by Rachel McNair
If you’re looking to give educational toys and games this holiday season, Fair Day’s Play is a valuable local resource. The shop is the only toy store in Takoma Park and the only independently owned toy store in the region east of Chevy Chase, Md.
Amelie, the store’s “greeter” enjoys the sunshine at Fair Day’s Play on Carroll Avenue. Photo by Bill Brown.
The colorful shop, located at 7050 Carroll Ave., is owned by Lisa Ripken with the able assistance of her young son, Eli.
For the holiday hours the store has extended hours. “I’m very flexible on coming in early or staying late for customers,” said Ripken.
Since 2008, Ripken has been fully invested in this toy store. Before that it Ripken managed the store for18 months before she taking it over from the previous owner, Robert Pleasure.
“I feel that how people interact with their child and different ways that children interact with their world, can be through a toy,” said Ripken.
A kit that encourages an interest in engineering. Photo by Bill Brown.
This store has educational and hands-on toys which include books, board games, science kits, arts and crafts, and more.
Ripken applies her child psychology background and experience as a mother to supply children with exceptional toys.
Her son Eli often helps out around the store and answers questions about almost any toy.
Eli Ripken shows some of the store’s extensive LEGO® selection. Photo by Bill Brown.
Eli says his favorite toys to play with are LEGO products.
“He inspired so many people” with his LEGO brick constructions,” said Ripken. Sam Bolgiano, employee at Fair Day’s Play, said he enjoys seeing children’s reaction to Eli’s creations. “That really makes me feel happy,” he said.
In preparation for the holiday season, Lisa orders classic toys such as spinning tops, jacks, cards, board games, puzzles, and other items that bring families together.
Besides LEGO products, some of the popular toys this season are dolls, building toys, and science kits.
Just a few of the stocking stuffers. Photo by Bill Brown.
“I wanted children to feel like it’s their store,” said Ripken.
The impact that Lisa has on children matters to her.
“Having things that kids can learn from is so important!” said Ripken.
Pajamarama is Takoma Park tradition, a multi-store sales event that offers a 20 percent discount to customers wearing pajamas.
“I’m going to hold a 10 percent discount until 3 p.m. for our customers,” said Ripken.
Normal hours are 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekends. But as the holidays approach, Ripken says she accommodates the hours to meet customers’ needs. She suggests that customers call the store ahead of time at 301-270-4999.
Games for all ages are big sellers. Eli holds up Pandemic, one of the more popular adult games. Photo by Bill Brown.