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Posts Tagged ‘kiddywampus’

Last Minute Shopping Advice

Friday, December 16th, 2011
Oh, really? You’re going to the mall today? You and the rest of America. The Saturday before Christmas is, historically, even crazier day than Black Friday. This year is a little different, since Christmas Eve is also a Saturday. Malls will be open until 5 or 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, but crowds are sure to thin out by afternoon. Which brings us back to this weekend, when everyone will be shopping. The National Retail Federation reported this week that the average person has completed less than half her shopping.
In lieu of a personal elf, here’s some advice:
  • Go early, stay late. Most malls are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. this week (Rosedale will be open until 11 p.m. on Friday) and 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The Rosedale Macy’s will be open for 83 hours straight starting Wednesday at 7 a.m. Weeknights, even this week before Christmas, will be a lot more manageable than Saturday at the mall.
  • Make a list, and check it online. Do your price comparisons and check inventory in advance to cut down on in-store hassles.
  • Get crafty. On Saturday, Dec. 17, Calhoun Square will host 20 artists selling everything from jewelry to pottery. On Monday, Dec. 19, there’s a craft market happening at Modern Times Café. More event details here.
  • Get out of the mall. Victory in Linden Hills is all decked out for the holidays, and even if you don’t find the right gift, you’ll leave inspired rather than stressed. The Bee Cottage in Excelsior is nice for festive candles (and Santa matchboxes) and vintage Christmas décor. General Store of Minnetonka is a tried and true stop for everything from toys to gourmet gift baskets, and there’s a café.
  • Think beauty. Pampering is always appreciated, and spas have some great deals going: Get a $25 gift card when you buy one worth $150 at Spalon Montage. Get a spa gift set when you purchase a gift card for $50 or more at Rocco Altobelli. At Sanctuary SalonSpa, get the gift card purchase out of the way so you can take advantage of specials this week only, like a 50 minute massage for $50 or 10 percent off hair extensions.
  • Get it wrapped. StyledLife has its top eight gifts wrapped and ready to go. russell + hazel has all sorts of gift combos at the ready, and will also create one just for you.
  • Stock up on memorable hostess gifts. The hot chocolate and gourmet marshmallows at Williams-Sonoma are one of my favorites. Crate & Barrel is a great place for lasting gifts: mugs, candles, frames—and many are on sale. Make a CD mix—it gets the party started, and shows you put some thought into it.
  • Distract the kids! They’re on break; you need to shop. St. Louis Park toy/art store Kiddywampus is offering in-store classes and art projects all week.
  • Place online orders by the beginning of the week. Some sites will guarantee Christmas Eve delivery through Dec. 19 or 20. After that, it’s going to cost you extra.
  • Take note of what you want for yourself. Because what you don’t receive will probably be on sale next week.

You’ve Got Mail

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Kiddywampus celebrates creativity–in kids, and adults. Owner Amy Saldanha is a big proponent of local toy makers, designers and experts in the kid universe. As a result, her customers are the beneficiaries of that talent pool, and the test-lab atmosphere of the store. I recently signed up my 3-year-old to test a new line of art projects from Minnetonka-based Metamorphic Toys. He was given a sturdy cardboard mailbox and told to decorate it, which he did when we got home:

His masterpiece is now in his room, where he awaits daily deliveries. Never know what you might find in that mailbox: a plastic ice cream cone, socks, a small book. It even held up to a round of catch between said 3-year-old and his older brother. You could say he likes it. Apparently he wasn’t the only one: Kiddywampus is hosting an Arty Party from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 for the store launch of the Everythingland Mailbox and Silly Signs by Metamorphic Toys. Meet inventor Dave Berglund and register to win prizes. Space is limited, so rsvp at 952-926-7871. And sign up for the Kiddywampus mailing list to participate in future toy testings, art classes, parties and other fun events (there’s a toy room for playdates, too). 4400 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-926-7871

Bringing the toys to the customers

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Kiddywampus is the latest local toy store to broaden its reach with a partnership. A Kiddywampus shop opens Saturday within College Nannies & Tutors (3948 W. 50th St., Edina) at 50th & France. (See Sales/Specials for event details).
Others trying the same strategy:

  • Uber Baby now sells is gifts for babies and moms at most Kowalski's stores.
  • Wonderment natural toy store has opened a holiday outpost next to Native American bookstore Birchbark Books (2115 W. 21st St., Minneapolis).

New destination for moms – er, kids

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I was a little disappointed by the merchandising of Kiddywampus at its new location in St. Louis Park. Despite the larger, higher-profile space, it seemed like they actually had less to sell. Mainly, there was more typical arts and crafts supplies than the high-design play and home objects that used to be the focus. But I’ll give them a chance to settle in, and the owner did assure me that not all shipments made it in time for the opening, a common problem in retail.
Besides, any deficiencies on the retail front, Kiddywampus more than makes up for with its improved focus on activity. The art studio has expanded to a cool, lofted space with windows. In addition to classes, there are open studio times so you can drop in without a reservation when your little Picasso is feeling inspired, or you’re about to lose your mind. Plus, they’ve added a play room that can be reserved for groups or play dates with friends – the kids get to explore new toys on neutral turf, and best of all, you don’t have to clean up. Get all the details at

Kiddywampus on the move

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Kiddywampus, the Edina toy store that has vowed to donate all profits to children’s charities, is moving from its obscure spot behind the Convention Grill to a larger space on Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park, about a block east of Trader Joe’s. Key dates: moving sale, March 3 to 8; first day open in St. Louis Park, March 11; grand opening party, March 15. Watch for more details on the sale and the new store at You can also check out Kiddywampus online at | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved