CapeTownMagazine.com

Toy museum in a heritage house

For Moments of Joy
Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Un-clicking the clique-iness
 
+27(0)72 350 2062
Cape Town & Surrounds
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
excitement@capetownmagazine.com
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
CapeTownMag

Toy museum in a heritage house

Vintage toys, Blue Train and the world's smallest kitchen

Last updated: Thursday, 2 November 2023

Before computer games and mobile phones, kids would play with handmade dolls and cars that came in little boxes. On Market Street in Stellenbosch, there’s a whole museum dedicated to it (and it’s just R20 to enter). You’ll also find the world’s smallest kitchen and a miniature version of South Africa’s famous Blue Train (that actually runs) at the Toy and Miniature Museum.

STEP BACK IN TIME 

The Toy and Miniature Museum exists inside an 18th Century Parsonage and offers six rooms of analogue entertainment for children and adults alike. It showcases thousands of toys throughout history, and there are over 2 000 miniature cars on display, from a 1921 Bugatti, 1935 Ford, and 1951 Volkswagen.

The dinky toys, gifted by actor Limpie Basson, are some of the most valuable toys in the museum. Since they emerged in the 1930s and were discontinued in 1979, they’re extremely rare and sought-after by collectors, going for up to R400 000 (depending on the type and its condition).


The entrance to the Toy Museum. Image: @hendrik_stam

SEE TOYS FROM CENTURIES AGO 

Upon entry, you’ll see a very large doll house that is actually a replica of the Uitkyk Farmhouse in Stellenbosch. The double-story, Georgian-style manor has three 19th-century rooms upstairs and three downstairs, including a main room, a ‘voorkamer’, and an 18th-century kitchen.

In a dark room, you’ll find displays portraying a motorbike workshop, an Oriental Carpet Shop, and a Stellenbosch backyard from 1690 where the lighting is programmed to change from day-time to night-time every two minutes.


A bedroom in one of the many dollhouses on display. Image: Ismaeel Adams

WATCH THE ICONIC BLUE TRAIN RUN   

The main attraction of the museum, which the kids will love too, is the interactive railway model that took four years to build. One of the most luxurious train rides in the world, at least a miniature of it, can be found here. The locomotive travels through a scenic landscape of a miniature Stellenbosch, the Cape Winelands, and the Karoo mountains as it goes around a circuit.


The railway model travels through a miniature Stellenbosch. Image: Ismaeel Adams

DISCOVER THE WORLD’S SMALLEST KITCHEN

The museum houses every miniature furniture item imaginable, like tiny chests, antique cupboards, four poster beds, grandfather clocks, pots and pans, tea cups, and even tiny plates of food on the tables. Among its treasures is the world’s smallest kitchen from the 1920s that fits into a matchbox, although the curator does not know where it came from or who donated it. 

There are also lots of dolls and doll houses. One of the rooms in the museum is dedicated to 100-year-old dolls in period clothing with rosy little cheeks, red-stained lips, and perfectly curled ringlets that would put a Barbie to shame. You might even spot a doll that you’ve played with or owned, like the topsy-turvy doll or “flip” doll as others might call it.


Handmade miniature furniture items. Image: Ismaeel Adams

EXPLORE THE HISTORIC TOWN 

If you’d like to take a memento home with you, the gift shop has dollhouses and many miniature props on sale. Or if you’ve finished with the exhibits, take a stroll through the town and visit Oom Samie se Winkel – one of the oldest trading businesses in Stellenbosch (whose miniature replica can also be found in the museum).


Oom Samie se Winkel is the oldest running business in Stellenbosch. Image: @visitstellenboschnow

GET IN TOUCH WITH THE TOY AND MINIATURE MUSEUM

Toy and Miniature Museum is open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm & Saturdays, 9am to 2pm
Find it: 42 Market Street, Stellenbosch Central
Contact on: 021 887 2948 | Facebook 
Cost to enter: R10 for kids and R20 for adults

By Khadeeja Adams

---

MORE THINGS FOR YOU TO DO 

Visit the Glass Museum at Glenelly for free 

Take the kids out with these free and budget-friendly activities for kids 

Have a look at things to do in Cape Town for free

Discover +7 things to do this weekend

---

Loved discovering this?  Make sure you get our popular weekly newsletter.Follow and like us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterest for updates.

Cape Town Events Calendar
April 2024
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

EARTHBOX new immersive experience cape townEARTHBOX is a first-of-its-kind ...

Experience an immersive sensory journey into the depths of the earth

Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective at Iziko MuseumOnce-in-a-lifetime exhibition of Esther ...

On from February to August 2024; 100+ artworks

Cannibisters 2024Cape Town’s very own cannabis club, ...

Now with over 90 strains of weed and The Serenity Room

Off-road adventure at Scootours BanhoekBest day ever? Monster Mountain ...

Scootours Banhoek has scooters, vine bikes and archery

Escape rooms Cape TownPossibly the best escape room in the ...

HintHunt’s Marble is being called “the king of escape rooms”

Comedy on Kloof comedy shows on TuesdayAffordable, weekly comedy show in Cape ...

Comedy on Kloof brings the city’s funniest

Mardouw Country HouseHow to have an unforgettable 40th, 50th ...

Private chef and 3-course meals at a 5-suite manor

Cederkloof Botanical outdoor jacuzziWe just found our next place for a ...

Cederkloof: Cottages with jacuzzi + house with pizza oven

GiveawaysTravel Tips