Go, See, Explore: Old World Wisconsin

Picture yourself surrounded by the Kettle Moraine Forest, lush farmland and unique old style villages. Try out an old fashioned bicycle, watch the blacksmith make steel hooks or taste an old fashioned soda from the General Store. This is Old World Wisconsin, a 600 acre historic site featuring 8 ethnic farms and an 1880s village filled with hands-on activities for all ages.

Reopening for General Admission on June 17

They will be officially reopening for General Admission beginning on June 17. In addition to being open for General Admission on Thursdays – Sundays from 10am – 4pm; they are also offering Guided Journeys on Wednesdays (these will run June 16 – August 25 from 9:30am – 2:45pm).


Located at W372 S9727 WI-67, in Eagle, Wisconsin, Old World Wisconsin is just over an hour from Madison (depending on what part of Madison you are starting in).

Travel Through Time From the 1840s to the 1910s

Old World Wisconsin includes 60 beautifully restored historic structures on picturesque landscape. Through stories of perseverance, you explore the lives of those who came before us – connecting people and inspiring understanding. Your day will be fun, engaging, enriching, and authentic as you encounter history by exploring sensory-rich spaces, stories, and hands-on activities.

Each area at Old World Wisconsin showcases different stories. As you travel through time from the 1840s to the 1910s, you will find historic spaces to explore and gardens and trails to wander through. The staff wears old-fashioned clothing and are incredibly informative and wonderful at interacting with young children. You will also meet a variety of animals that helped our ancestors survive and thrive in this new world.

Experience the daily life of the people who called these buildings home as you help with chores and cooking, try your hand at crafts and trades, and play. Old World Wisconsin is much like an outdoor children’s museum – with so many hands-on activities, while also learning about history and truly experiencing life in the 1800s!

Things to Explore

Crossroads Village: Walk through “Main Street,” explore small town life, and learn how these settlers were able to adjust to ever-changing conditions. Shop in the general store, hear the hammer in the blacksmith shop, see the church pews, and tour homes from Irish and Yankee immigrants.

Life on the Farms: See how farming traditions from the old world gave way to new ones in response to the land and resources. Learn about an early African American community in Wisconsin, and explore homesteads from Pomeranian, Polish, and Hessian immigrants.

Scandinavian Homesteads: Experience firsthand the stories of creating a home and surviving in a new place. Take in a lesson at the Raspberry School and explore homes from Finnish, Danish, and Norwegian immigrants.

Catch Wheel Fever: Discover how sports, technological innovations, and shared social spaces were key in creating community identity and connecting lives near and far. Hop on an early high-wheel bicycle and see how communities came together in the club hall.

Heritage Animal Breeds: Every animal you meet during your visit is a Heritage Breed – a traditional livestock breed of cows, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, and more.

Some of our favorites

  • Riding a replica 1890s tricycle
  • Watching the Blacksmith craft a metal hook out of steel
  • Exchanging ‘tokens’ in the Village for treats and toys
  • Riding the tram
  • Playing old-fashioned yard games
  • Helping with farm chores

Insider Tip

Make sure to pick a nice day, because you are outside and walking a lot. Wear comfy shoes and pack a bag with snacks and water bottles. They do also have a grill station with hot dogs and even vegan brats; and awesome made-in-Wisconsin treats in the store like Pete’s Pops that come in seasonal flavors like Blackberry Lemonade, Buttermilk rhubarb, and Georgia Peach.

We have partnered with Old World Wisconsin on this article - we love partnering with businesses who are relevant to our local audience!
Madison Moms Blog is written by and for moms who live in the Madison Area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses. Our community begins online, but doesn't stop there! We offer Mom's Night Out events, play groups and other opportunities to connect offline, with and without kids.


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