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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.

North Carolina Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures – Spencer, North Carolina

The North Carolina Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures preserves the history of childhood in the United States and beyond through vintage objects of play.

Established by Beth Morris Nance and Susan Morris as a way to honour the memory of Amy Dawn Morris, their sister and daughter (respectively), the Museum’s collection features dolls and accessories, toy vehicles, cap guns, and a working Lionel model train set created using thousands of elements and made to resemble a thriving small town. Collections of note include an early 1900s Schoenhut circus, Shirley Temple dolls, over 300 Barbie dolls, 150-year-old German doll room boxes, and myriad porcelain, corn husk, vinyl, wax, celluloid, and bisque dolls dating back to 1850.

The exhibits are refreshed multiple times a year to give returning visitors new pieces of childhood history to discover. The North Carolina Museum of Dolls, Toys & Miniatures is open by appointment only.

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