be. Ah, the simple things. But why bring this all to your attention on today of all days? Well, today is the very last “Merry Monday” of the season at Dancing Bear. That means that today (they’re open until 8p.m.) they’ll be giving away 17 $17 gift cards (if that strikes you as strange, remember that today’s the 17th) at random throughout the day. That means potentially even more goodies and surprises you can bring home for the holidays.
Dancing Bear sells some of the hottest new games that come out each year (you know, the kind that MENSA likes to give their official stamp of approval to). But they also stock plenty of toys and playthings for little ones—particularly items that don’t bring with them the baggage of gender stereotypes (we’re way beyond Barbie here) or violence-as-fun (lots of squishable seals and forks-as-bulldozers—not so many super villains or laser guns). We’re not sure how this “random” selection process for handing out gift cards will work, but all are encouraged to drop by, shop, play, and potentially win a gift card. And come on, worst case scenario, you blow half an hour designing the world’s most perfect model train route or test-playing a new party game while your child writes a letter to Santa (the Englands apparently have a direct line to the guy—who knew?).
Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts is located at 12 N. Market Street in Frederick, MD. To find out more about the shop, or for specific hours, visit www.playatthebear.com.
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