Dear Diary,

This week, my daughter sent Santa Claus a letter, listing the toys she hopes to find under the Christmas tree. She spent the days leading up to this activity, searching through the toy circulars and circling her favorite things. After serious contemplation and completion, we addressed the postcard to the North Pole and placed it in the mailbox. She only asked for three things. She’s on the nice list, so I will make sure she gets much more on Christmas morning.

That’s why I’m taking a trip to Butler, PA, home of Playthings, Inc., which is dubbed the world’s coolest toy store. The store is about an hour’s drive from North Pittsburgh. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can shop a little longer from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to find out why this is the best toy store…ever!

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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