Our family adds a nutcracker to our collection every Christmas. So was excited to learn that Luverne, Minnesota is home to the third-largest nutcracker collection in the world. Located in the far southwestern corner of the state, my husband and I checked out the Rock County History Center during my Minnesota State Park challenge. Nearby Blue Mounds State Park, home to a bison herd, is also located in Luverne, MN.
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Best roadside attractions in Minnesota – world’s third-largest Nutcracker Museum
One of the best things to do in Minnesota is to visit the world’s third-largest nutcracker museum. A special room with more than 5,000 nutcrackers on display in the Rock County History Center in Luverne, Minnesota is open all year round.
Betty Mann gave us a personal tour around the museum. Many of the 5,000 nutcrackers in this small-town museum are from her personal collection. She purchased her first nutcracker in 2001 and kept adding to her collection as she traveled throughout the United States.
You’ll find nutcrackers representing a variety of themes and all sizes – from 7 inches to 7 feet – including the traditional soldier nutcrackers, Santas, birds, Wizard of Oz, musicians, fishermen, sports figures, snowmen, and more.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, MN
Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, Minnesota.
Where is Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum located?
Technically, it’s not called the Minnesota Nutcracker Museum. The 5,000+ nutcrackers are on display at the Rock County History Center. This museum is located at 312 East Main Street, Luverne, Minnesota.
How many nutcrackers are on display at the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, MN?
As of last count, 5,012 nutcrackers are on display at the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, MN.
Is there parking at Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum?
You will find lots of free parking at the Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum located in the Rock County History Center. Luverne, MN is a small town so no worries on finding a spot. You’ll find handicapped-accessible parking spots as well as a large parking lot that will accommodate RVs and buses.
Where can I purchase tickets for Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum? Does Minnesota Nutcracker Museum cost anything?
There is no cost of admission for the Rock County History Center to see the world’s third-largest nutcracker collection. However, they do accept donations so please consider supporting them.
What are the hours for the Nutcracker Museum in Minnesota?
The Rock County History Center and nutcracker museum in Luverne, MN is open every Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How long does it take to tour the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, Minnesota?
You can easily tour the small and intimate Rock County History Center and nutcracker museum in an hour.
In addition to the 5,000+ nutcrackers on display, you can also learn more about Rock County, Minnesota’s 150-year history.
Current exhibits at the Rock County History Center include:
- Nutcracker Museum including the special Dolls through the Centuries exhibit
- From Harnesses to Hoses – the story of the Leicher family
- Rock County, MN – the stories of our cities and towns
- Days Gone By – the stories of the people of Rock County
- Christmas Haus (gift shop)
How far away is the Nutcracker Museum from the Twin Cities?
The Nutcracker Museum located in the Rock County History Center in Luverne, MN is about three hours (205 miles) from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Note: Distance measured from the MSP International Airport.
Can you take photos in Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum?
Yes, you can take photos and record videos at Rock County History Center’s Nutcracker Museum.
Does Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum have a restaurant?
No, the Nutcracker Museum and Rock County History Center does not have a restaurant. However, there are several dining establishments nearby. We ate at Sterling’s Café & Grille – located just a couple of blocks away – and loved our food and the service.
Are there public restrooms at the Rock County History Center and Nutcracker Museum?
Yes, a public restroom is available at the Rock County History Center and Nutcracker Museum.
Does the Nutcracker Museum have a gift shop?
Yes, you can shop at the Christmas Haus gift shop, located next to the Nutcracker Museum / nutcracker room. You can purchase nutcrackers, Christmas villages/ginger cottages, ornaments, candies, jams, puzzles, and other souvenirs.
Can you buy any of the nutcrackers at Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum?
Nutcrackers that are on display at Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum are not for sale. However, you can purchase nutcrackers from the onsite gift shop, Christmas Haus.
Does the Rock County Minnesota History Center accept donated nutcrackers?
Yes, you may donate nutcrackers to Minnesota’s Nutcracker Museum.
What other attractions are located near / nearby the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, Minn.
Here’s a list of the other attractions located near the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, Minn.
- Blue Mounds State Park – home of a bison herd, a landscape with rock formations, and epic views. You can also sleep in a tipi.
- Fitzer Barn – 100+ barn features several working exhibits including a blacksmith shop.
- Hinkley House – you can tour this historic Victorian home on Thursdays during the summer.
- Rock County History Center’s Ordung Building – features agricultural history as well as fire engines dating back to 1927 and 1948.
- Summer Kitchen – a look back on how they kept heat out of the kitchen in the summer.
What’s the history of the nutcracker?
It’s believed that the nutcracker doll originated in Germany in the late 1800s. Nutcrackers are considered good luck and given to families to protect their homes.
Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, takes place on Christmas Eve so that’s why the nutcracker became a symbol of the Christmas season.
Do Christmas nutcrackers crack nuts?
Personally, I’ve never tried using our nutcrackers to crack nuts. I’m thinking the ornamental nutcrackers are for Christmas decorations. You can purchase functional nutcrackers that are designed to crack nuts.
Where are the top three largest nutcracker museums in the world located?
The largest nutcracker museum is in Leavenworth, Washington. It features more than 9,000 nutcrackers from 50 countries.
Coming in second is a nutcracker collection of a woman in Idaho. However, I’ve only read reports that her nutcracker collection is 3,000. So I need to do some more research to see why Minnesota’s nutcracker collection of 5,000+ is considered the third largest nutcracker museum in the world.
Add the world’s third largest nutcracker museum to your list of top things to do in Minnesota
I highly recommend a visit to tour the Nutcracker Museum in Luverne, Minnesota. It’s worth the drive!
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