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Twin Cities Mom Collective

Go, See, Explore: Lark Toys

lark toysLark Toys

Hours: 10 AM – 6:00 pm every day

Address & Phone: 63604 170th Avenue, Kellogg MN 55945 // (507) 767-3387

You could easily misclassify Lark Toys as just a “toy store.” However, you’d be leaving out everything that makes it so special. Yes, they sell toys. However, the family-owned and operated business provides so much more. Here are just a few of their awards: “Top 10 Best Toys Stores in the World” – USA Today, “World’s Greatest Toy Stores” – Travel & Leisure, and “Best Toy Store in Minnesota” – WCCO Viewer’s Choice.

Guest Book at Lark Toys

It is a place where magic, childhood, and fun all combine under one roof. There’s a toy museum where you can experience the nostalgia of toys from bygone eras, a candy shop where they make and sell homemade fudge, a zoo, a magnificent toy shop, a bookstore, and an onsite toy workshop that has been producing handmade, high-quality, wooden toys for over 30 years. Not to mention the most magnificent toy store with unique, exciting, and interesting toys.  It’s how we imagine the North Pole would look if Santa Claus’s operation was in Kellogg, Minnesota.

Lark Toys is an excellent day trip from the Twin Cities — the drive is just over an hour and a half from the Mall of America. The drive is beautiful too.  You’ll wind your way in and out of Minnesota and Wisconsin all along the Mississippi until you come to Lark Toys, nestled in the river bluffs.

Features

Carousel

lark toys
Lark Toys Carousel

One of the most well-known features of Lark is the famous, hand-carved, wooden carousel that operates every 30 minutes. A “rideable work of art,” the carousel was carved from Minnesota basswood by the original owner of Lark Toys. It contains seats in the form of highly detailed animals (both real and imagined) — no two are alike. Kids and children at heart can enjoy the ride as it provides both moving and stationary experiences. Rides are $3 each and carousel tokens can be purchased in the gift shop near the carousel.  Children three years and under are free with a paying adult.

lark toys
Hand-carved Carousel at Lark Toys

Carvings

All throughout Lark Toys, keep an eye out for wood carvings of animals and dinosaurs. Some of these are extras that didn’t make it onto the carousel, or simply other projects started by the original owners.  Whatever the case, they add a whimsical feel to the whole store!

Mini Golf

Another experience that is not-to-be-missed is the 18-hole miniature golf course that includes a waterfall and some custom-designed course features. Golfing also gives you some great scenic bluff views as you navigate the holes. You might also get a peek at the resident llamas: Meg, Calvin, Irving, and George. Mini golf games are $10 for adults 18+, $8 for students and seniors, and FREE for 3 and under.

Workshop

lark toys
Tim Monson, Head Toymaker at Lark Toys

Take a peek through the viewing windows from the toy store into the workshop to watch the toymakers as they build, make and carve the wooden toys that Lark Toys sells.  You can also take home a piece of the magic by purchasing one of these wooden toys for yourself in the toy shop!

Memory Lane

“Memory Lane” is a favorite spot for history buffs and toy lovers. Designed to look like an old-time Main Street, this area has many favorites on display. There are original Barbie dolls, Erector sets, metal lunchboxes, pedal cards, and so much more.

Candy Shop & Fudge

lark toys
Candy Shop at Lark Toys

Don’t miss the Candy Shop and treats at Lark Toys!  They offer a great selection of nostalgic candy along with Jelly Bellies, novelty candies, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, salt water taffy, and more.  They also make butter and cream fudge fresh in-store!  From seasonal varieties to standard favorites, you’ll find it all.  Buy it buy the 1/4 pound and mix and match all of your favorites!

Bookstore

lark toys
Lark Toys Bookstore

Wind your way back through the store, past the workshop, and you’ll find yourself in the bookstore. You can tell that the most careful thought has gone into selecting special titles and the best books that will capture the imagination of children and adults alike.  Make sure that you leave enough time to browse the shelves to find your next favorite book!

Lark Toys
Toy store

We can’t say enough good things about Lark Toys. It’s such a fun trip and it’s impossible to leave without a smile on your face. While in the area, you might consider visiting the National Eagle Center just up the road.  There are also a few other fun things to do in the area as mentioned by our friends at Rochester Local. Enjoy!

 

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