Sarah Jackson
Got a kid who hates bath time?A Minnesota mom is offering handmade bubble bath bombs — with toys inside — to entice kids or just make bath time extra special with her growing business, Two Sisters Spa.Amanda Royer, who lives in Eden Prairie with her husband and two daughters, founded the company in 2013 after her homemade bath bombs gained a following on Etsy.Her kid-friendly bath bombs create bubble baths when put under the running tub faucet and include water-based colors,... more
An autism story for kids
Sheletta Brundidge — a Cottage Grove mother of four children, including three on the autism spectrum — has been a tireless advocate for families facing special needs over the years.And now Brundidge, a Twin Cities comedian and Emmy-winning broadcaster, has written a new children’s book.Cameron Goes to School, inspired by her daughter’s... more
A book about life after baby
Dr. Erin Stevens (above with a uterus tatoo!) isn’t just a regular Minnesota Parent contributor: She’s also an award-winning OBGYN and an advocate for legislation to support women’s reproductive health care.And now she’s adding another title to her resume: Author.This month local publisher Wise Ink will release her new... more
Count the kicks!
Every year in the U.S., 24,000 babies are stillborn, according to the CDC. That’s about 1 in 100 babies lost after the 20th week of pregnancy.One part of the problem is that mothers don’t always notice when baby movement patterns unexpectedly change or decline, especially later in pregnancy.Though some mothers are encouraged by their... more
Booster seats under fire
Is your child’s car seat installed correctly? Is your kid big enough to be using the type of seat he’s in right now? How much protection can child seats really provide in a serious crash?These are questions you might be asking yourself if you read the article last month about child booster seats by ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom... more
Good scents crafted by a local mama
Several years ago, Lauren VanScoy suffered major stress and anxiety after the birth of her daughter. It came on suddenly. After a diagnosis of depression that manifested itself as anxiety, her doctor prescribed medication.“But I knew I eventually wanted to try more natural ways of dealing with my situation,” VanScoy said. That... more
A new doula duo!
Best friends Kelley Larson and Rachel Kurtz are both moms (with three kiddos each) and longtime Minneapolis musicians. But guess what else they are? Postpartum care professionals! (They’re working on getting their official postpartum doula certifications this year.) Their new Twin Cities business, After the Baby Bump Postpartum... more
A postpartum care registry
Baby showers are fun celebrations. They also help outfit babies with clothes, gear and more from trusted friends and family. But stuff isn’t what parents need most after the birth of a baby. What mothers and fathers really need is in-home support. And how can they get that?Well, thanks to Marabou Services — founded by Twin... more
Party boxes!
Planning an Instagram-worthy birthday party — even when we're not in the age of social distancing — isn't easy. Enter Sprinkles & Confetti, the brainchild of Minnesota mama Jackie Walter, whose online party supply business is now offering right-sized Party in Place Boxes; custom banners and yard signs for various... more
The Bakken will take a sabbatical
The Bakken Museum on the shores of Bde Maka Ska is planning a six-month construction project to bring in new science exhibits — and a lakefront entrance (artist rendering pictured) — to its 44-year-old campus.Renovations will also add modernized classroom space and improved accessibility to the museum, established in 1975 by Medtronic co... more
Snuggle up for a cause
These pajamas aren’t just adorable and created by a local mother.They’re also jammies for a good cause. Leela Rao founded Pajamas with Love in memory of her daughter, Priyanka, who lost her battle with childhood leukemia at age 8 after four years in and out of the hospital.“While she was going through years of treatment, she insisted on... more
A Koo Koo giveaway!
In celebration of the latest single releases from Koo Koo Kanga Roo — Glitter, a hilarious anthem about the controversial craft staple, and Hot Sauce, a funky little hip-hop ditty — we’re giving away four tickets (a $72 value) to an all-ages Koo Koo show at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis.Our grand prize winner... more
Grief care packages
When a loved one is grieving, finding the right thing to say or do can be stressful and frustrating. It can leave you feeling helpless, riddled with guilt or both. Fortunately, Catherine Hinz — a St. Paul mom who’s been through heartbreak of her own — has come up with a comforting and beautiful solution: Her new business,... more
Peer-to-peer help for parents!
Parenting is hard. Really hard. But when you have a child with a disability or complex health-care needs, your family will face challenges that not everyone can understand.Thanks to Family Voices of Minnesota, however, help is on the way.This local nonprofit organization operates CONNECTED, a free, state-wide parent-to-parent peer-... more
Fundraising gold!
We like wrapping paper and cookie dough from our kids’ fundraisers as much as the next person. But you know what would be more fun? Some cool, local products!Fortunately, this fundraising overhaul is already underway in Minnesota, thanks to two local moms — A.J. Zimmer and Gina Moore (pictured) of Maple Grove and Apple Valley,... more
Crinkle chews
Get your kid started on fresh foods early with these impossibly cute Crinkle Blankies — and stroller toys, too — made to look like carrots, radishes, peppers, watermelon slices, strawberries and more. $9–$18 • more
Meals for kids!
During the spring of 2010, the staff at Sheridan Elementary in Northeast Minneapolis discovered a problem: Students were hoarding food from the cafeteria on Fridays. Why?At the time, more than 90 percent of students at Sheridan were receiving free or reduced-price lunches, and it turned out that many students were... more
A safer swim cap
Head injuries are a real issue in the pool, especially in competitive swimming. Fortunately, a Twin Cities company is working to change that locally — and around the world — with its revolutionary Hammer Head Swim Caps, which have recently received a slew of endorsements, including a nod from the American Swimming Coaches... more
Pop-up parties
Stuck trying to think of a fun birthday party plan for your tot?Then check out Tyke Invite, a new pop-up play service founded by Minnesota mom Angel Carroll. Based in Eagan, Tyke Invite rents soft-play equipment geared toward infants, toddlers and preschoolers up to age 5. We’re talking tike-sized play modules, foam flooring,... more
Free eats for kids
Summer can be a tough time for food-insecure children. In fact, nearly half a million children, ages birth to 18, are at risk of hunger in Minnesota.Fortunately, Summer Eats Minnesota, a free mobile app, is in its third summer of operation, helping kids find free meals at neighborhood sites, offering breakfast, lunch, snacks and/or... more
A new indoor play space!
