The last thing you would expect to find in little Kellogg, population 439, is one of the world’s greatest toy stores, but there it is. LARK (63604 170th Ave., 507/767-3387, www.larktoys.com, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Mar.–Dec., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Jan.–Feb.) stands for Lost Arts Revival by Kreofsky, and the family-run enterprise, which now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, began in 1983 when Donn and Sarah Kreofsky began making wooden toys in their garage.
Word spread and soon they were stocking FAO Schwarz and 2,500 other retailers. Burned out by the big-business side of things, they decided to open their own toy store.
Now the largest independent toy store in North America sells everything from board games to chemistry sets to Russian nesting dolls to wind-up toys, plus, of course, the handmade wooden toys that started it all.
The whimsical LARK Carousel ($1) takes riders for a spin on 18 hand-carved creatures, like a goldfish and an otter. The thousands of antique toys on display throughout the store will no doubt bring back memories.
Also on-site is a restaurant and miniature golf course.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition