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Travel Through Time and the Stories of America’s Heartland

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A young girl dresssed in wheel men period clothes laughs with her mother in the Wheelman's Club house

Set against the backdrop of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and 600 acres of picturesque woodlands, prairie, and wetlands, Old World Wisconsin is a one-of-a kind-place where the modern world fades away to reveal over a century of history. The site includes 60 authentically restored historic homes, farms, stores, and workshops. 

Along your journey from the 1840s to the 1910s, costumed ambassadors will invite you to get hands on with history. You’ll meet furry friends on the farms, enjoy an old-fashioned soda water in the general store, see sparks fly in the blacksmith shop, see how beer is made, and so much more!

How you explore is up to you – our historic areas are located within convenient walking distance of each other, or you can choose to hop on our complimentary tram. 


Interactive Experiences

Numerous leather key chains and a wooden hammer

Craft a leather keychain*

A young girl looking at crafter metal hooks

Take home a hand crafted metal hook*

A person dressed in period time clothes pouring old fashioned soda water

Enjoy an old-fashioned soda water*

A family outside of a general store

Shop in the general store*

People kneading bread dough

Help bake bread

Children with chicken eggs in their hands

Collect chicken eggs 

Family trying on wooden shoes

Try on wooden shoes 

Children riding high wheel tricycles

Ride high-wheel tricycles 

A group of children in the gardens

Wander the gardens 

A black smith poking the fire

Sponsored by Milwaukee Tool Mukwonago Operations

Lend a hand in the blacksmith shop

Someone washing clothes on a wash board

Wash clothes on a wash board 

Someone dressed in period time clothing weaving

Learn how to weave

Two oxes

Meet our oxen

Tall trees

Stroll down a wooded path

A child putting on a period time hat

Try on period clothing 

A family baking in the kitchen

Prepare food in the kitchens 

A  teacher teaching a school house lesson

Take in a schoolhouse lesson 

Fine china set on a dining room table

Set the dining room table 

A picture of the pump organ

Play the pump organ 

A child carrying wood to stack

Stack wood

Someone dressed in period time clothing spinning wool

Try your hand at spinning wool

Children pumping water from the well

Pump water from the well

Beer coming out a faucet

Sample beer made in the Brewhouse

Note: Some experiences are seasonal and dependent on staffing.

* Requires the purchase of time travel tokens 

Plan Your Visit

to travel through time and the stories of America’s heartland.


Things To Explore

The five fermentation vats (one for each day of brewing during the summer season) and kegs shown as equipment is moved into the new Brewhouse at Old World Wisconsin in preparation for the June 2022 grand opening events. Taken 2.24.22 by Dan Freas

The Brewhouse

Open Now!

From large breweries to corner bars, big labels to modern microbrews, beermaking is a huge part of Wisconsin’s culture and heritage. The new Brewing Experience presented by the Cleary-Kumm Family taps into into the state’s brewing past by creating immersive environments where you can see, smell, feel, and — of course — taste this history. You’ll get hands-on, see how beer is made, engage with beermakers and bartenders, and relax with a few cold ones on your own.

A young black girl with cute hair poms works to cut a piece of wood.

CROSSROADS VILLAGE

To be successful often required immigrants to take risks and learn to adapt to changing circumstances. Walk through our “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.

A young girl harvests a watermelon with the help of a costumed guide

LIFE ON THE FARMS

Rural ingenuity enabled immigrants to live off their own resources with little or no cash income. 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

Survival in the new world was not guaranteed and perseverance was critical in order to survive. 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.

A young girl smiles wide as she rides a high wheel tricylce while her equally joyful mom follows behind.

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.

Piglet looking to the right

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. Please ask our Historic Farmers for safe ways to engage with the animals. The Historic Farmers have fun stories about the animals too!

WOODED TRAILS

Walk the wooded paths around Old World’s grounds and experience scenic views similar to those who’ve tread before you.
As part of a 5 year project, Standard Process, Inc. will be assisting in restoring some trails to get them back on the map and available to guests!

Old World Wisconsin is Travel Green certified!


Learn with the Wisconsin Historical Society

Field Trips


Summer Camps


Wisconsin Historical Society Sites

Old World Wisconsin is one of the 12 historic sites and museums owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Explore all of these sites below.