For the first weekend of Spring, I wanted nothing more than to bask in the sunshine and to frolic in the wilderness.

We went to Toys “R” Us in Times Square instead.  Close enough.

Because we were cooped up in the house for a good part of last week, I thought it would be fun to take a City day on Saturday.  On Saturday, TRU was celebrating the Little People’s 50th Birthday. With the Thomas the Train freebie going on and the birthday celebration, I thought it’d be a fun outing for the boy.  The dilemma, however, is that we have zero patience for crowds.  And when I mean ‘we,’ I mean Jeff.

Toys R Us, Times SquareTimes Square is an area of NYC that we only visit when we have out of town guests.  I mean, why would we want to subject ourselves to relentless foot traffic, compounded by the insane amount of car traffic?  We don’t go  often as we should and it is only a “quick” bus ride away, so we made an afternoon out of it.  Despite the not-so-quick, overcrowded bus ride that ended up taking well over an hour to take us the whole 2 miles from our neighborhood to NYC, plus the usual crowds in Times Square, it was fun to visit Toys “R” Us with our bright-eyed toddler.  It was packed inside of the 3-storied mega-store, but it was bearable compared to the sidewalk traffic–controlled chaos, if you will.  If you go to that store on a weekend, regardless of time of year, I guess you can only expect that level of craziness.  It is in the heart of one of the most touristy spots of NYC.

In the end, braving the crowds is always so worth it.  TRU in Times Square is definitely a wonderland for kids of all ages:  Legos, robots, a giant roaring dinosaur, a menagerie of stuffed animals, a walk-through Barbie doll house, baby toys galore and so much more.  Jack ran amok with all the other little kids, howled at all the fun toys that he’ll never own, sat and colored and checked out more toys than his little head could handle.
Hi-fiving the character guy

We browsed the usual kiddie sections, admired/feared the roaring dinosaur and had some fun with the Little People Celebration.  The highlight, at least for me, was scoring the free Thomas the Train toys.  TRU had coupons for free wooden trains and we got 2–one Thomas and Lights and Sounds Percy.  It seems like train tables and the plethora of accouterments are a classic among the preschool set, so it was pretty cool to get Jack’s first trains for free.  And what a deal:  each train was in the $20 range, and it was free!  Although, Jeff calls it the drug dealer mentality, that once you get one or two parts for free, you’ll want to continue feeding your fix with the hundreds of other train parts and pieces. I’m not having that yet; we have enough teeny tiny random toy pieces already in our space-challenged apartment.  But thanks, TRU for the free trains!

Terrified of the dinosaurAfter about 2.5 hours we were all spent from the crowds and craziness.  We left the giant Toys “R” Us with our freebies, a new stuffed Plex (the yellow robot from Jack’s new favorite show, ) a goody bag and a cute Polaroid w/ a life-sized Little People character.  It was a fun outing, but definitely one that can only be enjoyed in small, infrequent doses.