Let’s face it: most of us have a soft spot for childhood kitsch. If you go weak in the knees for the contents of your grandmother’s old toybox (or still mourn the loss of all those stuffed animals you gave away in middle school), then pencil this into your next trip to Athens. The Benaki Museum, an established Athenian institution, is opening a Toy Museum. Their permanent collection numbers 20,000 pieces, among them dolls, board games, folk toys, children’s books and much more (keep your eyes peeled for their unofficial mascot: a carousel horse given by Eleftherios Venizelos, “founder of modern Greece”, to his grandson in 1927). Their pieces stretch all the way from antiquity to the 1970’s, and come from Europe, America, Africa, and even China and Japan. The building, a turn-of-the-century mansion in the seaside suburb of Palaio Faliro, is a museum unto itself (i.e. the exterior of a gothic fort, plus wood-paneled rooms and painted ceilings deserving of a period drama). The Benaki Toy Museum’s grand opening is on October 22; visiting hours will be Thursdays to Sundays from 10:00 to 18:00. Oh, and there’s a gift shop. Perfect for taking vengeance on your middle-school self.
Benaki Toy Museum
Poseidonos 4 & Tritonos 1, Palaio Faliro 17561
Tickets: €9 (see here for a list of reduced rates)