Where can you beat the heat with little ones this summer? Answer: The MiniSota Play Cafe in Champlin, founded by a local mother of two!  Here parents can sip cups of bottomless Peace Coffee ($3) while the kids explore “Minnesota in miniature,” including the City of Mini Grove — complete with a grocery store, hardware shop, hair... more
Mother-baby program to expand!
One of the most persistent myths of motherhood is that it’s the happiest time in every woman’s life. For some, having a baby is actually a time of isolation and despair.Here’s the good news: Hennepin Healthcare in downtown Minneapolis is dramatically expanding its Mother-Baby Program by creating the Redleaf Center for Family Healing... more
A toast to dads
Minnesota is home to many moms’ groups, both virtual and in real life.Groups just for dads, however, are in shorter supply. And yet fathers today, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center, are spending triple the amount of time parenting compared to the dads of the 1960s. (Mothers have seen a profound increase in their... more
On-demand care!
It’s healthy for parents to take breaks from child rearing, especially when the parents involved have children with special needs. However, simply jumping on a babysitter app or care site doesn’t work for families who require specialized, on-demand care.Fortunately, two Minnesota moms have created a first-of-its-kind disability care... more
A therapeutic video game
Dolly Lowery couldn’t take it anymore. The Excelsior mom had spent 10 years taking her son to more than 1,200 appointments to treat his severe dyslexia — and nothing was really working.So she made it her mission to find her own solution. During her research, she met a Florida-based physician, Dr. Nelson Mane, who specializes in... more
A maternity board book for parents
Need a gift for that upcoming baby shower? Or maybe something fun for your pregnant self? Check out the brand-new, soon-to-be-classic: The Fruits of Your Labor: A Baby-Sized Guide To Your Baby’s Size.This 72-page, 6-by-6-inch board book begins with a sweet pea and continues to a watermelon. Each week of pregnancy is documented with... more
An app for peace of mind
When you’re a parent — and you’re away from your kid a lot — it’s not easy to turn off your phone. What if there’s an emergency and your child really needs you?On the other hand, research shows that an always-on mentality isn’t healthy.Will you really gain all the benefits of that massage, yoga class or date night if you’ve got one eye... more
Bowling for a cause
Brain tumors, malignant or benign, can strike anyone at any age without reason, and there are really no precautions people can take to prevent them.That’s the strange and frustrating thing about brain tumors, said Stacy Zwerdling of Lakeville who was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor (when her son was 10 months old) and miraculously... more
Coaches needed!
Girls on the Run Twin Cities started seven years ago with just 24 girls, six coaches and two sites. Today — due to high demand for physical-activity-based youth development for girls — GOTR has grown to more than 3,000 girls at 200 Minnesota sites.And that means the program is in need of more volunteer coaches — 850 to be exact... more
Green up your Easter
When you’re a parent, it’s hard to avoid the copious amounts of plastic that come into your life, especially during holidays.This year for Easter, however, we’ve found a way to help you green things up a bit.Meet Eco Eggs! These reusable eggs are made from 100 percent renewable plant-based ingredients — not petroleum, like traditional... more
New music classes
Music education has been proven to be beneficial for child development. Plus, it’s fun!And now, adding to the wide array of classes available locally, three different music-learning centers in the Twin Cities are offering two new programs — Canta y Baila Conmigo (a Spanish-immersion music class for ages birth to 5) and ... more
A new local milk bank
The Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies — the first facility of its kind in the state — is set to open sometime in the next few months in Golden Valley. Currently, the closest milk banks are in Iowa and Illinois. But with a new bank open locally, Minnesota mothers’ donated milk won’t need to be shipped out of state for... more
Meet The Potty Fairy!
When it comes to potty training, a little imagination can go a long way.So says Lino Lakes author Mary Pap, a longtime Minnesota educator and mother of four, whose book — The Potty Fairy — relies on the powers of magical fairies to help make the toileting process exciting and fun for boys and girls. In addition to the book (... more
Spend, save, give
When it comes to helping little kids learn about money management, a good place to start is by using three jars for spend, save and give. But doling out that money, week after week, year after year (especially for multiple kids) just becomes another thing to do.That is, unless you automate it with an app. Right now, we’re... more
Mama-designed jammies!
Kristie Case, a local mom and the owner of the Teeny Bee children’s boutique in St. Paul, has launched her very own line of children’s pajamas — Peregrine Kidswear. Primarily black and white and intentionally gender neutral, her adorable jammies (and infant hats) are made of eco-friendly, breathable bamboo.Case hatched her idea for... more
Ski for free
The Minnesota Ski Areas Association is again offering a statewide passport program that provides every fourth grader the opportunity to ski for free.  A $24.95 fee covers printing and shipping of the photo ID and entitles fourth graders to a minimum of two free lift tickets at 18 Minnesota ski resorts (that’s a minimum of 36 tickets... more
Explore adoption!
Right now in Minnesota there’s a critical shortage of foster parents and adoptive parents. On any given day, there are more than 10,000 Minnesota children in foster care, and, as of this printing, 820 kids are waiting to be adopted. “Families who adopt through foster care are meeting a direct, urgent need in our... more
The ultimate shower gift
Have you heard of Minny & Paul?This virtual “gifting studio” — the brainchild of Minnesota native Laura Roos — offers curated gift boxes featuring locally made products.Now, in addition to boxes with themes like Dapper, Treat, Couple and Zen, there’s a brand new addition — the Baby Bird box ($128). Each box includes a pair of... more
A new CD!
