Lark Toy Store is rated as one of the Top Toy Stores in the World. Knowing this and Christmas just around the corner, we had to check it out. I had read a lot about the store online and in books but I was still not really clear as to what to expect. When I think toy store, I was thinking a cross between a Toys R Us and a mom and pop store. I even had a vision of the toy store featured in Home Alone Two. I was completely wrong. Better yet blown away by what I found inside.
Inside Lark Toy Store
As you walk in, you have the option to go left or right… We chose left into the world of toys from the past, known as Memory Lane. Every toy from your childhood was lined up behind the glass cases. It was a treasure to see some of those toys. My husband and I had just started the Dr. Who series, so when we saw the ‘Tardes’ replica, we both geeked out a little. By daughter also spotted a Hoggle and the Goblin King figurines from the Labyrinth. I couldn’t believe all the different things they acquired.
At the end of this side of the building, they have a giant carousel inside. It’s fully operational and they offer rides every 30 minutes. Because Lark Toy Store is a little off the beaten track they make sure to include a little bit of everything. This includes a fudge room and candy selection. They even sold full fledged lunches. You could easily spend half a couple hours there wandering around.
As you walk the other direction, you find the store. Unlike the traditional toy stores, they do not try to pack in their merchandise into every available space on the floor. In each room of the store, they had little play stations set up with samples of the toys. My son and daughter had so much fun trying out all the different toys. It was so nice. Not only could I peruse the shelves grabbing things without the watchful eyes of children… I didn’t have to worry about them destroying the store.
Each section of the store had a different theme of toys which I loved. The puppet room was one of my favorite because they had what seemed like the whole cast of the Fraggle Rock gang. The collections of wooden toys made just by Lark Toy Store were great. They were the kinds that you pull on a string and something moves. I found that the selection of toys really great because it encouraged kids to use their imaginations. I don’t think I saw anything in there that required you to purchase batteries. The only brand name toys I saw was the Melissa and Doug brand. Otherwise, everything thing else was different.
What surprised me what how busy they were. But not in a, I can’t get around busy. In most sections of the toy store, we were the only ones in the room. It was probably the most relaxing and fun experience I had picking out presents. It is definitely why it made my 10 of the Top Toy Stores in Minnesota list. For being a little off the beaten path, they are really well known. Before you make the drive make sure to check their hours out. While they are opened year round, Lark Toys hours change seasonally. If you are looking for something a little unique, or you have someone to shop for that already has everything, this would be a great place to stop at.