With its literate, culturally astute local population, and theatre-going visitors from around the world in search of good reading, Stratford is an excellent place to shop for books. The center of town is dotted with a variety of stores that sell theatre related volumes, as well as fiction and non-fiction to appeal to all tastes and interests. (There are a total of NINE independent booksellers in Stratford!) Some of the stores specialize in used books, others have excellent collections of discounted "remainders", and many of them will display their wares in attractive stalls out on the street. Whenever I visit Stratford, I always end up purchasing more than a few rare or unusual titles - and I feel that I am able to get that at extremely reasonable prices to boot!
I've been to Hamley's in London and FAO Schwartz in New York City and they're wonderful places, but for sheer fun (and yes, magic!), I'd have to say that Family & Company is my favorite toy store in the world. There is a fine variety of games, costumes, craft items, magic paraphrenalia, and lots of small and inexpensive items which delight kids. There are even things to eat!
On my last trip, for example, I happened to recall that a colleague was expecting a child, and so I purchased a Baby Launcher -- kind of like a pea-shooter except that there were a variety of genders and ethnicities of little plastic babies to be launched -- which was a great hit at the subsequent shower. I still have a wonderful magic wand, and my boys have their water puzzles carefully tucked away for future generations.
Even if you don't have and don't like kids, this place is worth a visit.
Open most days from 9:30 AM to 7:45 PM