Fans of the Okee Dokee Brothers, rejoice! Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander are back with a new album after a two-year hiatus — following the third release in their Adventure Album Series, Saddle Up, which followed Can You Canoe? and Through the Woods.What’s the theme? Winter!No, this album isn’t based on an epic adventure to a... more
A magic pump
The Haakaa — a one-piece silicone breast pump ($17.99) — has become THE next big thing in on-the-go nursing, and for good reason.The pump — known as a “passive” pump because it requires no motor or even manual pumping — relies on the mother’s natural letdown reflex, making it an ideal device for relieving pressure when you’re away... more
Meal boosters!
Local CrateThis new home meal service (currently available in Minnesota, Illinois and California) delivers fresh, as-local-as-possible, pre-portioned ingredients for recipes by local chefs. The minimum order is two meals (four servings) per week at a cost of $54. At that price ($13.50 per serving) — and for the gourmet quality... more
Fraser opens in Woodbury
Fraser — Minnesota’s largest provider of autism and early childhood mental health services — has opened its seventh clinic in the Twin Cities. Billed as the first of its kind in the nation, the 27,000-square-foot clinic in Woodbury features spaces designed to accommodate the sensitivities of children and adults on the autism... more
Read for free!
Have you heard of Ebooks Minnesota?This online collection of 4,000-and-counting digital fiction and non-fiction books can be accessed through any browser on any device by simply clicking “Read This.” You don’t need to sign in, create a membership or pay attention to any due dates. You can — but don’t have to — create a profile... more
Customizable, local lockets
If your child goes to daycare, it can be hard to be apart all day long. Why not stay connected with a special token of your love — a locket!We’re in love with these little gems from The Locket Sisters, two local moms (and actual sibs), Amy and Allyssa, who handcraft lockets for kids as well as adults at their art studio in Northeast... more
Free camps!
Looking for fun summer activities with low price tags? Then check out the many free camps offered by The Sanneh Foundation, the St. Paul-based nonprofit youth-development organization founded by former World Cup soccer star, Tony Sanneh.Most of the camps — offered in the morning or afternoon and even some evenings — last 2.5... more
Shower cap
I know this seems like the bougiest thing ever, but Shhhowercap is worth its weight in gold. It holds TONS of hair and never smells of mildew. I hop outta the shower (without the tell-tale damp edges), spray dry shampoo and go. You can even wear it as a hat — hair out! — because it’s just plain gorgeous. — Katie Dohman$43 • shhhowercap.... more
New cards address infant loss
It’s hard to know what to say when someone suffers the unthinkable pain of miscarriage or infant loss. But thanks to a new local line of affordable, caring cards, there’s help.“I had several miscarriages and lost a baby of 20 weeks way back when, and the feelings have stuck with me,” said Karen Ritz, a... more
Special-needs fashion!
LaToya Lewis, a St. Paul mother of two, has created a brand new stylish clothing line — Uniquely Regal — to help meet the sensory needs of children and teens who have autism, anxiety, ADHD, Down syndrome and sensory processing disorders.Her signature items include super-cute weighted polo shirts, darling compression... more
Families facing autism needed!
SPARK, the largest genetic study of autism ever in the U.S., is seeking DNA from individuals with autism and their family members to expand the understanding of the genetic aspects of the disorder.Enrollment is simple, non-invasive (a saliva sample) and can be done from home.The University of Minnesota is one of... more
New play groups
Nature is the ideal classroom.That’s the thinking behind Tinkergarten, a new outdoor-based, play-focused program for ages 18 months to 8 years, now being offered at select locations in the Twin Cities.Classes, organized by local leaders who are trained online, typically run for eight weeks and cost participants $... more
Maternity must-have
Pregnancy fashion can be super-fun. But it can also become super-pricy. So where should you splurge? We recommend Blanqi’s Maternity Belly Support Tanktop — truly a win for mamas-to-be, says our second-time mom tester (Dani, above, of Burnsville) who’s due this month. Billed as “supportwear” — not shapewear — this wear-anywhere... more
Play time
Need a new place to frolic this spring? Check out these two stops in Golden Valley:Brookview Backyard, an awesome indoor playground, is now open seven days a week in the city’s brand-new community center.It includes a main area designed for ages 2 to 12, plus a separate spot for 2- to 5-year-olds. Admission is $4–$5 (free for kids... more
A new CD for families
Looking to spice things up in the music department with your kids?Go global with Siama Matuzungidi, an acclaimed Minneapolis-based musician originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with his musical and life partner Dallas M. Johnson.On March 23, the couple — “Papa Siama” and “Auntie Dallas” (above) — will release of The... more
Positivity for teens
Communicating with tween and teen girls isn’t always easy — even if you’re their parents! That’s partly why we love the Strong Self(ie) box, brought to you by two Chicago moms on a mission to counteract the tricky culture teens face today, including negative comments on social media and even bullying.Their new quarterly subscription... more
Lift tickets for free!
Do you have a fourth-grader?If so, this is your year to get outside, starting this winter and continuing through summer.First: Thanks to a new program by the Minnesota Ski Areas Association, fourth-graders can ski for free at member ski areas during the 2017-18 season.Simply sign up for the 4th Grade Passport ... more
Fashion help
If you don’t have time to shop (even online), much less time for a stylist, Evereve is there for you, Mama.The red-hot Edina-born rising-star retailer is now offering a new no-monthly-fee subscription box known as Trendsend.Fill out a style profile online and start seeing boxes with brands such as Free People,... more
Boxes for mamas
Amma Parenting Center’s retail boutique in Edina has long been a hub for new Twin Cities families seeking helpful products for newborns and beyond. Now, however, new mamas (and dadas) don’t even have to leave home to see what’s new for Baby.They can simply order up — or ask friends and family to gift them — an Amma Mama Box, a... more
Embrace those curls!
All hair is good hair. That’s the motto of Melissa Taylor, a local mama, professional stylist and the owner of The Beauty Lounge salon in Northeast Minneapolis.Her mission — in addition to running a full-service hair and makeup salon — is to help Twin Cities’ kids embrace their curly or textured hair, especially biracial or... more
Skiing for all
If you have a child with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, that doesn’t mean he or she can’t enjoy skiing or snowboarding this winter.  Thanks to a partnership between Padraig’s Place, an Apple Valley-based nonprofit, and Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard School in Burnsville, kids and adults of all abilities can experience... more
Win a trip!
