Posted: March 31, 2008, 5a.m. EST
The Bunny Museum, located in Pasadena, Calif., boasts a collection of more than 23,000 rabbit items.
Courtesy of Candace Frazee
It started as a sweet token of love. Fifteen years ago on Valentine’s Day, Steve Lubanski gave his then-girlfriend Candace Frazee a toy rabbit, adorned with a polka dot bow and holding a heart.
“He gave me a stuffed bunny because I call him my ‘Honey Bunny,’” Frazee said. Because of the sentiment, they continued to treat each other to a rabbit-themed gift every day throughout their dating relationship and into their marriage.
People were impressed at the growing size of their collection. It spilled out of their house and customers to their store, Bicycles and Bunnies Gift Shop, marveled at the variety of bunny trinkets they had on display.
“Our friends joked that we lived in a bunny museum,” Frazee said.
So in March 1998, the couple hopped to business and opened up their Pasadena, Calif. home to share what was then 8,000 “tokens of love” with the public. Every holiday – about two or three times a month – they hold a free open house, bringing in 300 to 600 visitors a day from around the world. Other days of the month, visitors can make an appointment to get a free personal tour of the collection.
This year, after nearly tripling the number of rabbit items and owning 17 live rabbits over the years, the Bunny Museum celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The decade has brought Lubanski, Frazee and their bunnies much excitement. In 1999 they were inducted into The Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s largest bunny collection. They also met first child born at Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, Calif., in the Year of the Bunny (1999), and later became the child’s godparents.
Nearly 14,000 bunny enthusiasts have walked through the halls of their living museum, and Frazee said the next 10 years has more in store.
“We’re going to move into a place 10 times bigger,” she said. “It’s going to have a bunny store and a bunny restaurant that serves only vegetarian food. The chairs are going to be bunny shaped. The mirrors in the bathroom are going to be shaped like bunnies. The parking lot is going to be shaped like a bunny.”
Frazee and Lubanski are still in the planning stages of their bunny mansion. They want to continue to keep admission free to the public so they are continuing to save for the big move.
To learn more about the Bunny Museum or make an appointment to hop by, visit the website.