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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

McDonald’s Museum – San Bernadino, California

The McDonald’s Museum, located along Route 66 in San Bernadino, offers visitors a look at the history of McDonald’s through toys, signs, packaging, and other vintage memorabilia associated with the fast-food giant.

When brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened their first restaurant in 1940, it’s unlikely they envisioned a franchise that would grow to over 36,000 restaurants over 120 countries. With the opening of their restaurant and the subsequent evolution of the brand as the world’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s has embedded itself in our collective pop-culture psyche. The McDonald’s Museum provides a rush of pure nostalgia as visitors rediscover the elements that made McDonald’s a childhood favourite. Located at the site of the McDonald’s brothers initial location, the Museum is packed with memorabilia that includes the highly collectable glassware made popular in the 1970s alongside merchandise showcasing the unlikely pack of McDonaldland characters made famous in television commercials, photos documenting the history and evolution of the brand, toys found in Happy Meals throughout the years, and other instantly recognizable items from McDonald’s rich history.

There’s a lot to take in at the McDonald’s Museum; it’s packed from floor to ceiling.  Those interested in revisiting their childhood will be flooded with memories but the Museum isn’t just for fans of the franchise. Look a little deeper. The Museum holds value for offering both history and business lessons. The impact of McDonald’s is felt around the globe even today, for better or for worse. Set aside the inclination to judge the impact of the franchise and allow yourself to appreciate its fascinating evolution and cultural impact.

Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.