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The History Museum at the Castle

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 330 East College Avenue, Appleton, WI 54911
Phone Number: 920-735-9370
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11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Tue - Sun 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

The History Museum at the Castle presents award-winning local history as...

The History Museum at the Castle presents award-winning local history as well as national exhibits through hands-on experiences that engage people of all ages. We're best known for our exceptional interactive Harry Houdini exhibit that reveals the magician's illusions. Don't miss the exclusive Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion interactive exhibit now through February 3, 2013! We also pay tribute to Pulitzer Prize winning author Edna Ferber, and put Sen. Joseph McCarthy into perspective.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 95 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 39
  • 38
    Very good
  • 13
  • 4
  • 1
Charming if small

Surprisingly, Appleton was the hometown of both Harry Houdini and Joe McCarthy. Both are featured here, although in very different ways. Currently, there is an exhibit on the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
Mark A
New York City, New York
via mobile
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95 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Surprisingly, Appleton was the hometown of both Harry Houdini and Joe McCarthy. Both are featured here, although in very different ways. Currently, there is an exhibit on the ground floor of cycling throughout Wisconsin's history. It's interesting and the interactive exhibits are fun. Many examples of bicycles through the years give a good idea of how far we've come. On... More 

Thank Mark A
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was the first time we visited the museum, there were quite a few exhibits, we especially enjoyed the bike exhibit.

Thank Nancy S
Dodgeville, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Great Building and wonderful staff. The Houdini exhibit was a bit disappointing for me. I was looking for a well stocked collection of actual artifacts teamed with the Hands on exhibits. I think the hands on explanation of how he did his escapes was well done and would be great for kids. But for my wife and myself it was... More 

Thank Jeff L
Racine, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The museum takes about an hour to go through. There are several hands on activities mostly for children. I like museums Of any kind so I found this one interesting about HoudiNi bicycles and Appleton in general. very old building so still a nice attraction to see and inexpensive.

Thank kdunn12
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
181 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2016

Nice try appleton but no cigar. I guess you have to drive to Chicago to see a really museum. This place is boring and not much to see. We got thru it in about 30 min. Its a cool old building now renovated for weddings. It looks better from the outside and needs TLC. Sorry - as a world traveler... More 

Thank heidi D
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
45 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2015

We went here primarily to see the bicycle history exhibit and were not disappointed. There was a nice of variety of old and new bikes, along with some Wisconsin bicycling history. There was also 2 bikes that you could ride and see a tour of one of the Wisconsin trails, or experience the kid's ride with one of the Green... More 

Thank SpringPeeper
Houghton, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2015

lots of hands on exhibits, worth a stop if you're local or visiting the area. I enjoyed the basement and the old photos of the area.

Thank James H
Level Contributor
216 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2015 via mobile

I visited here a couple years ago and WOW! They had a lot of replica inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. It is hard to imagine all the things he made. Some of the things he did: invented a wooden bicycle, invented concave, convex mirrors, which had a lot to do with making eyeglasses, made a water fed saw, which kept... More 

Thank Tigerman777
Franklin, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2015

The best part of this small museum is the Harry Houdini exhibit on the second floor. Visitors learn all sorts of wonderful facts -- and how the Master of Illusion performed many of his most famous "tricks" (for lack of a better word).

1 Thank MelindaW52
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2015

The querky history about Harry Houdini was very interesting and well done. They have a metal gibbit for visitors to try on and imagine how to stage an escape.

1 Thank hafe

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?