Crack open some fun at Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Washington

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Nutcrackers come in all sizes and shapes at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.

To help celebrate the holiday season, households around the world will display small wooden nutcrackers. Who uses a nutcracker during the holidays? You know the one – usually dressed as a soldier from a ballet or ice skating show. Once designed to crack open nuts ranging from walnuts to pecans, today they tend to serve decorative roles.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington
A nutcracker statue greets visitors to Leavenworth.

A world-class museum exists that tells the story of the nutcracker, with some more than 8,000 years old. Located in a Bavarian-style village located high in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum is a popular stop among the 3 million people who visit the village annually.

As you enter the museum, located on the second floor of a building along main street, you’re greeted by nutcrackers of various sizes, ranging from a few inches to a few feet. Once you pay the $5 admission (very reasonable), check out the short video on the history of the museum and its collection.

Nutcrackers adorn the lobby at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Nutcrackers located near the lobby.

As you enter the exhibit area, take your picture with Karl, a six-foot tall nutcracker statue. Karl is one of the most popular photo ops in Leavenworth.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Karl is a popular photo attraction in Leavenworth.

The collection consists of more than 6,000 nutcrackers displayed from floor to ceiling. The earliest nutcracker was an indented stone.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
This nutcracker was found in Arkansas and dates back to 2,000 BC.

You’ll be impressed with the styles of nutcrackers. They come in all shapes and sizes, from vises and pliers to animals. They have our family’s favorites – squirrels and penguins. One of my favorite nutcrackers was an Eskimo holding a seal.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
One of my favorite nutcrackers was an Eskimo holding a seal.

Nutcrackers include themed exhibits, including presidents, athletes and western characters, such as Buffalo Bill. They even have a Cowboy Santa Claus.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
A nutcracker from the 1970s features former President Jimmy Carter.

The museum offers an eclectic collection of nutcrackers, including miniature nutcrackers located inside nuts.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Nutcrackers inside nuts.

If you’re a fan of Disney or Sesame Street, you’ll love seeing the characters as nutcrackers.  Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Big Bird and Snow White and her elves are among the characters on display.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
Disney characters are among the themed collections.

The Nutcracker Museum’s collection is so large that you’ll want to plan to spend 2-3 hours there. As soon as you think you’re done, you turn a corner and see even more nutcrackers to learn about. We believe you’ll enjoy visiting the museum.

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
The museum has about 3,000 square feet of exhibition space.

For more information on the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, please visit