There's no mistaking the building that is the Bunny Museum.
There's no mistaking the building that is the Bunny Museum.

Bunny Museum

Field review by the editors.

Altadena, California

In the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains stands a mom-and-pop museum obsessively devoted to one subject: rabbits. The building is unassuming but hard to miss. Van-sized inflatable bunnies sit on the roof, and bunny lawn ornaments and artworks fill the property.

Mounted Jackalopes in the Chamber of Hop Horrors.
Mounted Jackalopes in the Chamber of Hop Horrors.

Yet this outdoor display is spartan compared with the interior of the museum, where over 45,000 rabbit-related items are packed into a warren of rooms, and framed bunny paintings and photos fill the walls up to the roofline, like an overstuffed Victorian salon.

The collection began in 1993 when Candace Frazee received a plush bunny from then-boyfriend (and current "Honey Bunny") Steve Lubanski. This triggered a frenzied exchange of bunny-related love tokens, which quickly grew to such a critical mass that the couple decided to open their collection to the public in 1998. Advertised as "the hoppiest place on earth," the house-museum moved to its current and larger location in 2017. At the rate the collection is expanding (one could say multiplying), it might have to move to bigger digs soon.

Museum theater has a plush bunny audience and a VCR Rabbit.
Museum theater has a plush bunny audience and a VCR Rabbit.

Candace and Steve accept artifact donations for the museum, but no live bunnies. However, for a $200 donation they will happily take any cremated or taxidermied pet bunny off of your hands. If you want to become a permanent museum fixture along with your pet, a $350 donation will give your human cremains a place in the collection, commemorative plaque included.

Bunny Museum owner Candace Frazee poses in a bunny frame.
Bunny Museum owner Candace Frazee poses in a bunny frame.

Candace runs the entrance/gift shop, and visitors are left to wander among the thousands of items on their own, assisted by numerous text-filled bunny-shaped cutouts. As the museum collection is pretty self-explanatory, these cards usually offer written accounts of bunnies in popular culture, or provide tidbits of bunny lore -- such as the origin of the bunny-ear gesture in photographs, or the story of Mary Toft, who claimed to have given birth to bunnies in 1726. Some cards describe particularly noteworthy museum items, such as an ancient Roman ring with a rabbit engraving (one of the oldest artifacts in the collection).

The building also hosts a museum within the museum: the Gallery of Original Bunny Art (GOOBA). Here, original artworks with provenance are displayed along with one-of-a-kind found pieces. Some of Candace's curatorial assemblages are on exhibit, such as "1933," which takes its name from the museum's original street address. Firmly on brand, it's made from the museum's collected lint and detritus: a dust bunny.

A real warren of a museum: bunnies fill every available inch of floor and wall space.
A real warren of a museum: bunnies fill every available inch of floor and wall space.

Helpful bunny-shaped signs explain some of the exhibits.
Helpful bunny-shaped signs explain some of the exhibits.

The Chamber of Hop Horrors, an exhibit only available to those 13 and over, can be found behind a closed door. Here is exhibited the museum's collection of stuffed -- as in taxidermy -- bunnies, as well as several luridly-colored lucky rabbit's feet, and various iterations of the fearsome Jackalope. And, yes, there are some totems depicting bunnies as deities of fertility. But nothing too crude, or that couldn't be found in an esteemed anthropologist's study.

2023, the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, offers an auspicious opportunity for the museum: a chance to re-up its status as the World's Largest Collection of Rabbit-Related Items with the tabulators at Guinness World Records. During the previous Year of the Rabbit (2011) the official collection total was 28,423. Candace and Steve, by their count, have long-since smashed their old record, with the running total at 45,134 during our visit.

Perhaps the most satisfying part of the Bunny Museum is that most of its vast collection is out in the open for every visitor to see. There is no basement storage, no seasonal rotation, no special exhibitions. It's claustrophobia and Easter year-round at the Bunny Museum, even if some items are themed for Valentine's Day and Christmas. The "Creepy Dolls" display, for example, shows that even something as cute as a bunny can go horribly wrong. And, nearly lost among the figurines and toys, we were pleased to see, still in its original box, a VCR Rabbit (marketed on the "multiplying" gag), which allowed 1980s Americans with more than one TV to watch two different videotapes at the same time -- perhaps Rabbit Test and Night of the Lepus.

Even in the bathroom there's no escaping the bunnies.
Even in the bathroom there's no escaping the bunnies.

The only non-bunny items in the museum are photos of Candace and Steve -- and even then the backgrounds, picture frames, or photo-op props reflect the rest of the collection. There's also an autograph wall for celebrities who've made the short trip from L.A. to Altadena -- and a quick scan reveals that many big-name stars have visited the Bunny Museum. Maybe one of them will be there at the same time as you, contemplating the plush pink bunny as large as a gorilla, or the sign pole of arrow-shaped directional markers pointing the distance to like-minded places such as the Jackrabbit Trading Post (513 miles) and Bug's Bunny's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (22 miles).

Also see: Henry's Ra66it Ranch

Bunny Museum

Address:
2605 Lake Ave., Altadena, CA
Directions:
On the west side of Lake Ave., just north of its intersection with E. Altadena Drive. Shares building with the Open Road Bicycle Shop.
Hours:
M-Sa 12-5:30, Su 12-4:30 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
626-798-8848
Admission:
Adults $12.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Christmas Tree LaneChristmas Tree Lane, Altadena, CA - < 1 mi.
Haunted Gravity HillHaunted Gravity Hill, Altadena, CA - < 1 mi.
Tomb Of SupermanTomb Of Superman, Altadena, CA - 1 mi.
In the region:
La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, CA - 16 mi.

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