The Houston Toy Museum: Where Everyone Can Be A Kid

Houston Toy Museum, located in The Heights. Photo by Nan Ross.
Houston Toy Museum, located in The Heights. Photo by Nan Ross.
8/29/23 - By Nan Ross

“Hi, my name is Teddy Ruxpin.”

If those words mean anything to you, then we have a place you owe it to yourself (or at least your childhood self) to visit.  It’s a place for you to forget about your worries for a few minutes and dig up some good ol’ nostalgic happiness you buried long ago.  And the best part is that your kids will love it too.

The Houston Toy Museum, located on historic 19th Street in the Heights, is a two-story 1940s building filled with charm, and literally thousands of toys.  We’re talking Ninja Turtles, Rainbow Brights, GI-Joes, My Little Ponies, Rockem Sockem Robots, and Barbies just to name a few… in one display area.  Even that little monkey with clapping cymbals was there, watching our every move.   

We think it’s a fun place for your whole family to go check out.  But first, read on to learn what to expect from your visit. And don't forget to check out our list of Best Museums in Houston for Kids and Families for more museums to explore.


What You’ll Find in The Houston Toy Museum

The Houston Toy Museum

Checking out a display of nostalgic toys in The Houston Toy Museum.

The toys on display in The Houston Toy Museum range from the 1800s to the modern day, and it was fascinating to see how toys have changed throughout the years. It was fun showing the kids my favorite toys (Cabbage Patch Kids being number one, of course) and they were even able to view some of the toys their grandparents played with. 

The Houston Toy Museum: The Simpsons figurines

Figurines in The Houston Toy Museum's main exhibit.

The main exhibit is a collection of toys curated from the Houston area. Here you’ll see everything from a 1930s Mickey Mouse to a collection of The Simpsons figures - the collection is so vast everyone who walks through is sure to have an “I remember that toy!” moment. There are also special, limited-time exhibits like “Toys of Summer” and rotating collections. Currently on display was a curated collection of G.I. Joe figures and accessories from a local Houston Heights Resident. 

The Houston Toy Museum: Teddy bears display

A display of Teddy bears inside The Houston Toy Museum.

Beyond the nostalgia was the history behind the toys. Each exhibit explored the time period in which it was created. Information about representation, diversity, gender stereotypes, how toys influenced career choices, and more was a great launching pad for discussion with my older kids. 

Interactive Play Space, Gift Shop, and Photo Opportunities Inside The Houston Toy Museum

The Houston Toy Museum: play area

No toy museum would be complete without a place to play with, well, toys.

While the toy museum collection is safely behind glass, there is a place for kids to play on the second story. With a ball pit, a train table, oversized building blocks, video games, and tables filled with toys and puzzles, there is something for every age. My kids spent quite a bit of time playing video games on a vintage Nintendo gaming system and then putting together Mr. Potato Heads. 

There are several opportunities to take Instagram-worthy photos, including an Anamorphic “3D” installation that makes the subject appear like they are on a shelf with toys (which we all got a kick out of), and other toy-related murals. 

Before you leave, make sure to check out the gift store filled with fun toys, candy, apparel, and pop culture items available for purchase. 

Tickets, Parking, and other Logistics at The Houston Toy Museum

Tickets are $18 per adult and children pay their age. Tickets can be bought at the Houston Toy Museum Website or at the museum. Free parking is available along 19th Street, and there are many stores and eateries within walking distance.

The Houston Toy Museum

Entering The Houston Toy Museum.

Do note the museum does not have an elevator and most of the exhibit and the play area are on the second floor. Strollers can be parked on the first floor, and while the Museum hopes to remedy this in the future, it is currently not wheelchair accessible. 

The Houston Toy Museum was educational, fun, and a great way to stir up memories you forgot you had.  It’s a great addition to all the amazing museums we have in Houston and should be added to your list to check out! 

All photos are courtesy of author Nan Ross.

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