Plainview Klown Doll Museum
Location: Plainview, Nebraska
When to visit: Mon-Fri, 1-5 pm
Time needed to enjoy: 15-30 minutes
This week’s Quirky Attraction write-up will be a bit longer than most, because the Plainview Klown Doll Museum in Plainview, Nebraska deserves it. This was one of my favorite unusual places on my 2010 summer road trip.
Located seemingly in the middle of nowhere, the Klown Doll Museum sits on Route 20, hundreds of miles from any big city. It houses about 7,000 clown dolls, the largest such collection in the world.
History of the Plainview Klown Doll Museum
The Klown Doll Band actually formed in the 1950s to play clown music and bring joy to local residents. Eventually, a collection of clown dolls developed and the museum purchased a building. Mattie Vanderpool of South Dakota donated her collection of 1500 clowns, and since then the donations have come pouring in from around the country.
In 2007, the facility doubled in size to accommodate its growing doll collection. As of summer 2010, the museum had received visitors from 49 U.S. states – every one except West Virginia. And why does the Klown Doll Museum spell “clown” with a K? “Just to be different,” says a museum employee.
The collection of klown dolls is massive – around 7,000, and no two are alike. They have ceramic clowns, stuffed clowns, clowns that play music, clowns on coffee mugs and clown magnets. They even have a Christmas tree covered with clown decorations and ornaments. The collection fills up two full rooms.
Visiting the Plainview Klown Doll Museum
As you approach the building, you’ll see the statue of Stumpy the Klown out front waiting to greet you. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 pm.
There’s plenty of free street parking nearby and admission is free, though you’ll surely want to drop a couple dollars in the donation box if you find the collection amusing. Or purchase some of their souvenirs. I found the hand-made greeting cards really cool.
If you want to overdose on clowns, visit on the first Saturday in June, when Plainview holds its annual Klown Festival with a parade and other entertainment. Otherwise, stop by anytime you find yourself on Route 20 in this part of the country for a bit of entertainment.