They like to do things big in Danville, Kentucky, a smallish city located in the heart of the state’s fabled Bluegrass Country. A big noise was made there way back in 1792 when Kentucky’s first constitution was signed in Danville, in essence making the city the birthplace of Kentucky. And these days, if you go to Danville in June, you’ll be just in time to hear the city really toot its own horn, literally, as the Great American Brass Band Festival turns the place into one big trombone-loving street party. But amongst all the outsize things that go on in Danville there’s also a place where things are purposely kept small; the Great American Dollhouse Museum.
Commonly just called the Dollhouse Museum by the folks in Danville, the museum is a wonderland in miniature where you’ll find dollhouse scenes of all types, from serene rooms where papa puts his feet up by the fireplace to households in distress where you can tell something’s afoot. There are kittens and kitchens, waiters and washtubs, cars and characters galore tucked into more than 200 dollhouses and miniature buildings. There’s a jazz band (how appropriate!) and in the museum’s furthest corner…there be dragons! Everything at the museum is some type of fantasy but peer into the openings in the “cavern” in the back and you’ll not only find dragons but also trolls and witches and all the other creatures you’d expect to be denizens of the dark.
The Dollhouse Museum is run by a couple of dolls too. Well, humans actually: two sweet women in the person of museum curator Lori Kagan-Moore and her daughter Hannah. Exploring the museum on your own is fun and easy but either of the ladies is happy to escort you through the museum, pointing out details as they lead you “across the tracks,” to the Christmas display or maybe up the stairs to the castle-like museum overlook that’s especially popular with kids. A guided tour gives museum visitors a chance to notice nuance that might otherwise be missed, and there is a lot of nuance.
Those that like to create their own dollhouse scenes also have a great resource in the Great American Dollhouse Museum; a large and well-stocked miniatures store is attached to the museum.
The museum is open year-round Tuesday – Saturday; for more information visit the Great American Dollhouse Museum website.
To plan your Danville experience, visit the Danville, Kentucky website.
For information on visiting Kentucky, stop by the Kentucky Tourism website.