Twin Cities Business Listing

Minneapolis Toy Library Logo
Richfield Lutheran Church, 8 W 60th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Northeast United Methodist Church, 2510 Cleveland Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
$40 Annual Family Membership (Or more if you choose)
Register when you visit the first time
Limited Concessions Available
See hours below

Did you know that there is a toy lending program in Minneapolis? Visit a Minneapolis Toy Library to try out games, puzzles, learning toys and more.

The Minneapolis Toy Library is a toy lending program which seeks to reduce waste, foster child development, and build community in the Minneapolis area. An annual membership allows families to cycle through good quality toys – indoor toys, outdoor toys, literacy and educational toys, puzzles, board games, dolls and puppets, and toys to fit their latest interests. The shelves overflow with all kinds of toys.

Related Articles:

Where to Find The Minneapolis Toy Library

The toy library has expanded to two permanent locations in 2022. This has addressed some of my early concerns with the program. Members can borrow and return at either location. With permanent locations, lending events are scheduled at regular times (see the calendar below). Members can pick out toys and return toys from previous events at these times. Toys may be borrowed for up to four weeks. The fine for late toys is $1.00 if you can’t make it to an event to return your toys (or arrange to return them prior to an event).

Southside Toy Library

After a few years of bouncing around, The Toy Library found its first permanent home at Richfield Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. When visiting, use the doors on 60th Street, closest to Nicollet with the Toy Library sign, then head down the stairs to find the toy room.

Minneapolis Toy Library Toddler Toys, including puzzles, lacing cards, Tots First Chunky Pegs, Primary Bucket Balance and Shape Sorter
Toddler Toys

Northeast Toy Library

In fall of 2021, the Toy Library announced it was expanding with a new branch in Northeast Minneapolis. Beginning fall of 2023, their new location shares space with Neighborhood Children’s Home and Northeast United Methodist Church. Enter through the doors on the Cleveland Street side.

This newest location offers several great features:

  • Two rooms of toys on two levels with an elevator between levels
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Family restrooms
  • A “gym” space to try out large motor toys
  • An area for dropping off donations
  • A return bin if you just want to return a toy without checking out a new one
  • A bus stop 4 blocks away plus plenty of nearby street parking

Toy Library Membership

The Minneapolis Toy Library is a nonprofit organization and a community resource dedicated to their mission of reducing waste, fostering development, building community. In that spirit, they offer a sliding scale membership fee. Families are asked to pay what feels comfortable:

  • $40 – sustains operations
  • $50 – purchase new toys
  • $60 – pay for marketing materials
  • $70 – community play opportunities
  • $80 – offer scholarships
  • $90 – space expansion
  • $100 – foundational membership

Why We Love the Minneapolis Toy Library

Besides their commitment to the environment and economy through fostering good stewardship of toys, I am also very impressed with their practice using a portion of their grant money to purchase toys made by local toy makers. We love that children can have a variety of toys without filling the landfills with castoffs or cluttering the house with idle toys.

An example of preschool-age toys offered at the Minneapolis Toy Library, including River Stones Stepping Game, alphabet buzzle, bingo, pull behind toys, blocks, Bowling Friends game and dolls.
Preschool Toys at the Minneapolis Toy Library

This concept is great for families with younger children, who want fewer toys. Their collection is mainly geared toward younger children, but as they grow, so does their collection.

Is the Minneapolis Toy Library Right for You?

If your schedule works with their open hours, you don’t want to have an over-abundance of toys cluttering up your home, and you have transportation, the Toy Library could be your best friend.

Is a Toy Library membership worth it?

We think so. While the Minneapolis Toy Library is not free toy lending library. The modest $40/year membership fee is approximately the price of one or two new toys. You would have a hard time beating that price for the quality and variety of toys available, even shopping secondhand.

What Ages are best for a Toy Library Membership?

Most of the toys are aimed at preschool and younger. We would recommend memberships for kids 8 and under. After that, if you have had a membership all along, your kids can offer guidance for when they are ready to move on.

