Our favorite time of the year!

What is more fun than the buzz of the holidays? We’re packing up Halloween and making room for holiday gifts! Our holiday sneak peek guide is out and ready for your family to make their wish lists!

Stay tuned for features on items that are going to be hot hot hot this gift-giving season. But what is Winkie’s Toys & Variety’s theme for this holiday season? It’s TIME.

TIME with your family and friends!

TIME to gather, cook, laugh, play games and enjoy!

Less stress and more TIME!

How can we help? It’s simple. Winkie’s Toys & Variety has been providing the most innovative toys (so many with awards!), the most important essentials and the best ways to gather, laugh and enjoy your TIME.

Making sports rivals fun!

You know we love to supply our local customers with toys and games themed with their favorite sports teams…even if they are rivals. You’ve come downstairs to Winkie’s Toys & Variety and seen awesome puzzles or Monopoly games themed with the Milwaukee Brewers or the Chicago Cubs, right? Well, it’s football time!

We were psyched to get these Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears playing cards in stock! What great timing with the start of football season and the leaves starting to show some color around the streets of Milwaukee! However, when the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers Spot It! games came in, we flipped! We can barely keep the regular versions of Spot It! on the shelves, it’s such a popular game for gift giving and fun to play for all ages. Plus, it’s the perfect travel-sized game! Keep a tin of Spot It! cards in your car for when you road trip to Grandma’s or your kids need something fun to do at a sport game or waiting to pick up their sibling from school or practice! It’s the best!

NFL Edition of Spot It! for Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers! In stock now, but they won’t last! Pick up your version today for an early holiday gift!

Back to School Refresh

We totally get it that the back to school rush can be a wild time. We were so excited about helping hundreds of families with our school supply packs this year. So school starts and you get in the groove and then you take a look at your kids’ backpacks and guess what? They are worn, have holes, stains, a strap is falling off! OOPS!

Rest assured, your favorite local variety store has you covered. Even thought Michael has been busy stocking the shelves with Halloween and Fall fun, we still have ample amounts of school supplies and even trendy JanSport backpacks!

We also are loving the new thermoses and water bottles that Beth picked out and ordered recently. Check out these adorable designs!

Which is your favorite? I personally LOVE the bicycle one and we know how many of our customers LOVE pedaling around Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, Shorewood and Glendale! Hop on your bike and swing over to the corner of Silver Spring and Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay to restock your fall backpack / water bottle / thermos needs!

And yes, we may be making a Fall and pumpkin post before September is over! We’re trying to hold out for a couple more days through while you all adjust to the new pumpkin flavored lattes and bakery items at all of our awesome local stores on Silver Spring. Can someone tell me is Stone Creek coffee brought back the Maple latte this fall? See you at Winkie’s!

Watch local news… shop local businesses!

We had a blast when reporter Ben Jordan from Today’s TMJ4 in Milwaukee came in to talk with us about our decades of offering a great selection of school supplies to area students – including filling your whole school supply list!

So far this year we’ve filled over 500 “school tool bags” for customers who drop off their school supply list (if we don’t already have it). Drop it off, we fill the bag, they pick up and voila!…. school supply shopping is stress free!

We do know you have choices in where to shop, so super thanks to customer Buffy who shared with TMJ4 why she chooses to do her shopping at Winkie’s Toys and Variety! Check out the story! Make note of the hundreds of filled school supply bags behind Beth! Don’t we look organized? Click the image below to see the whole story!

Super thanks to TMJ4 for thinking of Winkie’s Toys & Variety when looking for school supplies and quality, local customer service! Our hearts of full from all the awesome feedback we’ve received from customers who saw the story!

School Supplies – CHECK!

Yes, we have school supply lists for Whitefish Bay public schools. Place your order today for next year’s lists, swing in to pick it up later in the summer and viola! School supplies are off your summer to do list!

Floating into party mode!

Whether your favorite student is putting on their graduation cap or a close buddy is turning a year older, we’ve got a colorful addition to turn any party into a true celebration… with balloons!

Our friend Chris from Jordipher Creative, a fun dance studio just upstairs two levels from Winkie’s Toys and Variety, stopped in to pick up red latex balloons and a birthday mylar to celebrate his nephew’s special day and favorite color – red! How fun is that?

