My 2-1/2-year-old son, Hank, loves spring. It means warmer days, more outside time, and the Easter Bunny.

In our house, we have our own stuffed bunny named Cocoa, who is currently watching Hank and reporting back to the Easter Bunny. Like his pal the "Elf on the Shelf," our "Bunny on the Bench" is there to make sure Hank is a good boy. He's right there when we walk in the house every day, so Easter is definitely in the forefront for us during this time of the year.

It's a long wait for Easter and the Easter Bunny's visit, though, so we popped into TreeHouse Toy Store for some springtime distraction. Mr. Dave, who owns the store with his wife Gaetana, showed Hank the Lux Super Deluxe Bunny. She's 14 inches tall sitting, so she's a good size for Hank to play with — and really soft. As TreeHouse says on its website, Lux Bunny is "slightly under stuffed for a melt in your arms kind of feel."

TreeHouse Toy Store

I love the neighborhood feel Gaetana and David have cultivated at The TreeHouse Toy Store since they opened it in 1996. They wanted kids of all ages to be able to explore The TreeHouse as if they were in an actual treehouse with fun things to discover around every corner and cool toys tucked into every nook.

Their shop is a reflection of both their talents: Gaetana hand-picks all the toys with an eye for ones that spark children's creativity and imagination. Dave (who enjoys both woodworking and math) handles the financial side of the business and has built all the displays, including the large bucket-filled counters.

They created a shop where kids could come with their allowance and always feel like they could find something new and fun.

They also have a full-service website (including in-store pickup — or “TreeHouse Take-Out” as it’s called), TreeHouse Loyalty Club, shipping services, wishlists and good old-fashioned customer service.

As a special treat just for Easter, you can use code 'HOP5' ($5 off $25) or 'HOP10' ($10 off $50) when you order online to get a discount off your purchase!

And don't forget: SHOP LOCAL! I highly recommend you visit The TreeHouse Toy Store at 793 Elmwood Ave. (at corner of Auburn in the Elmwood Village) or call them at 888-882-1322.