FAMILY TRAVEL HANDBOOK
From trains to dolls and Lincoln Logs to Star Wars, these institutions specialize in the agents of play.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
Over the course of 40 years, the Miller family of Wheeling, W.Va., accumulated old toys and trains, and in 1998 the family opened a museum full of their finds in order to help revitalize their small town. Located in a restored Victorian schoolhouse, the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum spreads out over 24,000 square feet and displays around 20,000 items. Along with three operating train layouts, there are original Ben-Hur and The Untouchables play sets, rare examples of a 1942 Marx 3/16th ramp car, an entire wall of shelves devoted to toy soldiers and other figurines, Rock'em Sock'em Robots, and a Green Machine. 144 Kruger St., Wheeling, W.Va., 877/242-8133, toyandtrain.com, $8.
The Official Marx Toy Museum
During the 1950s, Marx Toys was one of the largest U.S. toy manufacturers. Time magazine named company founder Louis Marx "America's toy king" and put him on a 1955 cover. Now, just a mile and a half away from the site of the former Marx Toy Factory in Glen Dale, W.Va., The Official Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville, W.Va., presents a complete history of the popular toy company. The collection focuses on the 1920s through the 1980s and consists of dozens of different Marx play sets, including a life-size version of a Western town, metal wind-up toys, trains, dollhouses, and the all-time kid favorite--the Big Wheel. 915 Second St., Moundsville, W.Va., 304/845-6022, marxtoymuseum.com, $6.50.