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Kansas City’s Own Toy Story

After a long week of bills, meetings, business suits and low-fat lunches, don’t you just want to be a kid again—free to splash in a fountain, eat popsicles for breakfast and play with reckless abandon? While we can’t turn back the proverbial clock, we can introduce you to a place where View-Masters, dollhouses and pedal cars aren’t just for kids.

Formerly the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City, The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures will open the doors to its $8 million renovation this Saturday, August 1.

After realizing that the building’s climate controls needed an overhaul, the museum began its first public capital campaign in 2012 to fund exhibit and building improvements. The renovations that followed fixed the climate control issues but didn’t stop there.

The museum now houses the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation’s largest collections of antique toys, not to mention hands-on exhibits. Because who can look at toys and miniatures without wanting to touch them?! Some of the hands-on experiences include:

  • X-raying toys to see their inner workings,
  • decoding a cryptic message using a secret decoder pin,
  • watching a plane take flight with a giant zoetrope,
  • using an interactive touchscreen to examine a circa 1924, seven-inch cabinet with 19 secret compartments, and
  • using tweezers to attempt to place hands on a fine-scale, miniature grandfather clock
The "Toytisserie"—a two-story, spinning helix of toys donated by the Kansas City community and designed by a local artist. The “Toytisserie”—a two-story, spinning helix of toys donated by the Kansas City community and designed by a local artist.
One of the museum's new features, a giant zoetrope. One of the museum’s new features, a giant zoetrope.

LetsPlay LR

Housing a collection of more than 72,000 toys and miniatures*, the museum has now extended its hours and lowered admission prices to only $5 for ages five and up (free for ages four and under). This hidden gem is definitely on its way to being a main Kansas City attraction.

*If you’re wondering about the difference between toys and miniatures, the museum’s community development coordinator Cassie Mundt, explains it beautifully: “Toys are meant to be played with and miniatures are works of art. Toys inspire creativity and miniatures are the result of creativity.”

 The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures | 5235 Oak St., KCMO 64112 | 816-235-8000

Open 10 am to 4 pm every day except Tuesdays