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“Children of All Ages”

Smallsea: A Metropolis in Miniature
Ranked #48 of 110 things to do in Carmel
Attraction details
San Bruno, California
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Children of All Ages”
Reviewed July 10, 2014 via mobile

Although not a museum in a fine art or historical sense, the collection of doll houses has a folk art quality: whimsical and serious at the same time. Children of all ages will appreciate how "toys" set the imagination free.

Visited July 2014
Thank Martin100852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Love it. So much details in the design.”
Reviewed June 21, 2014 via mobile

The owner is also very cordial and tells us the stories of the collections. He does all the structures, and his wife does all of the details inside. I heard they have been collecting the figurines for 20 years, and the love and passion they have for the miniatures really show.

Thank sbudiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
“Different but very cool”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

This is a cool little museum that is very unique. Don't think of it as dolls, it is pure art and very intricate. It is educational as well. Very interesting, even my boyfriend liked it...even though he will try to hide it. I definitely recommend visiting this place. It is a perfect tourist place for Carmel valley.

Visited January 2014
Thank Kinchy76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Spectacular Miniature Town”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Smallsea museum is a miniature recreation of an Edwardian town (1901-1910). More than 50 buildings highlight in great detail life in an English country town of the era at 1/12th scale. A delight for both adults and children, Smallsea is a must visit in the Barnyard Shopping Village. Hours are limited (12-5 Wednesday through Saturday). Smallsea also offers a selection of furniture, figures and other items for sale to collectors. The buildings (and included figures and furniture) are not for sale as they are part of a private collection. The website is www.smallseamini.com

Visited July 2013
Thank Howard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, CA
Level 6 Contributor
396 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,589 helpful votes
“my late mother-in-law would have loved this place”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Smallsea is a museum of miniatures. When I first saw the description included miniatures, I thought war-game miniatures. But no, these miniatures are from dollhouses. But this is not just any dollhouse, but a collection of dollhouses and miniatures from the Edwardian period (1900-1905) of England.

There are 40 doll houses, and some 1500 miniatures, all in 1/12 scale.
This collection represents a fantasy city in England, with individual buildings and establishments.

The front of the dollhouses are hinged, so that visitors can see inside the structures, and examine the contents. These include furniture, rugs, sitting rooms, dining rooms of residences, pubs and restaurants, and other commercial establishments of the era.

The miniatures include men, women and children, all dressed in the attire of the time. There are at least two cats, and several horses, and even automobiles of the era. A lot of research must have gone into recreating these replicas, to ensure that they are correct down to the smallest detail, and comparable to items worn during that period.

My favorite is the replica of 221 B Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes. Other buildings include the Salon Marche (hairstylist?) , the Flying Inn Pub, Fishmongers, a butcher shop, an auto repair shop, and a grocery store.

Why three stars, instead of five stars? The walls are blank. There are no historical pictures or artifacts from the period, no documentation on how the dollhouses were constructed, nothing to put things into perspective, that one would normally see in a museum.

My late mother-in-law constructed and collected dolls, and would have been enthralled with this exhibit. Some of the miniatures are available for purchase.

The store is located in the southwest corner of the Barnyard shopping center in Carmel, with hours 12-5pm Wed-Saturday. A $1 donation is suggested. The web site is www.smallseamini.com

Visited February 2013
4 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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