Do you remember back in April, when The Curious George Store opened with much fanfare? You didn't make it to the grand opening? Well, that's OK, neither did we. Mommy Poppins Boston got a sneak peek of the store before it opened, but we hadn’t been back until just recently. I thought the place looked like it was going to be quite fabulous, but I wanted to see it through the eyes of my children, so we recently hopped on the T and headed to Harvard Square for a summer field trip to The World's Only Curious George Store.
As we entered the store, the kids were appropriately impressed with the Curious George suspended in a hot air balloon over our heads. I pointed out the bright, happy mural on the wall, and showed them George's house, complete with a mailbox and a kite “flying” overhead. After a couple of minutes, the kids turned to me and said, "We're ready to go." "What?!," I protested. "You haven't looked at their selection of books. What about all the toys? Did you look at the panels chronicling the journey of the creators of the Curious George books?" They hadn't, so I took them on a little tour of the store.
For those of you who used to frequent the previous store – called Curious George and Friends – you might be surprised at how small the new one is. The storefront occupies only the upper floor. That downstairs area is now the home of storage for merchandise, desks for the owners, and restrooms for little bladders. Though the store may be small, it is mighty. My kids were fascinated with the story of the Reys, and after I showed them the museum-style plaques on the wall, they each picked up a book about how the Reys escaped the Nazis, and settled in to read on a cushy bench. After that, they were more interested in exploring the place. They liked the giraffe broom inside George’s house and the painting on the wall made to look just like George’s work. There is a lovely selection of toys for babies and toddlers, and some fun items for older kids as well.
For die-hard Curious George fans, this place doesn’t disappoint. In addition to a huge assortment of the books (in English and some in Spanish), there are apparel items like onesies, t-shirts and bibs that were designed exclusively for the store. A bonus is that the tees come from Junk Food Clothing Company, a celebrity favorite (your kid and Gwen Stefani’s son will have something in common!), and are made in the good ol’ US of A. The store has everything you could ever want for a birthday party – the party supplies were so fun, we actually considered having a Curious George-themed party.
Overall, my kids and I agreed that the Curious George store is definitely worth a return visit. We think it’s a great place to find gifts for children and literature-loving adults alike, and we would recommend it to our friends.
You may want to stop by the store to meet Curious George when he visits (see the store's calendar for dates). For a more low-key event, step into Curious George's house at the back of the store for story time, every Tuesday and Friday morning at 10:30. All ages are welcome for stories and songs, though you can bet the crowd will be on the younger side.
After your visit to the Curious George Store, you could spend the whole day hanging out in Harvard Square. For a sweet treat, you have plenty of options: J.P. Licks (our favorite), Pinkberry, and Ben & Jerry’s. For a combination of savory and sweet, try a Harvard Square institution, Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage, where you’ll sit elbow to elbow with other diners who are enjoying their heavily-topped, juicy burgers with a lime rickey or a strawberry shake.
The Curious George Store | One JFK Street
, Cambridge, MA 02138. In Harvard Square, diagonal from the Harvard Square T Station (Red Line) | Contact: 617-547-4500 or firstname.lastname@example.org | The store's Facebook page is the best source of information about the store and upcoming events.
Post originally published July 2012; updated December 2016.