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Trust the process 26


Sending your kid to camp really requires parenting Zen. 10 CHATTER

Misleading A booster seat maker is posting unsafe weight ranges for kids. 12 BUMP, BIRTH AND BABY

An epidemic

Overusing the internet for parenting can hurt you. 14 THE UNCENSORED TODDLER

Toddler joy!

Fascinating and hilarious, this age is one of a kind.

Music sampler

Within reach

St. Paul’s Walker West Music Academy offers summer day camps as well as world-class year-round lessons.

The Minneapolis Bouldering Project’s half-day summer camps help kids learn climbing and a lot more.




#parentingtruths I don’t know it all, but here’s what I’ve learned so far. 18 WORLD’S OKAYEST MOM

Back to Ramona Mrs. Dorothy Quimby is my new parenting muse. 20 ASK THE OBGYN

Aunt Flo

Skip the euphemisms. Give your kid the facts. Period. 22 IN THE KITCHEN

Super seeded Tahini is the secret ingredient in these nutrient-dense cookies. 24 BOOKSHELF


A camp with heart

Hot stuff

Discover six kid stories about music that capture its power.

Safety is priority No. 1 at Camp Odayin, created for kids with heart disease in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Big kids get to make art out of red-hot metal, molten glass and more at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in Minneapolis.



March 2020 •

Frozen in time

These kids — dressed as Anna, Elsa and Olaf — are everything.


52 Camp LIST IN GS

& About 60 Out CA L E N DA R

About our cover kid Name: Titus City: Maple Grove Age: 4 Parents: Dom and Brittany Barber Siblings: Twin sister Maliya, 4, and brother, Tatum, 3 Personality: Caring and thoughtful, sensitive, very imaginative in his storytelling, major animal lover, competitive Favorite toys: Trucks of all kinds, animal figurines, Magna-Tiles Favorite books: Tarzan, Firebird and the Quickie series Favorite activities: Building things, football, baseball, riding his bike, driving his tractor, going to the zoo, cooking with Mommy and wrestling with Daddy Favorite food: Papa Murphy’s pizza! Photos by Tracy Walsh Photography / • March 2020



Letting them fly M

PUBLISHER Janis Hall •



EDITOR Sarah Jackson •

CONTRIBUTORS Megan Devine, Katie Dohman, Ed Dykhuizen, Shannon Keough, Helen Sabrowsky, Christina Sandok, Dr. Erin Stevens, Tracy Walsh, Jen Wittes


ART DIRECTOR Dani Cunningham


CIRCULATION Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 •

ADVERTISING 612-436-4360 • 40,000 copies of Minnesota Parent are printed monthly, available at 1,100 locations: Go to to get this magazine mailed to your home for $18 a year.

Minnesota Parent (ISSN 0740 3437) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2020 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.


March 2020 •

y son’s father recently suggested that our boy, age 11, fly to Washington, D.C., to see his grandmother on a solo trip this summer. After all, my son’s dad had flown alone as a child — starting at age 5! — to visit his relatives. And my son’s grandmother had sent her sons off to fly as minors as well. It’s actually not that uncommon and there are typically airline employees to assist unaccompanied minors on their journeys. Such an adventure is relatively low risk, given the security and safety of airports. And the process is straightforward, too, especially if there’s no connecting flight. Photo by Tracy Walsh The benefit? Kids see they’re savvy enough to navigate something big — an important experience for someone like my son, who’s approaching junior high, where he’ll be expected to take real responsibility for his own academic and personal destiny. At this point, college is but years away. And I don’t want our son to be a freshman whose helicopter mom gave him few chances to practice life skills all on his own. Unsupervised life experiences grow confidence and sense of self. And yet. How could I let go of that much control? I guess that’s our job as parents — to sacrifice our own comfort to make sure our little birds can fly from the nest when the time is right. I just picture those nature videos with the no-nonsense mamas shoving a brood of downy little chicks to the edge of a high nest so they can fall/fly on their way down into a puff of dry leaves. This being our annual Camp Issue, there are definitely some parallels with this metaphor: Parents who are considering the multitudes of experiences available for their kids in the Twin Cities might be afraid of the commitment or might feel tentative about sending their kids off for a day, a week or overnight. And their kids might resist. And yet. Minnesota offers some incredible summer experiences — more than 100 camps are mentioned in this very magazine — for those families who take the leap. Opportunities featured in the pages ahead include bouldering: Climbing without ropes! Learning five instruments: What if they don’t love it? Sleep-away camp for kids with congenital heart disease: A big step for families. And fire arts: Yes, literally playing with open fire. If it all sounds like just too much, I would encourage you to just take a chance, or keep looking. There’s a perfect camp for your kid’s tastes and your comfort level. Is my son going to fly this summer to see Nana? I’m not sure. But I know one thing: He’s definitely going to camp!

Sarah Jackson, Editor

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Sarah Jackson


Booster seats under fire Is your child’s car seat installed correctly?

U.S. say they’re safe for children as light as

decipher brochure about how to transition

Is your kid big enough to be using the type

30 pounds. But that weight minimum just

children through each car seat stage —

of seat he’s in right now? How much

isn’t safe, especially when side-impact

or go to

protection can child seats really provide

accidents are involved: “In Canada, the

Harness safety: Carefully consider your

in a serious crash?

government does not allow the sale of

child’s weight when buying a booster seat,

boosters to children under 40 pounds.

and remember that a five-point harness seat,

That’s been the case since 1987.”

when installed correctly, offers a higher

These are questions you might be asking yourself if you read the article last month

standard of safety: “A tightly adjusted

about child booster seats by ProPublica,

Experts in the article and in Minnesota

a nonprofit newsroom that specializes in

advise using caution when making car seat

five-point harness secures shoulders and

investigative journalism.


hips, and goes between the legs.” The

The Feb. 6 story headline read: “Evenflo,

Be patient: Don’t ever move your child to

authors of the article added: “There’s a reason NASCAR drivers wear harnesses.”

Maker of the ‘Big Kid’ Booster Seat, Put Profits

the next phase of car seat prematurely: In

Over Child Safety: Internal video of side-

the article, Dr. Ben Hoffman — an Oregon

impact tests shows that children could be

pediatrician and a lead author of the

turers about boosters can be exaggerated:

injured or killed. But the company continued

American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy

According to the ProPublica article, compa-

to market them as ‘side-impact tested.’”

statement on car seats — said what Minne-

nies can make up their own side-impact tests

Be wary. Promises made by manufac-

sota experts have been saying for years:

and decide what passes, due to loopholes in

images, videos and stories of children’s lives

“Parents often see switching from harnessed

federal regulations.

tragically lost or altered because of car

seats to boosters as an exciting milestone,

accidents that involved booster seats.

but in fact, that transition reduces the

of car seats are installed incorrectly due to

protection a child would receive in a crash.”

common mistakes, such as too-loose

It’s a 7,800-word expose filled with

It’s a tough read, but one of the main points is this: Some booster seats sold in the


March 2020 •

See for an easy-to-

Get inspected. In the U.S., more than half

installation, anchoring or tethering errors

or harness straps being too high or too low. Trained staff throughout the state can check your car seat installation and make any necessary changes. Look up your county’s locations and make an appointment at  Shop smart: See the AAP’s consumer site, For a breakdown of all types of seats, see Drive undistracted: Remember: No car seat can take the place of safe, defensive, undistracted driving. The main defense of the companies in the article was that the accidents detailed in the story may have been too extreme: “No child restraint or booster seat can ensure that a child will not be injured in a car crash, especially a severe one; just like no vehicle manufacturer can ensure that all occupants will escape injury in every crash.” Find the ProPublica article at propub-carseats. Read the most common car seat mistakes at

Helpful resources to get you from point A to point B Car seat transitions, Car seat installation check Various seats available Most common car seat mistakes

Jen Wittes


Stay. Off. The. Google. T

here’s a plague devastating the lives of today’s parents — known to induce headache, worry, insomnia, nausea, body aches, racing thoughts, confusion, loss of appetite and general malaise. This illness is relentless, rampant and it’s significantly diminishing the joy of parenthood for countless sufferers. I’m talking about GES, otherwise known as Google Everything Syndrome. Mild GES, the sort that deprives you of the satisfaction of remembering — unassisted — that Punky Brewster’s dog was named Brandon, is fairly harmless. At most, mild GES entails a numbing down of trivial knowledge with a side effect of growing impatience. Severe GES, on the other hand, can be crippling. It can waste hours of life spent not living, but instead spiraling down blue-screened rabbit holes of what-ifs and contradictions. Severe GES is particularly taxing on the most vulnerable of our human population — new and expectant parents. First-time parents are particularly at risk. However, in no way, shape or form are parents of toddlers, school kids and teens immune from bouts of extreme Google sickness and/or relapse. As with so many inventions, the almighty Google can be a young parent’s best friend. Car seat reviews? Check. Music class for babies? You better believe it. Non-toxic bath wash for sensitive skin? Put it in the cart, baby.

But then… With one fell swoop of the cursor, you can “learn” that homebirth is both amazing and insane. Breastmilk sends babies on to


March 2020 •

the Ivy League — and it also contains rocket fuel residue. Permissive parenting is bad and leads to a life of addiction. Authoritarian parenting is bad and leads to a life of addiction. This toy is non-toxic — just kidding, it’s leaching poisons into Baby’s bath, mouth and bloodstream. Black beans are a superfood — a great first food — and they’re also a choking hazard. Lead is in many household appliances, power cords … and also in foods grown in organic soil. What the what? Can we do nothing right?

Search and find There’s no meaningful, evidence-based reason smallpox comes up first in the search results when you ask about an infant’s runny nose. It’s an algorithm, keywords, page loads, perhaps a little advertising money. The next day, search the same topic

and get a mommy blogger talking about what essential oils best handle hay fever. And, sure: We were at risk for some form of GES at the start of the millennium. WebMD was already a thing. Click bait such as “11 Deadly Chemicals Lurking in Your Home” dangled around the corners of one’s Abercrombie online shopping cart. However, the presence of Every Authority on Everything in your purse or pocket is what’s caused GES to spike to pandemic levels. With your smartphone in hand, you can laser-focus in on every product in the Target aisle — search while searching, if you will. Is this brand really sustainable? Can babies have cinnamon? What are the ingredients in Dreft? How do I make gluten free falafel? And while you’re at it … What is this rash? How many calories do I burn in a typical CrossFit class? Which of the Golden Girls are still alive? But really … Is it OK to have an epidural?

There is no meaningful, evidence-based reason smallpox comes up first in the search results when you ask about an infant’s runny nose. Your own instinct Me oh my, Moms and Pops. It’s a remarkably advanced, migraine-inducing, absolutely bananas world you’re bringing your wee ones into. It makes those (at this point, cliché) rants and memes about the “good old days” ring true — you know, drinking out of the garden hose and riding bikes without helmets. Hostess Cupcakes. Kool-Aid. Our parents reminded us to look both ways, brush our teeth, take our Flintstones vitamins and that was that. They scarcely read Dr. Spock, let alone every piece of dogma, fluff and misinformation on the Internet. By the way, Spock, with a parent-empowering mantra of “you know more than you think you know,” would have told us all: Stay. Off. The. Google. We worry — boy, do we — about our kids and iPhones and the dangers of the Internet. But I worry about us. We’re losing a beautifully imperfect art that I hold dear — the art of parenting by instinct. And, quite frankly, we’re losing our minds. Be careful with yourself, Minnesota parent. Know when to cut your losses with the “re-search.” Look at your baby, with your eyes. See that she’s thriving. Be skeptical of what’s presented as expertise. Find real experts and ask them face to face. And at the very least, give the Google machine a rest before bedtime. Let yourself rest. Let yourself be well. Jen Wittes is a marketing director, writer, certified postpartum doula and mom of two who lives in St. Paul.

Tracy Walsh Photography MNP 0419 H6.indd 1

3/7/19 4:29 PM

June 14-18, 2020

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Shannon Keough


In praise of toddlers E

verybody loves babies. Helpless and cute, propped up on a pillow, wearing a tiny cap that looks like a strawberry: What could be more adorable? Take your baby out in public and you’re virtually guaranteed to encounter at least one stranger who will gush over your baby’s singular sweetness. (Exception: Going out in public with a colicky baby.) Toddlers, on the other hand, aren’t universally beloved. In fact, we’ve developed a variety of disparaging terms to describe these little proto-adolescents (e.g. “the terrible twos,” “threenagers,” etc.). The same grandmotherly types who ooh-ed and ahh-ed over your swaddled little bundle of joy last year become the hostile village elders who mutter things about how “parents can’t control their children these days,” while your 3-year-old turns somersaults on the filthy grocery store floor. I will admit that toddlers can present quite a challenge. I recall the months-long battle during which Felix, my toddler son, refused to allow me to strap him into his car seat. By “refuse,” I mean he screamed and thrashed and fought me off with a wild, vicious intensity that — on more than one occasion — drew incredulous stares from passersby. I remember the time Lydia coldly assessed me at the end of a long day during her toddlerhood, eventually remarking, “You’re stupid — you don’t speak French.” (She was attending a French-immersion daycare at the time.) But I also remember so many magnificently life-affirming things from the toddler years — the slapstick humor, the general exuberance over everything and the ability


March 2020 •

The same grandmotherly types who ooh-ed and ahhed over your swaddled little bundle of joy last year become the hostile village elders who mutter things about how ‘parents can’t control their children these days.’

to fall asleep anywhere and in any configuration (feet on the floor with shoulders on the couch being one my favorites). At their best, toddlers give us a fascinating look into the process of becoming an individual. On a more basic level, they can simply be very entertaining, especially if you can forget what “other people” might think about “the scene” your child is making. Let me elaborate on some of the things that make toddlers so great.

