America at Play

Dive into the past and explore more than 300 years of play and pastimes at America at Play—a permanent exhibit at The Strong®. Through a blend of rare artifacts and hands-on activities, learn how play influenced America’s cultural history:

  • Marvel at a custom-made Harley-Davidson and explore America’s favorite outdoor pastimes, such as biking, boating, sledding, skiing, and fishing.
  • View rare board games from the 1800s, such as the Game of the American Revolution, Rough Riders, and Bicycle Race.
  • Encounter a Charlie Chaplin doll, a Charley McCarthy ventriloquist dummy, and Mickey Mouse characters from the early 1900s.
  • View the first handmade Monopoly set by Charles Darrow, who popularized the game.
  • Trace the impact of World War II on toys and see a Buddy L wrecker truck made entirely from wood.
  • Explore how toys have changed and stayed the same over time, and compare a toy soldier from the 1800s to a G.I. Joe action figure from the 1960s.
  • See the world’s largest Erector Set—weighing more than 150 pounds!
  • Challenge friends and family to a game of three-player toy trivia.  
  • Test your memory with a touch-screen concentration game.  

Produced by The Strong. Custom-made Harley-Davidson on loan from Gowanda Harley-Davidson. The exhibit is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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