Focus on Families

Focus on Families

Three businesses create day for children, parents to enjoy together.

There’s a Mother’s Day. There’s a Father’s Day. And thanks to three upper King Street businesses teaming up this year, in Alexandria there will be a Family Day.

“Our hope is to be able to create a day’s activity where kids and moms and dads of all different ages can have something to do,” Rachael Feinman of Parlez Vous, said.

A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore, Tisara Photography and Parlez Vous have collaborated on planning a family appreciation day, to be held Saturday, June 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each of the three locations will provide free activities for children and their parents. A Likely Story, at 1555 King St., will have a series of story readings and crafts to complement the books after the reading.

“We always like to do story time around here,” Dinah Paul, owner of A Likely Story, said. “On that day from 11 to 2 we’re going to do stories on the hour and different themed ones with crafts to follow it up.”

The front porch at Parlez Vous, 1407 King St., will be a venue for face painting and refreshments, while Tisara Photo, at 1607 King St., will welcome children to have their photos taken alone or with their parents. Nina Tisara said the photos will then be posted on the shop’s Web site for parents to view and order copies, if they want to.

“These are clearly not going to be classic studio pictures, they’re going to be fun digital shots,” Tisara said.

The idea of the event is for families to be able to visit all three locations, inspired by the variety of things at each location. Not officially part of family appreciation day, but open to families who will be enjoying face painting and refreshments at Parlez Vous, the language center’s children’s German and Chinese classes will be going on during the event, Feinman said.

“It makes sense following Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to have a day to celebrate the whole family, and to have an event for that,” Paul said. The timing — soon after school gets out for most children, and in between some larger events, like the Red Cross Waterfront Festival and Alexandria’s birthday celebration — was a conscious decision, Tisara and Paul both said.

“We definitely like to be – I think we are — a family-oriented store,” Paul said. “Especially as the summer sets in, and people are looking for things to do with their little ones outside of school.”

Just as natural, said Tisara, was the decision for the three businesses to work together. All three are members of the King Street Metro Enterprise Team, a business association, and have participated in group events there.

“We like working with each other,” Tisara said. “This is the first time that we three business have tried to do something together. The logic behind it was that we could bounce off each other.”

Paul agreed: “It makes sense … all of our audiences are the same.”

Feinman described the day as an opportunity to get to know the neighborhood: one purpose of the program is “so that we can introduce ourselves to the families, and families can introduce themselves to the businesses,” she said.

However, the benefit will stretch past upper King Street. Part of the proceeds from photos taken on family appreciation day purchased from her Web site will go to the Campagna Center, Tisara said. And a scavenger hunt which begins at any of the three locations will lead families following the clues to surrounding places as well, within a few blocks of the appreciation day activities at Parlez Vous, Tisara Photo and A Likely Story.