My husband and I take so much joy in watching our children do what they love. A perfect day for me has to include time in the stands cheering loudly for my 13-year old son as he makes diving saves during a Bantam hockey game. The day is complete if I can hold my breath and watch my 11-year old daughter dangling upside down from a trapeze at a Circus Juventas performance.

On those rare occasions when my children have a free Saturday, St. Paul neighborhoods are the best playgrounds for families looking for food and fun.

8 a.m. Sweating it out at a hot yoga or spin class at Life Time Fitness in Highland Park (2145 Ford Pkwy.) with my son is the best way to start the morning. If he is still sleeping, I might go for a quick run or bike ride down historic Summit Avenue with a good friend.

9:30 a.m. St. Paul is truly St. Small if you go to the right places and know the right people. A nice day motivates our family to walk to the Uptowner Café (1100 Grand Av.). We know the waitress Tabitha and since we’re regulars, she asks: “Would you like the usual?”

10:30 a.m. A stroll along Grand Avenue is such an uplifting way to spend some time. If I can ditch my family for a bit, I love walking to Victoria Crossing for boutiques like Karma and Hot Mama. Also at Victoria Crossing (850-867 Grand Av.), Ten Thousand Villages offers free trade crafts from around the world. They sell items made by workers from developing countries who are paid a living wage for their work.

1 p.m. Lunch and watching a sporting event on television at Billy’s on Grand (857 Grand Av.) is one of those must-do’s on Grand Avenue. There are plenty of games for the kids, great big booths and an extensive menu. We know the owners and appreciate their support of youth athletics and organizations in the community.

2:30 p.m. Minneapolis is still on my radar. Venturing across the river means looking better. Craig Weitz at Salon Intrigue in Uptown (3070 Excelsior Blvd.) is the best when it comes to Twin Cities hair stylists!

5:30 p.m. Noshing on sushi at Sakura in downtown St. Paul (350 St. Peter St.) is my ultimate dinner delight. Owner Miyoko Omori is a charming lady. It is truly a family business with an emphasis on sushi that is almost too pretty to eat — but you would be crazy not to.

7 p.m. If you haven’t guessed, our family is filled with sports enthusiasts. Catching a Minnesota Wild game at the Xcel Energy Center is a top destination for us. We love to join the crowd and yell, “Let’s play hockey.”

10 p.m. Date nights are fun. My husband and I prefer to end the evening with cocktails at WA Frost (374 Selby Av., St. Paul). The classic bar with all of its dark woodwork is an ideal place to kick back and enjoy a nice drink. It is the perfect place to end a perfect day in our favorite city.