I love a local business that has what you need and nothing more, like the old-time General Store versus today's megaplexes. Sullivan's toy store and art supply store on Wisconsin Ave. is just that. It's the only place I have ever taken my kids to pick out birthday presents for friends (up to about age 12), because it has a fine selection of everything that most parents would find acceptable.
The folks who run it seem to do their best to sort out the good toys that will last from the garbage that clogs the aisles of the big-box stores. They don't carry video games, but most kids aged 0 to about 12 will find just about everything they need. I confess, I did have to go to Toys 'R Us in Rockville the other day to find some Hot Wheels track and loop-the-loop that my 15-year-old needed for a physics project (something about velocity and mass). However, in 15 years of being a mom, I think I can count on one hand the times I've been to that increasingly unpleasant place.
Sullivan's offers free gift wrapping, which can be a real time saver. Can't count how many times we've rushed in there just minutes before someone's party, selected a present and card, paid and got it wrapped, and were out the door. The staff is also very helpful if you are looking for something in particular.
The small art store has a good selection of items for young artists, such as cool pens and pencils, as well as paints and pastels. We have used it for those school projects that involve creating displays on posterboard. Also, they have in stock or can order mats for artwork or photos.