All too quickly, summer draws to a close here in Minnesota. With the fresh autumn breezes also comes back-to-school shopping. It can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the game or shopping for multiple kids. This handy guide hits the highlights of what you’ll need to tackle before the school year starts, and where to get it done. With the right plan of attack, this year’s back to school adventure will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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ABC and Toy Zone
2908 W. 66th St.
Richfield, MN 55423
(612) 869-2399

While many box and chain stores will carry the basics in school supplies, check out this specialty store for options your kids will love. ABC and Toy Zone offers a great selection of school supplies, from supplies that may now be on your list as you help supplement classroom costs to fun items to encourage your child’s learning. The store also offers a wide range of arts and craft supplies perfect for that last-minute project.


russell + hazel
4388 France Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55410

For something unique and chic, look no farther than renowned, local paper company russell + hazel. For nearly 10 years, this business has been bringing good design to functional school and office products. Bored by manila folders and yellow Post-Its, russell + hazel’s designers have shaken up the world of notebooks, folders, binders and even Post-Its. While it sell its products in boutiques around the country, this Minneapolis-based outfit is its design studio and only flagship store in the U.S. and France. Stop by to see genius at work, and to pick up something to make your student feel sharp and put together this year.

Related: Best and Most Affordable Preschools in the Minnesota Area


Oh Baby
3509 Galleria
Edina, MN 55435
(952) 928-9119

A home-grown institution, Edina-based Oh Baby is a great place to find a unique first-day-of-school outfit for your little one. For something special and one-of-a-kind, this is the store to head too. With a mix of items from known brands including Joe’s Jeans, Ben Sherman and Hannah Banana, as well as items from the handcrafted “Oh Baby!” line, you’ll be sure to find something that suits. The house line is made in Minnesota by store owner Mary Lauer, so you know you’re getting something wonderful.


310 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 623-8123

Another local institution, Pacifer, is the result of a local couple not being able to find a cool enough outfit for their new niece. With two stores and thriving online shop available, clearly this store is meeting a Twin Cities’ need. Sizes run the gamut from babies up to 12 years old. This store offers funky, cool options just right for making the best impression on new classmates. The store also carries Minnesota school essentials such as backpacks, hats and mittens for those wintery walks to school.


Kids’ Hair
2195 N. Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN  55113
(651) 638-0010

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Kids’ Hair boasts 20 years of experience in making kids’ haircuts fun and enjoyable. With that local friendliness and family feel, it’s a no-brainer. With 12 locations through out the Twin Cities metro area (including St. Cloud), there’s a store near you. Check out its website for more information. In addition to offering a stellar haircut and enjoyable atmosphere, Kids’ Hair also features fun services including color extensions and glitter nails, if you’d like to add a little extra fun to this step. Be sure to grab the first-time haircut coupon available on its website to save even more.


Kids Kuts Family Hair Care
2847 Northdale Blvd.
Coon Rapids, MN 55433

Price: from $13

Make it a family affair with Kids Kuts in Coon Rapids. This north metro salon offers services for the whole family, making it easy to get everyone taken care of  in one fell swoop. With a family friendly atmosphere and professional stylists who love working with kids, this store is a great choice for getting that back to school haircut. Kids Kuts offers specialty services including highlights and perms as well.

Related: Best Toy Stores in Minnesota

Sassy professional by day, men’s style expert by night, Bethany Rein is a twenty-something living in Minneapolis. She loves baseball, coffee and the well-dressed male. An avid runner, Bethany also plays recreational sports with more enthusiasm than skill. Her work can be found at