The Red Balloon Raises The Bar

| March 10, 2009 | 0 Comments

By: Kristen Holub

If you are looking for a unique gift for a child this year, check out The Red Balloon Co. on Damen in Bucktown. They celebrated their 10th anniversary this year, and since starting out a decade ago as a children’s furniture store, Red Balloon has grown into a multi-departmental children’s boutique with two locations.

To meet the needs of the neighborhood, their offerings expanded to include adorable clothing, handmade furniture, unique toys and gifts, books and more. The items are often more eclectic since The Red Balloon’s selective buyers hand-pick each one. Many of their return customers love that the store does the legwork for them as far as figuring out which books will become tried and true favorites, which Plan Toys are best for your child and locating hard-to-find toys like their enameled tea set.

Another thing the customers (especially me) adore is the free gift wrap. It’s unisex and fun and saves me the time and effort, but the added benefit is that anyone on the receiving end already knows you must be giving them something great!

The Red Balloon’s customer service also goes above and beyond with perks like call lists that can tell you when a particular item has come in, personal shopping to help make the most of your visit and even a messenger service that can deliver items to you when you are particularly pressed for time!

The Red Balloon has several items that might be perfect for your little elves this year. Beyond all of the clothing (which is always an easy winner) you might want to check out the Recycled Cardboard Playhouse ($56) The eco-friendly playhouse stands about 4 ft tall and has a front and back door, skylights, windows and a mail slot. The best part in my opinion is that it is plain and white, so part of the fun is that kids can make it their own with crayons, markers, paint, sequins or whatever else you have on hand, fostering your child’s creativity and mastery of art supplies!

A great pick for the 4-8 set is the Notecard Suitcase by The Piggy Story ($33) This starter kit for correspondence encourages your child to communicate with family and friends the old fashioned way with 12 notecards/envelopes, 12 postcards and 8 stamp markers. It all comes neatly packaged in a cute little suitcase (a fun, imaginative toy on its own) in your choice of purple “Piggy Fairy” or blue “Knights and Dragons”. Cute!

One more cool holiday gift that’s perfect for the stocking is the Glitter Globe by Jack Rabbit ($13.25) These are an updated version of the classic snow globe. Perched on a painted striped base, the glass ball sparkles like crazy as the shaken-up glitter swirls around inside. The Glitter Globes come in either fairy or monkey designs and are sure to add some sparkle and fun to your child’s room.

If that wasn’t enough, The Red Balloon Co. has a birthday club that offers you 10% off for the entire month of your child’s birthday, and they also have a baby registry. Do you need another reason to pay them a visit?

The Red Balloon Co.

Bucktown Location (flagship store)
2060 N. Damen Avenue (b/w Armitage & Webster Ave.)
Chicago, IL 6064

Andersonville Location
5407 N. Clark St.(three doors north of Balmoral St.)
Chicago, IL 60640

Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
(Andersonville is closed on Mondays.)

This is an Original Chicagonista article.

Kristen Holub Artist and business owner turned stay-at-home-mom, Kristen Holub stays busy with Chicago Green Families, running around town with her son, and doing her best to keep the household eco-friendly and under control while jotting down and sharing great finds in Chicago.

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Category: Shops & Services

About the Author ()

Kristen Holub, mother of 2 and creator of, is an artist and business owner turned stay-at-home mom. She makes conscious and mindful decisions to keep the household eco-friendly and shares tip and tricks for others to do the same. She can always be found running around town with her kids, as she jots down and shares their great finds in the city.

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