Toddlers are funny Lydia, age 2-ish: “Mama?” Me: “Yes, Lydia?” Lydia: [theatrical pause] “I just killed a man.” If you haven’t noticed, toddlers tend to

do and say some funny things. Take, for example, the little anecdote above. (I hope most readers will understand that Lydia was making a reference to Bohemian Rhapsody and not actually confessing to a crime.) This was what I fondly remember as “Lydia’s first joke.” Toddlers also create some of the most brilliant absurdist theater. This is why I recommend being ready to take a video at a moment’s notice. (When they’re really little, be discreet. When kids get older, they start to “perform,” and that’s not the point at all.) For example, I recently rediscovered a toddler classic, featuring Lydia, age 3, and Felix, 14 months or so. Felix wanders around with a Lincoln Log can on his head. Lydia, offscreen, loudly declares: “I have a butt! I have a HIDEOUS butt!” Felix imitates her, echoing from within the can on his head — with hilarious results, of course. (OK, maybe you had to be there.) The key takeaway? Toddler videos are comedy gold.


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They live in a fantasy world When Lydia was a toddler, for the better part of a year we communicated as “Mama and Child.” (Lydia was Mama. I was Child.) In business-like tones, Lydia-asMama would say things like, “Child, please put on your shoes because it’s time to go to the grocery store,” and I’d respond by saying something like, “But, Mama, I want to go to the park!” This kept her engaged for months.

They’re masters of mixed states On my trip down memory lane by way of old toddler videos, I also was struck by the speed with which joy could turn to sorrow — and vice versa. One minute toddlers are cackling uproariously; the next they’re weeping for no apparent reason. Sure, some people call this “crazy” or “irrational.” But aren’t we all, at least sometimes, teetering between states of bliss and misery? These mystifying toddler displays of emotion are poignant reminders of our human fallibility. And toddlerhood, thank God, doesn’t last forever, so enjoy those golden moments until they’re gone. Shannon Keough lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children. Send questions or comments to • March 2020


My parenting truths A

t this moment, I’m sitting at my laptop on the far edge of our dining room table, digging deep in my brain for an insightful message to share, something you can relate to that could perhaps help you on your parenting journey. But how can I inspire you when I’m sitting here shortly after losing my temper with one of my sons (due to frustration about a messy bedroom and chores that were left undone)? In the midst of the conflict, there was whining, dirty laundry, a moldy lunchbox, candy wrappers, a pile of deconstructed LEGOs, a good dose of crumbs, a yelling mama and tears from both the mama and the 10-year-old. I was not at my best. I’ve been writing this School Days column for over five years now and although I have experience with parenting (as a mom of four kids, ages 8, 10, 12 and 14) and significant training and involvement in the area of child development as an educator (this is my 19th year of teaching), I want to declare that I certainly do not have this parenting/adulting gig all figured out.

However, I’ve learned a few things these these past 14 years:

mastered this sphere of parenting without losing my patience every now and then.

Parenting isn’t easy.

You can’t do it all perfectly, but you can give it your best shot.

Notice that I didn’t say being a parent (although that can come with its own set of challenges). It’s the act of parenting that I find exceptionally challenging. Especially as a mom of four children, I’ve found that this incredible responsibility is simply ever-present. It is constant. There are a multitude of small but significant parenting decisions I need to make every single day to meet my children’s basic needs — just to keep them ALIVE. There’s nutrition, health and safety, but on top of that, there’s also a huge calling to raise good humans, people of strong moral character who will be contributing members of society. No pressure, right? When parents have the capacity to provide beyond their children’s basic needs, parenting should of course involve the guidance of our children’s emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual development. I work hard at it, but I certainly haven’t

Do I want to have daily arguments with my children about their chores, screen time or how unfair it is that one child was asked to do something another sibling didn’t have to do? Nope. I know sometimes it would just be easier to avoid the conflict alltogether and to give in — and not fight with them about turning off the screen or picking up the trail of laundry and stray socks strewn all over the house. Sometimes I do let things go. You have to “pick your battles,” as they say. But I know if I do that too often, my children won’t learn the responsibility and accountability I want them to take with them beyond the parameters of my guidance. Perfect parenting is a fallacy. Good parenting involves love, patience, consistency, empathy and forgiveness — with our children and with ourselves. They will make mistakes and we will make mistakes, but each new day we have with them is an opportunity to help them be the best they can be.

Perfect parenting is a fallacy. Good parenting involves love, patience, consistency, empathy and forgiveness — with our children and with ourselves. 16

March 2020 •



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Children are a big responsibility, but they are gifts. They truly are. I love my kids more than I could ever describe. And I feel so blessed and grateful for four busy, healthy children — each full of personality and life. Each individual in our household is loved, respected and valued. When we aren’t in the midst of our occasional squabbles or conflicts, we have a lot of fun together. In our household, there’s rarely a dull moment, which keeps life interesting and certainly entertaining! My hope is that my children, and all children, know they are gifts to this world. Love them unconditionally, even if they occasionally drive you nuts. Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives in Northeastern Minnesota. Follow her blog — Kids, Lakes, Loons and Pines — at • March 2020


Katie Dohman


Mrs. Quimby, I salute you I

had a moment of realization that I was truly growing up while watching Friday Night Lights (for the first time) a few years back. Coach Twinkle-Eyes was my pick, not the long-haired hunk Tim Riggins. Look, the rebel with a heart of gold who also happens to be smolderingly handsome — I really get it. But I was so far from scoring a date with that kind of guy in high school that I couldn’t even imagine it. Nah, if I had to pick a high school character on the show, it would have been sweet Matty Saracen, the artsy underdog making mixtapes for his girlfriend. But back to Twinkle-Eyes. The wisdom, the toughness wrapped around the heart that remembered what it felt like to be in high school, the laugh lines. Oh, man. I was falling for … THE PARENT. And I wasn’t even that mad about it. Indeed, Eric and Tami Taylor were a dream parenting team, and somewhere in my subconscious, I took notes. I had another parenting-mentor–related moment the other night, reading to my older two before lights out. We’re currently making our way through the Ramona Quimby series. And, to my sheer delight, it stands up. It requires nowhere near the editing-onthe-fly as you read out loud for inappropriate words or outdated concepts, especially when compared to some of my other childhood favorites. In fact, Ramona is the feminist hero I remember. But it isn’t Ramona so much who I can relate to now. It’s Mrs. Quimby. I had to Google her first name — it’s Dorothy — so maybe some things have progressed since Beverly Cleary brought her to life.


March 2020 •

But Mr. and Mrs. Quimby live in what really appears to be an egalitarian household. Mrs. Quimby is resourceful and smart. She has boundaries and enforces them. She’s unendingly patient in a way I wish I could be. In one instance, when Ramona is 4, Ramona really throws a temper tantrum. That whole book is really a cataloguing of Ramona’s temper tantrums. (Perhaps Cleary’s payback for a real-life Ramona? The world may never know.) But she responds to it (and the rest of them) with patience and grace and a true sense of empathy. It’s HARD to be a kid. It’s HARD to be bossed around, powerless. It’s HARD to be misunderstood. It’s not their fault kids are so literal.

And Mrs. Quimby gives Ramona the space to work that out, and then offers her a hug and wipes her tears. Ramona is a little firebrand. She has ideas. She has ambition. Never do her parents quash that or tell her she’s too loud or too frustrating. They don’t yell her into submission. Mrs. Quimby, I salute you. It’s near impossible not to do those things sometimes. But the other day, I had three sort of simultaneously meltingdown children. I knew it was part borne


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Ramona is a little firebrand. She has ideas. She has ambition. Never do they quash that or tell her she’s too loud or too frustrating. They don’t yell her into submission.

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of hunger, part of needing attention, part of just being kids. I wanted to respond like they did, with tears and yelling. I didn’t. I waited them out. I said how hard it was to have big feelings sometimes. I wiped tears and offered hugs. The moment smoothed over. Mrs. Quimby isn’t real, I know. But her lessons are. Katie Dohman is currently living in the midst of a full-house renovation with her three kids, two pets and one husband. Follow her adventures at • March 2020


Dr. Erin Stevens


The other big talk: Periods P

arenting has a way of prompting important conversations. You want to make sure your children are ready for life’s challenges, and yet it can be difficult to figure out the right things to say. Menstruation is a topic that everyone needs to learn about eventually. My first exposure to the concept came when I was 7 years old watching an episode of Roseanne in which she tells her son about having her first period at a junior high dance. In the episode, her son runs away screaming. What on Earth could this “period” be that was so frightening? It’s important to make sure all kids, regardless of gender, receive accurate information about menstruation so that it’s understood to be a normal process — for half of the population! — and needn’t be scary.

Q: When do periods start? A: In the U.S., the average age of “menarche” — the onset of periods — is 12 years old, with a typical range of 9 to 15 years old.

Q: What happens and why? A: When talking to your kids about this, you might want to pull up an image online or in a book to use as a guide. People who menstruate have an organ called the uterus. Some people refer to this as the womb. The uterus looks a little bit like a balloon, but instead of being made of rubber, it’s a muscle. The cervix is the opening at the bottom of the uterus, which is a little like the neck and lip of a balloon. The cervix sits at the innermost point of the vagina. The inside of the uterus is lined with special cells. Signals in the body called


March 2020 •

hormones cause this cellular lining to thicken and then shed — in the form of blood — on a monthly basis. When the lining sheds, it flushes from the uterus through the cervix and out the vagina. (It can be helpful to point out to kids that the blood doesn’t mean the person is hurt or in danger.) People typically use products to soak up or catch the blood so it doesn’t get all over their clothes and bodies. Sometimes blood does leak onto clothes or sheets. Let kids know it’s OK if this happens so they don’t feel embarrassed — or make others feel that way. If a person becomes pregnant, the hormonal signals change, and the lining of the uterus doesn’t shed. Instead, it helps support the growing baby.

Q: How much bleeding is there? A: The average amount of blood loss is about 2–3 tablespoons per period. It flows out over about 4–5 days, although some people bleed for more or fewer days. To measure flow, it’s good to know that one fully soaked, normal-sized sanitary product (tampon or pad) holds about a teaspoon of blood (equivalent to 1/3 tablespoon).

Q: Does it hurt? A: The uterus generally cramps a bit in the lower abdomen as it lets go of the lining. Some people don’t notice this much, while others have considerable pain. Tell your kids to let you know if they have pain, so you can help them manage it.

If your child needs to stay home from school or other activities due to the pain of periods, talk to a health-care professional. Some people experience other mental and physical effects before and during their periods as a result of the hormonal signals. These might include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, weight changes, fatigue, insomnia, back pain, breast tenderness and increased acne. Lifestyle modifications — including focusing on healthy habits such as a wholefoods diet, adequate exercise/activity/sleep and emotional awareness — can help with period problems. Ibuprofen, stool softeners and heating pads might improve some symptoms. Some prescription medications can help, too.

Q: How often does it happen? A: Initially, periods can be a little bit unpredictable. Typically within a year or two after menarche, periods become more regular. The average time between the start of one period and the start of the next usually is 28 days, but the typical range is 21 to 35 days. If periods don’t occur at this interval a couple of years after menarche, there might be a medical issue that needs to be addressed. (Editor’s note: There are many apps that can help kids and adults track periods, such as Clue, Flo and MagicGirl. Just be aware you’re sharing personal health information with a business when you use such apps.)

Q: What do I need? A: Tampons, pads, menstrual cups and pantyliners are popular items used to absorb the blood. Most people start with pads or liners, which are generally made of cotton and stick to the inside of the underwear. You can make or buy reusable pads, which can be hand- or machine-washed. Different sizes of pads are available based on how heavy bleeding is.

Tampons are cotton cylinders that are National Summer placed inside the vagina using an appliTransportation cator or fingers. These can be difficult to Institute maneuver at first. If your child wants to Students in grades 7–9 will try using a tampon, walk them through explore transportation, engineering, science, and the process. Although tampons can be technology in this free day optimal for some people — especially camp at the University of while swimming or participating in other Minnesota from July 20–31. sports and activities — they might not work out right away, and some people never like using them. Tampons and pads both soak up blood and are thrown away after use (or washed if they’re reusable). Tell children not to flush these products down the toilet (unless you want to Spreading Hope to Families deal with a plumbing headache)! of Micro-Preemie Babies, One Potato at a Time. Menstrual cups are small silicone cups that are placed inside the vagina to collect blood. The cup is removed to pour the blood into the toilet, and then it’s replaced in the vagina. Cups are nice for some people for the same reasons as tampons, plus they cut down on waste. But there is a learning curve, and — No N3ew again, like tampons — some people justThe Potato Head Project MNP 2017 Filler 12.indd rth O 1/4/18 2:39 PM & ffice never quite like them. Ea st Ms in etr If tampons or cups don’t seem to be o! working out, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a physical problem. Talk to your child’s health-care professional if you are concerned.