Minnesota Parent is giving away a FREE Winter Family Fun vacation at Lutsen Mountains (valued at more than $500)! This prize package includes two nights lodging, lift tickets and ski rentals for a family of four, all coinciding with the Family Fun Nights at the Summit Chalet, featuring magic shows, art projects, face painting, a pizza... more
Miraculous work
Birth is a universal experience among mothers.But not all women enjoy the same positive outcomes when it comes to maternal health.That’s according to the Minneapolis-based nonprofit known as Everyday Miracles, which has been working since 2003 to change that fact by providing doula care, childbirth education, breastfeeding support and... more
Made in Minnesota
Looking for holiday gift ideas or perhaps even a way to warm up your home — or cabin — decor for the winter?Check out the creations from Campfire Bay, the Waconia-based side-hustle of Brent and Heidi Johnson and their three young daughters.The Johnsons produce Minnesota-themed metal and wood signs as well as wall-mounted hooks and... more
Cool posters
We’re swooning over the modern designs coming out of Telegraph Paper Co., the brainchild of graphic designer and painter Lindsey Anderson of Moorhead.  Anderson started out selling greeting cards. But then after spending time with her niece and her friends’ kids, she was inspired to switch gears to create educational, color... more
A book that shows diversity
Not all families look the same. And yet, in children’s literature families are illustrated relatively rarely with diversity in mind. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and children tend to be uniformly white or portrayed as animals. When looking through the inventory at a bookstore, Minnesota native Norah Barrett Cooper and... more
New kid-rock album
Oh, how we love The Bazillions!The Minneapolis-based kindie-rock band has been getting families’ toes tapping since 2010 with guitar-driven tunes and pitch-perfect harmonies with a touch of twang. (Do they remind anyone else of the Barenaked Ladies?) And now they’ve put out their fourth studio album, Rock-n-Roll Yearbook, just in... more
A baby book for preemies
Eric and Kristin Moan know a thing or two about premature babies and life in the NICU. Their twin daughters were born at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 3 ounces and 1 pound, 7 ounces.Though their girls are now 4 years old and thriving, the Moans, who live north of the Twin Cities, remember struggling to navigate the NICU while also trying... more
A heat treatment for lice
Ew, ew, eeeeeeew. If your kid doesn’t have lice, you don’t have to think about it. But having a bit of knowledge — if the little black sesame-seed-sized bugs do creep into your life — isn’t a bad idea.In honor of back-to-school season, here’s the latest on head lice treatments for that fateful day when... more
Threads for girls
Try-on-at-home clothing services seem to be taking over the world. Adults have Stitch Fix and Prime Wardrobe (and many others). Kids have Runchkins, Kidbox and Rockets of Awesome (truly awesome, in our experience), to name a few. And now a local mama of three girls — professional stylist Wendy Witherspoon of Edina — is getting... more
A $99 heart screening
Tim Webert of Plymouth was at his son’s hockey game in 2014 when he witnessed the tragedy of a seemingly healthy young boy dying because of an undiagnosed congenital heart condition. “We immediately wondered if our kids had healthy hearts,” Webert said. “As I sought options to have their hearts checked, I was told there are no... more
On-the-go water for kids!
Most kids love juice boxes. But if you’re trying to cut back on sugar, they’re not a great choice. Fortunately, mothers Laurie Ambrose from Chanhassen and Lisa Amundson (a dentist from Woodbury) — sisters who collectively have six kids! — have come up with a cool alternative that’s perfect for families.Their new kidsWATER drink... more
Soups you can sip!
With summer arriving — and a different kind of “busy” coming our way — we know we’re going to need convenience foods (that are also swimsuit-body-friendly).But that doesn’t have to mean scavenging half-eaten granola bars and the kids’ leftover Goldfish crackers.Thanks to a local stay-at-home mama, there’s another option — organic, gluten... more
MCM is back!
The Minnesota Children's Museum's St. Paul campus (closed since December) will celebrate a $30 million expansion and renovation — including 10 new exhibits and 35 percent more space for visitors — with a free block party on June 17 (advance tickets required for free museum admittance). A Target Free 3rd Sunday on June 18... more
Birdtown boutique
Robbinsdale really is the new, hot place to be.It’s where you can find two of the Twin Cities’ trendiest restaurants — Pig Ate My Pizza and Travail Kitchen & Amusements (not to mention Victory 44, just a stone’s throw to the east in North Minneapolis). In the heart of Birdtown — on a single two-block stretch — you’ll find the... more
A Stride Rite that’s staying open!
Last month, many parents were bummed to hear that a beloved longtime kid-shoe purveyor — Massachusetts-based Stride Rite — was closing all of its corporate locations in late April, including the store at Southdale, and outlets in Eagan and Albertville. But we have good news: The locally owned Stride Rite store at Rosedale Center (... more
Swimming for all
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children with autism, according to the National Autism Association, due to kids’ tendency to wander and seek isolation — often in unsafe environments — when overstimulated by crowds.To combat this high risk, Sonja Brown, six years ago, founded a unique swimming school in Minnetonka — Swim... more
Sitter app for parents
Paul and Kristen Abdo (pictured above) of Edina were on their way home from a night out — trying to figure out how long they’d been away and if they had enough cash to pay their sitter — when they realized: There must be an easier way to not only pay the baby sitter, but also to book sitters.So the parents, who have three kids, created... more
Open fetal surgeries offered in Minneapolis
The Midwest Fetal Care Center in Minneapolis was a marvel when it opened a year ago, offering life-saving fetal surgeries to babies in utero, including twins. Now the center has expanded its services to include open fetal surgeries with a special emphasis on treating spina bifida.Literally meaning “split spine,” the condition (which... more
Museum opening delayed
The Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul, rather than reopening in mid-April as planned, will welcome visitors in June, due to a logistical delay in its multi-million-dollar renovations.The contractor hired to fabricate the parts of The Scramble — the museum’s new four-story climbing adventure, featuring two towers, a spiral slide and... more
Mom, you’re hired!
