The main reason we spent our Memorial Day weekend in the Bay Area was because Auntie (from Australia) actually requested for something! She wanted to see the “Snoopy Museum” aka The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, CA which is a little over 1 hour away from downtown San Francisco (about 45 minutes from the Muir Woods Shuttle Bus drop off stop).
2301 Hardies Ln,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
We snacked in the car and made our way directly to the Charles M. Schulz Museum so Auntie can see Snoopy. Before we even went inside, we found Snoopy lounging on top of his house. Thank you Mr. Stranger for offering to take this picture for us…while our whole family made their way inside.
Once we got inside, you immediately get to see more Snoopy and Friends art work. I don’t know all of the Peanuts characters, but at least I recognized Snoopy and Linus.
I have to admit that I have never really watched or read much of the Peanuts movies or comics. But I guess this was my best opportunity to take it all in.
The Peanuts Tile Mural is a 12ft by 22ft tile mural of Lucy and Charlie Brown by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani. A volunteer at the Charles M Schulz Museum told me that it was originally pieced together in Japan then shipped with each piece labeled separately and then reinstalled here. I guess that makes so much more sense then to send this huge mural in tact.
There are 3,588 Peanuts comic strips, but did you know that if you look closely, you will find some strips repeating although these 3,588 comic strips only compose of about one fifth of all of Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts. That is because there is a very limited amount of Peanuts comic strips that take place at night to create the black parts of the mural.
But it was also nice to see what is displayed on the walls as well. Look at how calm BH is in front of a not very happy Charlie Brown.
When we were there, the changing exhibit was an “It Was A Dark and Stormy Night” exhibit. I only realized that now that I am writing about it. And suddenly some of the work displayed makes so much more sense. And now I’m a little sad I didn’t take a picture on top of Snoopy’s house with our silhouette (there were a few other people waiting and I gave up).
“YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY!” – Lucy
You don’t really have to be a Peanuts fan to enjoy the little moments in each strip. I thought it was cute that the blown up wall displays make us smile and of course asks us back “Is it the universal themes that speak to all of us?” Or “Is it the cast of characters with their distinct personalities?”
As I mentioned, I’ve never been a big Peanuts fan but the Peanuts are everywhere. You don’t need to be a fan to know who Charlie Brown is or who Snoopy is.
I thought it was pretty cool to see a Peanuts book with a forward written by President Barack Obama.
On the day we were in Santa Rosa, CA it was super hot outside! We were dealing with mid to high 90 degree F weather outside so the garden outside was pretty empty. BH and I (then a little later Yunti, Mom and Auntie joined us) went outside to the Kite-eating tree which is just another tree but there are some plaqards displayed with names of donors.
Other things outside in the courtyard included some cool themed statues of some Peanuts characters. The left one above is the “Under Construction Brown” and the one on the right above is “Crossword Linus” with real clues! There are printouts of this cross word available.
BH and I found a set of stairs from the courtyard and made our way back inside that way while Yunti, Mom and Auntie went back inside directly. And somehow we all ended up in the same place upstairs.
It was actually quite cool to see a wall full of Peanuts books and travel stamps from all over the world. Once again reaffirming their popularity.
It was also pretty cool to see copies of Mr. Schulz’s passport with his passport stamps as well.
Auntie pointed out the Peanuts: A Golden Celebration (50 years) book displayed. The Chinese translation of title of the book simple says “Snoopy.”
Auntie said that Snoopy is the most well known character in the Peanuts family in China and that’s why she was expecting to see much more of Snoopy here at the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
Which made so much sense when I saw a group of young Chinese (Cantonese speaking) tourists come into the museum saying things like “Check out Snoopy!” and “Who is this guy again?” (while pointing at Charlie Brown) and “Why isn’t Snoopy on the mural?”
Yunti and Mom made a cute origami Snoopy house and then added a Snoopy and Woodstock cut out on top.
While BH watched Peanuts cartoons. They are actually showing the Peanuts movies downstairs in their theatre, which is what Auntie was doing while we were in the kids/activity room upstairs.
I saw some pretty impressive drawings displayed throughout the room and even watched a kid who looked like he is less than 10 years old draw some amazing Peanuts characters.
There are a couple copies of a Peanuts drawing book along with all different types of drawing books for different types of cartoons.
I was determined to find the Peanuts drawing book and when I finally found it, I picked out a few characters to draw.
The little paper strip that I found (since everything in this room is pretty much self service) had 4 slides, I picked out 4 characters: Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and Charlie Brown.
I tried to follow along with the instructions and that’s what I managed to draw! Pretty cool!
The rest of the 2nd floor of the Charles M. Schulz Museum includes the Charles Schulz Re-created studio. It sure does have a vintage feel!
Other things on the 2nd floor that I unfortunately just passed by were the “Wrapped Snoopy House” which is life-sized Snoopy doghouse wrapped in tarpaulin, polyethylene, and ropes. That’s a recreation (and tribute) to a November 20, 1978 Peanuts comic stip.
And then it was time for a game of hide and seek (-ish)! There was no phone signal for us (thanks T-Mobile) inside 3 different sets of stairs plus 2 elevators that lead to the second floor of the museum. And our ticket was a single receipt for all 6 of us (so we couldn’t re-enter unless you happen to be the one holding onto the ticket/receipt). So we spent nearly an hour playing hide and seek trying to get the whole family together. We should have set a ending time and a meeting time…
Now that we were all finally together, we went across the street to the Puppy Cafe at Snoopy’s Home Ice: The Redwood Empire Ice Arena. Charles M. Schulz (and his first wife) actually designed and built this place.
We had planned to have lunch here. And we were pretty hungry by the time we finally made it to the Puppy Cafe. So unfortunately I didn’t bother to take pictures of the food.
There are several Peanuts themed things before you even go inside. Check out this Snoopy topiary.
And I pretended give “Psychiatric Help 5¢…The Doctor is in.” Haha, Why was I still wearing my Micky sweater in this heat?
I guess it was because the air conditioning inside was on full blast at the museum and we were about to walk into an ice arena. The summer weather sure can be confusing when going in and out of air conditioned building and then dealing with a crazy heat wave outside.
Thank you BH for actually going into the Ice Arena area and snappy shots of the Peanuts winter themed Ice Arena while
The interior is a combination of a cafeteria feel and a winter lodge feel (in one corner). The best table is the one right next to the fire place saved for Charles M. Schulz which was where we used to hang out.
It was also cute to see more Peanuts things throughout but it wasn’t over done.
The Puppy Cafe is your typical sports arena kind of food aka hot dogs, pizza, etc. And they were already running out of food. So we just had some hot dogs and made our way to our next stop for more food (and drinks) in Santa Rosa.