NEW BRITAIN - Amatoâ€™s Toy & Hobby will be hosting a day of fun on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day.
â€śItâ€™s a fun day to get people to come out and experience a small store instead of the big box guys,â€ť said owner Steven Amato.
â€śWe have tables set up where people can try and actually play with some of the different things we carry, especially games and some science-related stuff,â€ť said Amato. â€śEverybody knows how to play Monopoly and Scrabble, but we have a lot of different kinds of games that people may never have heard of that are a lot of fun.â€ť
A host of volunteers will be helping out.
Kids can enjoy drawing, contests, giveaways and raffles throughout the day.
All are encouraged to bring in a nonperishable food item for the local food pantry and will be eligible to be entered into a drawing to win a wooden double-sided easel.
â€śWith a local store like us, three times the amount of revenue that we create stays in the community,â€ť said Amato. â€śLike, we just had some signs made at Sir Speedy, a local place.â€ť
Everyone will be able to enjoy free pizza from noon to 2 p.m., provided by Romaâ€™s of New Britain.
Amatoâ€™s is at 283 Main St. and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Neighborhood Toy Store Day, created by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, is scheduled ahead of the traditional Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to remember the local businesses at the heart of the toy industry. It has been celebrated by specialty toy retailers across the country for the past 10 years.
Throughout the event, shoppers not only participate in activities and hands-on experiences with the toys, but are also offered discounted prices on those items.
ASTRA, founded in 1992, is an international non-profit trade organization that develops and supports a membership of independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives in the toy industry. It is consisted of a community of dedicated professionals inspired to change the world through the power of play by providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have a high play value and are designed to focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. ASTRA equips and empowers members to make a positive impact on the economy and culture of the community it serves through certification programs, educational resources and networking opportunities.