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Teensy treasures at the Toy and Miniature Museum

The Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City is a little misleading; it seems like the perfect place to take the kids, but in many ways it’s better for adults and older children.

It’s not that there aren’t zillions of neat toys, trains, dolls, dollhouses, Teddy bears, marbles and other treasures – there are indeed, but the vast majority are beautiful antiques that are protected behind display cases.

It’s a “look but don’t touch” sort of place, which  was fine with me but might be a disappointment for very young people (I’d take the little ones to one of the museum workshops or special events so they can get hands onto crafts and learning projects.)

Spread across two floors of the 1911 Tureman Mansion in Kansas City, Missouri is an incredibly comprehensive collection of every wondrous toy imaginable.

I’ve been a sucker for detailed dollhouses since my own parents took me as a child to see the amazing Queen Mary’s dollhouse in the UK.

The first floor of the Toy and Miniature Museum has all sorts of dollhouses with lovely delicate period furnishings, plus a big section of toy trains, planes, cars and Noah’s Arks.

The Miniatures Gallery has beautifully-lighted tiny art miniatures to inspect, most to 1/12 scale; I loved the tiny dancing skeletons and eensy furniture.

(I am working very hard not to use the word “Lilliputian” in this blog post. I know that “eensy” is not a word; this is a time when it is fun to be an editor-free blogger….)

The highlight of the second floor galleries is probably the Marble Games and Gallery.  I don’t even know how to play marbles, but the colors and swirling patterns in the glassware have always appealed to me. These were gorgeous and their lighted displays showed them to perfection.

The gift shop was OK, but the surprising number of generic “Made in China” toys was rather disappointing. I thought, for example, that I’d see a lot more variety of locally-made Moon Marbles.

I recommend a trip to this museum if you’re in Kansas City, even if – or especially if – you are an adult.