Admission is free to the National Mustard Museum, a self–proclaimed shining temple to the "King of Condiments."
Pure museum madness.
Amanda Laurenzi, Emily Stone and Amy Beck
Looking for an extraordinary way to spend time indoors during the cold season this year? Look no further than what Wisconsin has to offer in museums! Not only is the state chock–full of awesome historical, art and cultural museums, it also sports many unusual exhibits. Spice up your routine by visiting these riveting showcases located throughout the state.
Liven up your taste buds with a visit to the National Mustard Museum in Middleton. Originally started in Mt. Horeb in 1992, this museum made the move to Middleton in 2009. When Barry Levenson, the founder and curator of the Mustard Museum, discovered his collection of mustard and other items continued to grow, he set sail for a bigger venue to show off his assortment of mustard goods. To date, Levenson has over 5,500 mustards stemming from every state in the United States and over 70 countries. He also displays mustard accompaniments and offers a store where visitors can purchase gift baskets and various mustards. Feel free to taste samples and check out exhibits that have more information about mustard than you'd ever expect to find in one place. Shop at the mustard store for any kind of mustard you're looking for and be sure to have a great time with the friendly staff. Admission is free. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on some holidays. Learn more at mustardmuseum.com.
The Cable Natural History Museum was founded in 1967, by Mary Griggs Burke, as a tribute to Burke's mother (Mary Griggs) and as a gift to the town of Cable. Burke was a longtime, seasonal resident of the Cable Area, with a reputation for caring for the community. Burke said, "I am glad more people are enjoying the beauty of nature — but only if people value the land and treat it with respect can they preserve what they enjoy."
The museum's mission of connecting people to Northwoods nature through educational experiences that inspire wonder, discovery, and responsibility relates directly to Burke's original philanthropic vision.
Each year, museum staff and volunteers design an innovative exhibit focused on helping visitors better understand the Northwoods where they live and play.
"Creating our own exhibits (as opposed to renting traveling exhibits) allows us to display and explain some of the original taxidermy mounts created by our founding naturalist Lois Nestel, and allows us to focus our education on topics that are especially relevant to our community," says Museum Director, Deb Malesevich.
You can visit the current exhibit: "Deer Camp, A Natural and Cultural History of Whitetailed Deer in Wisconsin" until April 5, and then come back for the next exhibit, "Nature's Superheroes," after May 1.
For over 46 years, the museum has provided a variety of high–quality educational experiences to people of all ages. With almost 200 free or low–cost educational programs on its calendar, the museum has become a gathering place for local residents, seasonal visitors and community groups. Two self–guided nature trails encourage visitors to get outside on nice days, while the museum classroom provides a beautiful space for even more classes and workshops. Learn more at cablemuseum.org or call (715) 798–3890.
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau allows visitors to enjoy natural beauty year–round in its galleries and sculpture garden. With a collection focused on art of the natural world and its annual flagship "Birds in Art" exhibit, this museum sets the standard for avian–themed artworks. The inaugural exhibit that launched the fledgling museum in 1976 has become "Birds in Art," an internationally renowned exhibition, presented each fall.
Changing exhibits — "Mystery, Magic, and Mayhem;" "Redress: Upcycled Style by Nancy Judd;" and "Pop Art in America"will be shown in the coming months — ensuring visitors always experience something new to see and do. Artworks on display provide ever–changing themes for enriching programs, artist residencies, and hands–on learning opportunities for all ages.
With a mission to enhance lives through art and a commitment to always–free admission, the Woodson Art Museum serves north central Wisconsin, fulfilling three daughters' dream to honor their mother by establishing an art museum as a gift to the community and all visitors.
To learn more visit lywam.org, call (715) 845–7010, or follow the museum on Facebook and Twitter.
Can't get enough of the Green Bay Packers? Head over to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Museum on non–game days Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and even some holidays at varied hours. Show your support for Wisconsin's NFL team by visiting the almost 80 exhibits at the museum, covering over 90–years–worth of history and Packers legends. Call (888) 442–7225 for more information.
Back in the day, you had to wait for a circus to show up at your town in order to experience the magic and excitement of shows and exotic animals. Now, the circus is accessible year–round at Circus World in Baraboo, where the original Ringling Bros. Circus Winter Quarters was located.
Keep the location bookmarked — you may need to make a few trips to experience everything from shows to historical exhibits. The museum even houses a library for resources on circus history, including photos, music, journals and vintage posters. Circus World is open daily during the summer and fall seasons, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., respectively. Winter and spring showings are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and ticket prices visit circusworld.wisconsinhistory.org.
Discover the rich history of the Fox River Valley area at the History Museum at the Castle located in Appleton. Through various artifacts, photos and stories, the people of Fox Valley come to life with their experiences dating back through the 1840s. Harry Houdini, the famous illusionist who set out to disprove mediums and spiritualists, claimed Appleton to be his birthplace even though he was actually born in Hungary. His love for the area exemplifies the wealth of what Appleton has offered through the generations. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at myhistorymuseum.org.