Family Fun Idea: 5 Spots to Stop in Linden Hills, Minneapolis

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tm great harvest lindenI’ve finally reached that mildly thrilling point in parenting where much more often than not I don’t have to schlep a stroller around town when I’m out and about with the kids. But even those for whom a stroller is still a daily staple might find they don’t need it in the Linden Hills shopping district of Minneapolis. These five storefronts are, in most cases, just a stroll across the street from one another. If it’s possible for you to visit on a weekday, there is convenient street parking a block or less from crafts, critters, toys and treats. Here’s how my preschooler and I spent a couple of hours this fall afternoon:

1. Great Harvest Bread Co., 4314 Upton Ave S

Open: Mon-Fri, 6am-6:30pm • Sat, 6am-5pm • Sun, 9am-1pm
Stop for: Fresh bread and other baked goods. I was astonished by the sample size of cinnamon roll I was given (seriously, it was so large I felt guilty that it filled me up), and for a second score, a cup of their great coffee is only $1.25 if you bring your own mug. A small children’s play nook at the front of the shop holds space to munch and read together.
Plan ahead: Several Great Harvest locations offer tours of the bread-making process. The Linden Hills location usually offers them to groups only, but you can try calling them at 651-929-2899 to see if it would be possible to tag along on their next 15-30 minute tour.

tm heartfelt 42. Heartfelt, 4306 Upton Ave S

Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm • Sun, noon-4pm
Stop for: Seasonal drop-in crafts are available every day of the week – get an idea of September’s menu here. Or, you’re welcome to browse the shop for inspiration and spend some time playing — my preschooler loved peeking out at me from the treehouse and setting up the fairy house display.
Plan ahead: Preschool classes have moved to a new monthly festival format! September’s Autumn Festival will be held Sept. 28 & 29 at 10:30am and will include crafts for both caregiver and child, a snack and other seasonally-appropriate activities. Cost is $18/pair, additional kids $10 each.

tm creative kidstuff linden3. Creative Kidstuff, 4313 Upton Ave S

Open: Mon-Wed, 10am-6pm • Th-Fr, 10am-8pm • Sat, 10am-6pm • Sun, 11am-4pm
Stop for: Limitless gift options — for your own kids or someone else’s. Mine was obsessed with the kid-sized ice cream cart and play kitchen sets. She could have spent the whole afternoon.
Plan ahead: Every Saturday from 10-11am the Linden Hills store hosts demonstrations of games, science sets, art kits and other wares. Come try before you buy.

4. Wild Rumpus Books, 2720 West 43rd St

Open: Mon, 10am-5pm • Tues-Fri, 10am-8pm • Sat, 10am-5pm • Sun, noon-5pm
Stop for: Slip through the little purple door and find an independent bookseller that also happens to house a menagerie of critters – can you find the chinchilla, ferrets, kittens and birds? Plus, “recycled” books are just a buck to take home.
Plan ahead: Wild Rumpus holds “Tail Time” stories at 10:30 each Monday. Crowds can accumulate, so the best plan is to get their early to grab a good spot.

Wild Rumpus Books for Young Readers

5. Dunn Bros. Linden Hills, 2814 W 43rd St

Open: Mon-Fri, 6am-8:30pm • Sat-Sun, 6:30-8pm
Stop for: Decent fare with a kids nook of toys and books to entertain your youngins. We recently included this location on our list of Kid-Friendly Twin Coffee Shops/Cafes and maintain that it’s an option if you’re looking for a place for kids to move around while you grab your cup of coffee, but I was disappointed to find today that the play space was poorly kept up. The shop does have good choices for an a la carte kids lunch.

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About the author

Anne Kingston

If we left it up to Anne to write her own bio, it would never get posted. She doesn't enjoy talking about herself, but Anne does love exploring the Twin Cities with her family and sharing her finds here. She, her husband and their four kids are lifelong residents of St. Paul.

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