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Passport To The River Valley: Lark Toys

Posted at: 08/16/2011 11:30 AM

(ABC 6 News) - The town of Kellogg sits along the Mississippi River, between Winona and Wabasha, but you might miss it if you blink. If you were to take a closer look, you might find something very special, a diamond in the rough if you will, that could take you all the way back to your childhood.

It's called Lark Toys. It's 20,000 square feet, filled with hundreds of thousands of toys. It also has an indoor carousel, along with fudge made right in the store and even miniature llamas.

The owners, Miranda Gray-Burlingame and her mom Kathy Gray say Lark Toys has had a major impact on those who've visited over the years. "Lark Toys is a magical destination spot for all Minnesotans, and more," says Miranda.

The ladies and their families were looking for a change of pace from the Twin Cities when they bought Lark Toys about four years ago. They wanted to do something creative, make people happy and maybe sell some stuff along the way.

Lark Toys itself goes back nearly 30 years. Tim Monson is Lark's official toy maker. "It's a special place, a very special place. I've been here for almost 25 years for that very reason. I can come to work, do something different every day and I love what I'm doing"

Diane Mikelson, who we found there with her kids, says much the same thing.  "It's like going back to your childhood. It really is."

That's exactly the type of response the owners are looking for. "Yeah, it's brilliant to witness people who also share and feel the energy that this place can give. It's really magical. We feel very good about that. That's part of what our goal is," Miranda and Kathy say.

For more information about Lark Toys visit their website: http://www.larktoys.com/