Those who’ve gotten their hands on newly minted Airbnb shares at their listing price may be thinking the company’s IPO was too good to be true — and there are reasons to consider whether it was — but one new offering on the online booking platform is truly, for some, the stuff of dreams: a night in the legendary FAO Schwarz toy store for just $25.
There’s a catch, of course: the listing is for just one New York City family of four, and it’s for one night only, on Dec. 21. The Airbnb
booking opens at noon Eastern time on Dec. 15, so good luck being the first, and only, to claim the coveted spot.
Those who seek to book must prove they’re residents of New York, and, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, the four people spending the night at FAO Schwarz must currently live in the same household.
But the lucky family that does score the festive RSVP will get the 20,000-square-foot flagship store to themselves for the night, with perks including:
• A tour of the two-story store led by an FAO Schwarz toy soldier.
• A music lesson on the Giant Dance On Piano made famous by Tom Hanks in the 1988 movie “Big.”
• A chance to build a plush toy at the on-site Build-a-Bear Workshop, as well as a remote-controlled car that can be raced through the store.
• A shopping credit to spend on a holiday spree in the store.
• A view of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree right outside your window, plus life-size stuffed animals for cuddling.
• Dinner (and breakfast the next morning) in the dining area, which features a candy wall.
• Bunk beds — with a slide — for the kids.
The listing promises a socially distanced staycation (for example, your toy-soldier tour guide will stay 6 feet away and wear a mask), and the store will be cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines. What’s more, if the sleepover has to be canceled due to COVID — for example, if infection rates and government policies cause the event to be scrapped — then the family will receive a $1,000 Airbnb voucher and an FAO Schwarz store credit.
For everyone who misses out on this toyland overnight, there are also virtual experiences available — such as holiday story time with a toy soldier for $25. Check them out here.
As for Airbnb, the company, its stock doubled in value in its Thursday debut on the Nasdaq exchange, staking the company to a market capitalization of nearly $90 billion.
The FAO Schwarz store at Rockefeller Center, which opened in 2018 about 10 blocks from the chain’s former Fifth Avenue flagship (which closed in 2015, a decade after a pair of bankruptcies in the early years of the millennium), will also carry 300 items from Target’s private labels, like Cat & Jack.
From the archives (August 2018):FAO Schwarz — the famed toy store — is making a comeback in Manhattan