N 5780 Kinney Rd
Portage, WI 53901
Phone: (608) 745-4717
Fax: (608) 745-1231
Arts & Museums
The Nature Center is nestled in the vast and sprawling Devil's Lake State Park. The center gives an insight into the historical heritage and geological features of this region. It also hosts special programs and events on a regular basis.
History is replete with stories that make us laugh and cry. One such story is narrated by the Circus World Museum through their collection and displays pertaining to the place that has made most people laugh out loud, a circus. Dealing in particular with the documents and records that chronicle the history of American circuses, the Circus World Museum, perhaps, houses the largest circus artifact treasure trove in the world. Walk into the museum to find a library and research center, elaborate circus parades and live circus performances. Declared a National Historic Landmark, the Circus World Museum stretches over sixty-four acres of land and houses more than two hundred original wagons that were used by traveling circuses from America, Ireland and England. Enjoy their excellent poster collection including the Buffalo Bill Wild West one that is over nine feet in length.
The Cornerstone Gallery in Downtown Baraboo showcases contemporary art in a form that is fit to be purchased and also ensures that the hole in one's pocket isn't too large either. Items displayed here put Wisconsin's best food forward while the owners wish to sustain a boost to the art work of local artists from the Dells. At this gallery, you will find that exact unique something that you wanted to give your loved ones like jewelry, scarves, pottery, photographic prints as well as oil and glass paintings. Walk into the store, if not to buy than to have a look at the interesting collection put forth by the local artisans.
Enter the amazing world of space, magic and electricity. Tommy Bartlett Exploratory gives the entire family an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of science and technology, play hand in hand with brilliant minds and meticulous thoughts. For those who have the undying need to know why things work the way they do and for those who simply revel in the adventurous high that inventions can give you, Tommy Bartlett Exploratory has more than 150 interactive displays that help one understand concepts like static electricity, laser and optical illusions. What sets the Exploratory apart is the practical and hands on way in which one can experience these scientific theories. Get a charge out of static electricity and see your hair stand on end!
Henry Hamilton Bennett is better known as the man who put Wisconsin Dells on the map of the world. One of the best landscape photographers in the world, Bennett embraced nature in all its beauty and put forth through his candid pictures his love, awe and reverence towards nature. This historic museum is H. H. Bennett's studio built by the man himself back in 1875. Photographs do speak a thousand words and transcend the boundaries set by time and age and his photographs are no exception to this. Do visit this museum to glance through its amazing collection.
A human beings capacity to love is limitless but it must not be lost in our fogged memories that the cruel inclination towards causing excruciating pain is also a part of man's repertoire. Wisconsin Dells is home to the Museum of Historic Torture which displays torture devices that have been devised by countries all over the world. These macabre tools, legal at the time of their use, served the purpose during interrogations and punishments. Be it the Inquisitor's Chair, Heretic's Fork, all these devices can be viewed here. Understanding these contraptions may wreak havoc on your nerves but at least you have been warned!
Nestled in the quaint Wisconsin Dells, Robert Ripley's Museum attracts hordes of visitors and enthusiasts through the year. You have the opportunity to walk through eight well stocked galleries of the bizarre and beyond. Be prepared to be awe inspired and be even better prepared to cringe at the sight of some of the oddities that Ripley's houses. Some major attractions in this Believe It or Not include the King Tut's Curse which challenges you to do your very best to survive his wrath! Check their website for further details like timing and some fantastic pictures of the place.
Even those who scorn the existence of aliens are likely to become believers at the American UFO Sci-Fi Museum whose biggest attraction is a simulation of the Alien Autopsy which took place in New Mexico. Sufficient coverage has also been given to the chilling UFO landing in Roswell in 1947 which raised the heckles of the international community too. Call ahead for open hours.
The 1950s saw the creation of several steam locomotives and passenger seats by Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works. Years later, though the original creators of these gems are no longer around, their legacy carries on as this living museum. The Riverside & Great Northern Railway gives us a glimpse into the history of railways and railroading in the state of Wisconsin. As per seasonal timings, guests can enjoy the rustic pleasure of traveling in these excellently maintained locomotives. For complete details, check the website or call ahead.
Established in 1963, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum houses 14 steam locomotives along with 6 diesel run ones. This rail road museum has restored numerous rolling stock and its motto is to bring to the present, the wonder and joy of the heritage steam locomotives that ran on this rail line, which is an offshoot of the Chicago and North Western Railway. Chug your way back in time around the breathtaking Baraboo Hills in the train excursions that the museum conducts regularly. This open air rail road museum attempts at and succeeds in breathing life into the age old rural railway system. Enjoy the various tours planned including the likes of the Snow Train and the Caboose Rides. Hop into this train of living history where they promise you a conductor, who will authentically chime, "All Aboard" Refer to the website for timings and reservations.