Featured image: A few of the many snowman nutcrackers on display at the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington. The collection also includes snowwomen and snowchildren.
Photos by Cheryl Landes
Updated January 1, 2020
Two hours east of Seattle in Leavenworth, a quaint Bavarian village with the rugged snow-capped Cascade Mountains rising in the background, a small museum in a gingerbread style building across from the town square holds the world’s largest collection of nutcrackers.
There are big nutcrackers as tall as five and six feet,
little nutcrackers slightly taller than a pine cone lying on its side,
dozens of Santa nutcrackers,
penguins, clowns, nurses, doctors, and photographers,
nutcrackers from Austria, Spain, and many other countries,
and every other type of character imaginable.
The museum even has its own mascot named Karl. He loves to pose with visitors for pictures.
In fact, the Nutcracker Museum has more than 6,000 nutcrackers, ranging from a bronze Roman nutcracker dating back to 200 BC-200 AD to modern wooden nutcracker kings.
Get started in the museum by watching the 14-minute video about the history of nutcrackers, The Nutcracker ballet, and an introduction to the museum. Then explore the aisles of cases packed with nutcrackers neatly arranged by subject, countries of origin, and dates.
The Nutcracker Museum’s address is 735 Front Street, one block south of US Highway 2, and it’s open 1-5 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 adults, $3.50 seniors 65 and older, $2 ages 6-16, and free for children under 5. Military members, veterans, and their families are admitted for free.
For more information, visit the Nutcracker Museum’s website or call (509) 548-4573.