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“Probably less than you expect”

The History Museum at the Castle
Ranked #5 of 35 things to do in Appleton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
267 reviews
165 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Probably less than you expect”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

The museum is probably smaller and contains fewer exhibits than most people would expect. There's one glass case with information about Edna Ferber which I really appreciated since I had no idea she ever lived in Appleton. The information on Joseph McCarthy was very sparse. I would have been interested to see and read more. The Houdini exhibit is OK - probably more geared towards kids. There are some hands-on handcuff & pick and steel cage type displays. The biggest exhibit was one on food which I didn't visit as it didn't interest me. I probably spent about 20 minutes inside.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mathyew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myhistorymuseum, Public Relations Manager at The History Museum at the Castle, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
The History Museum at the Castle offers a range of exhibits intended for a wide audience, both local and out of area, and for those who know a lot or just a little about our area's history. The exhibit scripts are written for both older children and adults, with the hands-on activities designed for experiential learning. Thank you for visiting the Museum, and for sharing your impressions.
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119 reviews from our community

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English first
Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Just okay for kids”
Reviewed August 17, 2013 via mobile

The Houdini exhibit was the only part that held the kid's interest. $20 for a family is a bit expensive for 20 minutes of children's entertainment. Great for someone who loves the history of Wisconsin and the Fox Valley. Very clean and well maintained. Would recommend more for adults.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank fdlfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myhistorymuseum, Public Relations Manager at The History Museum at the Castle, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you for coming to the Museum and for sharing your experiences. Museums are best enjoyed at your own pace and to your level of interest. We appreciate your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Great local history museum”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

The food exhibit was well researched and presented. It was fun, not purely academic. They have a pretty good idea of who their audience is. Didn't take me long to go through the Houdini exhibit, but I found it interesting. The downstairs area is pretty typical of most local history museums, rooms exhibiting local industry and businesses. Thought the photography exhibit was interesting, as I'm not from that area. Glad to see a tribute to Edna Ferber; I feel like she is one of America's most under rated novelists. Place was clean and attractive and in a nice historic structure right in the downtown area.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank JDJeffrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myhistorymuseum, Public Relations Manager at The History Museum at the Castle, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for writing such a thorough and thoughtful review about the History Museum. We hope you also enjoyed and experienced a lot while you were here in the Fox Cities.
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Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Saw a great traveling exhibit - DaVinci's Machines”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We saw a great traveling exhibit in January - more than 40 full scale models of DaVinci's Machines. It would be great if the museum could get more traveling exhibits. The current museum is pleasant and certainly good for a visit, if you have never been. But, it is small with minimal exhibits, so does not really engage for very many return visits. We love museums and hope this one can become better funded to better serve the local community.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank C M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fun afternoon”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Enjoyed the food exhibit and learning more about paper making in the valley. The Houdini exhibit was geared towards kids, but I picked up a few interesting tidbits. It was not too busy when we went there, but if it was busy there would be a long wait in the Houdini area in trying to share the exhibits as they are very hands on.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Derek F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myhistorymuseum, Public Relations Manager at The History Museum at the Castle, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
AKA Houdini, like all of the History Museum's exhibits, is indeed very hands-on. The exhibit script provides glimpses into the illusionist's life, including his early years spent in Appleton. Sounds like you explored all of the Museum's exhibits. Glad your experience was a good one. Hope you'll come back again.
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