National Farm Toy Museum
Location: Dyersville, Iowa (1110 16th Ave Court SE)
When to visit: Open 9-6 Mon-Sat, and 10-4 on Sunday
Cost: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids
Time needed: 30 minutes
Would you believe there’s a museum dedicated to farm toys? It’s located in Dyersville, Iowa, very near the Field of Dreams movie site. Who doesn’t love toys?
The National Farm Toy Museum has just about every kind of farm toy you can imagine, from the old-timey miniature farm animal playsets to larger wagons and tractors that kids (or immature adults) can ride around.
The museum claims to receive more than 30,000 guests per year, which works out to more than 100 per day. So it sees plenty of traffic, but it’s not going to be overcrowded like many museums in big urban centers.
There’s a kids play area and shelf after shelf of farm toys, spanning several decades. Some actually go back as far as the 1800s!
I’m a fan of the older toys, which were boring and plain by today’s standards, but have an old-school charm to them.
Look, they make a John Deere Barbie!
Farm toys don’t mean just tractors. They mean actual farm animals too. Kids can have fun playing with the little pigs, goats, sheep, and cows.
They also had scenes of farming throughout history. One exhibit depicted early farming in Egypt in 3700 BC. Another depicted this 1920s era farmstead:
Current exhibits at the museum include Ertl Land, which highlights the farm toys created by the toy company, and Bernie Kluesner’s Wooden Marvels, one man’s unique collection of handmade wooden toys.
Previous exhibits have included Decades of Deere (the history of John Deere company) and New Heights: Fordson to New Holland, which showcased more than a century of collectible farm toy replicas.
National Farm Toy Museum History and Shows
The museum was founded in 1986 and holds a collection of more than 30,00 artifacts. The museum concept came from the founders of Ertl, the toy company, who suggested creating a space to hold the toys between toy shows.
The museum has a large collection of tractor toys, and they are surprisingly popular. Their website offers a complete list of their collection. Apparently there are a ton of toy tractor collectors out there!
It hosts both the National Farm Toy Show and the Summer Farm Toy Show. This year, the Summer Farm Toy Show is scheduled for June 3 & 4. The National Farm Toy Show always takes place the first weekend in November.
They’ve even begin a National Farm Toy Hall of Fame, dedicated to those who’ve made “contributions to the farm toy collecting hobby.” Who knew? Horde enough toy tractors, and someday you can be a Hall of Famer!
Visiting the Museum: Hours, Ticket Prices, Parking
The cost of visiting the museum (as of 2023) is $7 for adults and $5 for kids, which is not bad at all for such a unique attraction.
Kids under age 5 are admitted for free. The facility is open seven days a week, with shorter hours on Sunday.
They have a free parking lot. Personal photography is allowed throughout the museum.
The National Farm Toy Museum also has a large gift shop with an extensive selection of toys, books and other memorabilia. For seven bucks, why not stop in and check out this quirky attraction?
U.S. Route 20 passes through Dyersville, making this museum a fun place to stop off on a road trip. While you’re in Iowa, consider also stopping at the Fields of Dreams Movie Site and the giant Jesus & Mary statues in Sioux City.
Would you be interested in visiting the National Farm Toy Museum?