75 Best Places for Kids

75 Great Places to Go & Things to Do with the Kids

Jenna Culligan: Bohemian

Family: Husband Seamus; kids Gus 7 and Daisy 5 ½; Westie Jack; bettas Rapunzel and Spike; and a couple of mallards we raised this summer. We fell in love with them–ducks are awesome.

Lives: Tyrol Hills

Drives: 2009 VW Routan, which makes us the Routan Clan.

Job: Heavy-duty mom stuff–I love it. Best job in the world.

Workout: Huh? Seamus does yoga at Lifetime downtown when he can get away from work for an hour.

Wardrobe Staple: Since moving to Minnesota (from L.A.), I’ve discovered that I love walking in the cold in my Sorels.

Family Outings: The new Theodore Wirth Beach playground near our house–I love this nexus of communities, and my kids love the playground. We ski at Hyland, where the kids take lessons and Seamus instructs. The Walker never disappoints, even if we only hang out in the garden or browse the gift shop.

Rock Star Mom Moment: Taking the kids to the Basilica Block Party to see The Avett Brothers a couple years ago.

Dining With Kids: Yum! in St. Louis Park is an after-school surprise that always wins me points, and I can bribe the kids with nutritious food before they plow into their cupcakes.

Top Shops: Gallery Co., Honeyshine, Land’s End (the back rack for kid bargains), Creative Kidstuff, Hoigaards, and The Lost & Found. Gus is really into the retro toys, and Daisy loves to play dress-up. Plus Costco and the Wedge.

Weekday Dinner: Fillet of sole pan-fried in a light panko batter, brown rice cooked in chicken stock, and sauteed rainbow chard with a little lemon and tamari.

Date Night: Travail is an experience I want to relive and might indeed become an imperative.

Can't Live Without: Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul Bagelry in Roseville, J Brand “Bette” jeans, NP Set concealer from Target, Wyndmere neroli floral water mist (local!), and London Sole ballet flats.

Getaway: We love to road trip–we try to do at least one big trip every summer. Two summers ago we drove to Michigan and rented a cabin on the lake. Last summer we went west and did Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands–magical.

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Sheila Ross: Hockey Mom

Family: Husband John; kids Brady 16, Madeleine 14, Anne Marie 11, Logan 8; Jonesy the black Lab mix; Coco the guinea pig; and an assortment of nameless fish and frogs thanks to Logan.

Lives: Long Lake

Drives: Stereotypical minivan–2005 Chrysler Town and Country.

Job: Marketing and administrative coordinator for the Orono Alliance for Education and volunteer for Light of Hope Children’s Home in Naivasha, Kenya

Workout: I run every day except Sundays. It is my first priority after the kids leave for school in the morning. As I have told my family, “A running mommy is a happy mommy!” I feel lucky to have access to two great trail systems in my neighborhood, and you will see me on one of them every day. Winter running is my favorite. There is nothing better than a fresh coat of snow, the peace and quiet of no traffic, and the company of my running friends.

Top Shops: Gear West in Long Lake, Heartbreaker (for my teenage daughter), Bookcase of Wayzata, Trader Joe’s, Wayzata Lunds, Harvest Moon Co-op, and Costco.

Carpool Advice: Here’s the deal with my car–you will never be bored, because it is always full of children and their “liveliness,” and you will never go hungry, because of half-eaten bags of Goldfish, pretzels, and granola bars. When my children claim to be hungry in the car, I tell them to “dig a little deeper” into the seats. They could put together a four-course meal from the crumbs they have left behind!

Weekday Dinner: Anything that my 14-year-old daughter can start while I am running around (tacos, spaghetti, Crock-Pot). But on Sundays and Mondays, we stick to a ritual of family dinner when we put all activities aside and enjoy a “real” meal and reconnect.

Family Outings: Wayzata Community Church–I feel blessed that my children love being at church, especially since my husband is a minister there. Plus, the local trail systems (Dakota Trail and Luce Line) where I find my happy place, and Blackwater Cafe in Maple Plain.

Getaway: My absolute favorite place on the planet is Lutsen. I am never more at peace than when I am running in the hills with a view of Lake Superior. Solitude + nature + trail shoes = happy mommy.

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