Image courtesy of the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center. Copyright Peanuts Worldwide.
Image courtesy of the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center. Copyright Peanuts Worldwide.

by Michael P Coleman

It was actually a sunny and warm afternoon, but a little creative license is a small price to pay for a chance to tell you about the impressive Charles Schulz Museum & Research Center in Santa Rosa, California.  And as the line “It was a dark and story night” was one of Snoopy’s — and Schulz’ — favorites, I trust the Center would approve.

Photo by DJ Ashton, courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

I’d been in Santa Rosa the night before for Johnny Mathis’ show, and couldn’t resist checking out the facility before heading home. Fans of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, or any of the Peanuts gang will be absolutely enchanted, while learning something they didn’t know about the revered comic strip.

“It Was A Dark And Stormy Night” is also the name of the Center’s newest exhibit, outlining the history behind Snoopy’s hysterical writing career, which in many ways mirrored Schulz’ own.  The exhibit also explores Schulz’ love of literature, which was often reflected in the classic comic strip. The writer in me couldn’t resist exploring the exhibit, especially after I saw the image of Snoopy hunched over his manual typewriter.

Other attractions included Snoopy’s presentation of famous United States presidential pets — did you know that long before we met the Obama’s dogs, a pet alligator lived in the White House?? — and an exhibit that details the Peanuts gang’s devotion to health and fitness (Linus used to wear glasses, and Peppermint Patty was ahead of her time in trying to eat a healthy lunch).  The Center also features a recreation of the studio where Schultz drew the Peanuts strip each day, a spacious crafts room where kids and adults alike can perfect their own drawing skills, and a large, warm garden that, yes, is the home of that infamous Kite Eating Tree that was Charlie Brown’s annual foil.

And that’s just the main facility!  Just across the street, you can enjoy a full size ice rink that mirrors those Schulz frequented while growing up in the midwest, and a comprehensive gift shop that is now the home to a little of my hard-earned cash (I couldn’t resist — they had a plush Franklin!).

If you need a bite to eat, you’ll have to stop by the Warm Puppy Cafe, where in addition to Snoopy and Woodstock-themed meals (served in Snoopy’s dish!), you can enjoy Schulz’ own favorites (an english muffin with grape jelly or a tuna sandwich on toasted wheat, which he switched to later in life, after a cardiac scare.).

Rotating Strip Gallery
Photo by DJ Ashton, courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

I was really impressed with the Center’s marketing campaigns.  For example, I was there just before Valentine’s Day, and the Center was offering free admission to all redheads, in commemoration of Charlie Brown’s unrequited love, the Little Red-Haired Girl!

I’ll definitely be back to the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center, as one of their upcoming exhibits gives an overview of the history behind those classic holiday specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (I STILL laugh watching Marcie try to cook easter eggs in that waffle iron!) that are a part of so many of our childhoods.  While admission was a quite-reasonable $12 for adults, I purchased an annual membership that guarantees there will be a seat for me at the Peanuts table when I return.

Thanks for the memories, Charlie Brown…and for the hospitality, Charles M Schulz Center team!  See you again soon!

More information on the Charles M Schulz Museum & Research Center can be found at


Michael P ColemanThis feature was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman who thinks of Charlie Brown whenever he sees a redhead. Connect with him at or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP


Similar Posts