Stay-at-home moms — and veterans — often face huge challenges when trying to return to the workforce. Many employers mistakenly view them as unemployable or undesirable because of their so-called employment gaps. But the Minneapolis office of the IT-consulting firm York Solutions has successfully launched a new initiative... more
A go-to pant for mamas
Navel pants — created by Sarah Longacre, the beloved founder of Blooma (a local yoga studio and haven for mamas and mamas-to-be) — are on sale now online.After making an early debut at Bellyrama at Lake Harriet this past September, the high-rise comfy pants, which include a removable 9-inch belly band, cost $70 (20 percent off if you... more
Apple of our eye
Have you tried Opal apples? These gold-skinned Washington State-grown orbs are crunchy and sweet — dare we say good enough to rival Minnesota’s own Honeycrisp?But what really sets these babies apart is their ability to resist oxidation (that yucky browning that happens almost immediately after you slice an apple). Opal apples... more
2 more new indoor play spaces!
Sure, spring is technically “around the corner,” but in Minnesota, our reprieve from the cold usually comes not in March or April, but as late as June!Fortunately, we’ve got the scoop on indoor play spaces for kids in the Twin Cities — including more than two dozen venues — at new additions to our list... more
New PBS Kids channel from TPT!
Big news: More Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger, Nature Cat, Ready Jet Go! and Splash and Bubbles are coming your way! Yes, this month, TPT (Twin Cities PBS) is launching a new 24/7 broadcast channel devoted entirely to PBS Kids content.Existing on-demand clips and full episodes ... more
Habit-breaking smart bracelets
Do you have a kid who engages in potentially harmful, subconscious behaviors such as excessive nail biting, skin picking or hair pulling?You’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer significantly from these issues, including many children.But now there may be a solution for such Body... more
Win a trip!
Minnesota Parent is giving away a FREE Winter Family Fun vacation for a family of four at Lutsen Mountains (valued at more than $500).This prize package includes 2 nights lodging, 2 days of lift tickets and 2 days of ski rentals for a family of four, all coinciding with the Family Fun Nights at the Summit Chalet, featuring... more
A new holiday tradition?
You’ve heard of The Elf on the Shelf. The 2004 children’s book and doll set has become a beloved, playful tradition among many families. It’s also caused backlash from parents who dislike the concept of a nanny-state elf who spies on kids and evaluates their behavior for gift worthiness.Well, what if you could have the playfulness of an... more
Hit the slopes (or trails)!
Winter is coming. Are you curling up into a fetal position with your favorite Slanket yet?Well, maybe you could skip the cabin fever this year. What if you could embrace winter by getting into skiing, snowboarding or even just tubing as a family? Check out more than a dozen winter-fun destinations in Minnesota at skiandboardmn.... more
Improv parenting
Parenting can be infinitely frustrating. It’s a grind that can suck the life out of even the most playful of parents.How can you bring back some of that magic?The answer, according to two Minneapolis moms, may be improv parentings classes, play days and camps. Improv Parenting is the brainchild of mother-of-three Keren Gudeman, an... more
Chef tools for kids!
It’s autumn: What better time to get the kids in the kitchen?And what better tools than the Le Petit Chef set from Opinel.Minnesota Parent’s 8-year-old tester (not exactly a huge culinary-arts enthusiast) loved this stainless steel knife-peeler set.Each tool encourages proper hand positioning with strategically placed learning rings that... more
Kick it up a notch
Lil’ Kickers — a year-round children’s soccer program focused on child development — has come to the Twin Cities.Founded in Seattle in 1999, Lil’ Kickers has grown into national franchise with more than 100 locations in 28 states.It’s been popular in Chicago for more than 10 years and is now expanding north with two Minneapolis... more
Childcare at MOA
Date night, anyone? Girls’ night? Guys’ night? How about just a little “you” time?Drop N’ Shop — an entertainment center for children — is now open at the Mall of America and offering drop-in childcare for ages 6 weeks to 12 years.Located on Level 3 at Sears Court, the facility offers activities such as Zumba and yoga for kids, arts and... more
Science Museum updates!
Heads up: The Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul will be closed from Sept. 6 to 9 and Sept. 12 to 16 for annual maintenance.Technicians will use the time to tune up the exhibit galleries and the Omnitheater for the fall and winter seasons.Upcoming events at the museum include: Playdates: Every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and noon,... more
A sensory-friendly backpack for school!
Students at the University of Minnesota have designed the “world’s first sensory-friendly backpack.”The Nesel Pack (a play on the word “nestle”) is a backpack for kids with sensory-processing issues, including children on the autism spectrum.It features specially designed straps with chest clips that create the feeling of a hug, plus... more
Cool kid's clothing
One Posh Closet, a Minnesota boutique featuring new and previously worn designer women’s clothing, is now offering children’s clothes.Founded by Nicole Jennings — wife of Super Bowl Champion NFL wide receiver Greg Jennings (see family photo above) — the Minnesota-based business started online in 2013, built around high-end pieces... more
The Lion King offers a special sensory performance on July 30
 Broadway is joining the sensory-friendly scene with a special performance of Disney’s The Lion King at 2 p.m. Saturday July 30 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.This one-time performance — geared toward people with sensory, social and learning disabilities and their families — is the first-ever sensory-friendly performance of a... more
Two new inclusive playgrounds
The Twin Cities is home to an increasing number of playgrounds designed for kids of all abilities.St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development is hosting a grand opening on July 20 to celebrate the completion of the multi-million dollar renovation and expansion project at its Minnetonka campus.Among the features is a new... more
New fetal care center
The Michael and Ann Ciresi Midwest Fetal Care Center — a new 6,700-square-foot clinic located in The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis — opened March 14.It’s the first and largest advanced fetal care program in the Upper Midwest, made possible by a partnership involving Children’s Minnesota, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minnesota... more
MSP hacks for parents
July and August are the busiest months of the year at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the heaviest due to business commuters.Here are some amenities that might ease your pain: Quick Ride Ramp: Located a mile from Terminal 1 off Highway 5 at the Post Road exit, this ramp offers parking for $14... more
Doing The Dells this summer?
Wisconsin Dells — the self-proclaimed Waterpark Capital of the World (and a popular destination for Twin Cities families) — has announced what’s new in town for the upcoming summer travel season. Here’s a sampling:Slideboarding: This new ride at Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort relies on a slideboard, which looks a bit like a short... more
Beware of pool drains
Under the federal law, all public pools and spas must have a variety of anti-entrapment systems installed.But not every pool or hot tub is public and not every pool is compliant with the law, which was named after a young girl who drowned after she was trapped under water by the suction from a hot-tub drain.Here’s what you need to know,... more
Win the Okee Dokee Brothers' new CD!
The Okee Dokee Brothers are releasing their third CD/DVD — Saddle Up: A Western Adventure Album — on May 13. To celebrate, Minnesota Parent is giving away three signed copies! Enter to win by sending us a photo of your kid(s) playing outside for our June Outdoors Issue to with a subject line of “SADDLE UP!” ... more
Stylish designs by a local mom
Meet Kimberly Senn of Edina.The now-mother of two boys left her career in advertising in 2009.During that time, she painted three canvases to hang over her baby’s crib — a triptych of a paper airplane soaring away. Her artwork quickly became a hit with friends and family, and Senn found herself making art — a lot of it — for a... more
Pillowfort is here!
Target’s new kid-centric decorating line — playfully named Pillowfort — is out now and we have to admit: It’s pretty adorable. Created by Target’s internal product design and development team, the line is crafted to appeal to parents and their kids, including a variety of themes that aren’t overly boyish or girly. Prices for... more
Got multiples?
If you’re parenting or expecting multiples, Welcome Baby Care needs you! Birth rates for multiples are increasing, and the Edina-based postpartum doula agency wants to learn from local parents about their needs. Parents or expecting parents of multiples are invited to share their most pressing challenges in a 23-question online... more
We're hiring a summer intern!
Minnesota Parent — an award-winning, 40,000-circulation glossy monthly magazine serving the Twin Cities — is looking for a journalism or writing student to serve as its 2020 summer intern. This position includes writing, reporting, researching and interviewing during the summer months at Twin Cities summer camps and classes. Our... more
Foodie magazines for kids!
Which would you rather have your kids learn — where food comes from (and how to cook and eat it) or the habits of dinosaurs?This pointed question comes from Jill Colella, the St. Paul founder of not one but two gorgeous bimonthly magazines for kids that encourage food savvy as well as early reading: Ingredient is for ages 6–12 and, new... more
Solace for moms
You are enough. And Jacquelyn B. Fletcher’s hand-stamped words — in Dear You: Messages For Moms, released in February ($16.95) — will give you permission to connect fearlessly with that truth. Billed as a manifesto for mothers, Fletcher’s latest book (a sweet Mother’s Day gift) features the imagined voice of Your Heart, which gives... more
Why you should drink New Zealand wine
If you’re a wine drinker, you may have noticed that a lot of wine comes out of New Zealand, especially sauvignon blanc, the country’s most famed grape. What you might not know, however, is that Minnesota now boasts a local connection to the kiwi wine scene: Nigel Avery of Sileni Estates — a certified sustainable winery in the famous wine... more
How to avoid flame retardants
Did you know that many household products — upholstered furniture, mattresses and children’s products, especially those containing foam (such as changing table pads and car seats) — can contain toxic flame-retardants?Once thought to slow the spread of fire, flame retardants have proven to be ineffective while also posing serious human... more
Plymouth teen honored
Fourteen-year-old Maria Keller of Plymouth has been named a 2015 honoree by the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes for her non-profit organization, Read Indeed.Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people who have made a significant positive difference in the world. Maria was honored for her work in... more
Toothbrush delivery!
Did you know dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months?It’s not because the bristles wear out. Alas. It’s because the average toothbrush contains more than 10 million bacteria, often including E. coli and staph. Ew. Hint: Flush your toilet with the lid down to reduce airborne bacteria that can collect on your... more
Are you a deal seeker?
How do these deals sound to you? • Take $2 off each admission ticket at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul.• Get $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at the Hard Rock Café at the Mall of America.• Enjoy two-for-one admission at any of the four Pump It Up locations in the Twin Cities.These are just a few of the local discounts... more
WhipEye author honored
St. Paul author Geoffrey Saign has hit the jackpot with his 2014 book, WhipEye.Not only are teachers, kids and Amazon reviewers raving about his middle-grade urban fantasy thriller (the first in a series), it’s also received two pretty big literary honors this year — first place in children’s fiction from the 2015 International Book... more
Bob is back!
Bob the Builder — a longtime classic amongst the toddler set — is back as of Nov. 7 with a new look and feel, ending a nearly three-year hiatus. (New episodes of Bob the Builder haven’t aired in the U.S. since 2012.)Viewers can expect an entirely new look for the series (updated CGI-animation) and its namesake, Bob, plus and an extra-... more
Nordstrom open at Ridgedale
Big news for Nordstrom fans: The new Ridgedale location in Minnetonka is now open and includes some family-friendly features — just in time for your holiday shopping escapades.In the kids’ apparel and shoe department, families will find a playhouse with a 32-inch touch screen with interactive games, plus a selection of books and toys.... more
Bouqs arrive in Minneapolis!
