Skip to Main Content

Tiny Town at night.
Tiny Town at night.

Tiny Town

Field review by the editors.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Tiny Town began as a humble, under-the-Christmas-tree display in the home of Frank Moshinskie. One year, Frank didn't take the display down. It grew and grew, and in 1963 it was moved -- with all of its rivers, mountains, hundreds of tiny lights, dozens of tiny streets, and countless tiny people -- to the building where it still stands as a tourist attraction.

Frank, who died in 1998, worked on Tiny Town for 68 years. His son Charles has run the place ever since, preserving it as a tribute to his dad's creativity.

Donny and Marie Osmond.
Donny and Marie Osmond.

Frank was proud of his thrift; he once told us that nothing in Tiny Town cost more than $4.00. All of the tiny people were hand-carved by Frank; the trees are made from cat food cans and wire, the street signs from nail heads, the grass from sawdust.

According to Charles, his dad visited 22 states on various vacations and honored every one of them in Tiny Town. Niagara Falls (New York) is easy to spot, as is Mount Rushmore (South Dakota) and the Christ of the Ozarks (Arkansas). Bears attack picnickers in a tribute to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. A miniature Wild West town pays tribute to Dodge City (Kansas) but also to Frank's favorite TV show, Gunsmoke. "There's Miss Kitty up on the balcony and Sheriff Matt Dillon leading the bad man off to jail," said Charles. Elvis Presley serenades Miss Kitty from the street (although he wasn't in Gunsmoke), and Charles cheerfully pointed out a tiny bandit, hanged from a tree.

Picnic hollow: park rangers vs. bears.
Picnic hollow: park rangers vs. bears.

A Promenade of Tiny Stars from the 1970s and early '80s loop endlessly around the town square: Willie Nelson, Mr. T, Dolly Parton, the Fonz, Sonny and Cher, Laverne and Shirley. "A lot of kids now don't know Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton," said Charles. Some visitors might recognize Thriller-era Michael Jackson over at the mini-Mount Rushmore, but they'll draw a blank on Michael's companions: Donny and Marie Osmond, President Harry and First Lady Bess Truman, and Jimmy Durante and Marjorie Main ("Ma Kettle"). "My wife comes in and cleans," said Charles, explaining the odd mix of celebrities. "She moves the people around."

Charles Moshinskie.
Charles Moshinskie

Frank wanted his Tiny Town to be busy, so 18 hidden motors power everything from the rivers to the oil pump jacks to the carousel and merry-go-round. Push-buttons at various spots allow visitors to make the tiny people move: people swim, swing, hammer and saw, rock in hammocks, hang up clothes. A family eats the same sandwiches they've been eating since 1963; the bread goes up and down to their mouths many times a minute.

Charles doesn't think that he himself is portrayed among the tiny people of Tiny Town, although he admitted that it was impossible to know for sure. His dad and mom are definitely in there, somewhere, as is a miniature of the garage where Frank created most of Tiny Town. We wondered: is there a tiny version of Tiny Town in the tiny garage? We didn't get close enough to open the door, but maybe next time....

The lights dim and Tiny Town glows in artificial night, an itty-bitty city that never sleeps. Charles has a great time showing a tour group around, pointing out the details of his dad's creation. He has been fortunate, he said; Tiny Town naturally attracts nice people, while drunks and hooligans get their crazy kicks somewhere else.

Mr. T on rails.

"The people who come here, they kinda like the old places," said Charles. "We're not new and modern. If we were, we'd be like everyplace else."

Also see: Hot Springs: A Mecca

Tiny Town

374 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs, AR
On the north side of Whittington Ave. a half-mile west of Hwy 7/Central Ave.
March-Oct. daily 10-3; fewer days off-season. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Josephine Tussaud Wax MuseumJosephine Tussaud Wax Museum, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
Tufa RockTufa Rock, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
Arkansas Alligator Farm: Home of the MermanArkansas Alligator Farm: Home of the Merman, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Hold $1 Million in Your Hands, Little Rock, AR - 47 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Arkansas

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Arkansas.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Arkansas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bloodstained Tomb of Nina Craigmiles, Cleveland, Tennessee (Apr 8-14, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings