Known as "the noisiest museum in the world", the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland, is located on the Royal Mile in the heart of the Old Town. Somewhat ironically, it is located just across the road from the house of the notoriously puritanical Calvinist preacher John Knox.
It contains a variety of exhibits of toys and games for children, a huge doll's house, displays of children's costumes and information on education and health. There are reproduction toys for children to play with and they can see how many mechanical toys actually work, while adults can amuse themselves with nostalgic reminiscences and speculation on the political incorrectness of many of the items on show. The museum also has a pleasantly musty atmosphere reminiscent of small museums in seaside towns; there is little in the way of audio-visual displays, animatronics or fun rides compared to other nearby tourist attractions as the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre.
The museum was opened in 1955, created by councillor Patrick Murray, the first of its kind in the world; John Heyes is the current keeper. It moved to its present location in 1957, occupying 2 eighteenth century tenement blocks. One of the city's most popular tourist attractions, the typical attendance figures are 250 000 visitors per year. Admission is free, and there is also a museum shop selling a variety of gifts and books.