Santa Steve of the North

“A lot of Santa portrayers say they started out when they answered a spiritual calling,” said Santa Steve of the North. “But for me, putting on the red suit for the first time was a financial decision. I was a young father working as a printing press operator back in 1985, and needed a little extra part-time work that would help me pay for Christmas. I saw an ad hiring Santas to appear at various locations around the Twin Cities. I thought that would fit nicely with my community theater background, so I gave them a call and got hired.

Piggy Haven

I understand the principles of natural selection just fine. Still, it is hard to accept that the guinea pig wasn’t designed for the sole purpose of eliciting adulation. The little creature’s high-pitched warbles, baked potato physique, inquisitive black marble eyes and big goofy nose make it look less like a rodent and more like a CGI addition to a kid’s movie developed around toy sales.

Unleashed Hounds and Hops: Minnesota’s First Dog Park, Bar & Eatery

Any place can be improved by the addition of dogs. Your house? Arguably not a home until something enthusiastic and barking lives there. A ski resort? No one who has been buried under an avalanche ever crossed their fingers in hope that a cat would show up. Even hospitals, which are generally pretty concerned about sanitation, will let grinning Labs and goldens inside where they can raise spirits.