Located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, about 25 minutes north of Detroit and 30 minutes east of Ann Arbor, is Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum (MMMM). The wondrous museum is filled with fascinating oddities, vintage arcade games, outlandishly reminiscent collections, and more unearthly antique relics to entertain and delight everyone who visits.
History of Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Since 1980, Marvin Yagoda had collected the most engrossing tokens for his museum, maintaining the place as its popularity grew throughout the decades. When Marvin passed away in 2017, his son Jeremy took over, and he now runs the place, successfully keeping it going through the coronavirus pandemic thanks to generous GoFundMe contributions. MMMM has also been featured on roadsideamerica.com, American Pickers, US Weekly, Bizarre Magazine, The World Almanac, the History Channel’s Modern Marvels, and many more prominent media outlets.
If you’ve never heard of the band Tally Hall, they were a quirky alternative rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their band’s name comes from the original location of the museum, and they named one of their studio albums Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. They released one more album, Good & Evil before disbanding indefinitely to work on personal music projects, but they are largely remembered for their eccentric and whimsical songs.
“Banana Man” by Tally Hall
What to Do at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Visiting MMMM is something you can do with the whole family, as parents can sit in the cafe with free WiFi and enjoy a beverage while the kids are running around exploring. Throughout the 5,500-square feet building, there are fun video games that will amaze everyone who enters, rides for the kids to enjoy, and a gift shop to buy souvenirs and t-shirts to remember the interactive experience by.
As far as exploring all the peculiarities MMMM has to offer, look through a 1917 prototype of a microscope, supposedly the only coin-operated microscope in the world. If you’ve never been drunk, experience what it’s like by using the Drunkards Dream machine, which presents the perspective of someone who is drunk. Try your hand at the vintage pinball machines, check out the animatronic dummies around, and win tickets to trade in for prizes.
Led Zeppelin Pinball Machine
Although it was eventually found to be hoax, the Cardiff Giant caught the country’s fascination for quite awhile after it was “unearthed” back in 1869. P.T. Barnum wanted to purchase the faux archaeological discovery, but after he was refused, he created his own. And while the authentic finding is in the New York Society’s Farmer’s Museum, Barnum’s actually resides at MMMM.
Don’t forget to stop by a classic carnival favorite, the Gypsy Fortune Teller Machine. Ask a question and get a hauntingly chilling, but interestingly revealing, answer. And if you’re so brave as to adventure deeper into the more macabre antiques of the museum, check out the electric chair from Sing Sing Prison. A dummy is strapped up to the execution device, and it’s one of the many creepy pieces to explore from the museum’s collection.
Gypsy Fortune Teller Machine
How to Visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
Located at 31005 Orchard Lake Road, MMMM is open all 365 days a year with free admission. For holiday hours, just check out their Facebook page to stay updated, but they’re normally open Monday-Thursday from 10:00am-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday from 10:00am-11:00pm, and Sunday from 11:00am-9:00pm. They also offer party and event specials, which you can check out more information here.
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