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Kid-friendly places with live music (or other entertainment)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, however and wherever you spent it.

We've enjoyed the live music at Hells Kitchen brunch and the Sunday evenings (beginning at 5pm) music at Palumbos in St. Paul. And occasionally (and randomly as far as I can tell) at Sea Salt when they were open for the season.

What other Twin Cities restaurants (or cafes, I suppose) can we take the kiddo to for live entertainment, especially music, on weekends or weekdays before 7pm? And that's the hitch, by the way, that the live music has to be available during the day or in the late afternoon/early evening before witching hour.

Thank you!


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  1. The Loring Pasta Bar has music on weekends starting at 6. We used to take our kids there when they were younger without problem. They loved the music and it was usually loud enough (or empty enough) when we went early so that no-one was bothered by the kid noise. They have a music schedule on their website.

    1. Shamrocks is very kid-friendly if you get there early (so you don't have to wait for a table), and on Sundays kids eat free and the Mouldy Figs (old-timey jazz) usually play, starting at 6pm. The food has been pretty inconsistent for the past few years, but it's still a cheap and fun way to hear some live tunes with the little ones.

      In summer, any outdoor festival will usually provide, but I'm sure you already know that!

      1 Reply
      1. re: diesel

        Oh I LOVE the Mouldy Figs! They're really fun. Haven't seen them in a long time - thanks for the reminder! I think they're only there every other Sunday though.

      2. The Midtown Global Market has family night with music every Friday at 5pm.

        1. GInkgo coffeeshop on Snelling in St. Paul has a live kids show at 10 am one Saturday a month. I had another venue in mind but just blanked on it. Will repost when I remember.

          1. On Fridays during the lunch hour (noon for sure) a jazz gypsy accordionist/guitarist plays at the Russian Tea House for tips. We also go to the Coffee Grounds coffee shop in Falcon Heights for nighttime events, including a P.J. storyhour ... but their food is atrocious. Honestly, they would do a better business if their food weren't ..ick. But business I guess is okay there.

            1. What about Famous Dave's for brunch on Saturday or Sunday? It looks like they have music to accompany their brunch.

              1. Kramarczuk's has live folk music on Fridays starting at 6:30. (Though one group seems to start at 7, so confirm before you head out.) It's very kid friendly and dancing (especially polkaing) is encouraged.


                1. Oh such a great list. Keep 'em coming. Winter is very long!

                  Slightly off-topic of the live entertainment criteria is this new bakery I just heard about that apparently has a children's play area: http://tasteoflovebakery.com/

                  I haven't been yet, but who can't use more cake?


                  8 Replies
                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Equally off topic: Do you have a train lover in the family? You do know about Choo Choo Bob's, don't you? It's on the same block as Izzy's, and it saved our sanity during a long, long winter with (hyper) active young ones. Trotter's is around the corner, if you should need protein or a salad. You'll have to provide your own music, though.

                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                      too true about Choo Choo Bob's! I just wish Izzy's winter hours (at least last year, not sure what their hours are right now) meant they were open when we were there as the promise of ice cream is the only way I can get my kiddo to LEAVE Choo Choo Bob's... ha!

                      The Happy Gnome (I know, I know, NOT AT ALL TDQ's favorite place!!!) has (had? haven't been for ages) a Jazz Brunch that my kiddo loved when we randomly happened upon it once.

                      1. re: turtlebella

                        Oh, now see, that might be just the extra incentive I need to get to Happy Gnome!

                        I wouldn't suppose Trotters around the corner carries Izzy's?

                        And, yes, we love Choo CHoo Bob's. And we can pair it with a visit to Izzy's, Trotters, or Kopplins. How's Kim's Chinese?


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Kim's Chow Mein is what I imagine all of the "local" hounds mean when they talk about Chinese food of their youth. I ate there only once in 1994 (yes - I can tell you that - I was taking classes at St. Thomas that summer). Blah bordering on bleh. For all I know, it may be better after 20 years. I personally doubt it, but it has a following on Yelp.

                          And, if I remember correctly, you're originally from the west coast, aren't you TDQ? If so, be warned that you've crossed over into the domain of east coast chow mein. (Crunchy rather than chewy chow mein noodles.)

                          1. re: bob s

                            Yeah, that's pretty much how I imagined Kim's. I honestly don't mind Americanized Chinese food, as long as the food follows the principles of good food in general: you know, fresh vegetables not overcooked and oversauced, that sort of thing, but if you're saying it was bleh a couple of decades ago, I"m guessing it still is. Who is their target market? College kids? And, yes, I'm still taken aback by crunchy chow mein noodles!


                        2. re: turtlebella

                          ^5 for not making me the only one to suggest Happy Gnome. :) I didn't even pay her!

                          1. re: Seige

                            We might have to have a Happy Gnome chowdown or something. Do they serve ramen by any chance?


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Maybe! I somehow suspect we live in the same 'hood. We probably see each other and just don't realize it.

                              About 99% certain they don't have ramen. They would have totally nailed the non-stuffed burger category though!