Mighty Blog

Spreading holiday cheer: Children’s Minnesota hosts Holiday Toy Shop for patient families 

What better way to spread holiday cheer to the kids in our hospitals than sharing toys and fun? During the winter holiday season, Children’s Minnesota has always been dedicated to providing gifts for families during their stay in the hospital. 

The heart-warming tradition of providing gifts to families staying in the hospital has been around for over 40 years! And, in 2018, the official Holiday Toy Shop began thanks to the child life and music therapy teams. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we paused the shop in 2020 and 2021 but still made gifts available. We are so pleased to have been able to bring back this incredible event again starting in 2022! 

Welcome to the Holiday Toy Shop sign

What is the Holiday Toy Shop? 

The Holiday Toy Shop provides an opportunity for patient families to go shopping for free for their children during the many winter holidays. The shop exists on both of our St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses – in the Child Life Zone in St. Paul and in the Education Center in Minneapolis.

Who can shop? 

When you have a child in the hospital, the things you normally do go to the wayside. That’s why we offer the Holiday Toy Shop – to help families during this tough time, especially during the winter holiday season. 

We offer all of our parents and guardians with kids staying in the hospital a chance to shop in our Holiday Toy Shop. Our outstanding child life and music therapy teams go around and invite families. It’s always preferred that only adults come in the shop as it can be overwhelming for children…and it ruins the surprise! 

Plus, we offer parents and guardians to shop for any child in their family, not only the child in the hospital. 

Lots of games stacked up for the holiday toy shop

Where do the toys come from? 

All of the items in the Holiday Toy Shop come from the generous donors in the community – from large corporations, school groups, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, youth programs and more! We are so grateful for all the donations we receive year-round. Find out all the ways you can give to Children’s Minnesota. 

Virtual toy drive

This year, you can help support the Holiday Toy Shop by participating in our virtual toy drive! With your support to Children’s Minnesota’s virtual toy drive, our amazing child life specialists will purchase the most needed gifts — toys, books, games and more — and match them to each patient.

Donate to the virtual toy drive! 

Stuffed animals and games for kids for the holiday toy shop
Alexandra Rothstein