May 30 2009
Once in a while we find a place unique enough that it’s worth a special three-hour drive every few years. LARK Toys in Kellogg, MN, is one of those places.
LARK Toys is a toy store, but so much more.
Let’s start with the toy store aspect. Unlike Toys R Us or any discount retailers, you’ll find very few character-themed toys at LARK. Nor will you find a lot of toys that operate on batteries. Instead, you’ll find unique toys that inspire imagination and thinking and real play, and some of the toys you played with as a child and didn’t know still existed (Tickle Bee, anyone?). Over the years, I’ve bought many unique toys at LARK Toys. Our toy purchase this time consisted of a chess set for our six-year-old that included a book and a guide to the various pieces’ moves right on the board.
The bookstore area is always a treat to visit; it carries high-quality children’s and local-interest books. My eight-year-old was delighted to come home with a Minnesota wildflower field guide after this visit.
Down the hall, there’s a toy museum of sorts, with displays of vintage toys lining the walls.
Then there’s a candy shop and concession area before the store’s crowning jewel, a beautiful hand-carved carousel. Carousel rides are given every half-hour and cost $1 apiece.
During the summer months, an 18-hole miniature golf course is also open. This is a well-designed and well-made golf course.
LARK Toys is a family-friendly destination where you can easily spend a few hours. Concessions include a lunch menu and ice cream, so you can make a day of it if you wish. Once you visit LARK Toys, you’ll be sure to return.