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Vidler’s 5 & 10: Shopping entertainment at its best

Sandy the Horse

Don Vidler holds the reins of Sandy, the 50-year-old mechanical horse.

Vidler’s 5 & 10
676-694 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052
1-877-VIDLERS (843-5377)
www.vidlers5and10.com

The red and white striped awnings were just being rolled out on Main Street when we arrived at Vidler’s. Finding the store was no problem thanks to the four storefronts it occupies and “Vidler on the Roof,” a large statue of Ed Vidler, the popular second generation family member to run the business.

After wandering through stationery, gardening supplies and other novelties we found Don Vidler amongst the toys training a new wide-eyed employee while helping two local TV news reporters set up their equipment for an interview with him.

View more photos from Vidler's!

Vidler on the Roof

The Vidler on the Roof proudly holds up the "Most Fun Place to Shop in WNY" banner.

Don and his sister, Beverly – Ed’s children – are the third generation of Vidler’s to run the store. Joining them in managing the operation is cousin Cliff DeFlyer.

Vidler’s 5 & 10 got its start in 1930 when Don, Bev and Cliff’s grandfather, Robert S. Vidler Sr., opened “The Fair Store” so – according to family legend – his mother-in-law could buy a spool of thread somewhere closer than Buffalo, 16 miles to the west. By 1945, Robert felt confident enough in the store’s success that he renamed it Vidler’s 5 & 10 and proudly displayed the family name.

In addition to toys, Vidler’s 5 & 10 has 11 additional departments on two floors including a large candy counter, school and office supplies, retro and collectables, and house and kitchenware. Take a look at all the store’s departments here.

“It’s just fun…I tell new people starting to work here that 90% of the customers who come in are in a good mood and want to have fun. They’ve heard about the store, they’re here for the history and nostalgia,” said Don when asked what the best part of his job is. “You’ll hear adults laughing and squealing with delight because they’ve found a coon skin cap or a Duncan Yo-Yo or an original Slinky saying ‘I haven’t seen that in years!’”

The Yodeling Pickle

Who could forget the Yodeling Pickle, one of Vidler's most unique items!

Vidler’s carries the classics, but is also thoroughly modern in its merchandise selection. Currently on the shelves are Star Wars and Marvel action figures, for example, made popular by recent movies.

A vast assortment of merchandise draws shoppers to Vidler’s huge store, but so does 50-year-old Sandy the mechanical horse and the old-fashioned pop-it-yourself popcorn machine. Vidler’s is shopping entertainment at its best.

Buffalo Spree, a lifestyles magazine, officially designated Vidler’s 5 & 10 as “the most fun place to shop” in Western New York in their recent list of “Best of WNY.” Vidler on the Roof proudly proclaims the honor in a banner he’s holding.

Make a day of it!

Vidler’s is close to many attractions. You’ll find other delightful shops and restaurants right on Main Street in East Aurora. Also in town is the famed Roycroft Campus, a National Historic Landmark district, the most complete and well-preserved example of buildings from the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. The home of President Millard Fillmore – actually constructed by the president – and another National Historic Landmark, is also located in town.

Within a short drive you’ll find examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, excellent museums, and, of course, Niagara Falls. Learn about these and other things to see and do in the area at www.visitbuffaloniagara.com.