Show-Me 5: Museums for Geeks

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The Space Museum
Winston Churchill Memorial and Library in the United States
Credit: Missouri Division of Tourism, Luci Branyan

Some call them geeks. We call them AWESOME. Hobbyists of the world, lovers of the unique, keepers of that certain je ne sais quoi; these attractions were made for you.

The Vehicle Aficionado – Whether your passion lies in the rail or automobile industry, you’re bound to find a drool-worthy conveyance at The National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis. Featuring rare items like the 1901 St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. Automobile – the first vehicle to use a float-feed carburetor – and Union Pacific “Big Boy” #4006 – one of the world’s largest successful steam locomotives – be prepared to dedicate a day to this shrine of all things mechanical.

An exhibit about astronauts at The Space Museum in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

The Space Whiz – What better place to appreciate an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (aka spacesuit) than The Space Museum in Bonne Terre? Showcasing artifacts on loan from NASA valued at $22 million, the museum chronicles the evolution of space exploration from the Mercury and Gemini programs through today’s efforts. With plans to move to a larger facility, the best is yet to come at this one-of-a-kind museum. So blast off like their Titan rocket engine and land for a visit. Currently open Friday through Sunday.

The Toy Master – Whether you adore toys and miniatures because they bring to mind fond memories of your childhood or simply appreciate the craftsmanship, The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City is a sight to behold. Housing one of the nation’s largest public collections of antique toys, feast your eyes on Mesdames Lafitte and Désirat dolls, Kenton cast iron fire trucks and so much more. Coupled with the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection, this attraction is a hobbyist’s paradise…except for the fact that you can’t take these items home.

The Literary Savant – Walk in the footsteps of Laura Ingalls Wilder as you traverse Rocky Ridge Farm at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum in Mansfield. Inspiration is around every turn as you explore Wilder’s beloved farmhouse, filled with her belongings, and the Rock House where she wrote the first four Little House books. Long before her story was portrayed on the big screen, it played out in Mansfield with Almanzo and Rose by her side.

The face of a statue of Winston Churchill.

The History Buff – Three score and twelve years ago, Winston Churchill gave his “Sinews of Peace” address at Westminster College. Credited for bringing about the dawn of the Cold War with his warnings about the Soviet’s “iron curtain”, you don’t need a biography to learn about the man behind the speech; once you’re done praising Darkest Hour, stop by the National Churchill Museum in Fulton to experience firsthand exhibits on Churchill’s life and accomplishments.

Now is the time. Flaunt your individuality and go fanboy/fangirl at these museums catering to our beloved geeks.

Written by Ashley Sneed.