Toys of Our Time
Although we have to say goodbye to some of our favorite outdoor attractions during the chillier winter months in Kansas City, now is the time to be thankful for the myriad of fun and quirky indoor museums around town. One such gem is the Toy & Miniature Museum on 52nd & Oak.
The beauty of this place is that it appeals to visitors of every age—the museum can be a magical toyland for kids but also serves as a nostalgic trip down memory lane for adults. Visitors can travel through time with generations of cherished toys including dolls, dollhouses, trains, cars and more.
The museum also houses one of the largest collections of fine-scale miniatures in the world. The tiny treasures are perfect in scale, making them working reproductions of actual pieces.
Take, for example, this pair of tiny dueling pistols. Artist Eric Pearson designed them so that all of the mechanisms are the exact proportions as those of a full size pistol.
Another miniature treasure is this itty-bitty grandfather clock by artist Frank Matter. The working one and 5/8th inch tall case clock was modeled after an Eli Terry piece and contains the world’s smallest watch movement, which was taken from a diamond bracelet watch by Le Coultre. Aside from miniatures, the museum also houses an impressive collection of dolls and dollhouses. This one, called the Coleman Dollhouse, is nine feet tall, seven feet wide and four feet deep. It was made circa 1860 and is believed to have once had gas lights and running water!
What good is a dollhouse without any dolls to go with it? This doll, named Georgiana, is the museum’s oldest doll. She dates back to the 1750s and is from England. Her wig is made of human hair and she has glass eyes. These items are only a small sampling of the unique and remarkable treasures on display at the Toy & Miniature Museum. And on second thought, no need to wait for a chilly day—this museum is worthy of a visit on even the sunniest afternoon.
Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City
5235 Oak Street
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Weds.-Sat.); 1-4 p.m. (Sun.)