Hey Mama, You Matter!

Q: When does it stop? A: There does come a time when periods go away, called “menopause.” This typically occurs in a woman’s early 50s, but can be earlier or later. If you do the math, that means about 40 years — likely half a lifetime — of potential periods. Clearly this is a process that affects people for a long time. Make sure your kids are prepared! Dr. Erin Stevens sees patients at the Edina location of Clinic Sofia, a local OBGYN clinic known for its personalized approach to women’s health care. She’s a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Learn more at

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Christina Sandok

rthy n wo Swoo

You may be familiar with tahini (sesame seed butter) as a hummus ingredient (and it is). But did you know tahini can also help you make great cookies? It adds a delicious nuttiness and creates a lovely texture, too. And the best part? Tahini is a great source of antioxidants, healthy fats, calcium and vitamin B6.

Photo courtesy of Prescribe Nutrition


tahini — aka sesame seed butter!

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TAHINI COOKIES INGREDIENTS 1 egg (or flax egg) ½ cup tahini (sesame seed butter, stirred so the oil is incorporated) ½ cup coconut sugar 2 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup almond flour ½ cup cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the egg, tahini, sugar, oil and vanilla extract until smooth and combined. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix again until absorbed. (You should have a sticky-ish dough ball at this point.)

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Ed Dykhuizen


Music to kids’ ears

Music is a universal language that brings together people of all cultures and ages. Our littlest ones have an instinctive receptivity to simple tunes, and older children can explore their feelings and express their souls through songs. These stories capture some of the power of music for kids.

In these divided times, there’s one thing we can all agree on: Everyone loves Dolly Parton! In this gem, her most kid-centric song — which tells a story from her own childhood in rural Tennessee — gets a warm picturebook treatment, followed by a personal plea from Dolly to end bullying at schools.

Each line from the famous Sesame Street theme song is paired with a different illustrator’s intricate, gorgeous image, each of which uniquely imparts the multicultural, multigenerational joy of community that the show has spread throughout the world for 50 years.

Music can provide an ideal outlet for kids who like being “different,” like the young protagonist of this uniquely illustrated book. But wanting to be different doesn’t mean wanting to be lonely. Luckily, you can form a band! Ages 5–8 • $17.99

Ages 4–8 • $17.99

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Ed Dykhuizen is an associate editor at Minnesota Parent and father of three, who lives in St. Paul.


March 2020 •

Little Hana Hashimoto loves playing her violin. Unfortunately, no one loves hearing her play it. But she keeps at it, and eventually invents her own style of music, based on the sounds around her, that brings encore after encore. Ages 5–8 • $17.99

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This autobiography paints a heartwarming portrait of a New Orleans boy who becomes obsessed with playing an instrument larger than he is. The pictures at the end of tiny Troy playing in a Treme parade and in front of Bo Diddley make for a perfect epilogue.

Hosea Taylor was a street musician in Rochester, New York, who created a loving community through both his tunes and his generosity. Reading about a typical day in his life may reaffirm your faith in humanity.

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March 2020 •

Campers at Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul learn to play five different instruments in just three weeks. BY HELEN SABROWSKY


erforming live on five different instruments with only three weeks to prepare may seem daunting to even the most seasoned musician — and all but impossible for beginner students — but that’s exactly what campers do at Walker West Music Academy’s Summer Music Camp in St. Paul. The three-week day camp runs in July and is open to 30 children ages 5 to 12. This year, the camp is expanding to a full-day camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with music instruction in the morning and dance, yoga/meditation and storytelling in the afternoon. No prior musical knowledge or experience is required to attend the camp, where children learn the fundamentals and simple tunes on violin, African drums, piano, a woodwind or brass instrument and voice. Campers receive breakfast, lunch and snacks. Instruments are provided, too. The camp culminates in a public concert held at Walker West’s performance hall. And it’s all possible because of a dedicated teaching staff, a solid camp structure and student perseverance, said program director Tonya Gregory. “It can be pretty amazing, because you wouldn’t think that all of these students would be able to do all of these different things on these instruments in three short weeks,” she said. “But because of the way the program is designed and the way the teachers teach, they’re able to learn and share a lot.” • March 2020


Instruments, such as violin, are provided for students in summer day camps at the Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul, which is known for its strings program as well as jazz instruction. Photo courtesy of Walker West Music Academy / Benny Moreno

Trusting the music Walker West Music Academy was founded more than 30 years ago by Rev. Carl Walker, a gospel pianist, and Grant West, a jazz pianist. In 1991, the Summer Music Camp was launched. Since its creation, Walker West has set out to foster a community centered around jazz and gospel music, which is often overlooked in public music education. “People are coming specifically because it’s is not offered at public schools, as well as for the family feel, the connection and making sure we’re sharing the AfricanAmerican cultural experience through music,” Gregory said. In addition to its Summer Music Camp, Walker West offers a Summer Jazz Intensive for ages 12 to 18. Designed to help students already proficient in an instrument further hone their skills, the week-long camp runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Aug 3-7.


March 2020 •

Walker West’s executive director Braxton Haulcy said the Summer Music Camp makes for “a great entry point to becoming part of the Walker West family.” Haulcy said senior teaching instructors have been with the school for years and offer a wealth of knowledge, while high schooler and college-age camp teaching assistants — who often grew up taking lessons at Walker West — serve as role models and mentors to campers. Edmund Catlin, a camp assistant, studied at Walker West for five years before leaving for college, returning for summers as an administrative assistant and substitute drum lesson instructor. “It’s really cool because my job is to serve as an intermediary between the adults, the teachers and professionals and these little kids,” Catlin said. “It’s almost like a diplomatic position.” Jack Breen, the summer camp band instrument teacher, started taking lessons

at Walker West as a fourth-grader and continued through high school. After graduating from college, he returned to teach lessons and coach ensembles. As a recent college graduate, Breen is able to relate to students in ways that other staff might not. “I have three different instruments out and then I’m also playing recorder and sometimes the piano with them and we just have a little dance party,” Breen said. Catlin stressed the importance of creating a trusting relationship between campers and instructors. “At the end of the day, music is about trust. And I think this camp does a good job at giving these kids trust,” he said. “We want them to trust us and trust the music.”

Playing to learn Students arrive at Walker West at 8 a.m. and eat breakfast as a group before breaking off into small groups for rota-

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At the end of the day, music is about trust. And I think this camp does a good job at giving these kids trust. We want them to trust us and trust the music.

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tional lessons in various instruments. After music lessons, campers eat a snack and then head to group choir, where all 30 students sing together in the performance hall. Lunch is served at about noon. Meals and snacks are provided through Saint Paul Public Schools, which is just one of the ways Walker West makes its camps accessible to all children. Scholarships are also provided to students in need, and Walker West was recently certified by the Minnesota After School Advance Program, which enables the school to further expand on its commitment to providing instruction for all. Part of the reason the Summer Music Camp is so successful in introducing beginner students to a range of instruments and techniques is because it incorporates a concept Haulcy calls “Play to Learn,” which means campers focus on listening to melodies and rhythms and playing by ear before reading and writing music,

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I want to get students to learn music they really love first — that’s my first priority because that really gets the excitement going. — Jack Breen, Walker West Music Academy similar to how children learn to speak before learning to read or write. This teaching style also helps campers develop an enhanced skill for improvisation. Breen said he starts with recent songs that campers know such as Baby Shark or Old Town Road. “I want to get students to learn music they really love first — that’s my first priority because that really gets the excitement going,” Breen said. The fact that violin is included among the camp’s core instruments may surprise some folks, Haulcy said. However, Walker West includes the instrument because the school is known for its fantastic string program, one of the best in the U.S., with four instructors teaching violin, viola, cello and bass. “Many of our students are playing in the symphonies across the Twin Cities,” Haulcy said. “And some have played at Carnegie Hall with Sarah Chang.”

Life lessons

↑ Children in the summer day camp at Walker West Music Academy in St. Paul learn five instruments during a three-week period — African drums, a woodwind or brass instrument, piano, voice and violin. Photos courtesy of Walker West Music Academy / Benny Moreno


March 2020 •

But it’s not just about building up worldclass musical skills. During camp, kids also learn discipline, determination and tenacity. “It takes a lot of confidence to play five instruments at a beginner’s level — and that’s a major accomplishment of the program,” Haulcy said. Campers learn their strengths and what they enjoy as well as how to articulate their preferences. Walker West’s emphasis

Walker West Music Academy Located in St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, this nonprofit community music school offers year-round individual and ensemble lessons, concerts, early childhood music education — for ages 0 to adult — and summer camps for school-age kids. No prior instrument experience is required.



Ages: 5-18 Camp dates, hours, fees: Summer Music Camp (ages 5-12) runs 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays July 6-24 (three weeks) and costs $400. Summer Jazz Intensive (ages 12-18) runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 3-7 and costs $500. Scholarships are available for all programming. Camp slots are limited.

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on teaching non-academic skills like these in addition to its musical curriculum distinguishes the program from other camps, Breen said. Catlin said his measure for a successful lesson is whether the child leaves knowing how to do something new. And sometimes that simply means learning to be OK with mistakes. “Little kids tend to be perfectionists a lot of the time, so a lot of it is trying to persuade them that going as far as you can go is worth it, in and of itself,” Catlin said. “You’re constantly in pursuit of this thing that’s always running away from you — and that’s always bigger than you — so a lot of the camp is inviting kids to trust that world of music, of ‘Who knows what will happen?’ But the only way to find out is to do it.” Helen Sabrowsky is a University of Minnesota journalism student. She served as the 2019 summer writing intern at Minnesota Parent.

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Such great heights 32

The Minneapolis Bouldering Project offers half-day summer camps to help kids with climbing, confidence and safety skills By Helen Sabrowsky


urrounded by aqua-blue walls dotted with colorful climb holds, half a dozen children between the ages of 5 and 7 sit together intently focused on the wall in front of them. Above them, a small boy places a hand on a hold and lifts himself up the wall, which stands only about 15 feet high, but seems impossibly tall compared to the boy. “Yeah, Jeremiah!” cheers Minneapolis Bouldering Project program manager Isabelle Solvang as she walks past the campers. The group erupts into exclamations of encouragement and praise as the boy climbs higher and higher. Though bouldering — rock climbing without the use of ropes or harnesses — is an individual sport, camps focus on the idea of climbing as a team, which requires campers to find ways to support each other and themselves when climbing. Besides emphasizing the value of supporting one another, climbing as a team also encourages campers to learn from each other without measuring their progress against others. In addition to climbing, camps at the Minneapolis Bouldering Project (MBP) — a 40,000-square-foot climbing gym and fitness hub — also incorporate traditional games and bonding activities as well as social-emotional learning concepts. MBP offers half-day, weeklong camps throughout summer for ages 5 to 12. “We have found that half a day of climbing is plenty,” Solvang said. “Kids are worn out at the end of the day, and they’re still excited to come back the next day.” Accessibility is a core part of MBP’s mission and staff take pride in introducing campers to bouldering and the climbing community. No prior experience is required to enroll in a camp, and counselors use an individualized approach to every child, which allows children from different backgrounds and abilities to thrive. “It’s really fun to get kids who like to move their bodies around to try climbing,” Solvang said.

March 2020 •

Kids at the Minneapolis Bouldering Project can use color-coded climb holds to help find a safe path at their climbing level. Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography

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Different areas at the Minneapolis Bouldering Project cater to various age groups, such as this one for younger kids, where the reward for a climb to the top is an easy slide down. Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Bouldering Project

What goes up must come down Though campers climb boulders that can reach heights up to 17 feet without the use of ropes or harnesses, parents can rest assured that safety is of the utmost importance at MBP. While part of the allure of bouldering is the thrill of climbing circuits that stretch to the ceiling, being able to climb down is equally crucial. “We focus a lot on how to come off the walls in a way that you don’t injure yourself, and in a way where you’re comfortable and confident in taking risks,” Solvang said. Although MBP’s facility — which boasts over 20,000 square feet of climbing terrain — may seem overwhelming at first, everything in the space is color coded and


March 2020 •

Minneapolis Bouldering Project designed so that anyone can walk in and navigate safely and successfully. MBP also posts its “spiral of difficulty” throughout the building. The spiral details the difficulty of each color-coded circuit. Circuits overlap to help climbers progress and avoid pigeonholing themselves into what they can and can’t do. Even with these safety nets in place, failure is natural and expected to occur. “Failure happens, but it’s not really a failure if you’re getting better and doing something you love,” said camp counselor Taber Tang. By learning to embrace challenges — and persevere despite them — campers develop skills they can carry into other areas of their lives. “The confidence they build on Day 1 and throughout the week is remarkable,”

This 40,000-square-foot climbing gym features climbing spaces, a yoga studio, fitness rooms, co-working spaces and locker rooms with saunas, plus programming for kids and adults, including classes, after-school clubs, parent nights out, parties and more. Ages: 5-12 for camps; all ages are welcome otherwise. Camp dates: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. weekdays June 15-Aug. 28; no camps July 6-10. Cost: $200–$250 per week, depending on how early you register; members get $50 off. Info: 612-308-2800,

Solvang said. “And you learn to depend on yourself and you learn to trust yourself.”

