2720 West 43rd Street | Minneapolis, MN | 612-920-5005 | www.wildrumpusbooks.com
We are so excited to have Nicki back again at NellieBellie! Nicki is a Minnesota mama who goes on crazy and fun adventures with her two littles, and will be sharing some of her favorite places and experiences for you to try with your own children. Check out more of her great ideas at MinneMama Adventures.
There is something to be said for a hard copy book. Something that allows you to physically turn pages and – if you're weird like me – flip them just fast enough so the musty scent of paperbound goodness enlivens my sensory system like nothing else can. Books. Smelly, musty old books. I love taking my kids to book stores, keeping alive the idea of actual buildings with actual people excited about actual print. I'm not anti-eReader. Most definitely not. But watching my kids buzz around a children's book section, plopping cross-legged in the middle of an aisle with their chin in one hand while using the other to turn pages, eyes darting rapidly from words to pictures and page to page, has rekindled my love for the real thing. There is still a place for libraries and bookstores in this big ol' technoworld and one of my all-time favorites sits in the heart of Linden Hills in Minneapolis, with its kid-sized purple door greeting you as you enter. Book lovers, write this down: Wild Rumpus Bookstore.
Wild Rumpus is a small, but unique, child-geared book shop in the Linden Hills district of Minneapolis, only a couple blocks from Lake Harriet. Its double-purple door (one for littles and one for bigs) is only the first step into what will take over your child's imagination at this store. Based on the book The Salamander Room by Ann Mazer, the intention of the Wild Rumpus design is to connect the outside world with the inside. The ceiling opens up into what is meant to be a sky and the painted cracks on all the walls give the entire store the feeling that goes along with that beautiful ceiling – Are the walls going to crash down, magically transporting us outside?
Other elements such as brick arches and a wooden tunnel adorned with leaves and sticks play into the imagination, but the highlight for my kids is always the animals. Cats and hens roam freely while chinchillas, ferrets, birds, rats and a tarantula named Thomas Jefferson are admired from within cages.
If you can get past all of that, you can get to the core of their business – books. This store should be very proud of its selection and variety. For being the size that it is, their choices are top-notch and the categorization makes it very easy to know in which general direction you should send each of your children.
Have kids? You're going to want to read this...
Every Monday morning at 10:30am, Wild Rumpus bookstore has a live story reading called Tail Time. Holy busy, Batgirl! We came once during that time just to shop, and there was barely room to do that! But it's fun, well done and the kids love it, sitting around a circle rug laughing and participating in the action. Just get there early if you plan to attend. If you follow Wild Rumpus on Facebook, you can see what stories are upcoming.
Another event hosted by Wild Rumpus is invited author readings. They get some bigger names so pay attention if your kids have a favorite (for example Michael Hall, author of My Heart is Like a Zoo, just read not too long ago to promote his new book Red). All of their upcoming author visits are listed on the homepage of their website.
There is a bathroom in the store as well as chairs, tables and reading lamps so find a good place to rest your rump and read. My kids could rotate from rug to rug all day long and read until they go cross-eyed. Our favorite tradition is to pile into a corner and take turns reading books aloud to one another, with the promise that – in the end – each child gets to pick out their very own book to bring home with them. Word to the wise: There is a discounted/recycled book section against the back wall by the birds that (if you're anything like me) you steer your kids towards when it's selection time. I'm not (just) being cheap – there is still some really great stuff back there!
Bonus stuff worth mentioning...
Parking isn't pleasant but it's free on the street and once you find your spot, you can spend hours roaming the entire area. Check out a post I wrote on the entire Linden Hills experience and you'll see what I mean. Wild Rumpus, Creative Kidstuff, Heartfelt Crafts, Great Harvest Bread, and Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream? Sounds like a pretty good day out with family, no? And come summertime, be sure to check out Lake Harriet, which is walking distance from the shops. The Lake Harriet Bandshell offers live music, food, ice cream, popcorn, beer (yes, beer), a gorgeous view of the skyline and an occasional movie in the park. The Como-Harriet Streetcar is also fun for kids if you're game for a quick little trolley ride around the neighborhood.
Hours and location:
Wild Rumpus bookstore is open seven days a week.
Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 8pm
Wednesday 10am - 8pm
Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm
If you are in Minnesota, definitely check this place out...sounds like loads of fun!! And, we all know that you will want to stay up to date on all the fun stuff Nicki recommends and finds around our great state of MN. The best way is to connect with her is on Facebook...