Website aims to enrich communities; Macaroni Kid lists local events and activities

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Macaronikid.com, a Web domain that has pages across the nation, including 12 in Minnesota, one of which is in Forest Lake (www.forestlake.macaronikid.com), publishes weekly, hyper-local e-newsletters and posts information on the Web about events, activities, products and places for moms, kids and families. Volunteers who manage the local websites also host local events and parties, offer contests and giveaways, and connect with communities via social media all free of charge.
The website was originally founded by parents Joyce and Eric Cohen, who named the project after the noodles that their children enjoyed more than any other. The Forest Lake site has been managed by Sarah Schwartz since 2012.
“Macaroni Kid is a one-stop shop for caregivers to seek out information and events about what is happening not only in Forest Lake, but also in the surrounding areas,” she said. “It is a great free resource that people should be taking advantage of.”
Schwartz estimates that she spends several days a month as well as two to four hours each week compiling and organizing the information that is listed on the Forest Lake site. She also spends some time communicating with the national headquarters and exchanging ideas with publishers who run the 11 other Minnesota sites.
“Aside from events and activities, we also sometimes feature craft ideas or easy recipes,” Schwartz said. “We also have some bigger sponsors that are able to provide us with opportunities for families to win some nice prizes.”
Most recently, the Forest Lake site was able to hold contests to give away family admission to Disney’s “Frozen on Ice” as well as a four pack of tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters.
“The ‘Frozen’ contest was a huge draw for us, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to offer promotions like that,” Schultz said.
Anyone with events that they would like to see listed on the site can go to www.forestlake.macaronikid.com and click on the “submit an event” tab.