Ready, set, grow! Completing a bouldering circuit is like solving a puzzle. Bouldering challenges climbers physically and mentally, which means campers often encounter big emotions. Instead of ignoring these feelings, MBP helps campers understand and acknowledge emotions as part of its socialemotional learning curriculum. Throughout the weeklong camp, students are encouraged to stay in a growth-zone mindset — to challenge themselves and focus on progress without putting themselves in danger or panicking. “A huge part of climbing camp is trust,” said camp counselor Chelli Riddiough. “The kids have to trust us because we’re asking them to do really hard and scary things, and so developing a trusting and positive relationship is essential for pushing kids into their growth zone without it feeling like an uncomfortable experience.” One of the ways counselors foster a trusting relationship is by incorporating a challenge-by-choice concept which empowers campers to decide whether to participate or opt out of any activity. Additionally, counselors take an individualized approach to working with every camper. This means that campers from any background, such as children with autism or social anxiety or children who don’t come from a climbing family, can succeed and grow. “Every kid can climb, and I think this camp is a great place for any kid,” Riddiough said.

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Creating a community Opened November 2017, MBP strives to foster meaningful human connection through inspiring and inclusive climbing, movement and community spaces. Since then, the club has helped nurture the growth of the Minnesota • March 2020


bouldering community, including its littlest climbers. “I like to climb because it kind of calms me and gives me a sense of how strong I am,” said Shyamana, a 9-year-old camper from Minneapolis. “It’s challenging, but still fun.” When faced with an especially tough circuit, Shyamana said she either jumps down or tries it, while reminding herself it’s not impossible. MBP offers its Pebbles Program for ages 3 to 5, and allows children as young as 2 to use the facility. Kids are such natural climbers, they don’t need much instruction before giving it a try. Some toddlers climb before they can walk well. “When people think of MBP, they think about the community it’s created, and I think kids are an essential part of that — but sometimes not focused on,” said camp counselor Zoe Seitz. “As a counselor,


March 2020 •

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Summer Camps

Color-coded climb holds help guide kids at the MBP. Photos courtesy of the Minneapolis Bouldering Project

I think [camps] are a really cool way to get kids into climbing and this community.” Though camps center on bouldering and developing climbing-related skills, such as footwork or mindfulness, campers also partake in group activities, games and even just relaxing. “We also try to teach them a part of the bouldering culture of chilling out and hanging on the mats because we’re not going to be climbing every second of the day,” Seitz said. “We have a lot of time to chat and hang out on the mats and play funny games.” While some people may be surprised by the height of boulders children climb, Solvang stressed that the world isn’t child-sized either, adding, “It’s only a handicap if you tell them it is.” Helen Sabrowsky is a University of Minnesota journalism student. She served as the 2019 summer writing intern at Minnesota Parent. • March 2020





Camp Odayin provides adventure in a safe environment for kids with heart disease in Minnesota and Wisconsin

By Helen Sabrowsky


↑ Kids with heart disease get to share their stories and traditional summer camp experiences at Camp Odayin. Photos courtesy of Camp Odayin


March 2020 •

inding the right summer camp for your kids can feel like a monumental task. It needs to work with your schedule, but it also must fit your children’s unique interests, keep them busy and offer a safe place to learn, explore and grow. And when you’re the parent of a child with heart disease, your definition of a “safe place” can take on a whole new meaning. Enter Camp Odayin. Founded in 2002, the organization — named after the Ojibwa word for heart — offers special medically supervised summer programming for children with heart disease and their families.




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That includes overnight residential camps for children in grades 1 to 11 at Camp Knutson in Crosslake, Minnesota and at Camp Lutherdale in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in July this year. Camp experiences — complete with traditional activities such as swimming, boating, arts and crafts, volleyball, horseback riding, nature experiences, basketball and music — last a week and are tailored to meet the emotional and physical needs of kids with heart disease. Each cabin houses 8 to 10 campers and includes a staff trio — a camp counselor, a co-counselor and a nurse. Additionally, three to four cardiologists accompany campers during each session to provide support and medical attention, if needed. Having nurses and cardiologists on hand to dispense medicine and provide medical assistance means counselors can focus on mentoring campers. Jamie Mailer of White Bear Lake said it wasn’t easy, at first, sending her son, Andrew, to camp. She was used to protecting her son, who was born with heart disease, by scheduling his sports activities close to paramedic stations, just in case he had a medical emergency. But Mailer found confidence in • March 2020


Camp Odayin’s specialized mission and its staff. “While we were sad to see our child go away for a while, we were very comfortable putting him on the bus and super excited for that next adventure,” she said. Camp Odayin will also offer a one-day summer camp Aug. 7 for grades K-3 at Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul. This year, family camps will also be offered Oct. 16-18 in Amery, Wisconsin and Nov. 6-8 in Camp Lake, Wisconsin; and a moms’ weekend retreat is set for May 16-17 in Stillwater. And guess what these camp cost? Thanks to donations, each camp costs $25 per child or less, depending on a family’s level of need. A cardiologist must recommend each camper’s acceptance into the programming, but that’s a small price to pay for families whose children typically take daily cardiac medications or have had cardiac surgeries.

NEW EXPERIENCES Once at camp, children are separated into small groups. The campers in each group stay in the same cabin, share the same counselor and co-counselor and spend time together. During day activities, campers from all the groups come together to explore activities of their choice.

Themed activities are part of the fun of Camp Odayin, which caters to kids with heart disease.


March 2020 •

Campers wake up around 7 each morning and start their day with a flag raising and breakfast at 8:15 before moving on to rotating morning activities. Next, campers eat lunch before taking a rest hour, followed by a variety of afternoon activities and choice time, including waterfront fun such as swimming. After a period of down time, campers start their evening program, which is a surprise themed activity. One summer included a space night. Campers that year were delighted to explore the dining hall, which had been decked out with tinfoil to look like outer space. Though Camp Odayin sounds like a traditional summer camp, parents said the healthy and empowering environment makes the camp special for their kids. Mother Becky Shuck of Webster, Minnesota, whose daughter, Ella, was born with a congenital heart defect, said her 7-year-old went to residential camp for the first time last summer. Ella had a blast meeting new people and participating in all that camp has to offer, including riding a horse for the first time, Shuck said. Summer camp director Brooke Byrd said many kids can experience another kind of first at camp: They might meet someone with a similar form of heart disease. “Most of the kids who come to our residential camps don’t know anybody else

like them,” Byrd said. “And a lot of the kids tell us that when they’re at home, they don’t share their story; they don’t show their scar. But when they’re at camp, they’re the majority, and they get to connect with other kids.”

A SUPPORT SYSTEM Camp Odayin has also fostered a strong community of children and parents who are dealing with heart disease. Mailer said building relationships with other Odayin families that extend past camp has helped her son and family navigate life with heart disease. “Just being able to connect with different families who understood what we were going through was huge,” Mailer said. When Andrew had his first open-heart surgery, campers who had gone through the procedure explained what it was like from a child’s perspective. “For him to be able to connect with somebody who he has built a relationship with through camp, who he is very comfortable with, who has shared his scar and his story — and then be able to actually help Andrew maneuver and really manage through that situation — was really monumental for us,” Mailer said. Jill Berends, who’s been a Camp Odayin counselor for more than nine years, said she enjoys seeing the kids grow and build new friendships.

Investing in kids is an ideal way to say “thank you” to our wonderful community.

↑ Camp Odayin’s Chippewa week includes kids in grades 1 to 6, and offers traditional overnight camp activities, such as swimming, archery, campfires and more in a medically supervised environment.

One year, when a girl from a group of campers wasn’t able to attend camp because she had recently gone through a heart transplant, the other girls made a care package for her to receive in the hospital. In addition to building strong relationships and community, the children have grown their resiliency and confidence at camp. “To see them going off into middle school, it warms my heart a little, because I used to have to help them pack their bags and now they’re cleaning all their tables and packing their bags, and the homesickness is less and less every year,” Berends said. “It’s really cool to watch them become really independent and on the path to become young adults.”

LOOKING TO EXPAND Camp Odayin continues to grow each summer and is always looking to further support children with heart disease and their families. In 2018, about 320 children participated in its residential and day camp programs. In 2019, that number increased to 345 campers. Throughout all of its year-round programming,


March 2020 •

Camp Odayin served over 1,000 people last year. Though Odayin has reached its capacity in expanding its Minnesota residential camps, it’s hoping to grow its Wisconsin camp, which started in 2017. Additionally, Camp Odayin is researching how it could support siblings of children with heart disease through a siblings camp. But regardless of any changes to its programming, Camp Odayin will remain a safe and welcoming place where kids with heart disease can just be kids. “Our lives have changed since having Andrew,” Mailer said. “Your whole goal, your whole focus changes when you find out that you have a different plan in front of you, but for us this is the plan. And for some people — and some kids — that’s really difficult to come to terms with.” Camp Odayin, however, bridges that gap. “Camp helps them find the fun in it and understand there are good spaces to it, and there are ways to celebrate it — and there are ways to enjoy life because of it,” she said. Helen Sabrowsky is a University of Minnesota journalism student. She served as the 2019 summer writing intern at Minnesota Parent.

Camp Odayin

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Based in Oakdale, Minnesota, this nonprofit organization offers camp programming year-round for children with heart disease and their families at locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including overnight, daytime and family camp options. Ages: Children in grades K-11 can attend summer camps; registration is based on child’s grade for the 2019-2020 school year. All ages can attend family camps. Camp dates: This year’s overnight summer camps will be July 13-17 (grades 1-6), July 20-24 (grades 6-8) and July 27-31 (grades 9-11) in Crosslake, Minnesota; and July 27-31 (grades 1-11) in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Camp Odayin also offers a one-day summer camp Aug. 7 for grades K-3 at Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul. This year, family camps will also be offered Oct. 16-18 in Amery, Wisconsin (near the Twin Cities) and Nov. 6-8 in Camp Lake, Wisconsin (near Chicago/Milwaukee). A moms’ weekend retreat is set for May 16-17 in Stillwater. Cost: $25 per camper; transportation support can be reimbursed up to $300 for families in need.


Weeklong camps | Half-day and Full-day Limited, need-based scholarships are available. 2424 Franklin Ave. E. | Minneapolis, MN 55406

Classic TaeKwonDo Studios Now Enrolling for Summer Camp

$50/day includes: organic/natural lunch and snack, admission (daily field trips), and taekwondo class. Pay only for days needed. Camp Hours: 7:30–5:45 June through August.

Month TaeKwonDo Intro

Info: 651-351-9185,

$240 for Unlimited Class Hours, includes Uniform & 4 Introductory Classes. Additional family members 50% off.

Mrs. Carolyn Boston teaching for over 40 years 5253 Chicago Ave S | 612-810-2051 | Classic TaeKwonDo Studios MNP 0320 H6.indd 1

2/18/20 11:09 AM • March 2020


pLAYing With


At the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, kids can learn to make art out of hot metal, molten glass and more BY HELEN SABROWSKY

Day campers at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in Minneapolis learn the industrial art of blacksmithing, which involves shaping red-hot metal with a hammer. Photo courtesy of Scott Streble


oat hooks, fire pokers and a campfire pie iron: No, this isn’t a list of items found at a local rummage sale. It’s just a sampling of the items campers have designed and made during the summer programming at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in Minneapolis. Creativity and problem solving go hand-in-hand at the summer camps, which include classes on blacksmithing, sculptural welding, casting, jewelry fabrication and glass bead making. While there’s no shortage of summer art camps offered throughout the Twin Cities, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center’s camps aim to introduce kids ages 8 and older to art forms they might not be exposed to elsewhere. • March 2020


An instructor at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center helps a camper learn the art of making glass beads over an oxy-fuel torch, known as flameworking or lampworking. Photo courtesy of Fred Panache

Lighting the Fire Camps, which are focused primarily on ages 13-18, include Blacksmithing Basics, Metal Arts Sampler, Sculptural Metal Casting, Flameworking: Make Glass Beads and Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture. Though experience level may influence the types of projects campers embark on, all campers leave the center’s week-long camps having made something. Brad Buxton, who teaches blacksmithing at the center, said students in his camp start making their first project, a spoon/ bottle-opener combo within the first 15 minutes. This teaches campers the basics of the design process as well as safety guidelines and how to use tools. After that first project, students are given the freedom to let their imaginations run wild. “And then, from that, I hope they just kind of go on their own and start figuring out what to do,” Buxton said.


March 2020 •

During the blacksmithing camp — which involves shaping red-hot iron using a hammer — students make three to four projects.

Last summer, one camper, Merrick, a 13-year-old from Golden Valley, made a spoon and bottle opener plus two other projects, including one he described as

the proJeCtS that kiDS are aBLe To aCCoMpLiSh are reaLLy Quite aMaZing. — Heather Doyle, artistic director at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center a “weird gadget.” Merrick’s creations impressed his parents. But he also surprised himself. “To be honest, I didn’t realize that I was capable of making these,” he said. Because campers have the freedom to design projects that interest them — and the support necessary to complete ambitious creations — campers make truly impressive pieces, said artistic director Heather Doyle. “The projects that kids are able to accomplish are really quite amazing,” Doyle said. They can go, she said, “as far as adults go, but sometimes further because they have no box.”

