Outdoor Malls: Try shopping at places such as Crocker Park in Westlake or Legacy Village in Lyndhurst. Busy working mom Binnie Kurtzner of Chagrin Falls swears by them to appease her energetic first-grader on tedious clothes-shopping days: “I can get the convenience of having many stores in one location, plus a little bit of outdoor exploration to keep my son from getting too restless.” Stroll between stores on open sidewalks that allow snacking, reasonably loud voices and even playful, controlled skipping. It has a whole different feel than the confines of a mall — a much easier sell to kids of every age.
Children’s Orchard: A resale shop that is famously picky about accepting only clothing that is gently worn and well-cared for. Here’s the place to find one-of-a-kind styles — often pricey brand names from fancy stores — at about a quarter of the original price. If you can’t find everything you need, ask to look in the back where they sometimes have overstock items. Plus, most locations have a play area to keep shopalongs occupied.
Aurora Farms Premium Outlets: Children’s clothing stores such as Gap, OshKosh and The Children’s Place have outlets here, as does Stride Rite shoes. Moms love this place because of the playground, ice cream shop and duck pond, which can be used as respite and reward stations.