Bay Area Destinations: The Pez Museum & Classic Toy Museum

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Destination: The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia & Classic Toy Museum
Location: 214 California Drive, Burlingame, CA, 94010, USA
Website: http://www.burlingamepezmuseum.com/
Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Entry Fee: Regular Admission – $3.00 (you can find a discount coupon here.)

Worried about gas prices, but you still want to get out and do things? Worry not! Join me as I investigate the various museums, parks, and other interesting locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia & Classic Toy Museum lurks one town up from where I live. Finally, after two years of thinking about it, I got my act together, grabbed my camera, and drove over there. It took all of ten minutes and I even got a parking spot right out front.

Some things to note:

*The best way to easily reach your destination is to turn on Howard from El Camino Real, and then left on California. If you can parallel park, do so almost immediately. You will need change for the meter. If you are not fond of the parallel parking, and don’t mind walking a block or so, make a left on Burlingame and park there (there is even more parking behind the Apple Store if you need it.) You will still need the change, though.

*Bring some cash with you. There is a a $10 minimum to use a credit card at the Pez Museum Store. You want to get some Pez before you leave, right?

*With your price of admission you get a guided tour from the museum’s curator. He really knows his stuff. Also…he has a nice voice. (You can get a PodCast of a tour and hear the voice for yourself here.)

*Hey! The price of admission is only $3!!

The Pez/Classic Toy Museum used to be the curator’s computer store about thirteen years ago. He brought in his Pez dispenser collection, figuring that folks might like to look at it while browsing the computers. More and more, though, people stopped by just to see the Pez. The rest is history. The museum now has an example of every Pez dispenser ever made. A couple of years ago, they also added classic toys to the museum. A toy must be at least fifty years old to be featured.

There are a few things I like to take note of at any of my destinations. At the request of a friend I am trying to keep an eye on the amount of seating available. This museum has no seating. It is, on the other hand, only two rooms in size, so you probably won’t need it. The room that you enter off of the street is the Pez Museum shop, catering to all of your Pez dispenser needs. (I managed to replace my Pez Witch that had a close encounter with ants some years back. And yes. A Pez Witch. Just like the one Willow had on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) The second room is the museum itself. For all of its diminutive size, I found the displays to be both informative and professional. As you may imagine, the only food available is the aforementioned Pez in the shop, so don’t go expecting to have lunch there. A word to the wise, Burlingame is a rather high rent area. You may wish to have your meal in San Mateo if you are trying to save money. And finally, a word on the subject of crowds. I hate crowds. I do whatever I need to to avoid them. Crowds are not a problem here. I was not the only visitor, but there were only a few other folks in the shop while I was there.

This destination will not take all that long to visit. The meters out front of the museum only allow for a two hour stop, but that was quite long enough for me to see the museum, choose my Pez dispensers (I got a baseball themed one for my husband as well), and take lots of photos. There was still time on my meter when I left. All in all, it is definitely worth a trip, especially if you are like me and enjoy quirky little places. I now know that PEZ was named after the German word for peppermint, “PfeffErminZ,” which was the original flavor of the candy. Hey, fun and knowledge with a side of candy! How can you go wrong?

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This isn’t the whole collection, but it looks mighty impressive all in there together, doesn’t it?

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Did you know that Colorforms were fifty years old? I didn’t. Nor did I know that the first Colorforms were basic shapes.

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The Easy Bake Oven is also at least fifty years of age. I had one when I was a kid. It certainly didn’t look like this one. Did yours?

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Look! It’s the World’s Largest Pez Dispenser. Also, me looking like a dork.

So, there you have it. My close encounter with the Pez Museum. To sum up: small, informative, and sweet.

5 Responses to “Bay Area Destinations: The Pez Museum & Classic Toy Museum”

  1. Emma Says:

    I never knew that’s where the name came from! I don’t know why that excites me, but it does. :)

    I’m not a Pez collector or anything, but there’s definitely something nifty about them. If I’m ever in the area, I’ll be stopping by this museum.

    I still find Colorforms really appealing for some reason…

  2. The Sister Says:

    Who doesn’t!?! i still love Colorforms! Definitely more nifty than paper dolls. I do like Pez. Kinda reminds me of the pre-made solid sugar decorations you can get at your local Grocer in the baking aisle. Only Pez is better. Excellent review. :)

  3. Mother Says:

    I am looking forward to reading reviews of other museums, etc. in your area.

  4. Joanne Says:

    I live in Cape Town , and am convinced i have the biggest collection of pez in the country! Please tell me how many are in the museum? I would PEE to go there!!!!! one day, I hope……
    Thanks for this lovely page

  5. angel Says:

    Emma, I love Colorforms, too. And if you are ever in the neighborhood I’ll even take you there.

    Sister Mine, thanks! I think I’ll go eat some Pez now.

    Mum, I’m working on it, never fear.

    Joanne, I’m glad you like my review. I know they have one of each Pez dispenser ever made. Your best bet is to contact them directly. Their website is linked at the top of the post.

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