Carrying the TorCh Fire art forms, like blacksmithing, are inherently resource-intensive due to the equipment, expendable materials and space required to work safely, which means many people don’t have access to them. In addition to its summer camps and courses offered throughout the year, the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center also partners with a number of local schools and even offers programming for alternative learners and home-schooled children. Executive Director Victoria Lauing said the center is excited to work with outside organizations and carry the torch for ← A group of day campers at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center learn the art of making glass beads. Photo courtesy of Fred Panache • March 2020


At the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, day campers learn to make art out of forged metal, molten glass and more in a safe environment. Photo courtesy of Scott Streble

industrial arts programming. Lauing said the resource-intensive nature of the art form has brought together a growing community of fire artists. It also doesn’t hurt that TV shows such as Forged in Fire — a bladesmithing competition series that airs on the History channel — have also reignited interest in the fire arts. Merrick said his mother signed him up for the blacksmithing camp, “his favorite camp ever,” because he and his friends enjoy watching the show. Many blacksmithing campers continue to work and learn at the center, and instructors and artists always enjoy seeing familiar faces. Adult artists work in the space during camps, too, which gives campers the opportunity to see more advanced work and learn from other creators. Safety is a priority at the center, which gives children and adults in their classes the same safety tutorials. Precautions include the right clothes, protective gear and best practices.


March 2020 •

Instructors also incorporate multiple methods of teaching into their lessons, first giving information, then walking students through the process and later repeating it. The model has proven successful, Doyle said. “It allows people to overcome that anxiety of ‘there’s a piece of 2,500-degree metal in my tongs,’” Doyle said. “Plus, it’s really empowering to work with fire — and people want to do it.”

Sparking creativity One of the draws to blacksmithing and other fire art forms is that they are accessible to those who think analytically as well as those who think creatively. Imagination is crucial to thinking up an original concept for a new piece. But practical drafting and layout are also required to design a project. Campers rely on teamwork and problem solving to successfully navigate the process. For camps and classes that incorporate found objects into artwork, understanding how individuals interact and see the world

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center This nonprofit arts organization focuses year-round on art forms that involve heat, spark or flame — collectively known as fire arts. Beginners as well as masterlevel artisans are welcome to experience the center’s classes, studios and gallery. Summer camps for kids include Blacksmithing Basics, Metal Arts Sampler, Sculptural Metal Casting, Flameworking: Make Glass Beads and Oxy-Acetylene Found Object Sculpture. Ages: 8-18. Most camps are for ages 13-18. Dates: June 8-Aug. 27 Hours: Four-day camps are offered throughout the summer, typically from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Cost: $175-$280 per camp Where: 3749 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, in the former Nokomis Theater Info: 612-294-0400,

Registration is now open for our spring and summer programs. We offer mountain biking programs for beginners to advanced kids and even have one focused just for girls. Let’s get the kids off their screens and on to the trails!


A student in the Metal Arts Sampler camp at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center works with an instructor to use a handheld plasma cutter. Photo courtesy of Fred Pana

Morning, Afternoon & Full Day Camps • Single Day STEM Camps • Summer STEM Camps Year-Round Coding & Robotics — After School and Drop-In Cirriculum Offered Check out our Parents’ Night Out Events & Birthday Parties • Call or Enroll now at

around them is important, Doyle said. “I have so many people take consumables, things like the welding rod, and use them as part of their sculpture,” said Doyle. “People take things out of context and realize that the possibilities are limitless, and that applies to many other areas of life.” A willingness to experiment is also required, as certain processes with fire arts are inherently unpredictable. “You have to figure out alternatives if one way doesn’t work,” said Merrick, who accidently started to form a spoon on the wrong end of his first project. Merrick, who wants to continue to learn blacksmithing, said that while projects can be difficult to finish, the hard work pays off in the end. “You’re working so hard and then you’re finally able to use it and be done with it,” Merrick said. “It’s just really satisfying.”

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Helen Sabrowsky is a University of Minnesota journalism student. She served as the 2019 summer writing intern at Minnesota Parent. • March 2020





Wednesday, March 4 - Tuesday, March 10

March 2020 •

SAVE $50 on registration


SAVE $15 per session


Grades K – 5

Grades 1 – 6

Grades 6 – 8

SAVE $50 on registration

Summer Power is your answer to quality care and exciting adventures. We offer flexible 3-, 4-, and 5-day options. No two weeks are alike! Weekly themes and weekly field trips.

Youth will have the opportunity to learn new skills, practice and play new sports. Y Summer Sports is a safe, fun, non-competitive sports program designed to build teamwork, leadership skills and self-esteem.

Uproar provides an exciting combination of spirited adventure and growth. Teens get their first taste of leadership as they help to plan their summer activities and participate in weekly field trips.






Ages 4 - 14 With camps located at 8 accessible sites throughout the metro area, YMCA Day Camps provide a week full of exciting camp activities like canoeing, archery, fishing, camp crafts, cookouts, swimming and more! Day camps facilitate a great introduction to camping in a safe environment. Kids are home each night. Before & After Care and Bus Transportation is available.

Ages 7-17 Campers participate in a wide variety of traditional camp activities or select a specialty camp such as horseback riding, rock climbing, sailing and canoeing. Threeday, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP ICAGHOWAN / Lake Wapogasset Ages 7-17 Icaghowan offers traditional camp and a variety of unique specialty camps focused on activities such as horseback riding, and canoeing. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions. CAMP IHDUHAPI / Lake Independence Ages 7-17 Ihduhapi offers youth a traditional experience or specialty camps such as horseback riding and climbing. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP WARREN / Half Moon Lake Ages 7-17 Camp Warren offers girls-only sessions the first part of the summer and boys-only sessions later in the summer. Camp Warren has a strong tradition of progressive activities including sailing, archery, tennis, photography and horseback riding.

All Ages Our family camps offer a totally unique 3-day, 4-day and week long camping experiences for families. Cozy cabins range from rustic to upscale. Tent camping sites are also available. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, nature and arts programs are offered as family activities and for children’s age groups. Relax at days end with a sauna.

TEEN WILDERNESS ADVENTURES CAMP MENOGYN / Gunflint Trail Ages 12-18 There are no roads leading to Menogyn, so all campers cross West Bearskin Lake by boat to arrive at this beautiful wilderness setting. Our focus is on the small group guided wilderness canoeing, backpacking and rock climbing trips that are safe, fun and enriching.

SPECIALTY CAMPS Develop a greater passion for the things you love, or try out something new at one of our YMCA specialty camps! Campers spend approximately 2 hours each day in their specialized activity. The remainder of the day is spent enjoying traditional camp activities.

CAMP WIDJIWAGAN / Burntside Lake, Ely Ages 11-18 Widji offers high-quality canoe and backpacking adventures in the BWCAW and throughout North America. Widji wilderness trips are focused on respect and values that build skills for life and a relationship with the environment that is unparalleled.

SAVE $25


SAVE $15


March 4 - 10

Register online today: Membership not required. Financial assistance available. • March 2020



Call for more information: 612-230-9622


Academic The Bakken Museum

Explore the exciting world of innovation and creativity through hands-on STEM activities and challenges. Campers learn the innovation process by designing and building their own take home project using real tools and materials in the museum makerspace. Spaces fill fast, so register early! Minneapolis • 651-926-3878

Camp Invention Unmask your child’s creativity this summer in the all-new Camp Invention® program, Supercharged™, where children transform their wild imaginations into epic creations. Campers in grades K-6 will code robots and use collaboration and creative problem solving during hands-on, STEM activities. Use promo code INNOVATE25L to save $25 (expires 3/22) or PLAY15LISTING to save $15 (expires 5/10). Multiple locations • 800-968-4332

Friends School of Minnesota Summer Camp at Friends School of Minnesota is a four-week, full-day, multicamp program that allows children to play and learn at the same time. Camps can range from Bike & Soccer to Crafts & Harry Potter and more! St. Paul • 651-917-0636

GoSolar! Kidz (GSK) GoSolar! Kidz is the #1 green energy educator for youth. GoSolar! Kidz taught more youth about green energy than any other organization in the world. GSK offers afterschool classes, summer camps, and in-school workshop on renewable energy and gardening. Bloomington • 800-SOLAR-01

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer, grades 2-12! Samples of our Academic offerings include: Virtual Reality, Intro to Coding, Intro to Aviation, Jump Start & Study Skills, Summer Slide Math & Reading, ACT Prep, Driver’s Ed. Register today—space is limited! Maplewood • 651-777-1376

ICC Summer Engineering Camp Explore the world of engineering through hands-on project work, industry tours, and engineering design challenges. Live and work at Wenger Engineering Center; enjoy campus life and recreational activities while learning about a great career field. Sr. High Camp: grades 10-12, July 13-18;


March 2020 •

Jr. High Camp: grades 7-9, July 22-25. Grand Rapids • 218-322-2370

Junior Achievement Campers will discover what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and business owner, and learn about STEM careers. Held at JA BizTown, our state-of-the-art experiential learning lab in St. Paul. June and July sessions for students in grades 4-8. St. Paul • 651-255-0455

Morris Area Community Education's Camp Alpha Suit up for the ultimate space science mission, launching in 3, 2, 1—CAMP ALPHA 2020!  Explore the world of space, principles of flight, air powered and solid fuel powered rockets, and construct your own rocket to launch sky high at the end of this four-day camp.  Do you accept this mission?  Meet you at the Morris station, this summer 2020. June 21-24. Morris • 320-589-4394

Project Scientist At the Project Scientist Summer STEM Academy, girls ages 4-12 dive deep into exciting topics that will prepare them to solve the world's greatest problems. Students explore STEM by participating in hands-on experiments, embarking on field trips to top STEM companies, and meeting female scientists! St. Paul • 833-776-5724

Snapology Explore the world of STEM with Snapology by using LEGO® bricks and similar building tools to learn about video game design, animation, robotics, programming, engineering, and physics through a handson approach that promotes playful learning. Minneapolis • 612-440-7627

St. Paul Public Library For Families Make the library your next stop! Visit one of our 13 library locations for programs and activities for the whole family including storytimes, hands-on art activities, and exciting performances. Always free! Visit our online calendar to learn more.

Summer Programs at Groves Academy Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2-11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and

confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. St. Louis Park • 952-920-6377

The Works Museum Engineering & design camps for kids in pre-K-grade 7. Coding, LEGO engineering, robotics, carpentry, design, architecture, and more! Half- and full-day camps. June-August 2020. The Works Museum: inspiring the next generation of innovators, engineers, and creative problem solvers. Bloomington • 952-888-4262

Zoo Camp Minnesota Zoo offers half-day to weeklong adventures for toddlers-12th graders (and adults!) to meet animals, make new friends, and have fun learning about the natural world. Check out our popular Horse Camps and our amazing Llama Camps for grades 1-12! Apple Valley • 952-431-9390


Adventures in Cardboard Mythic Play in Summer Wildlands! Be initiated into an esteemed House of The Realm and jump into live-action adventure gaming! Build your own armor, create castles to defend your land, battle on trails, fields and shorelines! Swords, bows, catapults, magic and monsters! Full days spent in beautiful parks across the metro region. Monday-Friday, ages 8-16 and several TEEN ONLY weeks! June 8-August 21. Minneapolis

The Art Academy Give your child the opportunity to explore their creative side and develop their skills by illustrating their own children's book and learning the principles of drawing and painting at the Art Academy's Summer Camp program. Classes and camps, with exceptional student/teacher ratios, are available for students ages 5-18. St. Paul • 651-699-1573

Art Camps at Studio Seven One week painting and drawing camps for students ages 7-18. Compositional elements will be explored through landscape and figure studies. Students will paint and draw both in the studio and outside. Trips to galleries and museums included. Camps are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. $595 per week, all materials included. Minneapolis • 612-376-0381 Articulture Art Camps Articulture art camps emphasize personal creativity in a fun and educational way. Themes include art and science, hands on art history, animation, and more! June 8-Sept. 4, ages 4 and up. Full-day and half-day options. $155-$330. New customers: Receive $10 discount when registering for your first camp! Use code MNParentSummer2020 at our website. Minneapolis • 612-729-5151

Artistry Week-long creative day camps for grades 1-9! Artistry campers will explore art forms including pottery, fused glass, drawing, painting, mixed media, aerosol art, mosaics, fiber arts, indie crafts, and more! $145$175/half-day camps. Combine for full-day experience. Scholarships available. Bloomington • 952-563-8575

ARTrageous Adventures Fun, creative weekly camp themes, parties and events throughout the year! Paint, reARTcycle, sculpt and collage in our handson studio right in the heART of Kenwood, Minneapolis. Check us out on Facebook for fun events, craft ideas and camp info! Minneapolis • 612-423-7554

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer, grades 2-12! Samples of our Arts/Activities offerings include: exploring visual arts through Painting, Creative Artwork, or Drawing Bootcamp, explore art through Digital Photography, Film & Visual Storytelling, or Virtual Reality. Register today—space is limited! Maplewood • 651-777-1376

Kidcreate Studio Kidcreate’s award winning summer camps are designed to inspire and educate young artists, ages 3 to 12, in an environment where giggles and grins are encouraged. Camps combine art education with an atmosphere full of fun. This summer’s camps include; Baby Mystical Creatures, L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, LEGO Brick Mania, Marvelous Marvels, Masters on Canvas, Mega Mess Making, Mermaid Magic, Olaf and Friends, Slimetastic, The How To’s of Drawing, and more! Making a mess is the best at Kidcreate! Eden Prairie • 952-974-3438 Savage • 952-226-2200 Woodbury • 651-735-0880

The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program offers numerous classes throughout the summer that foster creativity, enrich talents, and

create friendships. Classes run for ages 6-17 at all skill levels. Minneapolis • 612-215-2575

Minneapolis College of Art and Design Join the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a series of innovative, handson, and engaging visual art and design camps and classes for kids and teens ages 6-18! Weeklong and multi-week options. Scholarships available. Minneapolis • 612-874-3765

Minnetonka Center for the Arts (MCFTA) Summer Arts Camp For ages 5-15, kids will use professional art studios and quality art materials, with highly qualified artist-instructors. Camps are limited to 16 or fewer to ensure personal attention and encouragement. Wayzata • 952-473-7361 x160

The Phipps Summer Art Camp Partial-day and full-day classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery, art & nature, mosaics, fiber arts, jewelry, as well as theater productions and dance. For ages 4-teens. Taught by experienced art educators. June 29-August 14, 2020. Hudson, WI • 715-386-2305

Textile Center Explore the vibrant world of fiber art and creativity! Create a handmade hammock to lounge in, needle felt a fiber creature, sew a quilt to enter in the Fair, or dye pajamas for your next slumber party! Ages 6 and up.

