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Play N Learn features Melissa & Doug toys

The store features a large play area for kids, a weekly storytime and toys separated and marked by age.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
I was doing a little Christmas shopping the other day at Triangle Town Center in north Raleigh and finally got around to going to Play N Learn Toys.

I'd heard about the toy store back in July when it opened, but hadn't managed to get up to it until last week. I should have gone sooner.

The store carries primarily Melissa & Doug toys, from their popular wooden toys to a nice selection of puppets and stuffed animals. Some toys are separated and marked by age on the shelves - a benefit for all those aunts, uncles, Toys for Tots shoppers and others who have no idea what a six-year-old, for instance, might want.

There's also lots of toys out for kids to play with, a benefit for a shopper with some kids who need a break. There's a train table, two kitchens, three dollhouses, a barn full of animals and a ramp racer for cars. The store also offers a storytime on Mondays at 10:30 a.m.

I spoke with Janet Herzog, who owns the store with her husband. The couple got involved in the toy business in another state a few years ago when they began selling wooden puzzles at a large flea market. Sales went so well that they decided to open a store. They opened an original store in High Point and then moved it to Raleigh.

Sales could be better. Herzog told me they hope to be able to renew their lease when it expires in July. She said she often hears from frequent customers that they're pulling for her. I am too.

Herzog has plans for the new year including a puppet show and a monthly craft program. Stay tuned for more on that. Herzog promised she'd let me know when all is set.

Play N Learn is on the upper level of the mall near Sears. It's open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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