So you’re open… what’s it like?

Wow! It’s been so great to have some of you back in the store! We have loved your smiling eyes peeping out from your masks and appreciate everyone adhering to the safety guidelines in place to keep us all healthy. We all deserve a pat on the back! We’re keeping physical distance, keeping our store clean, masking up… and it’s working.

We continue to offer free, no-contact parking lot pick up to our customers who are more comfortable that way – no problem! We are also continuing local delivery, but in order to keep our trains all on track, delivery is available for a $10 North Shore local delivery free or $20 further outside the North Shore. We have never done delivery before – but it is working for so many of you- so we’re happy to keep it up!

We’ll be closed for Monday, May 25 and back at our normal hours of 9:00 am – 6:00 pm on Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

While you adjust to your new, quite open summer schedule, know that Winkie’s Toys & Variety is here. We’ve stocked with sports equipment for summery days, beach toys for sand-in-the-toes days, puzzles for rainy days, crafts and creative kits for every day. Plus the usual fun you always find at Winkie’s Toys… like dog toys for your new pup you picked up during quarantine, cleaning supplies for your Spring gutting project, baking needs for your sweet tooth and gifts gift gifts for people in your life you love. And always free wrapping!

Oh yes…. don’t forget the balloons.

Keep celebrating, friends! We’ll be here.

Yes, we’re open, but you choose what’s best for you!

Winkie’s Toys & Variety customers are the best! You’re our family, our friends, our community. We all know the new rules: doors are open but only 5 people in the store at a time – be aware of physical distancing when in our store – but please don’t stop saying HELLO! and SMILING!

We LOVE your yells from across the street! Your messages on Facebook telling us about a birthday celebration that went on despite the “new normal”! We love your smiles when you wave from your porch after an order drop off (free)! We love your waves out the window of your car when we set your bag in the truck in the parking lot. This is making you happy….. SO we will continue!

What to expect? Our hours are expanded a bit – closer to normal! You’ll find us in the store on Monday through Saturday 9am – 6pm! And Sundays will continue 10am-3pm.

BUT most importantly, **we will continue to offer FREE parking lot pick up and FREE local delivery**. So please make the choices that are best for your family.

Don’t stress. Winkie’s Toys is HERE FOR YOU! Call us at 414-964-2131.

XO (from 6′ away) -Beth, Terry, Mike and Sarah

May the Fourth!

When did May the 4th come out as a fun time to celebrate all things Star Wars? We’re not sure, but man, we love it! It’s always so fun when we are buying toys, games, crafts, card games and party accessories to connect with our customers’ passions! Whether you love Harry Potter, Barbie, Lego Friends, cars, trucks, The Milwaukee Brewers’ baseball or Star Wars – we’re thinking of YOU when we fill our shelves!

We know you can’t currently see our shelves – since the Wisconsin Safer at Home order, BUT we are having a blast sharing what we have in stock on our Facebook page and putting together your orders over the phone and running them out to your car and contact-less delivery to your North Shore home!

On May 4th, while we wish you “May the 4th be with you,” here are some of the awesome Star Wars items available today!

In the News – Milwaukee Magazine!

Our community is so generous with their kindness – even when we’re not in COVID-19 quarantine! Thanks to Milwaukee Magazine for featuring us as one of the stores available to help you get through social distancing!

We have the best customers! We’ve been so moved by the personal connection we’ve had walking through birthday ideas or craft ideas with you all. We love providing you with poster boards for signs for your neighbors or friends… with puzzles for you to work on with your family… with scissors, glue and the best markers to keep creating.

Here’s what Milwaukee Magazine said about us:

Winkie’s Toys and Variety

Anyone who grew up in Whitefish Bay—or has spent any time there—knows about Winkie’s Toys and Variety at the corner of East Silver Spring Drive and North Marlborough Drive, probably because they received a birthday or holiday gift from the five-and-dime-type variety store (it’s been in business since 1964). In addition to selling toys and gifts, the store also retails crafts, balloons, art and office supplies, baking goods, candy, toys and gifts, basically a lot of stuff to help us get through social distancing at home. Not sure what to gift a child other than your own? Toys sold through the site are thoughtfully arranged by age group.

What a treat! Need something today? We’re here with our new expanded hours 9am-4pm Monday – Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday.

Sending you health and wellness!

Thank you to our incredible customers!

What heart-warming words to hear from customers during this absolutely uncertain and stressful time! We are so lucky to have served so many wonderful people- whether it’s helping pass the days with a challenging mind-working jigsaw puzzle – or helping out with your home’s essential needs – or a candy fix can be helpful too!

We are touched to have TMJ4 and our customers say so many nice things about us! Check out the story here. Let us know how we can help you, our friends!

You lean upon me, we’ll be ok!

Wow – what a crazy couple of weeks! We closed our doors to in-store traffic before Governor Evers orders in order to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers. We do sell office supplies and school supplies which so many of you have shared with us that you need – so we continue to make local deliveries and do parking lot pick ups through this tough time to make sure you can keep being productive with your children online schooling at home, with your jobs moved into your basements, your spare bedrooms, your kitchen tables. Who knew you would miss your pencil sharpener so much from the office? Or you’d be setting up color coded folders for your student’s core classes?

Dave Matthews’ #34 song says

Lean upon me,
I’ll lean upon you,
We’ll be okay

We’re feeling those lyrics these days while we are hand delivering your school/office supply needs, beautiful and fun puzzles to keep your family together and your brains thinking about something else. Your birthday gifts, wrapped or not and balloons for special occasions.

