Toby's Clown Foundation and School
109 West Interlake •
Lake Placid, Florida • 863-465-2920
We invite you to tour the museum:
Tuesday 12 - 4
Wednesday 12 - 4
Thursday 12 - 4
Friday 12 - 4
Saturday 11 - 3
There is a gift shop and a museum brimming with memorabilia. As you enter, a video will be shown with our history and a little walking tour. Our gift shop attendant is at the ready to answer questions and tell some stories of how all these items were acquired.
Keeping the history of clowning and spreading joy alive. Be A Clown!
Toby's Clown Foundation wants to share our museum with you. If you are touring Florida, interested in becoming a clown or wanting lovely party entertainment this small town hidden gem is your answer.
Welcome to the funniest place in Lake Placid!
Since 1993, Toby's clowns have been bringing smiles to life in Highlands County, Florida. Keith "Toby" Stokes began spending time in Lake Placid, but missed being a Shrine clown when he was down south.
He organized the first class of clowns and graduated 6 clowns. Now we are proud to say more than 1500 clowns have graduated from the American Clown School.
Our mission is to teach the art of clowning and to spread Smiles, Love & Laughter, but there's more to see at the clown house. First of all, on the exterior walls, you will discover two of Lake Placid's famous murals. One is "Toby's First Clown Class", by Keith Goodson. The other is "The Art of Clowning", by Monica Turner.
Then, inside, you'll discover the only American Clown Museum in the world! There are clown clothes and figurines. There is a significant collection of art prints and posters from clowns all over America. Read more about the museum...
A trip inside isn't complete until you visit our gift shop...for clowns big and little, you'll find souvenirs, clothing, costumes and clown memoribilia to take or send home. Read more about the gift shop...
Before 1993, there were no official clowns in Lake Placid. Along came Keith Stokes, also known as "Toby" to his Shrine brothers. Toby enjoyed spending part of his retirement in the Lake Placid community, but he missed the special feeling he got from "clowning around".
He approached the local hosital, Florida Hospital - Heartland Medical Center and made arrangements with the hospital administration to entertain patients with his clowning.
His efforts were well received by patients and the hospital staff realized what a positive impact he made on the health care. Toby and the hospital quickly came to an agreement that he could use meeting rooms in the hospital to train more clowns.
The first clown class was graduated in 1993. Soon after, in 1995, Toby's Clown Alley #296 was chartered by the Clowns of America International.
To assist with fund raising, the Toby the Clown Foundation was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.
The building in the photo above was completed and opened to the public in January of 2010. In addtion to providing room for meetings and classes, there are more than 700 pieces of clown memorabilia, a gift shop and an administration office.
Today, clowns from all over the Central Florida area help with special events and festivals by providing walking entertainment for visitors. Clowns can also be found on the street during busy tourist days in downtown Lake Placid.
Clowns also assist with children's birthday parties and make visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Of course, in the true spirit of the early days in Lake Placid, clowns and joeys visit local hospitals, too!
If you would like to book a bountiful bunch of bouncing clowns for an event, please call the Clown House - 863-465-2920.
Toby's Clowns receive no city, state or national funding, so your donation is always welcome.
What you will learn...
A little history
What kind of clown do you want to be? A little history may help you decide!
Makeup & Costuming
Personal attention every step of the way with multiple clown instructors.
Bubblology, Pie Throwing, Puppetry, Magic, Paradability & More!
Indoor and outdoor class environment with hands on training... yep you can get a pie in the face or a puppet on your hand.
Balloon Twisting, Walk Around Comedy, Face Painting, Comedy Skits
Clowning class can be adapted to ALL ages, sizes and physical abilities. You are limited only by your imagination.
“One is not always happy when one is good; but one is always good when one is happy”