Minnesota Twine Ball
Minnesota Twine Ball
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks
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11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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The world's largest ball of twine built by one man is on display for all to see.
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4.5
70 reviews
Excellent
41
Very good
17
Average
11
Poor
1
Terrible
0

MNice
Bloomington, MN2,441 contributions
Couples
I think you will not find a more unassuming tourist attraction in the United States. First of all, it’s free; and there is just an old lunch pail with a slot in it asking for a donation. Inside the converted old rail station is lots of swag including the usual clothing items, but also pencils, postcards and other trinkets. In case you have not surmised this, the twine ball itself is located outside the building enclosed in glass. The day we visited, Weird Al Yankovich had just played a concert the night before in the Twin Cities, about 40 miles away. We didn’t know this, but Weird Al did a song about this large ball of twine. The docent at the front desk was very sweet and she informed us we were lucky to get a postcard because the Weird Al people had been there and purchased about 80 cards. So the swag here is pretty good and there is also a museum inside. Darwin is an agricultural community and a stop on the rail line that runs freight across the Western United States. The twine ball is fun to look at, the exhibit is located just a couple blocks south of US Highway 12 and very easy to find in downtown Darwin. I saw this ball of twine 40 years ago when I was a traveling salesman and I have no idea if it’s the worlds largest. I can tell you this however, the man who took the time to make this spend a lot of effort at it. Is it worth the effort to see it? I will say this; the people here are genuine and you can out of there without spending a cent for the whole family. Incidentally, the sign out front ALWAYS says closed, so don’t be dissuaded.
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisamarie L
Madison, WI749 contributions
I've always wanted to see this in part because of the Weird Al song which has been one of my favorites since I was a kid in the 80s...a clever, pleasant tune celebrating family road trips, over-enthusiastic dads and corny/absurd Americana.

My husband's family is not far from the area and we've always said we would go, and we finally did, and brought the kids (who insisted on playing the song on loop on the way, haha).

It is basically everything you think it will be - a glorious, huge majestic sphere of twine that DOES truly leave you wondering why he did it. There's a 'Weird Alley' sign next to it (one of the streets named in his honor) and a nice gift shop/museum. Lots of other Weird Al fans stop by as well, and he also did a concert in the area recently, so there was a lot of excitement.

One of my sons really enjoyed it, although my other son admitted he thought it would be bigger, so I guess the song got his hopes up a bit too much, haha.

Some enterprising kids had set up a lemonade stand nearby, right at the Twine Ball Inn.

So go, stop at some of the shops, and enjoy this very weird part of American culture, created by a "self made man", as he put it.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Simco435
Tampa, Florida32 contributions
So I drove to Darwin from Minneapolis - Took about 1.5 hours to get there. Dawin seems to be a very quiet town (ghost town almost). As you turn from the major roadway, there is is a sight to behold... Almost the 8th Wonder of the World... I did listen to the Weird Al song as I drove there which made it even all the more better. It's just something to see if you want to waste a couple hours and see the area outside the big city. I liked it and thought it was worth. Took a couple pics and even seen the closed Twine Ball Inn (I wish it was opened to grab something to eat). Plenty of parking . The gift shop was closed but did give a phone number to call to see if someone could swing by and open it. LOL!!
Written April 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CobbCoGA
Marietta, GA789 contributions
What fun. It is indeed a giant ball of twine. I didn't go into the museum, but it is easy to park, take your picture, and go on your merry way. This is one of those roadside attractions that everyone should stop at just once if you can.
Written July 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ptm2
denver, CO92 contributions
It is exactly what you expect. A big ball of twine. You have to call to get the gift shop open. A lady came in 5 minutes. Told us about the ball, and the gift shop ( which was a converted railway station ).
If was fun, if you come with the right attitude.
Written April 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly G
Douglasville, GA5 contributions
Couples
Was exactly what were expecting minus availability of the gift shop and museum. There was a phone number to call to see if available to meet and open for visitors. We didn’t hear back while still in Darwin. Still happy we went.

Road next to ball was Weird Alley, a nod to the song by “Weird” Al Yankovich.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scotia
Minneapolis, MN9 contributions
We have driven through Darwin many times without stopping, well this past spring we had the time to stop--so we did.

