Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Grand Denver tour for miniaturists

5 posts in this topic

I am visiting US in 2020 for the Chicago show and may be in Denver. I have found a few places being Rocky Mountain Miniatures, Denver Museum of Miniatures and Thompson Hobbies and Crafts. Anything I should be aware of, or anywhere else I should go?

And while I am at it, are there miniature shops in Chicago? I haven’t found anything in my searches. Thanks everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about shops in Chicago, but you should try to see Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle and the Thorne Rooms while you're there. They're in two different museums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colleen Moore's fairy castle is in the Museum of Science and Industry.  There is also a huge layout in HO scale of the Union-Pacific run between Chicago and San Francisco.  The Thorne Rooms are in the basement of the Art Institute.  Both are well worth visiting, as there is so much more to see in both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thompson's is a good old-fashioned hobby and craft shop that happens to carry miniatures. I don't know if you'll find anything unique there. I don't know what's available in Australia, though. They might have things you can't get at home. Both it and the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys are not far off Sixth Avenue - the route you would take to get to Rocky Mountain Miniatures in Georgetown - so both are worth a stop.

The museum lost its beautiful location near City Park and is now in sort of a strip center. That's a real shame because the house where it had been located was as much worth seeing as anything in it. I'm not sure they're fully set up in their new location but surely will be by next year. They have some beautiful dollhouses. Some of the miniatures and dolls in their permanent collection were donated by my mother. I've considered donating some of my own but they aren't accepting donations (other than money, of course!), and sadly I doubt they're going to have space for any more large dollhouses in their new location.

Rocky Mountain Miniatures is not huge but she (I think her name is Gale?) buys collections, so in addition to newly manufactured pieces available anywhere, she frequently has one-of-a-kind and vintage pieces. I've purchased a few rare Reminiscence pieces there (my favorite miniatures to collect) and some artisan-created pieces. Be warned her prices are all over the map. Some things are a bargain, others are, "Can you hold this while I apply for a second mortgage?" She'll haggle a bit if you're polite about it.

Even if you don't find anything to buy at her shop, Georgetown is absolutely worth the trip. It is considered Colorado's best-preserved and most authentic mountain town. Only about an hour from Denver, it is a popular day trip. You may want to ride the Loop Railroad while there. Be sure to wander a lot and see the lovely Victorian homes all over town. Wear comfortable shoes. Once you get off the main street, many roads are dirt or gravel and the sidewalks - where they exist at all - are a horror.

 

While not strictly dollhouse-related, the History Colorado Center has a newly restored diorama of Denver as it looked in 1860 that is worth seeing. It's about ten-feet by ten-feet (I'm guessing) and is incredibly detailed. I think it's 1/35th scale? They have amazing dioramas of Mesa Verde too, but I don't know if those are currently on display as I haven't seen them in ages. They may be undergoing restoration. You may want to ask a docent about them if you go.

If you need any tips on non-miniature things to see and do in Denver, I would be happy to help you create a uniquely Coloradan experience without sending you traipsing all over the state, lol.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, fov said:

I don't know about shops in Chicago, but you should try to see Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle and the Thorne Rooms while you're there. They're in two different museums.

 

11 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Colleen Moore's fairy castle is in the Museum of Science and Industry.  There is also a huge layout in HO scale of the Union-Pacific run between Chicago and San Francisco.  The Thorne Rooms are in the basement of the Art Institute.  Both are well worth visiting, as there is so much more to see in both.

Thanks! Yes, both are definitely on the list.

And Kells, thank you so much for all that info, so helpful. We really haven’t planned anything other than Chicago and might check back in with you re Denver when we have a better idea of our plans. I had a quick google and yes, Georgetown looked lovely and great to hear it is worth a visit too. 

FYI we don’t have much in the way of mini stores here and I never get to them. They do pretty well for a small market but don’t stock anywhere near as much as you can get in the US. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0