Need a quick, super-last-minute hostess gift or holiday greeting?The Bouqs Co., a floral-delivery service, has arrived in Minneapolis, offering same-day bouquets with free delivery.Thanks to a partnership with Lake Harriet Florist, you can order flowers to be delivered in as little as two hours in select areas of the Twin Cities.Bouqs... more
Beanstack books for your child
The Saint Paul Public Library is the first library in the state to offer a new — free — children’s book-recommendation service called Beanstack for ages infant to 12. Families anywhere can sign up for book-recommendation emails based on their children’s reading skills, age and interests such as “Ninjas, Pirates and Warriors,” “... more
Kid-friendly coffeehouse
Southwest Bloomington isn’t exactly a hotbed for independent gourmet coffee. But the newly established Mugshots Coffee Co. — at 10518 France Ave. S. — is a definite exception to that rule, serving locally roasted Dogwood Coffee (including espresso drinks as well as Chemex and Clever Dripper pour overs), local pastries and dairy... more
Your Twin Cities guidebook
Tom Weber, a host for Minneapolis Public Radio, is out with a new book encouraging local exploration — 100 Things to Do in the Twin Cities Before You Die.“A lot of times people hear about cool things and make that mental note, ‘I should do that some day,’” he said. “When it comes time to think of things to do, they forget. I hope this is... more
Explore the Twin Cities with a cool, local app
Traveling around Minneapolis-St. Paul just got a lot more fun! Kid Around Town, a new free app by Twin Cities app designer and mama Aneela Kumar, is a family-friendly travel guide to top destinations around the Cities, featuring virtual scavenger hunts, trivia questions, photo challenges and a variety of other city “missions.”Developed... more
sKIDaddlers knows places to go!
When Renee Piersa of Bloomington and Erica Myking of Burnsville became parents they quickly discovered the vast array of family friendly activities available in the Twin Cities.It didn’t take long before the longtime best friends — both Apple Valley natives, both moms to two girls, both working full-time — had a list of favorites... more
In-person princess parties!
Princess-themed parties have been around for a long time, but the sensation of Anna and Elsa has given the trend a dramatic boost.Tiny Diva Princess Party offers a variety party options with characters from Frozen, including a single princess for $175, two characters for $300 (Anna and Elsa or Anna and Kristoff) or a cast of four (Anna,... more
A bucket list for Minnesota families
Minnesota has so many amazing attractions for families, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, Christie Gove-Berg, a Minnesota native, Forest Lake resident and mother of three, has created a handy glossy paperback guidebook: Minnesota Must-See for Families: An A-to-Z List ($12.95), including tourist attractions both natural... more
Toy-sharing takes off
Most parents love to provide new toys for their children to keep them learning — and engaged for more than a few minutes. Brand-new toys, however, are just plain expensive. Fortunately, Twin Cities businesses and organizations are stepping up to fill that need.Elizabeth Wilcox of Golden Valley — a mother, a former Chinese-immersion... more
Rock out with the Teddy Bear Band
This year marks the Teddy Bear Band’s 30th anniversary. To celebrate, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and the state of Minnesota have proclaimed June 28 Teddy Bear Band Day in honor of the group’s decades of early childhood music education for young kids, including 8,000 concerts to date! You can stomp and clap with the band ... more
Rainy day fun
Not every summer day is sunny. Thunderstorms often chase us indoors. But you don’t have to stay cooped up at home, thanks to nearly 30 Minnesota bowling alleys offering FREE bowling for kids, all summer long.See for details.   more
A science podcast for kids!
Looking for a fresh way to bring science to life? Brains On! — a new podcast for kids — answers a variety of listener questions. Each episode is about 25 minutes long and is hosted by a different kid. Find out: How and why do jellyfish sting?What makes paint stick? How do volcanoes erupt? Does video game music affect you?In a world in... more
Get crafting with fun boxes by local moms
Two local stay-at-home moms — Nikki Anderson of Plymouth and Bethany Wilde of Minneapolis — have started a new service that delivers boxes full of simple, nature-inspired crafts to your doorstep.Blossom Box Kids’ subscription options include three months of boxes for $55, 6 months for $100 and a year for $200. Or... more
Local clothing companies cater to kids
Twin Cities parents: If you like to get creative when it comes to outfitting your kids, you’re living in the right city!The Patchery — the brainchild of Amber Gunn Thomas of Plymouth, a marketing professional and mother of two — is inviting parents to become part of the clothing-design process.Here’s how it works: Visit the thepatchery.... more
Bedtime game-changer?
Are you sick of bedtime battles and — when you do finally get your kid in bed — the same old picture books?Well, maybe we parents ought to change things up a bit.John Olive, a Minneapolis father, author and playwright, has a suggestion: Put the books aside once in a while. Instead, dim the lights, lie down and make up your own stories.... more
Museum: Bigger and better!
Good news! The Minnesota Children’s Museum has announced a $28 million building expansion to provide 34 percent more space for visitors.All the museum’s galleries will be reinvented to focus on the important skills kids develop through free play. Other new additions will include a four-story climbing tower, a cafe with a seating area, a... more
Grammy No. 2 for the Okee Dokee Brothers?
The Okee Dokee Brothers’ latest album, Through The Woods, has received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Children’s Album.We’re so not surprised. Their last album, Can You Canoe?, won a 2013 Grammy.If you don’t have these energetic, beautiful albums already, it’s time.They’re just what you need for indoor dance parties as winter drags... more
New apple!
