Tucked in among all the old period buildings that form the backbone of the Stellenbosch Museum complex is a rather fascinating little find – hidden around a corner and housed in a beautiful classic Cape Dutch style home is the Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum, home to an eclectic mixture of vintage toys from days long past.
Inside the small museum you’ll find a large collection of antique toys and collectibles for both boys and girls, with some of the dolls on show for example being more than a century old!
The first thing that you’ll see on entry is a large doll house that is actually a replica of the neo-classical, double story, flat roofed Georgian style manor house of the Uitkyk Wine Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.
The doll house is fully furnished with accurate, to scale dolls, furniture and household wares from the period, similar to the items that you would find in the old house museums that make up the Stellenbosch Village Museum.
Also, as you would expect given the amount of times these things show up in horror movies, a lot of the old dolls are pretty creepy looking – meaning that neither the girls nor I spent too much time looking at any of them!
There are loads of dinky toys, cuddly bears, tea sets, doll houses, room boxes, and model trains to browse through, though of course the most exciting of all is when you spot something that you yourself may have owned or played with when you were young – like this translucent brown United piggy bank that I fondly remember stashing all my coins into back when I was a young boy!
The small toy museum’s biggest attraction is however is its detailed model train build, depicting South Africa’s famous Blue Train and its journey from a miniature Stellenbosch through the Cape Winelands and over the mountains to the Karoo, passing Matjiesfontein before making its return back to the fertile grounds of Stellenbosch again.
(A simple R5 coin is all you need to set the train off, and without a doubt this was by far the best part – and probably only bit they liked – of our visit for the girls!)
The museum isn’t particularly large and you could easily breeze through it in a couple of minutes. However, if you take your time to work through some of the rather interesting exhibits, then you can most definitely while away a bit of time as you dip back into some fond memories of your own youth.
Honestly, the toy museum is not the greatest of activities when it comes to entertaining one’s kids, but as an adult I did rather enjoy the trip down memory lane.
(Oh, and if you are wondering about that last photo which appears to be a shot of a bowl of chocolate pudding with ice cream, well that is exactly what it is. Thanks Mom!)
Related Link: Stellenbosch Toy Museum