“Offbeat roadside art along Rt. 66”
It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct what is now Tinkertown Museum. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within. Inside, the magic of animation takes over. The inhabitants of a raucous little western town animate to hilarious life. Under the big top, diminutive circus performers challenge tigers and defy gravity while the Fat Lady fans herself and a polar bear teeters and totters. Throughout, eccentric collections of Americana (wedding cake couples, antique tools, bullet pencils and much, much more) fill Tinkertown’s winding hallways. Otto the one-man-band and Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller, need only a quarter to play a tune or predict your future. Through a doorway and across a ramp waits a big-sized surprise: a 35′ antique wooden sailboat that braved a 10 year voyage around the world.
Tinkertown is one of my favorite museums ever! Such an incredible work of love and devotion. Ross Ward's spirit is strong and present everywhere. My heart was aflutter the entire duration of the many hours we spent there. I tell all my friends visiting the southwest that they must stop here. The experience is like nothing else. Stop by the gift shop to chat with Ross Ward's wife who keeps the museum going in his honor.
Will reopen April 2015
Absolutely Awesome!! It was a totaly fun and relaxing stop... kids are 1 dollar and adults are 3 but I would of easily payed doubble! Have To See Stop in New Mexico
We were able to take our dog through :-) So unbelievably cool and so much fun to explore all the detailed dioramas. A definitely must see for anyone near by. It was $3.50 a person and they give you a quarter back to start the Rusty Wyre band!
Roadside attraction heaven. There's something for everyone especially if you have any sense of humor. The creator was clearly extremely talented. You will not be able to take it all in on the first visit. The exhibits were interesting to me because I love any thing that deals with Roadside Attractions. The gift shop was packed with reasonably priced souvenirs.
Tinkertown was one of those places you could just tell would be cool at first sight. But it was better than cool, I am full grown and this place evoked wonder in me. Mr. Ross' work with his carvings and imagination was exceptional. Every detail accounted for. This place was funky/eclectic and a little bizarre, even if you aren't an artist you would appreciate his work and all of the memorabilia. His wife runs the place by herself now and is a wonderful and personable woman, total sweetheart.
Loved this place, definitely worth the detour.
Amazing! Friendly people and awesome displays!! Best stop on my whole trip!!
Best place yet! Loved this stop. Must see!
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- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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