Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

4 out of 5 stars 10 Reviews

42 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TG + 00 44 (0)131 529 4142

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  • Museum of Childhood
    by hevbell
  • Museum of Childhood Entrance
    Museum of Childhood Entrance
    by Drever
  • Free Museum with a clever catch
    Free Museum with a clever catch
    by scottishvisitor
  • Drever's Profile Photo

    Museum of Childhood

    by Drever Written Jan 27, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Hyndland''s Close on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, which runs between the castle and Holyrood Palace, my wife and I visited the Museum of Childhood. We expected to have a quiet look around but parents were shouting excitedly:

    I had one of those!
    I used to play with that!
    We have one of those in the attic!

    Squeals of pleasure and excitement rang around the five galleries--the children were noisy too! The Museum of Childhood is guaranteed to appeal to mums, dads, kids and skinflints - admission is free. It was the first of its kind when it opened in 1955.

    It was a pioneering, imaginative and popular idea by an Edinburgh Councillor--surely not? The brainchild of Patrick Murray, it’s dedicated to the preservation, documentation and above all, celebration of childhood culture. It is a profusion of toys, games, comics, "penny arcade" machines, and displays about the health, education, clothing and upbringing of children through the ages. There are reproduction toys available for children to play with in games areas. It is a hugely enjoyable day out for kids of all ages.

    The skills and patience needed to build some of the mechanical toys on display is breathtaking. I found it is fun to come across some of the amusements forgotten from my own childhood. I had a Meccano set which allowed me to build complex models. Meccano is a metal construction set consisting of nuts, bolts, strips, girders, brackets, wheels, axles, motors, gears and pulleys. It''s a kid’s toy and an adult hobby allowing construction of complex models like a two-meter tall working dockside crane. The ingenuity needed has given way to the less demanding Lego bricks, which clip together. I also made models of wooden construction from patterns supplied by "Hobbies" using a fretsaw. Boys in my day learned many skills from their toys. Being a big boy now, I have moved on to power tools.

    Adults used to discard their childhood possessions. Collectors now prize items like action figures, model trains, and Fonzie dolls--and might take out second mortgage to buy an original "Barbie." This museum has played a role in recognizing the childhood experience as not just a step to adulthood but a significant and potent cultural influence.

    Often, and favorably, described, as the noisiest museum in the world the Museum of Childhood is great fun for kids and those who were kids once. Go along and take great pleasure in pointing and saying "I had one of those." Gifts and items about childhood can be bought from a shop in the foyer.

    Museum of Childhood Entrance
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    • Historical Travel

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    MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD

    by hevbell Updated Jul 4, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile is a total trip down memory lane for us "grown ups"! Entry is free and there are about 5 floors filled with toys and games of all kinds from days gone by. Some I can remember playing with myself and others that my grandparents would have been familiar with. Really interesting place and a fun distraction from all the other kinds of history Edinburgh is steeped in!

    inside museum of childhood
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    Museum of Childhood

    by SallyM Updated Mar 26, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was the first museum in the world to specialise in the history of childhood. There are toys and games of all sorts on display. Children will find it great fun and grown ups can enjoy a trip down memory lane - it's impossible to go round without exclaiming "I used to have one of those!"

    Admission is free

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • School Holidays

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  • sparkieplug24's Profile Photo

    The museum of childhood

    by sparkieplug24 Updated Feb 19, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum of childhood is a fantastic place to visit and as you would expect its all about childhood with exhibits of old style toys such as bikes, prams, glass doll etc. It also has exhibits on clothes past and present childrens organisations etc. This is on four levels and is a must for everyone but especially for children. There is a lift and all areas are accessable to those in wheelchairs. There is a small shop selling childrens gifts.

    Best of all it free to enter

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  • clairegeordio's Profile Photo

    Museum of Childhood

    by clairegeordio Updated Sep 23, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This museum was opened in 1955 and allegedly was the world's first museum devoted solely to the history of childhood. There are 5 floors of toys, dolls, games, comics, arcades throughout the years from the Victorian era to the present day to look at. On the top floor there is a 1930's school room.
    Admission is free.

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    • Museum Visits

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  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo

    The Museum Of Childhood

    by cheekymarieh Updated May 29, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a superb museum for adults and children alike. We had fun trying to fight with the children to play with some of the toys. The exhibits include toys and books and show how they have developed through the ages. no matter how old you are, you are sure to find a toy that reminds you of your childhood.

    There are also large versions of games such as snakes and ladders which can keep you occupied for hours.

    A word of warning though, try and visit the museum during term time .... you will have less competition for the toys then.

    Open: Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm,
    Sundays 12noon - 5pm

    Admission: Free

    The Royal Mile
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    Free Museum but be prepared to part with money

    by scottishvisitor Written Apr 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum of Childhood is said to be the oldest of its kind established in 1955 when some of Queen Victoria's old dolls needed a home. The museum displays temporary exhibits & is always changing. As you may imagine the museum is also known as the noisiest museum (can it possibly be the children?) Unlike most museums where you exit via a shop this one is on entry, selling pocket money toys - but from who's pocket - a bribe for the children perhaps!!
    Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
    Sunday 12 - 5pm

    Free Museum with a clever catch
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    Museum of Childhood

    by gordonilla Updated Jan 24, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum was founded in 1955 and was the first museum in the world to specialise in the history of childhood. It was once described as the "noisiest museum in the world".

    Splash out and spend 50p and hear the pianola come to life!

    The Museum of Childhood

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    The Museum of Childhood. Free...

    by oneonta_ni Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum of Childhood. Free admission.
    This looks like a small toy shop at first but it is actually quite a large and interesting museum. There are several floors of toys from the last hundred years or so - dolls, games, bicycles, coin operated games, teddy bears, etc.

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  • mardaska's Profile Photo

    Museum of Childhood

    by mardaska Written Oct 20, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was told that this was the worlds first museum of this theme. It has a great collection of dolls, old historical toys and books.
    Admission free.

    Museum of Childhood
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    • Historical Travel

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