This Saturday is not only National Gaming Day, but it’s also Neighborhood Toy Store Day! So for all of you game-loving folks out there I’m sure that you can find lots of cool free stuff to do in your area.
National Gaming Day (taking place at YOUR local library)
Libraries across the country are going to be turning their focus from books to games this weekend! Supported by the American Library Association, National Gaming Day encompasses all types of gaming – tabletop (the unplugged board/card variety), computer and video gaming.
Did you know that last year 1,365 libraries participated? That’s close to 31,000 people! This year they’re expecting many, many more which means that a library near you is probably participating! So grab some kids, friends whatever and head to your local library to play some games! Most will have open gaming in addition to organized events like the nationwide Super Smash Bros Brawl and Rock Band Tournaments. And most will have a brand-spankin’ new copy of Wits & Wagers Family thanks to a generous donation of 1,500 games from North Star Games. This awesome game was reviewed earlier this year, to read it CLICK HERE. (The pictures are from the 2009 National Gaming Day event at the Skokie Public Library in Illinois and taken from their Flickr page.)
So after you hit up your local library for some games, food and fun you can head to your neighborhood toy store and find some more games and deals! Purchase games that you tried at your library – or just buy a copy of Scattergories Categories…it’s a fantastic new game (shameless plug.)
Neighborhood Toy Store Day
Run by ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) the goal of Neighborhood Toy Store Day is get people to shop local! The independent toy/game stores, which I often refer to as “Mom & Pop Stores” provide a great deal of variety versus the same old stuff you see in the game aisle of your local Target, Toys ‘R Us or Wal-Mart. Throughout the year these small retailers often host community events such as game nights, author signings, story time and all sorts of fun stuff and this weekend under the heading of Neighborhood Toy Store Day many of them will be hosting some of these special events! Just a couple examples:
Sparks Toy & Hobby Shoppe, Smithfield, Rhode Island, SparksToys.com
Sparks (store picture from their website above) is holding a Grand Reopening and Neighborhood Toy Store celebration. They’re hosting the fine folks from Fun Q Games who will be doing some game demos. I definitely recommend their game Triplica which is a fun, easy, family card game in which you are attempting reach your secret goal of getting three of one of the symbols (x, square, circle, etc.) in a row. There are typically 5 cards (depending on number of players) with three symbols on each in the center of the table. On their turn, players place another card with three symbols on it from their hand on top of one of the cards already in play. If you get three in a row, you call it out, earn one point and select another secret goal. First player to 5 points wins. There are also two other games that can be played with the Triplica cards one of which is a solitaire version. Triplica is one of those games that can ONLY be found at a specialty retailer (okay…and Amazon). But now you see why you should visit your local game store?! Triplica Stats can be found below.
Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts, Frederick, Maryland, PlayAtTheBear.com
Dancing Bear is going to be spending their Neighborhood Toy Store day helping out their neighbors! For every $10 spent you get $1 back to put into the local charity jar of your choice. They have six local charities to choose from all of which benefit local youth in their area. And if you think about it, you could make this a double charity day and buy something to donate to Toys for Tots…just a thought. (picture is from their website)
Cat & Mouse Game Store, Chicago, Illinois, Cat-N-Mouse.com
My neighborhood game store is going to be demoing the games on ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids” list, which includes Spot It by Blue Orange Games and Anomia by Anomia Press. Plus they’re going to be having some game-themed contests where the winner gets a family game collection filled with cool stuff like a travel Gobblet, Fluxx, Anomia, 5 Second Rule and some brainteasers. And like Dancing Bear, they’ll be doing a Shop and Share day for two neighborhood schools. (store picture is from their website)
To find out more or to find a Toy/Game Store in your area: http://neighborhoodtoystoreday.com/
To find out more about a National Gaming Day at a library in your area: http://ilovelibraries.org/gaming/
$15 at Specialty Retailers and Amazon.com
1- 6 Players
Ages 7 and Up