As another Wisconsin winter sets in, the temps in Dairyland are steadily dropping. So, while snow has canvased the earth, most Wisconsinites will be spending considerably less time outdoors. That brings me to my topic, which is an interesting and educational indoor endeavor, that topic happens to be museums…northeast Wisconsin museums to be exact. There, in the cozy confines of such institutions, many affordable hours can bring society’s countless facets to light. Let me begin….
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass
I’ll start with an art museum; it’s Located in the Fox Valley city of Neenah. This place, full of contemporary and relatively ancient glasswork, possesses captivating appeal. You’ll find aged chalices blown for nobles, which are testaments to glass’s timeless existence, but you’ll also find imaginatively shaped pieces of modern art. All in all, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, which doesn’t require an admission fee, but does ask for donations, is an excellent time passing setting.
Appleton’s History Museum at the Castle
Nearby, but on a totally different scope, you’ll find a curious place. Residing in an old Masonic lodge, this Appleton museum celebrates the city’s most famous resident. Besides that, there are other temporary and permanent exhibitions, including an antique toy…. “Wait!” you may be screaming, “Who’s Appleton’s most famous resident?”
I’ll enlighten you. Harry Houdini spent a good portion of his childhood here. And the museum, if you climb the structure’s stately staircase, has an interactive Houdini exhibit. It’s actually kind of fun….even for a middle-aged man!
The National Railroad Museum
Once again, I’ll totally change gears and, this time, find a spot focused on vehicles. It’s the vehicle that ushered in modern America, and they’re still used today. Although social media connects the world like never before, trains, if you compare their impact versus the internet, were more revolutionary…especially if you consider how they brought the nation together. So, a history museum, one focused on a vehicle which inspired sweeping change, would definitely explain trains and their importance.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum
Finally, I’ve reached my last spot. This time, I’ll stick with transportation. The state’s eastern shores are bordered by one of the nation’s Great Lakes, and, if you look upon Badgerland’s northwestern most region, other portions of the state are also influenced by maritime life. So, considering Manitowoc was once a premier shipbuilding port, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, a spot featuring Great Lakes navigation, is an apt place to celebrate residents and vessels of shoreline towns. Taking center stage at the museum, a WWII submarine is available for guided tours.
Man, I ran out of time. There are so many other great museums…such as the Neville Public Museum, the Door County Maritime Museum…so on, and so forth. But, if you’re visiting the area, the places I’ve mentioned are not a bad start.
Next week, I’ll feature four more…