We’re ready to really inflate your next party with colorful latex balloons or fun sentiments and images – sports, Disney, characters, messages – we have it all! Swing on downstairs today and let’s get this party started!

Let’s Play Ball!

One of our favorite seasons to stock the shelves for is … Spring! We love talking with our partnered vendors in the depth of winter to order baseballs, mitts, new bats, soccer balls, whiffle balls, lacrosse sticks, field hockey gear and of course, Brewers gear. It helps us get through Wisconsin winter!

Our customers embrace each Wisconsin season change with a vengeance, but Spring… it’s the one that seems to take a little longer than the others. And once that snow starts to melt, you can hear the basketballs bouncing in the neighborhood. You can see the bikes getting dusted off and hear the pumps filling up those tires. You can hear laughter on the streets of Whitefish Bay and see the kids taking off their boots and putting on tennis shoes once again!

How about discovering all those whiffle balls showing up under the melted snow? Now that’s Wisconsin fun!

Our community comes outside to breathe fresh air, take their morning walk to Stone Creek Coffee, carry ham and rolls home on Sunday morning from Sendiks and ya’ll swing in to see us downstairs at Winkie’s Toys and Variety. And we’re ready for you!

Plus, Brewers baseball anyone? The home opening game at Miller Park is March 28! You may need to wear a coat, hat and mittens to tailgate, but it still feels good to get outside, doesn’t it? Let’s go Brew Crew!

So, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come! Our shelves are filled with baseball gear, it’s the first day of Spring and we’re ready!

Putting the pieces together… together!

What happens when you put a puzzle together with someone special? It takes time. And during that time there could be:

-moments of quiet, concentration where you are looking for the perfect match, color combination, shape or size to link to a piece or an area you’re working on

-moments of celebration when pieces click together and you build on each other’s work. Don’t you love when the frame is complete and you can start filling in the center section?

-moments of chatter, where you’ll talk about events of the day, thoughts on something from the past, or share a funny anecdote from your life.

-time together. Is there ever enough time spent together?

Do you remember Boo-Berry cereal? How about Magic Puffs? Putting together this puzzle would generate some fun discussion and memories with someone special! (And maybe make you hungry!) Find it at Winkie’s Toys and Variety.

Love’s Afloat

Couldn’t we just use more excuses to tell someone special we love them? We think so. With today’s busy busy busy schedules – off to practice, a tennis game, a work meeting, an all-day conference, an on-call weekend, a retreat, a yoga class, a school meeting, a quick bite of dinner here before running to the next item popping up on your Google calendar… do we stop enough to just say

I love you!

Probably not.

How are you going to share sweet sentiments for this year’s Valentine’s Day with your significant other this year on February 14th? How about your kids? Your favorite aunt? Your mom? Your sweet neighbor who always keeps an eye on the house when you’re at work or on vacation?

We have so many wonderful messages to be shared in a fun whimsical message with a Valentine’s Day balloon bouquet! We are offering 4 latex balloons and one mylar – a sweet bouquet of five balloons for only $9.99 plus tax!

Plus, we also have cool sports balloons and character balloons for those who don’t want to get too mushy but LOVE to see their favorite things recognized by those who love them! Send your message this Valentine’s Day in a special way.

We wish you every day filled with love and fun messages and sweet times with those around you.

How to survive the polar vortex

Remember when it was -21 degrees, with a -49 windchill?

-all of us tomorrow

Yes, you will remember this time for years and years to come! What will your memories be? The kids played X-Box and we binged Netflix? Perhaps for a bit…. But how about playing together? Some of our favorite things to hear in the aisles of Winkie’s Toys and Variety are

“I LOVE this game!” or “I played this game when I was a kid!”.

Or of course, “Let’s try this new game!”

We put a lot of heart and thought into the games we put on our shelves. Why? Because so much goodness comes from personal interaction together.

You learn to lose!

You learn to cheer on others!

You learn to stop, think, strategize….play your move.

YOU LAUGH!

Seriously, did you know laughing is the best medicine for polar vortex blues? That’s what my mom said: laughing together makes everything feel better.

So dig through your game closet on these insanely cold Milwaukee polar vortex days and pull out something you haven’t played in awhile, grab your family’s favorite or try something new.

And know that when you’re ready to venture outside your house and shop in the basement of Winkie’s, we’ll be here with new games to play.