Originally published in The Weekly Packet, October 31, 2019
Out on a Whimsey opens in Blue Hill
Games, puzzles, books...and Slime
by Anne Berleant
Good food, eclectic gift shops, fine coffee, and great people. But, what has downtown Blue Hill been missing? For children, from young to old, the opening of a new toy store, Out on a Whimsey, will surely fill any gap.
With a flagship store in Belfast, Out on a Whimsey seemingly opened overnight in Blue Hill, hanging its Welcome sign and unlocking its door at 50 Main Street on Friday, October 25.
“We got the store together in a couple of weeks,” store manager Brandie Cardenas said. “We had a lot of extra stock, so it was an easy transition.”
Looking for Slime? A puzzle for a rainy weekend afternoon? A stuffed animal to hold and love? The shelves are filled from floor to ceiling with items to amuse, entertain and educate children.
“It’s the most amazing thing,” Cardenas said. “In my opinion, children can gain all the skills they need in life through play: taking turns in games, holding and loving stuffed animals, toys for gross and fine motor skills.”
A 20-plus year veteran of the toy industry, Cardenas joined Out on a Whimsey two years ago, about eight years after owner Deb Hall started transitioning her Belfast store from gifts to only toys, and both women were excited to open a Blue Hill store.
“I saw a need there,” Hall said. “The stores down there are all so lovely but there was nothing that was for children. The whole Blue Hill peninsula was lacking something that kids could come in and buy.”
Items that are currently hot for toy consumers? “Anything tactile,” Cardenas said. “Putties, slimes and fun goodies like Mad Matter. Anything they can put in their backpack. Things to trade, Legos.”
Housed in a former restaurant, the dining booths have been repurposed into play tables, and Cardenas said a family game night is being planned, likely on Wednesdays.
Out on a Whimsey is currently open seven days a week, Sundays-Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store can be reached at 374-2313.