Earth Explorer Toys event encourages shopping local this holiday season

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Sarah and Rachel Beck enjoy the National Neighborhood Toy Store Day at Earth Explorer Toys in 2014. (submitted photo)

Sarah and Rachel Beck enjoy the National Neighborhood Toy Store Day at Earth Explorer Toys in 2014. (submitted photo)

By Renee Larr

Earth Explorer Toys will join shops catering to kids across the U.S. to celebrate National Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Nov. 14. The annual event will help kick off the holiday shopping season and serve as a reminder of the benefits of shopping local.

“We do this every year. I think this is the sixth year we’ve had National Neighborhood Toy Store Day,” said Terri Bracken, head explorer of Earth Explorer Toys. “It’s basically like a party all day.”

Attendees can participate in various arts and crafts in the morning and afternoon. The event will also include a scavenger hunt called Rock Zionsville, where participants will use clues to search for big painted rocks hidden around town.

“We try to make (the hiding locations) all walkable,” Bracken said. “In the past we’ve given away only 12 prizes, one for each rock that came in. This year whoever brings in the little thing at the end will win a prize.”

The day will also have a focus on giving back to the community. Marines will be onsite collecting new, unwrapped donations for Toys for Tots.

“We also give a percent off if the people want to buy something,” Bracken said. “We also have a jar if they want to donate a dollar or two and we turn it into toys.”

Adults, not just children, are welcome to attend the event.

“Everybody’s a kid at heart,” Bracken said.

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