Watch Me Create WATCH ME CREATE SUMMER CAMPS LET'S GET MESSY! Bring your imagination and join us for fun, enriching workshops tailored to all proficiency levels and ages! Taught by art lovers, WMC camps offer a variety of interests including Super Heroes, Scrapbooking, Mythical, Glitter, Descendents, Slime, Horses, and more! Come for memories, leave with masterpieces! Multiple locations including our new studio! Farmington • 952-469-1234

Camp Resources Loppet Adventure Day Camps

Rollerblade, mountain bike, canoe and more during adventure camps for ages 9-13 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Equipment provided during the full-day, five-day sessions.

Minneapolis • 612-604-5330

Loppet Trail Kids Programs Registration is now open for our spring and summer programs. We offer mountain biking programs for beginners to advanced kids and even have one focused just for girls. Let’s get the kids off their screens and on to the trails! Minneapolis • 612-604-5330

Shell Lake Arts Center With programs in jazz, rock band, show choir, art, theater, film, and more, the Shell Lake Arts Center is like nowhere else! Just two hours northeast of the Twin Cities in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime! Shell Lake • 715-468-2414

St. Croix Lutheran Academy Art, basketball, band, bowling, etiquette, football, science, sign language, soccer, speak & play theatre, volleyball, and wrestling camps led by SCL faculty and varsity coaches. Space is limited. Register early. June 8-August 13 (dates vary). Starting at $75/week! West St. Paul • 651-455-1521

St. Croix Montessori School Join us for 12 weeks of outdoor adventure on our beautiful 15-acre farm campus. Campers explore our forests, prairie, farmland and meadows while learning about nature and its animals and caring for our farm animals. Half and Full day camp available. For ages 3-9. Stillwater • 651-436-2603

YMCA Y Camps are about discovery. Kids, teenagers and adults have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. Day, Overnight, Teen Wilderness & Family Camps throughout MN and Western WI. 612-822-2267

Dance Music Performance Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs Day Camp

For Elementary & Middle School boys & girls who love to SING! Join us for a week with music games, singing, & fun! Singers will explore their vocal potential & increase their confidence. Grades K-9. See website for dates, times & fees. • March 2020



Ballet Co.Laboratory Ballet Co.Laboratory is a professional ballet School and Company offering ballet classes and performances to the Twin Cities community. Ballet Co.Laboratory honors the roots of classical ballet while making strides to break down barriers found in the artform by collaborating with our community in surprising ways to challenge the stereotypes and culture of ballet—evolving the artform forward. St. Paul • 303-249-1039

Boychoir Bootcamp August 3-7, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Boychoir Bootcamp is a weeklong day camp for boys, ages 6-12 sponsored by the Minnesota Boychoir. While focusing on choral singing, campers also participate in activities such as body percussion, music theory, drumming, and the science of sound, as well as plenty of outdoor fun and games. $100, scholarships available. 651-292-3219

The Center for Irish Music Center for Irish Music offers private and group instruction to students ages 2 to 102 on traditional Irish instruments including singing, harp, whistle flute, bodhrán, piano and fiddle. Drop by to meet our team of 20 wonderful instructors and learn a tune! St. Paul • 651-815-0083

ChanDT Musical Theatre Camp Chanhassen Dinner Theatres offers summertime musical theatre camps for kids and teens (ages 5-18). It’s a fantastic week of full and half-day sessions focusing on musical theatre fundamentals taught by Chanhassen professionals. Sessions begin June 8th. Registration opens Feb. 3rd! 952-934-1525

Circus Juventas Travel the globe from Canada to Russia without ever leaving our big top! Explore a vast array of international circus arts in our half- and full-day Sampler, weeklong Performance and Teen High Flying Adventure Camps. Reserve your spot today in one of the most unique summer experiences anywhere! St. Paul • 651-699-8229

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) Summer Programs Two engaging summer programs in Minneapolis and St. Paul provide fun and challenging orchestral experiences for string, woodwind, brass, and percussion students of


March 2020 •

all abilities, ages 8-18. No auditions required. Need-based scholarships available. St.Paul • 651-602-6800

The Guthrie Theater Designed to spark imagination in youth ages 8-19, the Guthrie’s summer camps and intensives are led by theater professionals who help participants develop their skills as creative thinkers and artists — all while having fun. June 15-August 14. Minneapolis • 612-225-6134

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer, grades 2-12! Samples of our Arts/Activities offerings include: Summer Pops Orchestra, Summer Band, Theatre Camp, Film & Visual Storytelling, Radio Broadcasting, Digital Photography. Register today—space is limited! Maplewood • 651-777-1376

Lyric Arts Company of Anoka   Lyric Arts provides access to fun and exciting creative educational experiences in a professional theater environment that nurtures young artists. We offer a safe and supportive environment that welcomes young people of all levels of experience. Anoka • 763-422-1838

Minnesota Dance Theatre & School MDT&S offers summer dance camps that include classical ballet and contemporary dance for all ages and levels of ability. Nurturing artistry and self-confidence, our dedicated faculty inspires and challenges students to achieve their best. Our programs support a range of goals, from dance as a joyful hobby to a professional career. Come dance with us! Minneapolis • 612-338-0627

O’Shea Irish Dance Classes Director Cormac O’Se, original member of Riverdance. Professional Irish Dance training for preschoolers through adults; for competition, for fun, and for fitness! Weekly Classes: Mondays-Saturdays. Beginners Classes registering now! Summer camps June, July, August. St. Paul • 612-722-7000

St. Paul Ballet Summer is a great time to try dance! This non-profit, community and pre-professional dance school offers Dance Camps for ages 2-8, drop-in Creative Dance for ages 4-6, Intro to Ballet for ages 7-12, and Summer Intensive sessions for the serious ballet student 

ages 10-22. Gymnasts, skaters and athletes may supplement their training. All income levels and abilities welcome! St. Paul • 651-690-1588

Stages Theatre Stages' Summer Theatre Workshops focus on creativity, confidence, and character through the lens of acting and musical theatre skills. Every week is different as our wonderful teaching artists customize to who's in the room. June 17-August 19 for ages 4-17. Hopkins • 952-979-1111 Option 4

University of Nothwestern-St. Paul, Academy of Music Whatever the age or musical ability of your child, UNW Academy of Music has a summer camp to excite and challenge them on their musical journey. 4-8 yr olds: Intro to Music. 9-16 yr olds: Show Choir Camp. 13-18 yr olds who love piano, singing and/or playing an instrument have select camps just for them! 651-631-5108

Walker West Music Academy Walker West creates a music learning community rooted in the African American cultural experience. Our summer music camp is an opportunity for students ages 5-12 to learn five different instruments during the morning and participate in dance, yoga and storytelling classes in the afternoon. The program culminates with a performance for parents. July 6-24 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. St. Paul • 651-224-2929

Youth Performance Company (YPC) Full- and half-day theatre workshops for grades K-12. Opportunities for beginning and advanced students. Topics include acting, musical theatre, improv and more! We also offer a residential theatre camp at Bay Lake Camp. Get your groove on at YPC! Minneapolis • 612-623-9180 x102


American Camp Association The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share our knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs. 765-349-3528

Avid 4 Adventure Our mission is to provide kids with the skills and confidence to choose active outdoor lifestyles. We transport campers to authentic local recreation areas and teach them to canoe, kayak, paddle board, mountain bike, hike and thrive in the outdoors. Edina • 720-759-2130

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Awarded "Best Day Camp" by Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Picks. Camp Como enhances your child’s appreciation for the natural world with enthusiastic instructors, zookeepers and gardeners, and behind-the-scenes adventures. Campers will get closer to plants and animals than ever before. Preschool through 8th grade. St. Paul • 651-487-8201

Creme de la Creme With exciting field trips, guest speakers, and family events, your child will experience age-appropriate activities and adventures to grow and develop throughout the summer. Enjoy our flexible scheduling and complimentary meals. For children entering 1st grade through age 12. Chanhassen • 800-374-5715

have opportunities to enjoy Academic, Arts/ Activities and Athletic Camps. Our offerings engage students of all ages and skill sets. Register today—space is limited! Maplewood • 651-777-1376

Jam Hops Jam Hops prides itself in providing the highest quality instruction in gymnastics, ninja, dance, cheer, theater, and academic preschool. We are leaders who believe that in teaching through example we build self-confident, productive children who will become LIFE CHAMPIONS! Ham Lake, Anoka • 763-413-0647

Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park Explore, get messy and learn by doing! Build forts in the woods, catch bugs in the prairie, explore the river shore, enjoy campfire cooking and more. Kids ages 6-12 can spend the summer outside with weeklong nature themed camps. Half or full day option. Minneapolis • 612-370-4844

Gibbs Farm Day Camps

Life of a Gibbs Girl

Are you ready for an adventure? Gibbs Farm is a historic site located in Falcon Heights, just outside of St. Paul. This eight-acre site is run by Ramsey County Historical Society. Gibbs Farm preserves and shares Minnesota history focusing on both pioneer and Dakota life in the mid-1800s. We use historic and replica buildings, a restored prairie, farm animals, and costumed interpreters in our programs to bring history to life. Camps are offered June 16- Aug 28. Ages 4-5: Explore with Pioneer PeeWees mini-camps on Wednesdays & Fridays, $22/day. Ages 6-10: Travel back in time with our three-day camps: Pioneer Kid, Life of a Gibbs Girl, and Dakota Camp, $110/week. Ages 11-15: Dive into history with Victorian Ladies and Pioneer Survivor camp, $165/week.

Experience the differences and similarities between life today and life as a Pioneer, Dakota, and Victorian girl! Campers tour the historic Gibbs farmhouse, explore the restored prairie, and celebrate at a Victorian tea party! Ages 6-11; Tues., Wed., Thurs. 9am-1pm; July 7-9, Aug. 4-6, Aug. 18-20; $110/Week

Falcon Heights • 651-646-8629

Great River School GRS is a Montessori public charter school. Our day camps are a fun way for your camper to spend a week exploring, building, learning, moving, creating, making new friends and having a blast. No Montessori or Great River School experience necessary for a great summer here. St. Paul • 651-305-2780

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer, grades 2-12! Hill-Murray School offers opportunities for you to fill your child’s day throughout the entire summer; June, July & August! We

Falcon Heights • 651-646-8629

Minnehaha Academy Summer Camp Jump into summer fun with more than 60 half- and full-day athletic, enrichment and academic camps for grades pre-K through 12. Minneapolis • 612-728-7745

Minnesota Waldorf School Summer Day Camp Old fashioned summer fun on our 8 acre campus! A relaxed schedule of crafts, nature play, games, music, gardening, and more. Preschool through 6th grade. Flexible weekly scheduling. St. Paul • 651-487-6700 x202

National Summer Transportation Institute Are you interested in learning about science, engineering, and transportation in an interactive, hands-on environment? Through field trips and hearing from industry experts, this free, two-week summer day camp at the University of Minnesota will explore the transportation field.

