The Best Kid-Oriented, Locally Owned Business To Support on Small Business Saturday and Beyond
Thanksgiving is over and we are officially knee-deep in the holiday season! Those of us with children in our lives are giving serious thought to which gifts to give in the coming weeks. When thinking about gift-giving for DC area children do not overlook the opportunity to support the fantastic locally owned businesses in our neighborhoods. Shopping locally gives you the chance to give a unique gift or, even better, an experience that is not available elsewhere with the added benefit of supporting your community.
Barston's Child's Play: This locally owned toy store takes play seriously. Research and hands-on use goes into each toy and game carried in the store. The staff is unbelievably knowledgeable about the not just the toys in the store, but the likes and dislikes of kids of all ages so you are sure to walk out with the perfect gift for all of the kids on your list. Child's Play also has an exceptionally well curated book selection. As a bonus, they will also wrap your gifts.
Our Kids: Moms who want to know what's happening in the DC area know to turn first to Our Kids. Our Kids has an enormous database of events happening all over the DMV that can be sorted by location, age, interest, and more. Owned and operated by a Northern Virginia-based Mom, Our Kids covers everything worth doing throughout the region. Lots of extras, including giveaways, make a subscription for the equivalent of just fifty cents a week a great gift to give to any area Mom. It's also a great gift to give yourself to make activity planning over winter break (and the entire year) easier.
Imagination Stage: If you are looking for professional theatre for children of all ages head straight to Imagination Stage. Highly interactive shows for children aged 1-5 are offered through the My First Imagination Stage program while older children consistently enjoy shows on the main stage. Season tickets or an outing to the holiday show A Year With Frog and Toad make great gifts.
Playseum: Temperatures are dropping but kids' energy levels are not. When the little ones need some space to let their imaginations (and bodies) run wild head indoors to the Mom-owned Playseum. The Playseum is filled with rooms with different themes from a grocery store to a pet shop to a beauty salon. Everyday there is storytime followed by a baking or art activity led by a staff member, usually the Playseum's head-Mom and owner, Ms. Gina.
National Theater : It may be called the National but this is a local theatre. Although the National has been family-friendly for years by offering their free Saturday Morning at the National shows every week, this season they are bringing kid-friendly shows to the main stage with the upcoming shows, Annie and The Wizard of Oz. Reliving these shows from your childhood with your children is a sure-fire way to make great memories. Tickets make a great gift!
Politics & Prose: This bookstore may be known nationally but it's still a local store. A large portion of Politics & Prose's downstairs is dedicated to children. It's a great place to browse for a child's next favorite bedtime story or holiday book. Can't stop by for a visit? Enroll a child anywhere in one of their book-of-the-month clubs.
Tudor Place: Even though Tudor Place is a National Historic Landmark it is very much locally run. Tudor Place makes a great effort to be accessible to children by offering many events for families throughout the year. Winter events include a scavenger hunt in the house, a gingerbread house workshop, and Nutcracker story time. A membership or tickets to any of the Tudor Place events throughout the year make a great gift.
Full of Beans: What kids wants to wear what every other kid is wearing? Full of Beans located in Northwest DC is packed full of threads you won't see anywhere else for babies through teens. Some clothing and accessories are hand-made and designed locally as well.
Adventure Theater MTC: Located within Glen Echo park is a fantastic theater that offers shows that entertain children and adults alike. Adventure Theater offers the opportunity to introduce children to the magic of live theater in a casual setting with high-quality productions, many of which are based on popular books. The funny A Lump of Coal currently showing would make a great winter break outing or holiday gift. Many productions feature children from Adventure Theater's highly regarded acting classes.