DANGEROUS GAMES: Treacherous Toys We Loved As Kids


As featured on NPR, and KQED Forum
          “The ‘Dangerous Games’ exhibition is crammed with 20th century notions of kiddie fun that would make any prudent 21st century parent sick with worry”
                – Chloe Veltman, KQED

Forbes Magazine
“Evokes memories of a time and place where kids were granted more independence — for better or for worse”
          – St Helena Star

“The Napa Valley Museum Yountville continues to amaze, amuse and impress its guests with intriguing exhibits.”
          – Napa Register

Must Close September 25, 2022!
Our original exhibition devoted to the wacky, whammo, wonderful world of Slip ‘N Slides, Lawn Darts, Creepy Crawlers, Clackers, and other tantalizingly toxic toys.

On exhibition in the Main Gallery.

Regular Museum Admission:
Members: entry is Free
Non-Member Adults (18 to under 65): $15
Non-Members Seniors (65+): $10
Youth (6–17): $5.00
Children (5 and under): Free
Admission is Free for residents of the California Veterans Home and Active Duty Military
exclusions below

Our dangerously entertaining audio tour is available for $5!

It’s hard to believe so many of us survived childhood, given the treacherous, toxic, yet tantalizing toys we played with as kids! We dove head-first onto slippery sheets of plastic called the Slip ‘N Slide, plucked bugs (sometimes edible) called Creepy Crawlers out of plastic goop in searing hot molds, dodged skull-piercing flying arrows called Lawn Darts, and played with explosives, molten hot glass, dangerous dyes – even radioactive material – all in the name of good clean fun.

Enjoy a blast from the past – literally – as you and your friends and family travel through our exclusive exhibition celebrating those wild, wacky, “whammo” wonders that were our childhood toys. Amuse yourself with our “Back to the Backyard” collection of Hula Hoops and other hands-on toys – safely of course. No dart guns or Red Ryder Rifles are allowed because “you’ll put your eye out!”

Includes an original audio tour narrated by “The Voice of Disney” Bill Rogers, and written by Laura Rafaty for the Napa Valley Museum Yountville, adapted in part from: “Wham-O Summer: Back to the Backyard,” published by Sports Illustrated, June 12, 2020, written by Steve Rushin.

This exhibition is not included with NARMS membership, but members are welcome to visit our Spotlight & History Gallery exhibits. This exhibit IS included as part of the Museums On Us program through BofA/Merrill Lynch.

         A boy and elements of a toy on display at the 1950 edition of the toy fair of New York City, New York: Stefan Olsen and the cloud chamber of a Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab. Anon., “La page des enfants – Initiation atomique.” Photo-Journal, 13 April 1950.  
Alfred Carlton Gilbert’s “Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab” was meant to introduce kids to the marvels of nuclear physics


















Additional Credits:

Dangerous Games: Treacherous Toys We Loved As Kids 

Text by Napa Valley Museum, 2021, written by Laura Rafaty. Select text adapted with permission from: “Wham-O Summer: Back to the Backyard,” published by Sports Illustrated, June 12, 2020, written by Steve Rushin.  
The Museum thanks Thurlow Washam and the Washill Fund for donating many of these toys, the Town of Yountville and Napa County Board of Supervisors for financial support, and the members and supporters of Napa Valley Museum Yountville.  

All original copyrights, trademarks and other rights in the objects, videos, audio clips, and images on display are reserved and remain the property of their respective rightsholders.

© 2021, Napa Valley Museum  


         Bill Rogers, aka “the voice of Disney,” and one of the country’s most respected voiceover artists, narrates our exclusive Audio Tour. 
Select wall text adapted with permission from: “Wham-O Summer: Back to the Backyard,” published by Sports Illustrated, June 12, 2020, written by Steve Rushin. All rights reserved.