Young Life in an Old Town: Where to Find Backpacks and Lunchboxes in Old Town Alexandria
Whether your child is going to his first day of pre-school or is a too-cool-for-school 5th grader, our local shops have you covered.
The back to school shopping season is upon us - although I'm pretty sure Target replaced pool toys with notebooks and planners back in July.
Some year-round Alexandria schools went back to the classrooms Aug. 1. Although my daughter won’t start school until after Labor Day I’m already looking around and taking stock of what can make it through another school year and what needs to be replaced.
After all, if you wait until the week before school starts to arrive at Target with the supply list in hand, you will find nothing but Halloween decorations!
I’ve noticed that the local boutiques have more seasonally appropriate merchandise in the stores than the big box retailers that always seem a few months ahead. The kids fall clothing and shoes haven’t hit most of our smaller stores in full force yet, but adorable backpacks and lunchboxes are available now. Here’s what I found:
MOM’s Organic Market (3831 Mount Vernon Avenue): MOM’s is stocking the lunchopolis insulated lead free lunch bag. The bag includes with 4 reusable BPA-free containers and 1 BPA free bottle. $21.49
Pink and Brown (1212 King Street): This standout children’s boutique offers what it perhaps the most adorable selection of preschool and toddler size backpacks I have ever seen. While the choices here are likely not appropriate for an elementary-age child, there are terrific options for a preschooler who is off to daycare or school for the first time. (Backpack prices range from $19.50 – $49.50). Another standout was the OOTS lunchbox, which comes with its own containers and has a unique design that would make it a fun tote for the pool or picnics, or even the office ($39.50). They also sell cute reusable lunch and snack bags that are made in the USA ($11.50).
The Little Monogram Shop (106 ½ North Columbus Street): This is a small store, but they offer one of the best selections of lunchboxes for all ages. There are several backpack styles currently in the store and more are on the way. All of their backpacks and lunchboxes can be monogrammed, but they are also cute enough to buy without personalizing. I know that not everyone likes the idea of a child’s name on their belongings for safety reasons, but it sure is a cute look. (Prices range from $21.00-$24)
The Paper Source (118 King Street): The Paper Source stocks adorable Skip Hop Zoo backpacks and matching lunchboxes as well as – I am not making up the name – Sugar Booger lunch sacks. These sweet bags are made of cotton canvas with a vinyl lining. They are designed for kids but I was ready to take one home for myself. They also stock reusable sandwich/snack bags. ($12.95-$24.95)
Whole Foods (1700 Duke Street): Whole Foods sells Crocodile Creek backpacks ($26.99) and matching lunchboxes ($15.99)
Why Not? (200 King Street): This fabulous toy store has merchandise for older kids on the second floor, including a nice selection of preschool backpacks as well as messenger bag style backpacks and regular size bag packs for older kids made by Room It Up. They sell EcoKids food containers and water bottles. ($11 - $33)