The Judy Garland Museum is located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It is a great stop on a road trip, and great destination for a day trip. The museum is home of the world’s largest Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz collection, the restored Historic House that Judy lived in as a child, and the Children’s Discovery Museum. Unfortunately, the Children’s museum was closed during our visit, so I will not be able to include details on that today. There is also a beautiful outdoor area, and a fun Wizard of Oz themed area for kids (and adults) to play in. My family visited the museum on a day trip this summer and we had a great time. In this post I will tell you what you need to know to plan a trip, and all about our experience.
2727 Pokegama Avenue South, Grand Rapids, MN
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Judy Garland Gallery:
The Judy Garland Museum Gallery gives you the opportunity to learn all about Judy Garlands life on and off the screen. We definitely leaned a lot. There are a lot of fun and interesting pictures, videos, memorabilia and keep sakes. I listed some of our specific favorites below:
- A Judy Garland test dress from Wizard of Oz, accompanied by a photo of Ms. Garland wearing the dress.
- A Winkie Spear which was carried by one of the Wicked Witches guards in the original movie. So much bigger than I expected!
- The Lincoln Carriage which was pulled by the “horse of a different color.”
In addition to the Judy Garland information, there is a lot of antique toys and dolls from the Wizard of Oz’s early days. The kids really enjoyed looking at them. There is also a gift shop where you can buy all types of Wizard of Oz keep sakes, copies of the DVD, candy, etc., You can even try on some ruby slippers for fun. 😉 Also, a side note. The bathrooms are super cute, they have stalls for the munchkins (kids).
Judy Garland House:
Connected by hallway to the Judy Garland Gallery is Judy Garlands childhood home. It has been completely restored and is really quite beautiful! Judy’s parents Frank and Ethel Gumm purchased the house as their first family home in March 1919. Judy Garland spent her early years in this house from her birth in 1922 until October of 1926. Upon entering this house my mom and I both got a slightly creepy vibe that we shrugged off figuring it was just because it is an old house full of history. It is really beautiful and interesting inside and we enjoyed it. My daughter enjoyed it too. My son, who is usually the most easy going little boy ever DID NOT enjoy it. He wanted out from the minute we walked in. By the time we were heading up the stairs he was in distress like I’ve never seen him, not crying but just desperately pleading with me to get out. My mom took him out immediately and my daughter and I continued looking around. My mom asked the person at the front desk if the house was haunted and they replied “Why, what did you see?” they went on to tell my mom a few other peoples experiences. It was definitely very interesting! My son was fine the second he was out of the house and when asked about it later, he said he liked it. So, if you are into ghost stories or think you can feel spirits, perhaps check this place out! I couldn’t find anything online that says in is haunted, so it certainly could have just been a kid being a kid, but who knows! 😉
The outdoor area is really pretty! As a bonus to the beautiful landscaping and gardens they have a little Wizard of Oz walk through area set up with decorations and photo opts. If this area was in your neighbors house you would likely call it tacky. Ha! For here, it was so perfect! The kids love it and we had so many laughs throughout our walk! They really did a great job incorporating so much of the movie into this short walk!
Yellow Brick Road:
Not part of the Judy Garland Museum but located just about a mile away is your chance for photo opts on the “Yellow Brick Road”. Located and the Old Central School you will find a small but beautiful yellow brick road on the South East corner of the property.
10 NW 5th St, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
We had SO MUCH FUN here. When I first saw the Yellow Brick Road I was slightly underwhelmed. I remembered it as bigger and better from my childhood. Then I saw the look on my kids faces, and how much fun they were having and it all made sense! We skipped up and down the road and sung and took photos! It was such a great time! The landscaping and beautiful old building help make for excellent pictures! 😉
We had the best time on our day trip to Grand Rapids. We will definitely be back soon. I hope this blog will be helpful if you are planning a trip. I highly recommend it! Please fell free to send me any questions!
Much Love & Happy Travels,
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