Checking In

Many parents of 10-year-olds who aspire to make the Squirt A hockey team believe the right training and gear can provide an edge. Here’s what a team jacket (list price: $100) can really cost.


The amount you’ll need for decent skates ($325), pads ($275), gloves ($70), a concussion-proof helmet ($150), and at least two sticks ($125 each—it’s important to have a back-up when, say, another player “accidentally” breaks your stick in the locker room before tryouts).


The price of sharpening your skills during the spring, summer, and fall through AAA and MASH leagues. (There’s no off-season in hockey anymore.)


Tuition for a week of residential hockey camp at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault. Some players stay longer.


The registration fee for Squirts in Eden Prairie, the state’s third-largest hockey program. This includes top-team consideration and a pre-tryout clinic.


What you could shell out each month, year-round, on specialized instruction, including skating with Troy Stevens of Pro Edge, stickhandling with Minnesota Made’s Bernie McBain, and plyometrics at Acceleration Minnesota.


What you’ll spend to attend four regular-season tournaments; most families make a weekend of it. Add another $30 or so for each player if they will travel together on a team bus.


Amount Dad’s or Mom’s company can cough up to sponsor your team and ensure that your place is considered bought.


Cost of supplies for the scrapbook Mom must make commemorating your season.

Carol Ratelle Leach, senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, is grateful that her children play soccer.

Things To Do Before…



Last Thanksgiving, you burned the turkey, forgot the potatoes, and politely ignored your mother-in-law’s complaints about the lumpy gravy. This year, let somebody else deal. Two clubby institutions, Jax Café in northeast Minneapolis and the Lexington Restaurant in St. Paul, serve traditional turkey-and-trimmings dinners—with a side of nostalgia for the time when all you had to do on holidays was pass your plate. —RACHEL HUTTON

*Like this idea, but would still rather eat at home? Learn which stores around town provide food to order.


Art Attack, the art crawl held November 3 to 5 at the Northrup King Building in northeast Minneapolis, sounds overwhelming. And it is, featuring more than 130 artists peddling paintings, pottery, sculpture, photography, jewelry, furniture, and fiber art in one of our largest complexes of artist studios. You can’t beat it, so you may as well join in.   —TIM GIHRING


St. Paul’s Rice Park will take a cue from New York City’s Rockefeller Center November 25 to January 1. The downtown destination plans to feature a skating rink, train and carriage rides, life-size snow globes and nutcrackers, carolers, a fat guy in red, and a 75-foot lighted Christmas tree. Visitors are encouraged to bring charitable donations.  —CAROL RATELLE LEACH


Students at the Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, the high school that opened last year in the Landmark Center, use the Science Museum for its chemistry labs, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium for drama classes, the downtown library for books and other media, and learn languages through independent study. Graduates should be well prepared for the peripatetic life of an artist. —JUDY KOGAN


If you notice a greater-than-usual level of alertness in the Uptown area on November 18, credit the Coffee Festival in Calhoun. The Minneapolis shopping square sponsors the event to raise money for Clare Housing and AIDS Care Partners, which operates six adult foster-care homes in the Twin Cities. Kind-hearted caffeine fiends can spend the day (well, four hours of it, anyway, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) quaffing coffee and tea from some two dozen local vendors. Several restaurants and bakeries will provide dessert samples for this 17th annual event. —C.R.L.


The 2006 Olympian Emily Hughes stopped by Xcel Energy Center recently to visualize winning the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, to be held in St. Paul January 20 to 27, 2008. “Skating isn’t a team sport, so having enthusiastic fans like you have in Minnesota is really important,” she said. “I’ll turn 19 during Nationals, so everyone is invited to my birthday party at the Xcel.” —C.R.L.

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