New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published May 11th 2015
A fun and affordable solution to "Mum, I'm bored"
If you love checking out the Op Shops, you will have a favourite shop for different things you are after. Some have huge furniture departments, others are great for kids clothes or some have the biggest range of Manchester items. Sometimes you walk in and it feels like the planets have aligned to give you everything that you have been looking for - and other times you walk out disappointed with nothing.
This article is about the best Op-Shops in Canberra (in my opinion) which have the largest Toy Departments to increase your chances of finding the perfect toys for your little one. North side or South side, you will find that Canberra has a lot to choose from.
1. CLOSE TO CITY:
SALVOS - FYSHWICK ( 9km SE of the CBD) 5-15 Mildura Street, Fyshwick ACT 2609 Open Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5pm, 9:30am - 3pm Saturdays
This Salvos is one of the biggest I have seen - the upstairs area has a large clothing and furniture area, but it is downstairs in the "Bargain Basement" that you will find the treasure trove of toys. You enter the Basement from down the driveway to the right hand side of the building.
We have found some amazing bargains here, however nothing is priced so it is up to the person behind the counter to provide you with the price (which is always reasonable). If you are after a large toy, bike, scooter etc then you have a good chance of finding something here.
As it is so popular, parking can be tricky on the road outside, so expect a short walk.
2. SOUTH SIDE: VINNIES - TUGGERANONG (20km south of CBD) Corner of Pittman St and Athlon Drive, Greenway ACT 2905 Open Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 9am - 2pm, Sun 10am - 3pm
This Vinnies is of average size, but it has a large Toy Department with an extensive range of books and games and boxes of 50c toys. It is a rare occasion that we haven't walked out of here without a bargain. Most toys are priced but if they aren't, the prices stated by the person at the counter are always reasonable, like most places. The best part of this store in particular is that it is open on Sundays, so if you are having a rainy Sunday then you can pop in for a new $3 board game to get you through the day!
Vinnes at Tuggeranong, located just outside the Hyperdome Shopping Centre
SALVOS - MITCHELL (8km north of CBD) 32 Hoskins Street, Mitchell, ACT 2911 Open Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 9am - 2:30pm
When we first moved to Canberra and I started looking into the best Op Shops for furniture and toys, I was always recommended to visit the Salvos Family Store at Mitchell, and I wasn't disappointed on my first visit. There had been a lot to choose from, however on my last visit there wasn't as much there to choose from, but it is still a favourite for its prices and size. Most toys are less than $5 and there is usually plenty of parking on the road outside. A must-see on your Op Shopping Toy Crawl, just be prepared that some days there is more to choose from than others.
Mitchell Salvos, a large area when full of toys, depending on time if year/donations.
There are dozens of good quality Op Shops here in Canberra and they all have toy departments which have quality, affordable toys so if you pop into any one them you will always have a selection to choose from.
This article wouldn't be complete without mentioning "The Green Shed" at both Mitchell (North side) and Symontson (South side). For those of you that haven't experienced "The Green Shed" yet, it is part of Canberra's Resource Management (ie. it's at the tip!) where they rescue items from the Tip from going into landfill and sell in their shop. Although not technically an Op Shop, they often have Charity Days to raise money to donate to the local Community and they are helping the environment.
Yes, they sell toys, but obviously they will need to be cleaned and often fixed. You will be amazed by what they sell … everything! This place isn't for everyone though, not everyone likes the idea of buying from the Tip shop, but if you like rummaging for treasures then this is the place for you.
If you are looking for toys, bikes, ride on toys, trampolines and more then you will find it all here (especially the Mitchell store, which is neatly set out) however you do take the risk that it may be broken.
If you take your children with you, I have found it handy to pre-warn them that some toys may be unsafe to play with in its current condition, so they just need to be careful with what we play with. There are some quite dangerous toys (eg. trikes with no pedals), so it is best to keep a close eye on them whilst you are there.To find out the prices, take your goods to the counter and ask the staff, then make a decision from there. We have paid $10 for a rocking horse and large toy kitchen, and up to a few dollars for toys. With a soak in disinfectant and a good scrub they come up as new.
Outside toys, prams and bikes.
Dozens of prams and bikes to choose from
Toys inside, from 50c
THE GREEN SHED Resource Management Centre, Mugga Lane, Symonston
Mitchell Resource Management Centre, Flemington rd, Mitchell
Open 7:30am - 5pm Dailywww.thegreenshed.net.au/locate_us.php
Op Shopping in Canberra is rewarding to know that you are giving back to the community, teaching your children about how charities work, keeping your bank balance happy and keeping your kids entertained all in the one place. And while you are there, you could pick up some great clothes, furniture or housewares for your home.
Enjoy Op Shopping in Canberra - you won't leave empty handed!