Keep moving forward Milwaukee. Keep celebrating. Keep crafting. Keep working. Keep studying. And keep staying home until this curve is flattened. In the meantime, lean upon the Stuhlmacher family and we’ll be OK.

Ready for… DELIVERY? Yes, oh my gosh, we deliver!

Stay home. Stay with your people, your cat, your goldfish. Just stay home! But don’t stop celebrating. Is it your birthday? Your daughter’s gotcha day? Your puppy’s anniversary of being potty trained? Let us drop off gifts… balloons… Winkie’s Toys & Variety is our family’s second home. We are at home when we’re here, so let us be here. You can call us at the store (414-964-2131) – we’re open 10am-3pm daily. We’ll talk through what you need, charge it, and bring it over to drop on your porch, put in your garage or whatever works best for you.

Want to go for a drive? We also offer parking lot pick up.

Maybe you’re not celebrating but you’re ready for a new jigsaw puzzle. You know we have MANY fun puzzles! Maybe you need more yarn, new markers, a new board game…. some educational workbooks…. OR your favorite CANDY!! No problem.

Again, we mean it. Stay home. We’ll be at the store. We’ll keep things clean and stocked – we’ll meet you in the parking lot or drop it off at your house.

Stay safe, our friends.

With love, Beth, Terry, Michael and Sarah

The Times… They are A Changin’

If you know the Stuhlmacher family, you know we love music. Incorporating art, music, creativity, games, laughter and nature in our lives is in our opinion, what we’ll need to carry through these changing times. As we watch our world get turned upside down by the onset of a scary, unknown virus, we must turn inside. How can we help our community? How can we keep our families, loved ones, children safe and sane as we stay inside to keep our elderly, immune deficient and everyone safe?

When we discussed how Winkie’s Toys and Variety can help the Milwaukee area get through these tough times, all we can do is offer you what we’ve always offered you. Joy through toys. Laughter and strategy through games. Pride through education materials. And celebrations through gifts, party favors, balloons.

However, we can do it the safest way possible, by following the CDC recommendations for distance. You call us, tell us what you need to make today work best for you. We’ll deliver it to your home or meet your car in our parking lot. You stay in your space, we stay in our space. Our store is our home away from home. We’ll be here to answer your questions and offer what you need. Don’t let your family’s birthdays go uncelebrated. Don’t lose your mind over dried out markers. Refresh your yarn supply. Play that new card game.

Let us know how we can keep peace, happiness and do our part to keep you laughing and safely at home.

The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,

Terry, Beth, Michael and Sarah

Age Appropriate Play and Gift Giving

One of the most commonly asked questions at Winkie’s Toys and Variety is advice on what to buy a certain-aged child. Gift giving can be an exciting, meaningful time for some shoppers. For others, it’s stressful!

What is SAFE?

What is FUN?


These are questions we hear – and that is exactly why we LOVE being YOUR family-owned, local toy store in Milwaukee. We do our homework.

How do we know? We visit national toy shows. We walk the walk and talk the talk. We talk to creators of toys and games and hear directly from them why they are important or helpful in the growth of young minds. We hear what makes them fun! We hear what social and emotional skills they help develop. We hear why they are safe!

We study toy trends. We are on the pulse of the toy awards for each year and for each age group!

We love to share this information with you! Stop in and ask your questions, because we’ve got answers at Winkie’s Toys and Variety!

<3 Old School Valentine's Day Ideas <3

Window clings.
Love these.

We love traditions at Winkie’s Toys and Variety – and we know you do, too. We know traditions are still so important to our customers and community because we get the honor of hearing your stories and helping you build your memories.

Whether you come into our store to pick up balloons to bring to birthday celebrations, stop by to add candles to your Menorah to light with your children, swing by to grab a blow-up Rudolph for your front lawn, call to ask if we have a light up shamrock necklace for the Milwaukee St. Patrick’s Day parade, come in holding hands with grandma to pick up a special craft to do during a winter snow day, or save your birthday money to buy the new season’s basketball sticker book . . . we see you! We love your traditions!

This time of year, our favorite tradition is another Winkie’s Toys & Variety favorite – Valentine’s Day! We make sure to have different, interesting Valentine’s Day packs for your kids’ classes – they are so much fun! We know you love your child’s handwriting as they work through the spelling of each of their classmate’s names and their favorite specialist teachers and maybe even the principal, too!

Handwritten notes are one of our favorite traditions. Writing your own Valentine this year? Here are a few Valentine’s ideas:

  • Write a poem! Start with a classic like Roses are Red….
  • Use photographs! Grab one of those common deals at a photo printing place and get a few copies of your favorite photos. Make a collage, add speech bubbles, cut and paste photos together and have some fun with it!
  • Go old school and cut out words and images from magazine, advertisements, newspapers! Take time with recreating your favorite quotes, things you like to do together.
  • Use stickers, puffy letters, paint… or even everyone’s favorite… glitter! Get creative – take your time and enjoy the process!
  • Write a story. Create a funny or heartfelt story that includes close friend and family members – fiction or non fiction… either are fun!
  • Bake your Valentine’s favorite treat! Use heart shaped sprinkles, cute cupcake wrappers or decorative frosting! Homemade treats are so special!
  • Make a list of things you’d like to do with your Valentine! Maybe you like to hike together, go to your favorite bakery on a weekend morning, go to a movie, a bike ride, play your favorite board game together. Maybe you and your Valentine would like to learn a new skill together!

Have fun celebrating love, affection and don’t forget to have some fun with it!