We survived a 45-minute drive and a camping weekend to Taylors Falls with a one-month old and a twenty-two month old, and now, eight months later, we thought we’d try our hand at another trip. Destination: Lark toy store in Kellogg, MN, an hour and forty-five minutes south of the Twin Cities. This would be a memorable occasion: our first road trip with more talkative, demanding, and restless passengers. The toy store was really the icing on the cake. It was a beautiful drive along the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin and through small-town Minnesota. We planned fun sights along the way, brought lots of snacks and activities, and over-packed the car with items for every possible scenario. I am happy to report we had a lovely trip, and we enjoyed the family time immensely.
First Stop: a picnic lunch along the Mississippi River, a mere two-minute drive from our house. We ate lunch and watched the boats, barges, and people. We even watched a news crew interview some hipsters playing a lawn game (“hipsters” only because I have no idea what they were playing).
Second Stop: Lock and Dam #2 in Hastings, MN
We ate a snack and watched the boats go by. Then, a quick drive through downtown Hastings, and we were off.
Third Stop: Because the kids were sleeping, we bypassed the Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN (it looks fun) and had a mini date as we waited outside of Lark for the kids to wake up.
Fourth Stop: Lark toy store. The toy store is full of fun stuff- toddler enjoyed the puppet stage, parents liked the hand carved wooden toys and games, baby liked looking at the stuffed animals and marbles. The hallway outside of the store has cool window displays with toys from the past-the 80’s window is a fun walk down memory lane. Favorite part of the stop was by far the carousel. It’s a beautiful work of art! Be forewarned the carousel runs every 30 minutes. We had time to spare so we played a very short game of putt-putt golf. On the way out, we tried a fudge sample (yum), somehow managed to bypass the ice cream (it looked good), and took a goofy picture at the tie-dyed car photo booth.
Fifth Stop: Lake City, MN. We spent some time at the playground and then grabbed a snack at Nosh, where we sat outside with views of Lake Pepin. The restaurant wasn’t kid-friendly, but the kids were great. Thanks, kids.
It was a manageable trip from the Twin Cities with lots of kid-friendly activities. Next time, we’ll visit the Eagle Center and the ginormous boot in the Red Wing museum. There’s also a casino in Red Wing, Reads Landing Brewery Co., and several wineries for those on a kid-free adventure. We can’t wait for our next adventure.