BEST MALL EXPERIENCE WITH KIDS (2005)
This is a trip for the kids, and so there will be none of the above. But you'll still have a great time.
Okay, listen carefully, before we regret giving up our secrets. Begin by parking in the Nordstrom parking lot just off Goldwater Boulevard, and enter the west side of the store. Take the elevator to the third floor, and browse the children's shoe aisle as you keep the toddlers moving toward the mall. You can mix the order from here, but the perfect trip -- all found on the third-floor stretch just outside Nordstrom -- includes:
A stop at See's for free samples for you and the kids.
A pass through Sanrio, better known as the "Hello Kitty Store," where you can satisfy a little girl's desire for plastic crap for just a couple of dollars. And sometimes they're giving out free stickers.
A long stay at Pottery Barn Kids, where you can purchase a set of vintage-looking, kid-size kitchen appliances (stove and fridge) for $449, or let the kids play with them for as long as you want, for free. PBK also has the best bathroom on the "strip."
Additional shopping forays at Baby Gap, Gap Kids, Gymboree, Baby Style, The Children's Place, and -- the big kahuna -- The Disney Store.
Then we like to stop for a soft pretzel (or bag of pretzel pieces) and lemonade at the pretzel stand and enjoy them at the kid-size tables and chairs before heading into what our kids have dubbed "The Princess Playground." Really, it's one of those Westcor specials you find at malls all over town. This one is small, but has its own bathroom. (It's been a long time since PBK.)
If you decide to drop some dough in the Nordstrom kids' shoe department on the way out, you can be guaranteed balloons for everyone. And just think of the shoes you'll buy yourself when you come back alone.
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