10 Best Finds at Once Upon a Child

I have four kids, and while hand-me-downs are life in my house, there are times when I need things we don’t already have. This month, my oldest daughter is starting tap dancing classes at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, and she needed the shoes and clothes for the part. So I turned to where I always turn when we need a speciality item: Once Upon a Child.

We lucked out – the Fields Ertel store had tap shoes and leotards in her size – and as I victoriously walked through the store I thought about the other great finds we’ve had at this local consignor. If you haven’t added Once Upon a Child to your repertoire, you really should, as you can really find anything there – for a fraction of what you’d pay at other stores. 

Here are my 10 Best Finds at Once Upon a Child:

Ballet slippers and tap shoes

Last year, Mary’s feet literally grew three sizes. Three. That translates into three extra pairs of ballet slippers (and tap shoes, if she did both!). For speciality items that aren’t going to get a ton of wear, you win big at Once Upon a Child – precisely because many of these items haven’t gotten a ton of wear! (I purchased the ballet shoes, leotard and skirt pictured above for around $10!)

Halloween costumes

In terms of selection, shopping at Once Upon A Child is basically like going to a costume store or retailer like Target. Luckily for us, Once Upon a Child makes costume shopping affordable and easy. (And if your kids want multiple costumes or a dress-up-bin refresh, you won’t break the bank!)

Baby gear

Last spring when I had a newborn, the preschool drop off/pick up was such a nightmare. (Every day I had to haul the infant car seat in and out of the school, all while holding my 3-year-old’s hand. Twice.) So I went to Once Upon a Child and bought a Graco stroller base that fit the car seat, and it made my life so. much. easier. This particular model cost upwards of $100 new, and I got a like-new one for a fraction of the cost! (Once Upon a Child also has bouncers, play mats and other limited-use baby gear you don’t want/need to pay top dollar for!)

Related: Fall Consignment Guide

Hats, gloves and snowsuits

The winter weather in Cincinnati can be unpredictable, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared on the first snow day! Mark your calendars for Once Upon a Child’s annual Coat and Boot sale on September 22.


Fact: babies are messy. Once Upon a Child’s onesie sales are glorious: 20 for $10? That’s 50 cents each! Stock up and be ready for anything.

BTS essentials

Each year in August, Once Upon a Child hosts a huge back-to-school event that coincides with Ohio’s Tax Free Weekend. This is a fab time to stock up on jeans, sweaters and more – sans sales tax!

Special occasion clothes

Christmas, Easter, picture day… some special occasions require a little more than my kids’ standard joggers-and-tee-shirts wardrobes. I’ve found top brands like Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, Tea, Crewcuts and Gap Kids all on the shelves at Once Upon a Child.

Sports gear

If your kids are in soccer in the fall and spring, odds are pretty high that you’re buying shoes for both seasons. (Or at least once/year — and that can add up!) Do yourself a favor and check out Once Upon a Child for your kiddo’s sports gear.

Swim wear


In Ohio, most of us don’t need swimsuits year-round. And swimsuits are one of those items that generally don’t get a lot of wear before kids grow into the next size. Check Once Upon a Child in late March for their annual swimwear kick off event!


During the holiday season, Once Upon a Child turns their toy departments into Toy Land – the one and only place parents need to shop for everything under the tree! They have a huge selection of toys, and with their everyday low prices, you don’t have to wait for a sale. {Toy Land typically opens in early November, but you’ll find toys all year round at Once Upon a Child!}

Once Upon a Child is known for their everyday low prices, but if you follow your favorite store on Facebook, you’ll be in the know for extra-special sales and savings! 

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