Inside Winkie’s Toys and Variety

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!

We love customer feedback and as we’re ordering new items to fill the basement shelves of Winkie’s Toys & Variety in 2020, we thought it would be fun to hear from you what are some of your favorite things to find at Winkie’s Toys!

Here’s a few of the items we were told!

Candy, stickers, school supplies, art projects and PRESENTS!

The other thing we loved to hear was season goodies! Speaking of seasonal goodies – it’s time for LOVE! While we love stocking our shelves with picture frames and mylar balloon racks and storage ideas to make your life easier – it’s so much fun to fill the store with Valentine’s Day loot!

Stay tuned for what’s in the store now for Valentine’s Day!


What’s more fun than finding a whole bunch of Winkie’s Toys and Variety fans tagging us on Instagram? We can’t think of anything! In the world of social media, we are always finding surprises! Here are some of our fabulous customers mentioning Winkie’s Toys and Variety on their pages – whether it’s finding their child favorite candies in our candy aisle or gathering with the best of buddies for a parade down Silver Spring – it’s cool to see what you’re chatting about!

Where to find us on social media, you ask? We’re super active on Facebook – sharing updates of new products in stock, what our customers are talking about, sales!, holiday must haves and super funny items that we pick out to grace our shelves!

Follow us on Facebook today! Or tag us on any social media at @Winkie’s Toys & Variety or @shopwinkies!

Stirring up memories in the basement of Winkie’s!

We LOVE your family’s traditions!

Whether you put up your holiday decor on October 1st or wait until the end of December. Whether you keep pumpkins up until January or don’t take your holiday lights down until until March.

One thing we often hear is that Winkie’s Toys & Variety has been a part of childhood holidays for so many of our customers. Your traditions, your decorations, your memories are important to us! So many of you are transformed to kids again in the basement of Winkie’s and love to find your traditions here and bring them to life for your families in 2019. Looking for Bubble Lites? We’ve got them. It’s so fun to plug them in and wait while they warm up to start bubbling! What are your favorite holiday decorations?

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!