Vacation for me always includes some scouting for new toys, I just can’t help myself!
Maybe some of you remember my outing to Evans Variety Store last year in Kiel, Wisconsin. This year I couldn’t miss checking out their flagship store in Sheboygan Falls which is also floor to ceiling stacks of everything you might need, especially toys! Founded in 1936, Evans has more than 18,000 square feet of products including sewing notions, clothes, artificial flowers, Wigwam socks and figurines.
People are always talking about Evans fondly, saying if they can’t find something, they always find it there. Playmobil sets lined the better part of an aisle. Other favorite PAL winners from Blue Orange Games, uKloo, Gamewright and Educational Insights were mixed in with classics from the past. I can honestly say I have never seen so many games in a specialty toy store! So much is being said about the competition with big box stores and the slow demise of the neighborhood toy store. Just come to a small town in Wisconsin and see how locals rely on a very special store.
After the Evans experience, I walked across the street to the Bemis Bath Shop. Bemis is a global manufacturer of toilet seats, located close by. They had a display of every color and pattern available as well as a kids’ design area which caught my eye. The tub full of bath toys was inviting but it was the NextStep toilet seat with an option to snap in a kid sized seat in various colors that got my attention. What a great idea! Say goodbye to all the cute little potties that you have to empty and have a kid option right on your toilet seat. Understand that this area of the state is home to Kohler Wisconsin, famous for their kitchen and bath products. You could easily spend a rainy day (and we have) stepping in and out of tubs or checking out the many faucets and sinks.
Next stop was my favorite coffee shop in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, “Off the Rail Cafe,” located in the old train depot. Packed with families I noticed while the parents ordered lattes and mochas, the kids selected a game and settled in at the table to start to play! Grandma and grand daughter were deep in a game of “Jenga” while another family was playing “Sorry.” Family game night started early over coffee.