The only “kids” that Team Minnevangelist have right now are Mia and Izzy, the two senior rescue Chihuahuas behind @american_chis. Around the holidays, we love showering them with treats and sweaters (which they hate-wear with gusto). But where to shop?
Chuck & Don’s, Urban Tails in Uptown, Copilot Dog Outfitters in Linden Hills, and Lulu & Luigi in St. Louis Park and Wayzata are on our radar. From pals with kitties, we’ve heard good things about Purrniture in St. Paul.
And how about children of the human variety? The sweetest toy stores and children’s clothing boutiques we’ve found to date are Pacifier, Kinoko Kids, Oh Baby! Brand, Mischief Toy Store, the gift shop at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Pip & Pal in Excelsior, The Owl and The Octopus in Wayzata, Lark Toys in Kellogg, Bumbelou in Mankato and New Ulm, and Kiddywampus in Hopkins.
For reading materials, we’re into Wild Rumpus (and their fancy chickens!), Red Balloon Bookshop, the storybook children’s section at Birchbark Books, and the new Babycake’s Book Stack, a bookmobile showcasing the languages and stories of immigrants, refugees, African Americans, and indigenous people in the Twin Cities.
Brick-and-mortar stores and mobile shops aside, we’re huge fans of Minnesota makers and designers. What follows is the sixth installment in our seven-part Ultimate Minnevangelist Gift Guide, highlighting #MNmade goodies for kids and pets.
1. Sweet paw print mittens ($22) from Mocks Mittens in Plymouth.
2. This hand-drawn cutout of a sleepy cloud ($20) — available in 18 colors! — from Pink Linen Designs.
5. Check out this Badass Babes cuddle blanket ($118) from Abbey’s House in Minneapolis. Designer Abbey Pattison teamed up with local illustrator Julie Van Grol to create a blanket celebrating 100 fearless women. Start ’em young, we say!
6. The cutie-pie Mini Apples tee ($20) from Club Kiddo in Minneapolis.
7. For your feline-loving friends: polymer clay cat lady ornaments ($20-$22) by Jenna Freimuth of Minneapolis.
8. Lark Toys‘ heirloom wooden pull toys are handmade at their on-site workshop in Kellogg, MN.
10. Handmade cotton dog bandanas ($22) from Great Lakes Collection.
11. Playmobil Minnesota Wild goalie ($8) from Kiddywampus in Hopkins.
12. The solid red oak Tribe longboard ($175) was handmade and hand-painted in Minnesota by Modern Skateboards.
13. Outdoorsy: A Coloring Book Celebrating Our Connection to the Natural World ($18) by Minneapolis artist Meg Erke includes 16 original hand-drawn images, including Minnehaha Falls and the Sunken Garden at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.
14. Duck Duck Gray Duck pencil set ($5) from The Vintage Studio.
15. Festive llama backpack from Watercolor Devo. (Alas, this product sold since we originally posted about it. Check out illustrator Amarilys Henderson’s other products and prints in her Etsy shop.)
16. Give your cat the gift of being a full-time creeper with this desk topper ($30) from Purrniture in St. Paul.
17. Or go full-on baller with Chateau de Gato ($470).
18. The growth charts ($58-$69) by Wood From the Hood are made with lumber recycled from Twin Cities trees. They’re available finished or unfinished, and in box elder, pine, hackberry, white oak, cottonwood, ash, basswood, elm, or red oak.
19. The Minneapolis Spirit jigsaw puzzle ($20) from local game manufacturer Puzzle Twist looks straightforward, but there’s a twist. The puzzle inside the box isn’t exactly the same as the one pictured on the cover. Can your family figure it out together?
20. Cute faux leather rainbow bow ($6) by Nicole Lemmerman of Oscar & Olivia in Mound.
21. Love, love, love these small dog beds ($280) made from antique and vintage rugs by Henslin.
22. The Minnesota wood and baby bead teether ($23) from Sweetpea & Co. is made of North American maple in rural Minnesota and finished with Minnesotan beeswax.
23. Corduroy cap with ear flaps ($28) from De Kleine Winkel in Minneapolis.
25. These sweet lil’ bunnies were designed by Jennifer Murphy of Minneapolis’ Polka Dot Club and hand-sewn by female artisans in Peru. Sammy rabbit, pictured on the far right, is $104.
26. New from the University of Minnesota Press, the A to Zåäö: Playing with History at the American Swedish Institute picture book is an all-ages introduction to the Swedish alphabet, illustrated by Nate Christopherson and Tara Sweeney. It’s available for $24.95 at the American Swedish Institute gift shop.
27. The 13.5-inch-tall Aaliyah doll ($60) is made by Twin Cities transplant Flora Ekpe-Idang, founder of new multicultural toy company Corage Dolls. Her mission and messaging — “to elevate, educate, and encourage girls of color to be unstoppable” — is something we can absolutely get behind.
