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Kidding Around

Parenting in the Twin Cities.

Family outings for summer: Day trippin' to Lark Toys in Kellogg, Minn.

It was a rainy, overcast day and we were looking for adventure so we loaded our crew up and took a drive down to Southern Minnesota and eventually, Lark Toys, in Kellogg. I admit I was at first skeptical. 


We're bringing a bunch of kids to a coffee shop? To do what exactly? Tell us all the things they want, need, must have?

But alas I was wrong because this wasn't just a toy store. It was a miniature, nostalgic filled world of toys and fun and joy. Plenty of joy. There's a reason they were chosen as Minnesota's best toy store.


While Lark Toys is certainly a toy store with pretty much every toy one can imagine, it's also got an overflowing book store, a trip down memory lane {No, really.} an ice cream shop and candy, lots of candy. There are also animals to visit, a carousel to ride AND a mini golf course just outside. 



There's plenty to do for kids {and adults} of all ages. When we visited we easily made a day out of exploring and visiting and seeing all there was to see. 

If you go:

Lark Toys is located just off Highway 61 in Southeastern Minnesota. For directions, visit their website.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EVERY DAY through Labor Day. Check their site for hours after Labor Day.

Prices vary by attraction- mini-golf: $5/kids 4-18 $7/adults carousel: $2/person {children 3 and under & adults over 90 ride free}. Browsing the shops and visiting the animals, all free.

When it comes to juggling kids, a slow summer is a joy



Summer is really in full swing now, what with the 4th of July just a few days away and all. And for the first time in forever I'm feeling like we've struck gold when it comes to the juggling act that is having a bunch of kids, activities, work and free time opportunities.

Here's what we did different this year-

1. We asked our kids what they wanted to do. Want to play soccer? How about guitar lessons? So many times WE think we know what our kids want to do but I'm always surprised by what they say yes and no to.

2. We listened to our kids. Two of our kids said no to a local soccer program and I was struggling. The program is pretty low commitment and inexpensive, thinking it might be something fun to break up the day I started to ask, "Why not?" Then I remembered that chances are I would be regretting signing them up anyhow especially if they didn't really want to do it.

Listening to our kids meant that each of our kids {minus the 2 year old} only ended up in ONE activity and for three of our kids these activities are just one time a week. Score!

3. We planned ahead. I started thinking about summer in March and how I wanted to look. I arranged my work schedule so that I could still have time at home with my kids and not feel overwhelmed. We also did this when it came to groceries and chores. Planning ahead not only has saved us money {on things like groceries} it's made me more productive {by planning work ahead of time} and we've been able to manage household chores {by planning which kid does which each day and scheduling a deep clean}.



It has been a fantastic summer already. Plenty of time for the park and the pool but also not feeling like I'm slacking off professionally. How do you juggle the summer for your kids?

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