Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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

Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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.

Santas Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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?

Lumberjacks Santas Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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?

Lumberjacks Santas Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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?

Rock County History Center bison Nutcracker Museum 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.

Tipi campsite at Blue Mounds State Park in Minnesota
Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne, Minnesota is home to the scenic 100-ft. Sioux Quarzite cliff, a bison herd, 1,500 acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers, birds and wildlife. You can also camp in one of three tipis.

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?

Lumberjacks Santas Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

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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Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota

Third largest nutcracker collection museum in the world Minnesota
Author

Twin Cities-based blogger sharing memorable emptynester, solo, family and girlfriend-getaway adventures, as well as my day hiking adventures (including all 66 Minnesota state parks), latest book reviews, and updates on my quest for the best adult mac and cheese. Also two WIPs: historical fiction and psychological thriller

26 comments

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog post. I have not been to any Nutcracker museum and would love visiting this place when I am in Minnesota. Blue Mounds State Park in Luverne sounds interesting too. Love your images! Bookmarking your blog post for future reference. 🙂

  2. I love the variety of special things to see in the holiday season. The Minnesota Nutcracker Museum looks like an amazing way to get in the holiday spirit. I must admit I might get a little freaked out with so many faces looking at me. But I love the variety in the designs. I had no idea there were 3 Nutcracker Museums!

  3. What a fun experience, especially around the holidays! We almost went to the Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, WA, but we ran out of time. I had no idea there was one in Minnesota too!

    1. We were surprised to learn there was such a large nutcracker collection here in Minnesota. We really enjoyed touring the museum two summers ago.

  4. I had to laugh when I read can you crack nuts with nut crackers. I did try this when I was a little girl with my moms east Germany nutcrackers. These are very special to my mom so I am glad I didn’t break them!

  5. What a cool nutcracker museum! My husband and I started a tradition a few years ago of purchasing a new nutcracker each year. It’s fun to find unique ones. We have a few more to go before we’re in the running for one of the largest collections in the world–ha!

  6. I love random collection museums like this! My daughter was in the Nutcracker and now really wants a nutcracker, so this Nutcracker museum in Minnesota would be perfect!

  7. Wow! This place looks amazing! I know a lot of ballerinas who would love to visit this place. So fun, so festive! Thanks for putting this place on my radar!

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