Istanbul Oyuncak Müzesi (Istanbul Toy Museum), founded by the Turkish poet and writer Sunay Akın, is a one-of-a-kind place and an instant charmer for kids and adults alike. The artist’s private collection of toys, gathered from the auctions and antique shops from around the world, is now on display at an exquisite old wooden mansion on a side street just off the Bağdat Caddesi, the city’s main luxury shopping strip on the Asian side.
Thousands of toys, some of which date back to the 1700s, have been organized into informative and entertaining scenes by a stage designer. Kids could learn about humanity’s quest for going to the moon at a section dedicated to space toys, while they would be informed about the industrial revolution at the section where classic toy trains are displayed. It would be an overall interesting experience for the kids of the digital age to learn what old-school toys their fathers or grannies would like playing with. Regular theater acts and workshops for kids are also organized by the museum, where they could learn how to build toys, robots, and origamis or discover the secrets of nature and space.
Join the fashionable crowd along the 6 km-long-strip of Bağdat Caddesi on a weekend day to see the flagship stores of big fashion and design brands like Vakko, Chanel, or Vitra. If it is summertime, grab your drinks and picnic basket to enjoy a shiny afternoon at the vast coastal parks by the shores of Marmara sea and spot the Princes’ Islands on the horizon.
Hint: Reservation is required for groups of more than 10, and for attending kids’ workshops (only in Turkish).