Unplug the Xbox, toss aside the iPad, and get back to what being a kid was all about — the toys. Berkeley's The Ark specializes in the handmade, non-plastic, no-plug-needed kind of fun. Kid favorites include Ostheimer's hand-carved wooden animals, plush hand puppets from Emeryville-based Folkmanis, 3D wooden Tyrannosaurus rex puzzles, and the brain-stimulating Automoblox and Nanoblox kits. Even adults will love the high-quality production and long-lasting finish of their tots' new top distractions. With a play area for kids to test-drive a few of their favorites, friendly staff, and distractions like an Elizabeth Taylor doll that even adults will covet, The Ark will have your clan forgetting their pixelated screens — at least until you get home.
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