28. The Ultimate Double-sided Child’s Easel ($79.99) from Beka Wood in St. Paul is available with your choice of green or black chalkboard, white marker board, and/or washable magnet board.
29. How cute is this parachuting elephant and turtle art print (from $17), made from original artwork by Lower Woodland Studio in the Twin Cities?
31. City of Lakes T-shirt ($23) from Hi, Little One. Ten percent of profits go to organizations fighting pediatric cancer.
32. Yin Yang cat shirt ($21) from Snowy Palms in Elk River. Proceeds from the Ruff Life Collection go toward helping foster animals from a local rescue.
34. The sweetest lil’ Sunset jumpsuit ($68) made in Minneapolis by Sisterland.
35. This Vikings dog hoodie ($40) from Dogs of MSP is designed and printed in Minnesota.
37. Willow Fox toddler backpack ($99.95) handmade in Minnesota by Oh Baby!.
38. For the budding inventor, ya can’t beat MN INVENTS ($18) from kiddywampus in Hopkins. Covered herein: the pop-up toaster, in-ear hearing aid, water skis, SPAM, and a miniature helicopter piloted by mind control.
40. Treat your pupper to a rejuvenating spa day at Bubbles & Ecouture, an organic “dog spaw” in St. Paul. Botanical baths and brush-outs start at $39.
41. Extinct Megafauna of the Cenozoic Era art print ($50) by Minneapolis illustrator Kelsey Oseid of Kelzuki.
42. Also new from the University of Minnesota Press: The Lost Forest ($17.95) by author Phyllis Root and illustrator Betsy Bowen tells the story of “a lucky error that preserved 144 acres of old-growth red and white pine in Minnesota.” It received an honorable mention for the National Outdoor Book Award.
43. Colorful cat charmer toys ($7) from Purrniture in St. Paul.
44. Gift your favorite dad/kid combo a subscription box ($260) to Cooper & Kid in Minneapolis. Themed boxes are mailed quarterly and packed with experiments, games, and recipes targeting kids ages 5 to 11.
45. Minnesota State Fair kids snapback cap ($22) by Chapeau Patrick.
46. Buffalo plaid bandana ($28) from CuddleMutt in Minneapolis. For every bandana purchased, 20 percent of the profit is donated to a rescue or shelter.
47. How cool is this? A coloring book ($19.99 at Birchback Books) packed with 21 original designs by Minneapolis-based Anishinaabe artist Frank Big Bear Jr.
48. Need an easily customizable gift? Each letter in the name trains from DoodleTown Toys in Big Lake costs $4.50. The pieces are produced in-state using sustainably harvested Northern White Pine.
49. The dog shampoo bars ($10.99 for three) from Iron Ranger Soap in Hibbing are made with jojoba, goat milk, honey, and oatmeal.
50. Quilted oven mitt ($13.99) from Miranda Rosa of My Bit of Wonder in Shakopee.
51. To get your kiddos giggling and grooving, grab Let’s Imagine, the second studio album from Northfield’s Louis and Dan and the Invisible Band. This quirky duo writes songs about rodents, spaghetti, princesses, and hot dogs!
52. Space Dog ($15) from Manhattan Toy in Eden Valley is the perfect gift for doggo-loving, astro-curious kiddos.
53. Here’s a fun, experiential present for pet parents: a gift card for one of Gray Duck Art’s Paint Your Own Pet classes! Call Maddy DePaul at 952-250-5253 to process the $60 gift card payment over the phone. Print the gift certificate at home and your giftee can use the Eventbrite code to register for the class of their choosing. Gray Duck also sells pet-painting kits from $79.
54. Mesozoic Moon Garland ($55) with keepsake watercolor dinos from Uplift Illustrations. For every 10 handmade products sold, owner Nicole Hinds donates one to a local school, library, or family.
56. Wish your whole family could dress like the dog? Dog Threads makes matching outfits for pups and their humans. These Buffalo plaid flannels start at $38 and come with sizing options for dogs, kids, men, and women. Bonus: Dog Threads donates a portion of every sale to non-profit animal rescues.
58. Moon phases night rainbow ($155) from local fiber artist Mandi Smethells.
59. Tiny Hearts Pom-Pom Beanie (from $33) from the knit stars at Nickichicki.
60. And finally, there are so many cute gifts from Dog Love Repeat in Minneapolis — like these Calhoun cable knit scarves ($14) by Casa Luna…
62. We saved the best for last: Invite your favorite canine lover to a one-hour doga (dog + yoga) class ($20 per person) with Kristin Trudeau, a certified yoga instructor in the Twin Cities. Visit Dog Love Repeat for the most up-to-date booking details.