The BRIO Lekoseum of Sweden

A few weeks ago, we had a fairly exciting adventure to the IKEA Museum and Hotel.  So exciting the Dane was even spotted grinning like a Cheshire cat on the cover of the latest IKEA Catalogue (true story).  It was a super impressive set up that passionately shared the story of IKEA and the life of its founder, Ingvar Kamprad.  We’ve written all about it in our column for The International and will share more just as soon as the June issue hits the shops.

What we didn’t have time for in that column was to share with you a great little find we also found just 20km down the road from the birthplace of IKEA.  A toy museum dedicated to the history of Swedish toys including most things BRIO, the famous Swedish toy company best known for its wooden toys.  It also includes a nod of recognition to the other 20 or toy companies which used to operate in this area back in the day.  The Museum is located right opposite BRIOs old headquarters in Osby Municipality, which is a small and rather sleepy (at least on the Sunday we visited) Swedish town.

 One of the hidden areas downstairs - a Mekano mecca for budding engineers

One of the hidden areas downstairs - a Mekano mecca for budding engineers

It used to be known as the BRIO Lekoseum, but now is officially known as Lekoseum as it has grown to recognise toys from all over Sweden.

It’s an unexpected find in an unassuming building but a definite winner if you have children and quite possibly a winner even if you don’t.

After having to kill time waiting for the quite late opening of 11am, we were the first customers of the day when the doors swung open.  Not ideal timing as BBB’s eyelids are more akin to closing at 12 noon for her daily nap, so we were on the express visit.  But I suspect the restricted opening hours are more a case of the Museum now being run by a Board of Directors rather than being an official Museum of Brio.  So perhaps run more by passion than profit.

We were given a quick overview of the Museum (main area upstairs, a Barbie collection and miniature railway in the old train carriages next to the building and the best reveal of all, Santas hidden workshop down a spiral staircase you might otherwise miss if you hadn’t been told about it. .   Don’t leave until you find it. Slick and so unexpected complete with all the mystery and magic that a Santa’s workshop should have. 

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And so for the next hour and a bit, BBB (Bilingual Backpack Baby) charged around the museum exploring the various play areas and chasing miniature trains. It was a huge highlight for her (and us).

You'll find a small selection of food sold here, but we did also spy a new café about to be opened just across the road.  Or you can do what we did and have a car boot picnic although I’d recommend making the short drive to the lake to enjoy rather than the train station carpark.

How to get to Lekoseum

Located in Sweden, it will help if you can get yourself to Sweden first.  Then if you’re driving and see a giant BRIO clown, you'll know you’re getting close.  It’s approximately a 2 hour drive from Copenhagen or just over an hour and a half from Malmö.  You can also go by train to Osby train station. and then make the short 50m walk to the museum.

Address:  BRIOgatan 2, 283 83 Osby, Sweden

For more information on this lesser known museum run primarily on passion check out their website http://www.lekoseum.se/  or an English version here http://www.lekoseum.se/in-english/

Love finding delightful things in unexpected places!