Family-friendly flicks

Marcus Theatres starts up its Kids Dream film series this weekend with discounted family-friendly flicks at Lakes Cinema in Hermantown.

Movies start at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with discounted ticket and snack prices.
This week’s feature film is “Despicable Me 2,” the story of Gru, the former evildoer last seen with a trio of young adopted daughters.

In this sequel to “Despicable Me,” Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help thwart a new super-criminal.

Other movies in the series include: “Turbo,” Feb. 8-9; “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” Feb. 15-16; “Smurfs 2,” Feb. 22-23; “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” March 1-2; “Free Birds,” March 8-9.

Zinema 2 starts up its Saturday Morning Family Series on Feb. 8. Shows start at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The lineup includes “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” Feb. 8; “My Neighbor Totoro,” Feb. 15; “Babe,” Feb. 22; “ET” March 1; “An American Tail,” March 8; “Goonies,” March 15; “Matilda,” March 22 and “The Great Muppet Caper,” March 29.

Give Nana the camera

There’s nothing like the pride that family takes in its progeny. It’s part of what makes humans an evolutionary success: We look out for our family. Part of that pride is being able to show your friends how adorable your grandchildren are.

“Grandma” is running out of photos to feature in her Brag Book section. Send in your favorite snaphot of your grandkids to: Grandma’s Brag Book, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802 or email them to Be sure to include their names, parents’ names, grandparents’ names and what town(s) everyone lives in.

Light up the night in Duluth

Marcia Hales cranked the generators up to 11 to display her lights last week. Not just some twinkle here or there, we’re talking on the order of 1/8 million of the things. And not just lights. Rumor has it Santa drops by most Fridays and Saturdays.

She wants people to walk through, and quite a few have, it seems. Some from as far off as South America, others from Portugal. The display has been called magical by some of the thousands of visitors who have appreciated her display over the past 14 years.

The walk-through display is open to the public 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 7.

Visitors can sign the guest book and see comments by visitors from as far away as Russia and Sweden. The books are found in the small garden house where she keeps free hot cider on tap for people needing a warm-up.

Hales’ display can be found at 3739 S. Lake Ave.

Driving for diapers

Lutheran Social Service is holding a diaper drive to “keep the littlest Duluthians covered” during the cold months.

The December Diaper Drive is intended to refill the shelves at the “Nursery,” a place where families in crisis can receive emergency, short-term day care, infant and toddler clothing or diapers.

Drop-off locations through December are at the Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth Grill, Duluth News Tribune, Explorations Toy Store, Hermantown Chamber of Commerce, Inn on the Lake, Lake Superior Magazine, Marshall Hardware, Marshall School, all four branches of North Shore Bank, Pro Print, St. Louis County Auditor Service Center (at the mall) and University of Minnesota Duluth Center for Economic Development (at the Tech Village).

To arrange pick-up or get fliers, email or call (218) 728-1445.

Brag book barren

Grandma only has photos to brag about through mid-October.

If you have a photo of your grandkids that you’d like to share, e-mail it to or mail them to Grandma’s Brag Book, DNT, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Don’t forget to send along a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want the photo returned.

Military families wanted for study

The University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development is looking for military families to participate in a study.

The Adapt program aims to learn from military parents on how to best support National Guard, Reserve and active-duty families through the deployment cycle. Participants can earn between $385 and $595 through the course of the study and will be asked to take part in four sets of interviews and surveys over a two-year period.

You qualify if you have at least one child ages 5 to 12 and at least one parent in the household has been deployed since 2001. Call (612) 624-4830 for more information.

Time to sign up for ECFE

Duluth Public Schools Early Childhood Family Education is accepting registrations for its fall program.

Locations throughout the school district are staffed by licensed teachers for the program — which offers 1½-hour weekly sessions for 10-week quarters for parents and children and includes group discussion, parent-child activities, education and toy and book-lending — meant for parents of infants through kids up to age 3. Sessions begin Sept. 11.

Newsletters have been mailed, and preregistration packets can be found at all elementary schools, libraries, McDonald’s restaurants and the Duluth school district website. Call (218) 336-8890 for details or on Facebook at Duluth Area ECFE and School Readiness.

Immunization clinic in Superior

Douglas County residents are invited to pack up the kids and bring them to the children’s immunization clinic at the Public Health Department.

The clinic is from 1-4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Government Services building, 1316 N. 14th St., Suite 324, in Superior.

All of the routine immunizations for kids 6 months and older are available. And it’s free for kids with no health insurance; who are covered by Medical Assistance; or whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccinations.

A parent or guardian must be present, and bring those immunization records along, too.

Figure out your family

If you’ve ever wanted to kick off that family history project, Thursday may be the time to start.

The Twin Ports Genealogical Society and Duluth Public Library staff will present a workshop on family history research as part of the main library’s summer reading program.

Information and research assistance will be provided 5:30-7 p.m. in the Green Room at the library on West Superior Street downtown. The workshop is free and there is no need to register.