Museum Exhibits and Events, Pop Culture

Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s

When: Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 22 2017

There comes a time in every young person's life when they decide to put away childhood things, and they give away all their toys. Those people are known as "suckers," because vintage toys can end up being worth a lot of money — some of 'em even end up in museums. The Missouri History Museum's (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; new exhibition Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s is proof of that. Social historians can glean valuable information about American culture from the toys that were once popular; even the reasons why one toy lasts (the venerable Slinky is still around) while another falls by the wayside (seen any erector sets lately?) offer insights into America's past. The great toys of your parents' and grandparents' childhoods are displayed in recreation living rooms for full effect. And despite what you know about museum rules, on opening weekend of the exhibition you can play with some of the toys. At noon on Saturday and Sunday (October 29 and 30) you can get reacquainted with Spirographs, Lite Brites and the vastly under-appreciated ViewMaster. Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s is open daily through Sunday, January 22. Admission is free.

Paul Friswold

Price: free admission