Whether you have kids or not, it’s easy to spend hours in the whimsical, nostalgic and hilarious halls of this one-of-a-kind destination that brings out your inner 6-year-old. No visit is complete without a ride on the centerpiece, a stunning hand-carved carousel, which features a wizard riding a dragon, a gnome on top of a pig, a trumpeter swan, otter, reindeer, a bison with an eagle and even a goldfish ($2 per ride). It debuted in 1997 after nine years of carving, staining and assembling.
While waiting for the next ride, shop for costumes, musical instruments and puppets in the main toy store or stroll along Memory Lane Toy Museum. Someone is always gasping and pointing at museum cases, excitedly telling a spouse, children or grandchildren to take a look at something they once had. Robots and race cars, tops and pinball machines, Howdy Doody and Barbie, and Star Wars and Sesame Street characters line the shelves by era. Special sections showcase items like vintage cameras and baby dolls.
The Curiosity Shop offers some of the most humorous gifts, with gags and tricks, mechanical toys and Russian nesting dolls that feature U.S. presidents. A snack bar serves sandwiches, along with gourmet fudge, jelly beans and Chocolate Shoppe ice cream. Look for flavors like Fat Elvis banana ice cream blended with peanut butter and chocolate.
If it's nice out, play an 18-hole round of mini golf on the beautifully manicured course, complete with a play-through mountain and colorful waterfall ($7 for adults; $5 for students and seniors).