Tinkertown Museum took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and '70s.
Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown's exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within.
Inside, the magic of animation takes over. The inhabitants of a raucous little western town animate to hilarious life. Under the big top, diminutive circus performers challenge tigers and defy gravity while the Fat Lady fans herself and a polar bear teeters and totters. Throughout, eccentric collections of Americana (wedding cake couples, antique tools, bullet pencils and much, much more) fill Tinkertown's winding hallways. Otto the one-man-band and Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller, need only a quarter to play a tune or predict your future. Through a doorway and across a ramp waits a big-sized surprise: a 35' antique wooden sailboat that braved a 10 year voyage around the world.
Ever a work in progress, Tinkertown is ready to inspire your imagination and awaken your creative spirit. We look forward to seeing you at Tinkertown soon!
Tinkertown is located on the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway in Sandia Park on NM Highway 536, on the way to the Sandia Crest. Take exit 175 North off I-40. After exiting I-40, take Highway 14 six miles up the mountain through Cedar Crest and turn left on Highway 536, the road to Sandia Crest. Tinkertown is 1.5 miles on the left. Tinkertown is just 20 minutes from Albuquerque. No public transportation available.Get directions
Drinks and some stick candy in gift shop.
We sell grab bags for the kids, books for all ages, mood rings and jewelled toe rings. Nail puzzles, Indian dolls, fortune telling fish and chilli lights- its all here!
What better way to describe a gift shop connected to one of NM's most renowned folk art environments?
We have thousands of items available to stimulate your senses and the memory of your visit all year long. Take your time and stroll through our eclectic gift shop. Bring home a t-shirt decorated with Rossâ€™ art work or a signature Bar-B-Que buzzard, hand carved and painted by the folks here at Tinkertown. We have outstanding grab bags for the kids as well as mood rings and jeweled toe rings. Nail puzzles, Indian dolls and chili lights- its all here.
We have a PDF of a scavenger hunt for teachers to download on our web site when they come for field trips. We offer special group rates for schools. Call first for reservation time and price.
It is challenging for those with limited mobility and no charge for folks wheelchairs.