Minneapolis • 612-625-5608 national-summer-transportation-institute

Playworks 2020 Summer Camp Sign up for Playworks Summer Camp, full of learning, adventure, and fun! With loads of field trips, plenty of outdoor activities, and entertaining educational programs, Playworks’ Summer Camp will provide your child with an unforgettable summer. Open to children 6-12 years of age. Daily meals are included. Part-time and full-time options are available. Prior Lake • 952-445-7529 (PLAY)

Providence Academy Providence Academy’s Summer Activities offer a variety of programs for students age 5 through grade 12. Enjoy activities that promote experiential learning, creative and academic growth, and unique summer experiences. Full day sessions for students age 5 through grade 6. Plymouth • 763-258-2500

School Chess Association Summer Day Chess Camp All levels of chess instruction, professional educators tailored to the student’s individual needs. Fun activities include swimming, water slides, field ball, Magic the Gathering, soccer, tennis, roller skating, bowling, fishing, sign language, and role-playing games. Programs: June 22-25, July 6-9, July 13-16, July 20-23, July 27-30, Aug 3-6, Aug 10-13. St. Louis Park • 763-593-1168

Science Museum of Minnesota Science Museum camps combine science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. Kids can experiment with animation, build a LEGO tower, explore veterinary science, learn the chemistry of candy, and much more. Both full- and half-day programs are available, and half-day camps can be paired with supervised lunch and before and aftercare to create a full-week experience. St. Paul • 651-221-9444

Summer at Blake From robots to art projects and the classroom to the athletic field, Blake challenges students to creatively express themselves in an array of disciplines. Sports, academics, arts and day camps are open to pre-K-12 students throughout the Twin Cities. 952-988-3463

Tamarack Nature Center Our Mission: Helping people discover the value of nature through art, play, exploration and inquiry. Spend your summer • March 2020


CAMP RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS exploring the great outdoors at Tamarack Nature Center’s 320-acre preserve. Camps are available for ages 3 to eighth grade. White Bear Township • 651-407-5350

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota Explore Tanadoona’s Big Woods and zig-zag by canoe across Lake Minnewashta! With 103 acres, outdoor adventures are endless with new friends and local and international counselors. ACA accredited. Monthly public events + Open House 5/16 Excelsior • 612-235-7284

Totino-Grace High School Totino-Grace High School offers academic, athletic, and performing arts summer camps for grades K-12. Campers will explore new activities, expand current interests, discover talents, and develop emerging skills. Fridley • 763-571-9116

University of Wisconsin-Stout Summer STEAM Experience invites students in grades 8-12 to explore career paths with UW-Stout faculty experts while in a hands-on setting and to gain the experience of campus life. Day $300, Overnight $450. June 14-18. Menomonie, WI • 715-232-2793

Urban Air Adventure Park This 40,000+ sq. ft. indoor adventure park includes 14 attractions such as the Sky Rider Zipline, a ropes course, climbing walls, a warrior-style obstacle course and so much more. Famous for birthday parties. Come check us out! Coon Rapids • 800-960-4778

Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights We offer several summer camps from June-August, that entertain, engage and teach kids new activities and skills! All camps operate during the weekday, which can last one day to several days or multiple weeks. Kids R.O.C.K. is our summer long program. Registration is required for all camps. Inver Grove Heights • 651-450-2585

Horseback Riding Equestrian Trick Riding and Flying Trapeze Circus Experience Camp

Experience the rare opportunity to learn trick horseback riding with nationally renown trick rider Veronica Painter and explore Flying Trapeze and circus arts. No experience necessary. Days are split between Circus Arts and Riding


March 2020 •

Bareback, Vaulting, Liberty and Roman on experienced performance horses. Everyone is empowered with success. Marine On Saint Croix • 651-321-3013


Bilingual Learning Center Bilingual Learning Center (BLC) Spanish Summer Camp, held at Windom School in South Minneapolis. Field trips, reading, arts & crafts, sports, dance, science & nature, cultural activities. Beginners welcome; ages 5-12. June 15-July 17. AM and full day options. Minneapolis • 612-668-3384

Casa de Corazon School-Age Summer Camp! Intercultural Spanish immersion curriculum, organic meals and snacks, field trips, sports, and more. Full time and part time options available. For kids entering grades 1-6 in fall 2020. June 8-September 4. $150-$205 per week. Maple Grove • 763-416-3992

Concordia Language Villages We are the premier language and cultural immersion program in the U.S. Since 1961, we have provided an authentic experience with programs for all ages offered in 14 different languages. Day camps, residential youth camps and family camps offered. Bemidji • 800-222-4750

German Language Camps Kids explore themes including the environment, STEM, cooking & baking, and arts & crafts, while learning some German. Several weeks of “Intro to German” are also offered. For ages 5 to 13. Half-day, full-day, and extended care are available. St. Paul • 651-222-2979

Other Kinuu

Kinuu developed a video game called BrainyAct to create long-lasting neurological changes and improve academics, behaviors and social interactions for children with ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia. BrainyAct uses a revolutionary approach that combines proven clinical therapies and neuroscience to bring families effective and affordable brain training exercises. Minnetonka • 952-444-2808


Birchwood Wilderness Camp Set on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, campers choose their own adventures every week. They can pick from hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, or rock-climbing. Between adventures, campers choose daily activities including archery, riflery, backcountry cooking, guitar, waterslide, fishing, and more. Boundary Waters • 218-388-4402

Camp Chetek Camp Chetek is a Bible camp in northern Wisconsin on Lake Chetek. All staff undergo rigorous training and background checks. Horses, boats, basketball court, pedal carts, archery and shooting range, Bible lessons. Campers grades 3-12. Monday-Saturday. Chetek • 715-924-3236

Camp Kooch-i-ching (for boys) Ogichi Daa Kwe (for girls) Located on Minnesota’s beautiful Rainy Lake, Kooch-i-ching (for boys) and Ogichi Daa Kwe (for girls) are two of the finest wilderness camps in America, offering countless opportunities for growth through engaging in-camp activities, challenging canoe trips, and high-mountain adventures. International Falls • 513-772-7479

Camp Lincoln for Boys & Camp Lake Hubert for Girls Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Lake Hubert for Girls are separate, traditional sleepaway camps that focus on skill and character development for ages 5-17. Off the shores of Lake Hubert, we offer over 40 land, water and adventure activities. Lake Hubert • 800-242-1909

Camp Nicolet for Girls Family-owned and operated since 1944, at Camp Nicolet we provide a safe, fun, inclusive environment in which girls develop an understanding of and appreciation for self, others, and the natural world through exciting activities, community living, and outdoor adventure. Catch the Nicolet spirit! Eagle River • 715-545-2522

Camp Olson YMCA Since 1954, Camp Olson has been providing unforgettable and life-changing experiences for youth, young leaders, and their families through quality camping programs. Traditional summer camp available as well as specialty programs in sailing, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, and leadership development. Longville • 218-363-2207

Camp Pillsbury Camp Pillsbury, recently named “coolest camp in Minnesota”, is a unique, safe, fun summer camp, your kids will love! Campers choose their own activities from trapeze, musical theater, sports, magic, gymnastics, dance, rock band, watersports, computers, circus arts, gymnastics, weightlifting, culinary, equestrian, RPG, acting, and so much more. Owatonna • 507-214-2200

Camp WeHaKee Have fun, build friendships, be yourself! More than 40 activities that each girl chooses. Campers from around the world. Exceptional staff! At the heart of WeHaKee is relationship. Just three hours from Minneapolis in Northern Wisconsin! Winter, WI • 800-582-2267

Girl Scouts River Valleys Girl Scouts offers all girls the opportunity to get outside and take the lead. Girls explore nature, horses, water sports, art, power tools, science, and more in an all-girl environment. Older girls can train to become camp counselors or horse wranglers. Family, 4, 6, and 13-day overnight camps are available. Multiple locations • 800-845-0787

Swift Nature Camp Let your child’s natural curiosity for nature be discovered. Located just two hours from Minneapolis, we are a traditional co-ed camp, with a focus on nature and environment. A First Time Campers Program is available for campers who have not attended camp before. Minong • 630-654-8036

Tamahay Camp for Girls Tamahay Camp for Girls is an overnight camp for girls ages 7-16, held in June and July. Tamahay offers the opportunity to make friends and learn new skills in a technology free environment. Come ride horses, swim, sail, and more! Akeley • 218-652-3033

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota Unroll your sleeping bag in a rustic cabin for an unplugged week with new friends and local and international counselors. 103 acres along Lake Minnewashta, adventure awaits with activities like archery, canoeing, and agility and high/low ropes courses. ACA

accredited. Monthly public events + Open House 5/16 Excelsior • 612-235-7284

Wolf Ridge Summer Camp Kids grades 2-12 will find outdoor adventures to match their curiosity at Wolf Ridge. Share nature up-close every day with lifelong friends at our 2000-acre campus near Lake Superior and the BWCA. Learning is the greatest adventure there is! Choose yours at Finland • 218-353-7414

YMCA Camp Pepin Camp Pepin is an ACA-accredited resident camp located on the shore of Lake Pepin in Stockholm, Wisconsin. Kids enjoy paddle and water activities, ropes course, climbing, soccer, and more under the supervision of well-trained staff from around the world. Stockholm, WI • 651-388-4724

Special Needs

Epilepsy Foundation Camp Oz Youth ages 9-17 with epilepsy enjoy a traditional overnight camp experience with the security of 24/7 medical staff. Activities include archery, campfire cooking, team building games, a climbing wall, and more. Staff are trained in seizure recognition and response. 800-779-0777

Summer Programs at Groves Academy Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2-11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. St. Louis Park • 952-920-6377

Specialty A Chance to Grow

June 22-July 10. Developmental Summer Camps. Boost-Up Plus camp focuses on purposeful physical activity to increase healthy brain development for increased academic readiness. Social Motor Works camp provides structured teacher-led social groups to help children be successful in a variety of social settings. Northeast Minneapolis

Angel Foundation Camp Angel provides three days of peer support and therapeutic activities for children and teens (6-18) with a parent or caregiver who has (or has had) cancer. Camp provides a unique opportunity for children and teens to have fun and enjoy intentional and meaningful camp activities led by trained volunteers and staff. The three-day camp is at Camp Eden Wood in Eden Prairie. Mendota Heights • 612-627-9000

Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Summer Social Skills Classes AuSM Social Skills summer classes for youth and adults with autism offer low-stress, accepting environments that encourage learning and growth while participants develop social skills and confidence. Classes centered on special interests including the great outdoors, community outings, improv, zoos, art, drama, and more are offered in locations throughout the metro area. St. Paul • 651-647-1083

Circus Arts, Flying Trapeze, Wake Surf and Circus Equestrian Empowerment Camps Memorable outdoor camps, on Big Marine lake only 35 min from Cities, that build confidence, courage, and strength in children, teens & adults. No experience needed- Professional staff meets each student at their level to gently and safely guide to success. Marine On Saint Croix • 651-321-3013

Cooks of Crocus Hill If you love the idea of developing your junior chef's cooking techniques, or if they dream of learning from a professional chef, the time has arrived! Cooks has inspiring summer cooking camps for kids and teens that build the essential skills needed to conquer the kitchen. Camps range from savory to sweet and everything in between. For a full listing of descriptions and dates visit https://cooksofcrocushill. com/kids-teen-summer-camps/ St. Paul, Stillwater & Minneapolis 651-228-1333

Stem Builders Learning Center STEM BUILDERS provides enrichment programs for ages 6-17 by bringing STEM to life in a fun and interactive way. Robotics, Electronic Circuits, Ai-IoT, Drone Programming, Game Design, Python, JAVA, Mobile App, Science & Math, After-School, Summer Camps, Girl-Scouts and More! Blaine, Eden Prairie, Plymouth 612-217-4117, 952-207-2176, 612-444-5997 • March 2020



Sports and Fitness AKASPORT All Sports Summer Camps (Active Kids Association of Sport)

AKASPORT provides summer camps, after school and seasonal programs throughout the Twin Cities. The AKA All Sports Camp provides a new sport and ultimate field trip each week during the summer for kids Grades 1-10. Our mission is to keep kids and families well rounded through sports, fitness and recreation. We focus on specific sport instruction combined with plenty of free play. Register for the full summer or individual weeks. 2019 All Sports Summer Camp locations include Blaine, Circle Pines, Hopkins and Ramsey. National Sports Center, Blaine 651-447-2454

Buck Hill Buck Hill offers summer camps for snowboarding, skiing and mountain biking! The outdoors beckon and our hill is open year-round with a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. Buck Hill is the place to be outside yourself. Burnsville • 952-435-7174

the entire camp! Registration Fee: $170. Proceeds benefit Boys and Girls Clubs. Camp held at the University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul 55105 St Paul • 616-610-0982

Minneapolis Sailing Center Sailing camps for kids of all ages and abilities on Bde Maka Ska. Two-week camps with half or full-day options are available all summer. More than just learning how to sail, students learn teamwork, self-confidence, STEM principles, and environment stewardship. Minneapolis • 612-470-7245

NSC Next Level Sports Camps The National Sports Center provides weeklong camps complete with athlete training in your favorite sport along with world-class facilities, dry-land training, field trips, and more! Our flexible programming allows you to customize your child’s summer experience with sports, fun activities and all-day entertainment. Select one week or more to create the perfect schedule for your family! Blaine • 763-792-7353

Hill-Murray School

Obstacle Academy

There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer, grades 2-12! Samples of our Sports/Fitness offerings include: Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Soccer— opportunities for students of all ages and skills! Register today—space is limited!

NINJA WARRIOR CAMP! Obstacle Academy offers full day and partial day ninja camp options for kids 5+ including a big kid camp for kids 12+. There is free time, technique lessons, and obstacle course competitions!  Sign up now while it's a discounted price!

