Toy museum opening in Meadows of Dan

Staff report

Museums seem to be popular these days, with regional history museums, sporting museums, art and culture, natural history — the list goes on and on.

Add one more museum to that list that’s just a little drive north of Mount Airy with the opening of Toy Time Folk Toy & Science Museum in Meadows of Dan, Virginia.

Billed by its operators as “a little bit of history, a little bit of science, and a whole lot of fun,” the facility is housed in an old general store one mile south of Mabry Mill at milepost 178 just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“The museum features exhibits that will engage and delight children of all ages,” according to a a statement released by the museum.

“Toy Time features hands-on, large scale versions of the most popular action folk toys from around the world with influences from early America and Appalachia folk life,” the museum said.

The large scale toys are the brainchild of Tom Wilson, craftsman and former museum exhibits director with more than 25 years of experience. The museum represents Wilson’s nearly 40-year hobby of making toys for his children and friends.

Wilson, who has made hundreds of smaller versions of the old-fashioned toys, has created large scale handcrafted versions for the museum. While the hand acrobat is typically 3 inches tall, the museum exhibit version is 3 feet tall. Visitors to the museum can play with a variety of folk toy reproductions including the “Lunging Lumberjacks,” “Whimmy Diddle,” “Pecking Chickens” or attempt one of the many large scale wooden brainteaser puzzles.

“These large scale versions of toys give visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the past through physical interaction, science and play,” the museum said.

In addition to toys from the past, the museum includes hands-on science exhibits, designed and built by Wilson. Visitors can make music on the “stringless” laser harp, build a paper helicopter and launch it in the “Flight Tube” or take a ride in the “Air Chair” that will let guests “fly” off the ground.

The museum will have its grand opening Memorial Day weekend. Museum hours are Wednesday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

For more information, call 336-971-1105 or visit

Staff report

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