January isn’t exactly the month you’d expect to see a brand-new apple variety coming to Minnesota grocery stores.But that’s exactly what’s happening, just in time to help with your eat-right New Year’s resolutions: Pazazz, a descendent of the popular Honeycrisp apple, is making its debut in a handful of U.S. markets, including... more
Yoga for kids
Kid Yoga Minnesota and Sunshine Morning Care recently opened at 2836 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. You’ll find kids’ yoga classes, of course, but also flexible morning child care, yoga camps, yoga training for classroom teachers and custom yoga classes for special needs individuals. Learn more at more
April Chatter
 If you’re from the Twin Cities Metro area, chances are you’ve heard of the MayDay Parade, Ceremony and Festival, a can’t-miss event hosted each year by In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater (HOBT). This richly narrative parade, featuring larger-than-life handmade puppets, dancing, performances, stilt-walkers, costumes... more
Chatter // In brief
Want to surprise your budding college student on high school graduation day or the day after they receive their acceptance letter? Go to and send a bouquet of roses in your child’s new school colors, complete with logo vase. The University of Minnesota roses in gold and maroon arrived in full glory at the offices of... more
Chatter // In brief
Kinderberry Hill is hosting its second annual Halloween Candy Drive from November 1 to 9 at its six Twin Cities locations. The candy drive is part of Kinderberry Hill’s mission to encourage healthful eating habits for young children. The community is invited bring any extra Halloween candy to a Kinderberry Hill location during... more
Chatter // In brief
Woodbury teen Zach Manske, 13, is one of four boys who will alternate in the role of Billy Elliot in Billy Eliot the Musical, at the Ordway, beginning on Oct. 9. He has been touring with the production across the U.S., balancing performance and schoolwork; Last month we reported that Blooma was opening a new location in St. Paul on Selby... more
Safe routes to school Hennepin County Public Health is developing Safe Routes to School (SRTS), implementing policies and procedures in multiple school districts including St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Brooklyn Center, Osseo, and more. Most significant, says Bradford Kissel, communications coordinator for the county, is the... more
Chatter // In brief
Minnesota Private College Week hits June 25 to 29 this year, helping families and prospective students get better introduced to private colleges and universities. Sessions will run twice daily on 17 campuses statewide. Read more about it here at/; Auditions for Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, also known... more
Chatter :: In brief
It’s Minnesota Museums Month! Minnesota has approximately 600 museums—one for every 9,000 residents, which is twice as many as the national average. Every county in the state has at least one museum—55 in Minneapolis-St. Paul alone. During the month of May, special events and programs will take place at museums across... more
Parent testedQuick, and quick dried  “I gave Ethan one of the dried pouches in his applesauce for dinner and it was a hit!” What is our parent tester talking out? A new powdered baby food brand, NurturMe, that is all natural, organic, gluten-free, and made of quick-dried fruits and veggies. Giving parents the... more
Parent testedPlant-based Easter eggsLooking for an alternative to the hard plastic Easter eggs for the upcoming holiday? A new Minnesota company, eco eggs, manufactures its eggs with corn starch instead of petroleum so they are 100% renewable, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable. Minnesota Parent did not get to test the composting... more
Sweets for your sweetieBe our friend on Facebook by February 10 for a chance to win a six-pint pack of Graeter’s Ice Cream, just in time to delight your favorite valentine. Hand packed and made with 100% cane sugar, no trans fats, and no rBST, it’s a treat you can find locally at Kowalskis, Lunds/Byerlys, Whole Foods, and... more
Gyro bowl You’re in the car and your kid has a bowl of dry cereal to munch on for the trip. But the end result is that most of the food ends up between the cushions and not enough is ingested. Welcome the Gyro Bowl—a product that uses 360-degree technology to keep items inside the plastic sphere. The bowl stays open side up,... more
BirthstonesThinking about giving a gift that celebrates a birthday? Here’s a handy guide to birthstones.JanuaryGarnetFebruaryAmethystMarchAquamarineAprilDiamondMayEmeraldJunePearlJulyRubyAugustPeridotSeptember SapphireOctoberOpalNovemberCitrine, TopazDecemberTurquoise, TanzaniteCelebrate a December birthday in styleWin a pair of... more
Build a BeezerRobbinsdale husband and wife team Ben and Julie Lindaman recently created a portable and collapsible playhouse made of recycled cardboard, called Beezer Playhouses. Recognizing that while cardboard playhouses are fun, there are some inherent challenges, such as their lack of durability, and the fact that eventually they... more
Ladybugs and Lullabies hair clipsThese hip hair toys for cool kids actually stay put—even on hair as fine as peach fuzz. The special shape of the clip provides an optimal amount of hold that has been proven to stay in just a few strands of hair. Check out these no-slip bows and clips at needs... more
Parent tested Keeping cribs safeNew Minnesota Parent office baby, Will, is currently testing Minneapolis-based Breathable Baby, a mesh crib bumper that promotes airflow, keeps arms and legs from getting stuck in slats, and collapses to help prevent climbing. With the increased awareness of crib safety, the Breathable Bumper is an... more
u.s. study of children’s health seeks ramsey county womenThe National Children’s Study — the largest and longest study of children’s health ever conducted in the U.S. — is now enrolling pregnant women and their children in Ramsey County to better understand how a child’s family history and environment... more
teens & alzheimer’s challengeThe Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is issuing a challenge to teens this summer to become involved with community service projects that help those with Alzheimer’s disease. The foundation is hoping to encourage awareness and involvement, while working to bridge intergenerational... more
gtcys auditionsDon’t miss the GTCYS auditions beginning Friday, June 3 and extending through the 11th. What’s GTCYS? The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies program serves over 500 elementary through high school students in six school year and three summer orchestras. Beginning to advanced students develop musically and... more
CHEAP DATE NIGHT art-a-whirlIt’s the largest open studio and gallery tour in the U.S. showcasing more than 500 artists including potters, painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, printmakers, and more. Whew. Trolleys move through the central area, should you need a lift between galleries. Grab your honey’s hand and head... more
Decadent date nightA three-course dinner for two, plus a bottle of wine — for $50? Yes! And the cheers grow louder as we hear that the restaurants involved are D’Amico properties, owned by some of the nicest people in the business. Every Sunday, D’Amico Date Night is in full force at Masa, Parma 8200, Café Lurcat... more
indoor fun for cold weather monthsWhen children are trapped indoors by cold temperatures, the walls of your home rapidly begin to close in. Youthful exuberance and energy simply cannot be expelled by playing quiet indoor games, but the typical horseplay that would take place out of doors usually is not conducive to the survival of your... more
February Chatter
PARENT TESTED! Cool CuffsUltra cool and edgy, Cool Cuffs are thick, soft 100% cotton cuffs featuring intricate detailing and a rugged look. They also feature a snap closure to keep the cuff in place, while still being easy to wear and easy to remove. One size fits most ages 4 to 7 but this parent does confess that she could fit the... more
January Chatter
Testing the products so you don’t have to; pointing out places and things we find of interest. gender prediction testOur curiosity was piqued just enough to give this product a go, sending it to someone who already had her sonogram and knew she was having a girl. IntelliGender’s Gender Prediction Test is a simple-to-use... more