The Twine Ball (made by Francis A Johnson) is kept inside a glassed in gazebo with a museum beside it. Well, the museum was not open when we were there, but one of the Twine Ball Museum workers happened to stop by while we where taking pictures through the glass. The very nice man opened the gazebo and let us take in the whole experience--the smell and touch of the ball. Then he opened the museum and gave us a "tour".

Inside the museum there is another really cool item on display. Mr Johnson also made a very large pliers carved out of wood that unfolds to make over twenty smaller pliers. The handles are like a large puzzle of pliers. This was done from one piece of wood--very, very amazing!!

They also hold an annual festival the second Saturday in August "Twine Ball Days". I haven't been there for that, but will make it some time.

Definitely worth the stop!!
Written July 25, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

langenfass
Ft. Lauderdale, FL32 contributions
Family
It's been a couple of years since I've made the pilgrimage to Darwin. I've been twice and thought I would share. The first time I stood before the "twine shrine" was on a hot Sunday morning. We were on our way to somewhere else and this was a total impulse stop. The streets were completely deserted and I half expected to see some zombies as the place had a Walking Dead/Stephen King vibe to it. Given the day and time this was not unexpected. Echos of hymns being sung from a distant church could be heard drifting over the deserted streets. The only sign of life was a green and yellow John Deer tractor lumbering down Main Street. The shirtless, overall wearing farmer driving at a reckless 8 mph.

The Twine Ball museum was closed, again not unexpected, but the Twine Ball was there and obligingly posed for all the pictures we cared to take. It turns out there was a little lunch counter place across the street that had all the souvineers we could want, no zombies though.

A couple of years later... we are visiting our friend in "The Cities" and we devise a side trip to New Ulm to see the Glockenspiel and drink beer. Our route is rigged so we go through Darwin for the second pilgrimage to the Twine Ball.

Standing in front of the shrine on aThursday afternoon we had expected that the museum would be open but the door is locked with a "Be Back Soon" sign taped to the window. The town looks a lot more friendly this time, with cars and people doing the things one would expect in a town of 400 on a weekday afternoon. We were about to walk over to the lunch counter to buy more Twine Ball tee shirts when an old pickup pulls up and a dapper older gentleman greeted us. The Twine Ball museum was now open!

The museum curator, I wish I could remember his name, was also a member of the town council. He explained that he had to go "check on those boys patching up the county road... If you don't keep an eye on 'em their lunch "hour" will last the whole afternoon!" He greeted us as though we were cherished long lost friends. This midwestern "friendliness" can be a little disconcerting to jaded easterns but this guy was the real deal. We spent more of the afternoon than we had intended chatting with this guy. Turns out he had a sordid past as his resume included smuggling illegal oleo-margarine into Wisconsin back in the 1950s.

We bought more stuff than we needed and took well over a half hour to say our goodbyes. As we made our way out to the car we realized we hadn't bothered to even look at the Twine Ball. No matter. It hasn't changed since the last batch of pictures. It's the human touch that makes all the difference.
Written August 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ChinggisKhaan
Eden Prairie, MN120 contributions
Family
May leave you wondering "why" but as Weird Al sang:

"In a little shrine under a make-shift pagoda,
There sits the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota"
Written April 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

wolverine331
152 contributions
Couples
Plenty of parking along the street. The Twine Ball is always on display in a glass enclosure out in front of the gift shop. You can see the ball pretty well although there is a good reflection off the glass enclosure which can hinder getting a good photo. My wife took photos from underneath tree nearby and that makes for a better photo (it hides some of the sun glare). You cannot go inside the enclosure so you aren't able to get directly near the ball. The place isn't very busy so there is plenty of opportunity to spend time alone with the ball. If you're a fan of the Weird Al song or enjoy odd roadside attractions then it's must visit. While we were there the gift shop was closed with a sign to call and see if the person was able to come help. It was Mother's Day so we didn't want to disturb and therefore didn't go in.
Written May 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Minnesota Twine Ball (Darwin) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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Minnesota Twine Ball is open:
  • Sun - Sat 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM


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