In the Happy Station museum, you’ll find Playmobil towns, train tracks and people all over the place. Owner and police officer Patric tries to spread positivity and happiness through his museum and his foundation Happy. Although it’s costing him his holiday pay and yearly bonus to keep the museum going, it does make him happy.
A Playmobil fan through and through, Patric van Boven Kaarsmaker took all his boxes down from the attic back in 2015 and created a Christmas village in one of the empty shops in Breda’s central station, with help of his friends and other volunteers. His goal to attract five hundred visitors in a month was achieved within a day. Now, Happy Station has more than 65.000 visitors a year.
Why Playmobil? “It’s something physical that stimulates your imagination to create beautiful things. Kids learn a lot from that”, Patric says. “Often, it’s kids from the area that come play here, but also a boy once got a train on his own to come here. He said the crafts of Playmobil calm him down. Furthermore, now that the international train is here, we’re starting to get more and more tourists from Belgium.”
The centre of attention is a large Playmobil town with trains running in an out. Around it, you’ll find the changing miniature models in different themes. In recent years there’s been many: a theme park, wildlife in Africa, the Romans, Dragons, Egypt and its pharaohs, a fishing village including fisher’s boats and lots more.
A tradition is the yearly carnival’s parade created by the visitors themselves. That’s what Happy Station is about as well: doing it yourself. Don’t want to stop when you get home? They sell Playmobil in the museum as well.
Opening hours: Happy Station is opened daily, depending on the amount of available volunteers. It’s best to check before you visit: