When I was a kid, long before the days of Playstations and Xboxes, we had simple toys that required us to get down on our hands and knees to play with and actually use our imaginations! Sometimes I think the world would be better off if we unplugged all of the electronic time wasters that youngsters are occupied with these days and made them do the same thing.
Dyersville, Iowa’s National Farm Toy Museum takes you back to those days and gives visitors the opportunity to see some of the finest collection of farm toys, pedal tractors, dioramas, and unique exhibits on agriculture’s amazing history that you will find anywhere.
And while the museum’s displays, which include thousands of miniature replicas, focus on farm machinery from yesterday to modern times, you don’t have to be a farmer or have an agricultural background to appreciate them. After all, who doesn’t love tractors?
Kids of all ages will enjoy the museum, which has 30,000 farm toys on display. Everything from miniature trucks and plows to pedal cars, along with dioramas that not only entertain, but also educate visitors on the history of farming and the modern-day agriculture industry. The people who work at the museum truly love what they do and are always happy to answer questions about the toys or farming in general.
Founded in 1986, the museum is the brainchild of Dave Bell and Claire Scheibe, the founders of the Ertl Company, which has been manufacturing farm replica toys since 1945. The first floor of the museum has a ten-minute film about toy production in Dyersville. Three different farm toy companies are located in Dyersville, giving the city the title of the Farm Toy Capital of the World.
The first floor also includes a play area, dioramas of farm homesteads, and small exhibits that detail how toys are produced. The museum’s second floor has farm and truck toys, and a collection of cowboy and Native American dolls. The museum also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase toys and souvenirs.
Every year the museum hosts the National Farm Show, which includes a tractor parade, garage sales, displays of antique tractors and farm machinery, and a farm toy show. Other smaller events and toy shows are held throughout the year.
The National Farm Toy Museum is located at 1110 16th Avenue Ct SE in Dyersville and is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for ages 6-17, and children 5 and under are free. The museum’s parking lot can accommodate large RVs. For more information call (563) 875-2727, or visit their website at www.nationalfarmtoymuseum.com.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Based on the amount of laundry we do every week, I’m going to assume that there are people who live here that I haven’t met yet.