Maplewood • 651-777-1376

Hwa Rang Do Martial Arts Academy The Hwa Rang Do Academy specializes in complete martial art training to all ages of children and adults. Along with regular classes, our school also offers martial art and leadership Afterschool & Summer Camp Programs for youth. Minneapolis • 612-824-KICK

InnerCity Tennis Summer Camps Enroll your kids ages 6-17 in 6 weeks of outdoor fun! We offer introductory tennis lessons at 21 Minneapolis Parks, with scholarships available to all in need. Kids learn about healthy nutrition and develop character through daily challenges. Minneapolis • 612-825-6844

Kirk Cousins Football Camp Kirk Cousins Football Camp will return to MN on June 12 + 13! Camp for middle school boys focuses on football, teamwork and leadership. Kirk is on-site throughout


March 2020 •

952-452-8770 Revolutionary Sports Instruction programs offered daytime, weeknights, and weekends. Kids, as young as AGE TWO, learn to play sports and improve their skills. The family friendly environment encourages parent involvement. Experienced, professional coaches are great with kids and use active, challenging, and non-competitive curriculum to teach sports and life skills. Multiple locations • 612-234-7782

TAGS Gymnastics Camps Fun, fitness, friends! Gymnastics and tumbling camps for boys and girls ages 3-17 in June, July, and August. Kids work on fun, new skills while developing strength, flexibility, and coordination in a safe, positive atmosphere! Apple Valley • 952-431-6445 Eden Prairie • 952-920-5342

The Little Gym TheSuper Kids’ Quest Summer Camp is full of exciting, creative missions where kids ages 3-8 will be working together to complete a different Quest each day! Must be potty trained. Register early. June 8th-Aug 16th. $39 per camp. St. Louis Park • 952-924-0083

Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club Are you turning 12-18 this year and want to try rowing? Join us at our Jr/Sr High Summer Rowing Camps! Eden Prairie • 612-760-0575

Plan a summer

ADVENTURE at Minnesota Parent’s Camp Fair 14th annual

Saturday, March 7th 10am–2pm

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Meet one-on-one

with dozens of camp representatives

Free admission and children’s activities!

SPONSORED BY • 612-825-9205 •

The Music Man


Out & About

⊲ Meredith Willson’s five-time Tony Awardwinning musical features the songs SeventySix Trombones, Ya Got Trouble, Wells Fargo Wagon and Till There Was You.


Steps for Autism in Minnesota ⊲ This community fundraiser features the state’s largest annual autism resource fair and the AuSM Flash Dash, a quick walk for all ages and abilities. When: March 1 Where: Southdale Center, Edina Cost: FREE Info:

extra/ordinary ⊲ Celebrate the opening weekend of a new exhibit with Family Day activities, including games, crafts, fun with Tyke Invite play structures and interactive storytelling. Curators will pair artifacts from the museum’s permanent collection with the original art they inspired for the new picture book A to Zaao: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute.


March 2020 •

When: Feb. 29-Sept. 5 Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Cost: Ticket start at $50. Info:

Photo by Lucas Wells

When: March 1 Where: American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis Cost: Included with museum admission of $6-$12 for ages 6 and older Info:


Family Fun Night ⊲ Families with kids ages 4 and older can bounce, jump, joust, run in an inflatable hamster ball, play BINGO and win prizes. When: March 6 Where: Crystal Community Center Cost: $7 per person in advance, $10 at the door Info:

MARCH 6-22

Iron Hearted Violet ⊲ When Princess Violet and her best friend, Demetrius, discover a

forbidden book in a hidden room, they unknowingly release evil into their world. In response, the two friends pair up with an ancient dragon to save their kingdom in this edgy and enchanting tale. When: March 6-22 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: $17-$24 Info:


Kids’ Film Fair 2020 ⊲ See shorts from six different continents and a selection of Spanish-language films with English subtitles. Free First Saturdays feature free gallery admission plus performances, games, art making and kid films from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. When: March 7 Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info:

MARCH 8, 22; APRIL 5

Urban Expedition

⊲ Experience cultures from around the world through music, dance, food, pets, crafts and more at this annual international event series. When: March 8: Indonesia; March 22: Poland & Hungary; April 5: Senegal & Sierra Leone Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:


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Rock the Cradle

2/19/20 1:10 AM

Send your kid to Adventure Camp at Theodore Wirth Park over summer break! Rollerblade, mountain bike, canoe and more. For ages 9-13. Equipment provided and scholarships available.

⊲ The Current’s annual no-ticketrequired event invites kids and their grownups to explore music, art and culture with a kids disco party, Twinkle the mascot, a pop-up story time with public radio station’s DJs, live music from The Jolly Pops and more. When: March 8 Where: Minneapolis Institute of Art Cost: FREE Info:

Blippi Live! ⊲ Inspired by wacky and educational YouTube videos of Stevin John, this national tour features a stage performer who will channel the insanely popular online show. When: March 8 Where: State Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $29.50-$49.50 Info:

MARCH 12-15

Disney On Ice ⊲ See characters from Toy Story 4, Aladdin, The Lion King, Mary Poppins Returns, Frozen, Moana and more as part of this Road Trip Adventures show. When: March 12-15 Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Cost: Starting at $15. Info:

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ENGINEERING & DESIGN CAMPS Coding • Robotics LEGO Engineering Architecture Pre K • and more! Learn more and register at • March 2020


MARCH 15, 17

Irish Festivities

Out & About

⊲ Landmark Center’s two-day celebration of all things Irish is produced in partnership with the Irish Music and Dance Association and includes A Day of Irish Dance (March 15) and a St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration (March 17). When: March 15, 17 Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: $5-$7 Info:

MARCH 20-22

Mary Poppins Comes to Town

Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography

⊲ This annual show of the Eden Prairie Ice Skating Club includes dozens of local skaters ages 5-20.

Camp Fair ⊲ This free annual event — organized by Minnesota Parent magazine for 14 years running — gives parents a chance to meet one-on-one with more than 50 camp representatives, who will be sharing information about their summer adventures for kids, ranging from single-day camps to multi-week overnight adventures. Many booths will feature giveaways, activities and crafts to engage children as well as adults. When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, March 7 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul

Cost: FREE Info:

MARCH 13-22


⊲ Winnie goes looking for adventure and meets a family with a fabulous secret in this musical based on the bestselling novel.

⊲ Make your very own link to add to a chain of digits of pi and write a pi-ku (a haiku with 3 syllables/1 syllable/4 syllables) or a phrase in “Pilish.”

Tuck Everlasting

When: March 13-22 Where: Chaska Community Center Cost: $15-$20 Info:


March 2020 •

Pi Day 2020

When: March 13 Where: Bell Museum, St. Paul Cost: $9-$12 for ages 3 and older Info:

When: March 20-22 Where: Eden Prairie Community Center Cost: $7-$9 for ages 3 and older Info:


Pee-wee’s Big Adventure ⊲ A special 35th-anniversary screening of the classic movie will be followed by stories about the making of the movie as told by the man himself, Pee-wee portrayer Paul Reubens. When: March 21 Where: State Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $39.50-$79.50 Info:



⊲ From the Tony Award-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime, this show transports viewers from the twilight of the Russian Empire to Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past; recommended for ages 7 and older. When: March 24-April 5 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $40-$146 Info:

Farm Babies ⊲ Cuteness abounds with baby chicks, piglets, lambs, calves, goat kids and bunnies on display at the zoo’s farm. When: March 27-April 30 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: Included with admission of $18 for adults, $12 for ages 3-12 Info:

MARCH 27-29


⊲ This 90-minute intergenerational collaboration involving teens and seniors features the writings, songs, video and dance performances that arose from letters the participants wrote to each other about what peace means to them.

⊲ Bowling for Brains hosts its 9th-annual bowling and fundraising event, with all proceeds benefiting brain tumor organizations.

Peace 4 The Ages

When: March 27-29 Where: Stages Theatre, Hopkins Cost: $14-$20 Info:


Harlem Globetrotters ⊲ The famous crowd-pleasers will attempt a new world record, live at each game on tour this year. When: March 28 Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $27. Info:

Bowling to End Brain Tumors

When: April 5 Where: Bowlero, Lakeville Cost: $15-$30 for ages 4 and older Info:


Spamtown, USA ⊲ While five kids in Austin, Minnesota during the 1985 Hormel strike dream of space camp, tennis teams and out-of-state college, their families and community are suddenly divided by picket lines and opposing agendas. When: Through April 5 Where: Children’s Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $15. Info: • March 2020


Out & About MapleFest ⊲ Celebrate syrup season with a stack of pancakes and a stroll through the arboretum’s syrup-production facilities. Breakfast seatings (registration required) are available every half hour from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. When: March 28 Where: University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska Cost: $15 for ages 16 and up, free for ages 15 and younger Info:

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12/19/17 7:16 PM


Free Preview Classes

Free Music, Spanish, Yoga, and Karate! Anoka * Apple Valley * Centerville * Lexington * Maple Grove Minnetonka * Mounds View * Orono NOW OPEN — Elk River! 763-777-9100

CHILDREN’S YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL 844-ckakids email: • 612-339-2255

Nationally accredited and Parent Aware 4 star rated

Creative Kids Academy MNP 0819 2cx2.2.indd 1

Celebrating Over 40 Musical Years in Minnesota! Schools in Edina & Roseville

6/28/19 Children's 1:50 PM Yamaha MNP 0615 2cx2.2.indd 1

Bring Growing With Music to your child care program or playgroup! ~

10:45 Education AM 11/20/14 1cx2.2 filler.indd 9:44 AM Preschool with5/15/15 childcare for Resources Infants MNP and2014 Toddlers available at all locations

Call 952-935-5588 and schedule a tour!

Locations in Hopkins, Golden Valley, and St. Paul

MNP 0320 Marketplace_ValHOME.indd 1


March 2020 •

Growing With Music MNP 0119 3cx2.2.indd 1

Our Education Directory at

2/20/20 1:36 PM 12/13/18 12:01 Mis Amigos PM MNP 1119 2cx2.2.indd 1

10/9/19 11:19 AM



NEW & EXPECTING MOMS academics performing arts foreign Languages outdoor adventures day camp arts & crafts . . . not sure what the kiddos will do this summer?

The 14th annual

We can help! Saturday, March 7, 10am –2pm @ como zoo in St. Paul Presented by

SPONSORED BY campfair PARTY PAGES 2/20/20 Wholly 1:29 PM Mama Birth Doula MNP 0320 2cx2.2.indd

Camp Fair 2020 MNP 0320 3cx2.2.indd 1


2/18/20 1:44 PM

Register for the April 25th & 26th at Mount Olivet Conference Center in Farmington OR CALL 651.454.3238

Kid’ Kid’ s sBirthday Birthday Bowling BowlingParty Party

Mention this ad and get $50 off your registration fee.


MN Marriage Encounter MNP 0320 2cx1.indd 1

1/29/20 11:39 AM

9595 $13. $13. /person /person + tax + tax & service & service fee fee

Portrait Parties


Magical Themes your Child will Love

Ginger Sprouts MNP 0419 1cx1.indd 3/18/191 12:52 PM



Package Package Includes: Includes: • 1• Hour 1 Hour Bowling Bowling • Party • Party Table Table • 3• Menu 3 Menu Choices Choices • Soda • Soda • Souvenir • Souvenir Used Used Bowling Bowling PinPin forfor Group Group to to Sign Sign

952-929-6810 952-929-6810 3401 3401 Louisiana Louisiana Ave, Ave, St.St. Louis Louis Park Park


Como Zoo MNP 0320 1cx2.2.indd 2/18/20 1 11:15 AM



Park Tavern MNP 0320 3cx3.4.indd 1


Choose band size &/or Panda! • Music for all ages available! • Special rates for flexible scheduling • (612) 861-3570


3/14, 4/11, 5/9


Fun for all ages Simple & easy to learn Live music • Dancing

$12 per family • $6 individuals plus: “pay what you can” option

Tapestry Folkdance Center • 3748 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis • 612-722-2914 •


2/11/20 CALL 612-825-9205 TODAY MNPARENT.COM

Tapestry Folkdance Center MNP 0320 3cx1.indd 1

MNP 0320 Marketplace_ValHOME.indd 2 Teddy Bear Band MNP 0717 2cx2.2.indd 1

2/13/20 3:15 PM

11:25 PM

2/20/20 1:37 PM

6/22/17 2:51 PM • March 2020



Frozen forever

When it comes to Anna, Elsa and Olaf, there’s just no way these kids are going to let it go!

↑ Gabi, 5, of Prior Lake

↑ Ana, 6, of Shoreview

↑ Mackenzie, 3½, of Newport

↑ Henry, 3, and Charley, 1, of Northfield

↑ Louisa, 4, of St. Paul

↑ Lily, 5, of Lakeville

↑ Aubrey and Lilah, both 5, and Luke, 2½, of South St. Paul

Want to see your kid on this page? Send photos with your child’s first name, age and city to


March 2020 •


on each Medicare Part D prescription

when Walgreens is your Preferred Pharmacy*

* Copay savings based on filling a Tier 1 generic prescription at a Preferred Pharmacy compared to a Non-Preferred Pharmacy with select plans.

Profile for Minnesota Parent

March 2020  

March 2020  

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