Dollhouse & Toy Museum is Dressed Up for the Holidays

Dollhouse & Toy Museum is Dressed Up for the Holidays

Dollhouse & Toy Museum is Dressed Up for the Holidays

One of the charming vignettes at Bennington’s Dollhouse and Toy Museum.

One of the charming vignettes at Bennington’s Dollhouse and Toy Museum.

The Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont has transformed itself for the holidays, with a new exhibit of German nutcrackers, dollhouses decorated for the season, and a Festival of Tiny Christmas Trees, with fully decorated trees in all of the dollhouses and in miniature art galleries and museum settings.

The nutcracker exhibit features nutcracker knights, kings, queens, soldiers, drummers and many different versions of St. Nicholas or Santa Clause. These kinds of nutcrackers were first made in forested parts of Germany and were given as keepsakes to bring luck to a family and to protect the home. They are now used more for display than to crack nuts, and have become associated with Christmas in large part because of Tchaikovsky’s ballet ‘The Nutcracker.’ The popularity of these nutcracker grew in this country after World War II, when American soldiers stationed in Germany began visiting the open air markets that sold them.

There also is a temporary exhibit of rag dolls. The permanent collection includes many large and fully-furnished dollhouses, including Victorian, Tudor, Colonial, and Cape Cod models, as well several faerie houses, a large collection of Madam Alexander dolls, an exciting collection of puppets and marionettes, and such toys for boys as vintage trains, planes and Erector sets.

The museum has a small shop that features dollhouse kits, paper dolls, dollhouse furniture and vintage Christmas ornaments. Building a dollhouse can be a wonderful winter project.

The Dollhouse and Toy Museum is located at 212 Union Street at the corner of Valentine, and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 for children three and older, $4 for adults and $10 for families. The museum also will be opened the Friday after Thanksgiving from 1 to 4 p.m., and every afternoons between Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about the museum and the holiday schedule, visit dollhouseandtoymuseumofvermont.com or call 802-681-3767.

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