Hidden gem: Kids Ink Bookstore in Butler-Tarkington

Kids Ink Bookstore_Indy's Child MagazineThe first time I found myself in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood of Indy, I felt like I was in what could possibly be considered a mini-foodie heaven. At the 56th & Illinois Street intersection you can look in any direction and find something to eat. There’s an ice cream shop, cupcake store, a Starbucks {of course}, grocery… literally, every meal of the day can be found in this one part of Indy. But I digress because that’s not why I’m writing this post.
Kids Ink Bookstore_Indy'sChildMagazineNestled in the middle of the northeast block is a quaint little book store appropriately named Kids Ink. It’s cute, it’s cozy, it’s local. 
They bill themselves as a book store, but rest assured there are also oodles of cute toys and gifts to be found too. When I walked in I expected the store to feel, look, and maybe even sound like a library {Complete with the “Shhhhhh!” sound effects.}. But I was pleasantly surprised when I crossed the threshold. Kids Ink Bookstore is a vibrant, colorful shop that immediately makes you want to check in on your New Years resolution: I will read more books this year. The bookshelves are at max capacity, full of titles starting at infant level and continuing up into the young adult sector. In the middle of the store are new releases and holiday/seasonal books. Towards the back are {among other toys} trains – lots of trains. There’s even an interactive table full of them for the little ones to play with while you shop.
Kids Ink Bookstore_Indy'sChildMagazineIn talking with the extremely helpful staff I learned that Kids Ink will be celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year. Amazing! How have I never visited before?
They also told me they host the occasional children’s author for meet-and-greets, a fact made even more incredible after I ran to the restroom to wash my hands: I discovered that the restroom walls are covered in autographs and illustrations by famous children’s authors like Drew Daywalt {helllllo, The Day The Crayons Quit!}.
If only my kids were younger: A flyer resting on the front counter alerted me to their regular storytime activities too. I immediately questioned my friends at theCityMoms who informed me that the storytime events fall in the, well, fall and spring and are perfect for ages 2-5. They include a couple stories and a craft for registered guests. One storytime last year was even hosted by First Lady of Indiana Karen Pence!
Kids Ink Bookstore_Indy'sChildMagazine
They don’t have a big birthday celebration planned this year but I am taking my kiddos back this spring – we’re going to run across the street to grab some ice cream, a cupcake, some candles and throw them a party. 30 years is definitely worth celebrating.

MORE INFO: Kids Ink Bookstore is located at 5619 North Illinois Street in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood of Indianapolis. Hours are Mondays-Thursdays 10am-8pm, Fridays-Saturdays 10am-6pm, and Sundays 1pm-5pm. For more information {and to check out their events calendar}, call {317} 255-2598 or visit their website.

Megan Leahy - Indy's Child Digital WriterA 30-something stay-at-home-mom of two, Megan Leahy is an Indy transplant who doesn’t like to stay at home. Originally from central Illinois, you can find her anywhere from the public library returning an overdue book or Target buying more than she went in for to taking her husband & kiddos out on the town or spending time with her friends at a local hot spot.

Megan is an avid volunteer who loves working with children and helping those in need. In 2015 she founded Pals on Patrol, a non-profit that collects new/very gently used stuffed animals that police, fire/rescue, and DCS staff can give to children in time of crisis. Follow her on Twitter or check out www.palsonpatrol.com.

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