Inside Winkie’s Toys and Variety

Getting a taste of the holidays

We know it’s a long standing argument on when is TOO EARLY to turn on holiday music? When is TOO EARLY to jingle your bells?! Some folks say absolutely NOT until after Halloween.. while some folks say you should wait until further into November…

But we know this year is like no other, right? We got a jump start on the holiday cheer and sent out our holiday gift guide already, did you get yours? Of course it has your favorite coupons in it, but also doesn’t it feel awesome opening the mailbox and seeing that your favorite local toy store has some FUN ideas for gift giving or family game playing this year!

And yes, the LEGO Santa display is up filled with new LEGO sets that are going to be so popular this year!

So is it too early? Or are you a teeny bitty bit excited… like us!!??

Making a fun Halloween, no matter what!

These are crazy days! We are all looking around to find great joy in our lives in new and different days. In some homes, it’s being outside in nature – fresh air! Safe, socially distant walks! In some homes, it’s hunkering down with puzzles, crafts and family game nights.

Milwaukee has done an incredible job decorating for Halloween. Does anyone else feel like the orange lights and spooky blow up character game is really off the charts this year? People have stepped up their skills! It certainly makes Fall walks much more fun! No matter what the weather.

Don’t lose out on the fun, even without the trick or treating this year, ok?

Here are some ideas on how to upkeep Halloween fun even with these new-ever-changing days:

  • Have a pumpkin carving contest in your neighborhood! Drop off flyers for your neighbors inviting people to play along! Families can walk around on the side walks (or street, depending upon what neighborhood you live in) and vote for their favorites – or simply enjoy the decor!
  • Drop off BOO BAGS of candy and treats to neighbors – of any age! Remember, everyone could use a smile and treat these days! Include some candy, a fun small toy or a little craft!
  • Kick up your decorating game at your own home! Can you make a ghost out of an old sheet or pillow case? Need string? Googly eyes? Swing in your local favorite store for a few items to help you out!
  • Go for a walk and enjoy your neighbor’s creativity! Don’t forget to bring a flashlight or headlamp to keep yourself safe! Remember, Winkie’s Toys & Variety always has extra batteries you need.
  • Decorate your car for Halloween and go for a drive through haunted house or car wash in the area! Those window markers/paints can be for more than just birthdays!

Happy Fall and Halloween, friends!

Falling in love with Wisconsin weather (in Autumn!)

What’s more beautiful than a cool breeze on an Autumn day, walking the tree lined streets of your neighborhood, watching children play in their yard, waving hello to neighbors? It’s picture perfect, right? Well in Wisconsin, we get a little of that… then it starts to hail. Then the sun comes out. Then, the temp drops 20 degrees and we dig in our basements or storage closets for last year’s hats and gloves praying for a match or two!

We have been stocking hats and gloves and mittens and the adorable little clips to keep kids (or adults) from losing their gloves/mittens for as long as we can remember! Why would our little variety store keep these items on hand? Because we know we all need them, that’s why! Our shelves are stocked and today may be sunny and 55, but in an hour we could fighting some wind and sleet. Yes, we have umbrellas too. And for those of you who want to just stay inside, we have some fun puzzles you haven’t seen before. Swing downstairs at Winkie’s Toys & Variety at 629 Silver Spring Drive – the corner of Silver Spring Drive and Lake Drive in Whitefish Bay today. Open Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm.

Winkie’s Toys & Variety Can Help Make Things Easier

Oh Magic 8 Ball, how can I make this time easier?

Some kids and teachers are going back in the classroom. Some are setting up work stations at home! Some will be doing a little bit of both. Some folks are working from home… some are in their work places day after day! BUT, how can we all work together to make this time easier for each other?

Be Kind!

You’ll hear about decisions school official and work places are making. You’re hearing about fears, excitement, uncertainty, longing, apprehension… let’s be kind to one another! You do what makes you feel comfortable for the moment, and let your neighbor do the same. Also, you have the right to change your mind! That’s OK!

Set up a helpful space!

What do you need to help make this time more fun or comfortable for you in your WFH (work from home space) or for your child’s SFH (school from home) space? Your favorite pens, markers, homemade signs of encouragement, construction paper, cute sticky notes? We have those things!

How about your whole school supply list? We can do that, too! Bring it in, we’ll fill it and voila! You’re ready!

Miss your office mates? How about a photoframe filled with pictures from last year’s holiday party?

Miss your teacher and classmates? How about a bulletin board tacked with your friends’ school pictures?

Take Brain Breaks!

If you’re virtually learning or WFH, take a break now and again! Play catch in the yard, toss a frisbee, get creative with an art project, bake something delicious, keep that intense game of Monopoly going!

Go back and visit that big ole’ jigsaw puzzle that’s on your dining room table! Winkie’s can help! We can help fill those times you need to walk away! Pop in and ask us what we recommend based on your hobbies, passions or age!

Keep your spirits up!

One of the best ways to fight the pandemic blues is to connect with those you like and love! Send a homemade letter in the mail. Drop off some balloons or a gift to someone you care about! Plus, don’t forget to do things for you: do a crossword puzzle, a fun quiz book or play a card game!

If the Magic 8 Ball doesn’t give you the answers, perhaps we can…. let us know how we can help!

You are a part of our family with your dedication to local, family businesses – reach out!

Coming soon! Online shopping!

Yes, that’s right – our online store is almost done and we’re going to be ready to bring puzzles, balloons, games, crafts and gifts and more right to your computer or smart phone! Online shopping is coming to your favorite local toy store – soon!

We can’t wait to share it with you! Stay tuned! In the meantime, we’re open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm and Sunday 10am-3pm!

Summer is here!

OK Milwaukee…summer is here! And it’s d i f f e r e n t…. am I right? BUT does that mean it has to be less fun? No.

No. No it doesn’t have to be less fun! So, let’s talk fun.


Whether you’re shooting soft rockets into the air in the backyard, blowing bubbles all around your neighborhood, chalking inspirational messages or your favorite cartoon characters on your sidewalk, or making an obstacle course for your bikes or skateboards… Winkie’s Toys & Variety has goodies for you!


Are you spending hours on YouTube and TikTok watching videos of cool baking tips and tricks… creating your own recipes or following your favorite FOOD Network baker? We’ve got tons of fun baking gadgets, accents and basic kitchen necessities!


Maybe you are not ready for Phase 2 or 3 or any phase at all… and you dig your time in your cozy family room, your craft space or your dining room table. Set up a beautiful jigsaw puzzle, cozy up to your a crossword puzzle book or update your crochet needles.

Embrace what feels right for you this summer. This is a tricky time and following your heart, doing what feels right is the right thing to do.

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!

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!