Photo credit: Nicole Wakelin / Nerdy TravelingMom

Photo credit: Nicole Wakelin / Nerdy TravelingMom

There are lots of places where you can buy games for your kids. Whether you’re at home or on the road, your first thought might be to head to a big box store like Toys ‘R Us or Target. But if that’s where you go to buy games, then you’re missing out on the adventure of going to a dedicated game store.

These small, independent stores are all across the country. They provide not just a place to buy games, but a place to play games. We look for these stores wherever we travel. And we spend time at our favorite local shop close to home. Myriad Games in the Northeast offers a gaming selection that you simply won’t find in the big stores, along with gaming space for people to play.

Stay and Play

Small local game stores are also usually staffed by people who really know and love games. They can point you to the perfect choice for your 6-year-old who likes ponies and fairies and, even better, it’s likely one you never knew existed.

Hatching evil plans for world domination! Photo credit: Nicole Wakelin / Nerdy TravelingMom

Hatching evil plans for world domination! Photo credit: Nicole Wakelin / Nerdy TravelingMom

Sure, you can take that game home and play on the living room floor or kitchen table, but you can often choose to play right in the store. Many shops have spaces behind the retail area with tables set up just so you can open that box right away.

Once you do open that box, be prepared for other gamers who want to know all about whatever you and your kids are playing that day. Depending on how old your kids are, you might even be able to step back and watch while they make some new friends who want to play together.

Make New Friends

Think of it almost like a community center. People who want to socialize and make new friends can gather at the game store, talk about what they’ve been playing, and try something new. We’ve made some great friends at Myriad and after years of my husband attending Tuesday night open-gaming, he’s even helped organize a few nights for the kids.

School vacation weeks are a great time to take advantage of all that your local game shop has to offer. You don’t have to drive hours away or spend a small fortune taking your kids out for fun. There’s plenty of adventure to be found at the game store down the road.