Advertisement
UK markets close in 4 hours 31 minutes
  • FTSE 100

    8,218.47
    +62.75 (+0.77%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    21,174.77
    +107.09 (+0.51%)
     
  • AIM

    785.38
    +1.25 (+0.16%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1881
    +0.0015 (+0.12%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2939
    +0.0029 (+0.23%)
     
  • Bitcoin GBP

    52,100.33
    +422.43 (+0.82%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,388.48
    -16.86 (-1.20%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,505.00
    -39.59 (-0.71%)
     
  • DOW

    40,287.53
    -377.47 (-0.93%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    79.95
    -0.18 (-0.22%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,409.00
    +9.90 (+0.41%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    39,599.00
    -464.79 (-1.16%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    17,635.88
    +218.20 (+1.25%)
     
  • DAX

    18,427.22
    +255.29 (+1.40%)
     
  • CAC 40

    7,637.07
    +102.55 (+1.36%)
     

Sock Monkey Museum Earns World Record for Its Cute Collection: 'We're Spreading Happiness'

The tiny treasure in Long Grove, Ill., has nearly 2,100 of the snuggly stuffies

<p>Kate Hogan</p> The Sock Monkey Museum in Long Grove, Ill.

Kate Hogan

The Sock Monkey Museum in Long Grove, Ill.

About 35 miles northwest of Chicago, there's some serious monkey business happening.

Open since 2022, the Sock Monkey Museum houses nearly 2,100 of the plush pals, and recently earned a Guinness World Record for having the "largest collection of handmade sock monkeys in the world."

Founder Arlene Okun created the whimsical spot from her own collection, which began in 2006 when her husband bought her a sock monkey at a Cracker Barrel as they traveled the country in an RV.

"I started collecting, and it grew and grew, and before you knew it, I had a museum!" she says.

<p>Kate Hogan</p> The Sock Monkey Museum in Long Grove, Ill.

Kate Hogan

The Sock Monkey Museum in Long Grove, Ill.

Okun calls the museum — located in a house in the historic town of Long Grove, Ill. — "ageless. We get 60-year-olds, 80-year-olds having their birthday parties here. It's not just for kids."

ADVERTISEMENT

The inside is covered in the creatures: they ride a Ferris wheel, hang from the ceilings and walls and help illustrate their own history.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"I started to research them and found they have ties to Illinois — the red heel socks originated in Rockford — and they're a piece of Americana," Okun shares. "World War II is when people started to make them because they didn't have money for toys."

Okun has had a few people reach out to her to donate their own sock monkeys; one woman who was moving out of the country gave her 80 vintage ones.

Related: More Stories to Make You Smile

"Sometimes somebody will walk in with one and ask to donate, and I say, 'Of course!' It's a fun experience."

Okun believes the museum (which donates a portion of admission profits to Chimp Sanctuary Northwest) is "always going to be evolving" as the collection grows. But to her, that's the fun of it.

As she says, "We're spreading happiness one sock monkey at a time."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.