Transportation and Convenience.

As the Minneapolis Toy Library grows, they continue to try to address barriers to membership. Recently, they made this suggestion on Facebook, that responds to transportation issues:

Minneapolis Toy Library: Think you might live too far away from the toy library to join? Here's an idea that some of our members have done. Join with other families near you and take turns coming to the library each month. We can call it carpooling for toys! Reduce waste by purchasing fewer toys and donating your old toys to the toy library, live with less clutter, and save in gas - sounds like a bunch of wins to me!!
From the MTL’s Facebook page,

Toy Library Hours and Upcoming Events

Between the two branches, regular hours are offered on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are lending hours every week, but the two branches tend to alternate weeks. Find upcoming events and lending hours on the Toy Library’s calendar.

The toy library opened in spring of 2015 and by summer of 2016 it was receiving some national attention for its innovative model. They have received acknowledgment through a Hennepin County Green Partners Grant. The Toy Library continues to expand both their toy inventory collection and their services.

The following article was originally written by Gianna Kordatzky shortly after the Toy Library opened in Fall 2015

Humble Beginnings

I visited Rebecca Nutter, one of the founding partners of the Minneapolis Toy Library, on a beautiful September morning. We were joined by her beautiful 2 month old, 3 year old and said 3 year old’s Luke Skywalker. We chatted with Rebecca about the Toy Library and how it works. We also discussed the library’s goals for the future.

All the while Luke Skywalker was taking a nap in the pasture with the horse and cow at my feet.

The Minneapolis Toy Library launched just 4 months ago in May, 2015.

As conscientious moms, four ladies jumped on board to create a better community and lives for their families. They want to reduce waste, foster development (in children) and build community.

Taryn Tessneer recruited three other women to build the Development Team: Rebecca Nutter who has a background in early childhood education, Molly Stein who is working to register the library as a non-profit and Rosie Call who is from Australia and had a toy library there.

Unfortunately, shortly after the launch, Taryn moved out of the metro, but she has left the fate of the Minneapolis Toy Library in dependable hands.

We are excited to have the Minneapolis Toy Library in our community.  Rotating toys out of the house is a perfect answer for families with kids under the age of 6, and it’s a lifesaver for families in small houses. Not only is it a great resource for parents, but it is also a great option for grandparents and aunts and uncles. Thanks so much, Minneapolis Toy Library!

First Year Goals

At the time Gianna wrote the article above, the Toy Library had several goals. We’ve listed them and are happy to share that they have achieved those goals

  1. Build their membership to 400. They currently are just shy of 400 members, and have well over 2000 Facebook fans.
  2. Become a Non-Profit. At the time, they were in the process of the paperwork and registration. They have since finalized their non-profit status. This is very important to them because the funds they have through membership fees are used to grow the toy collection. As a non-profit, they can also register for grants to support this service to the community.
  3. Find a Permanent Space. In that first year, toys were stored in board members garages and closets. Rebecca and other volunteers hauled toys to and from events. Members found it hard to get to ever-revolving events. They even attempted a summer of working out of Rebecca’s garage. But in 2016, they moved into their current location at Richfield Lutheran Church and have been able to grow as a result.

Useful Links:


0 thoughts on “Minneapolis Toy Library – Toy Lending Program”

    1. Hi Katie:

      The Minneapolis Toy Library does take toy donations. It would be best to contact them directly regarding their needs.

      The toy library is run by volunteer parents, so they may not get back to you immediately, but they are very friendly and passionate about what they do.

Send message to moderator

The Family Fun Twin Cities Directory is the most extensive collection of companies, organizations, activities and places to find things to do with kids in the Twin Cities.

Family Fun Twin Cities is not associated with the companies, municipalities or organizations and cannot book your birthday party, reserve sites or pass on complaints. Please use the contact information we provide. 

Sharing of information is not an endorsement. We do, however, welcome constructive reviews from readers. Please feel free to leave comments providing helpful tips and information for other parents.

Scroll to Top