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“Big museum with a ton of interesting information”
Review of Circus World

Circus World
Ranked #3 of 47 things to do in Baraboo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Circus World in Baraboo is America's favorite circus attraction! Baraboo was home to The Ringling Bros. Circus from 1884 thru 1918, and during those thirty-four years the operation grew to become the largest circus enterprise the world has ever known. Although the Ringlings left in 1918, many of their original structures survived.During the summer months, Circus World comes to life with daily live shows and demonstrations. See the world’s largest collection of glorious parade wagons plus 7 authentic Ringling Bros. buildings filled with colorful, big top memories. Enjoy elephant, pony and carousel rides; cotton candy, ice cream, tasty sandwiches and our main lobby gift shop. Experience a live circus performance and entertaining Nothing But Nonsense show with Steve & Ryan. Experience the thrill that never grows old at Circus World!
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Even if you're someone who's not particularly interested in the circus, this museum is so well put together and has so much information that you're bound to find out something that fascinates you. This place is HUGE and you should definitely give yourself some time to get through it! Some of it is outside, so keep that in mind on the day you decide to visit.

1  Thank Lynne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott O, General Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Lynne, thank you for visiting and your thoughtful review. At 60 plus acres, we are a large museum accommodating 7 National Historic Landmark buildings from the Ringling Bros. origins. Our currency is wonder so we happen to concur that there is something for everyone here. We truly hope that your future travel plans allow for a return visit.

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8 - 12 of 506 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Great deal with the end of season rates. No rides or shows but the rest was wonder. Hope that the museum can stay as we are losing a piece of history

1  Thank lindakmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott O, General Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Linda, thank you for visiting and your thoughtful review. We plan to last, educate and entertain for generations to come. While it is a loss with the closing of the touring units of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, 50 plus circus's are still criss-crossing our great nation presenting the timeless tradition and artistry of the American Circus. We happen to agree that we proudly present "wonder" to our guests. We hope that your future travel plans will allow for a return visit.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We've lived in Wisconsin over 60 years and had never been here. Glad we decided to finally check it out. You could spend hours just looking at all the circus history, but then to see all the beautiful old wagons is just wonderful. Haven't seen some of the wagons since the parades through Milwaukee.

1  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott O, General Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

John, thank you for visiting and your thoughtful review. We are proud to preserve and present the largest collection of circus artifacts in the world on our 64 acre site. Wisconsin was home to over 100 different circus's over the years and is an important chapter of our state heritage. We are glad that you enjoyed the wagon collection, they are simply glorious in their craftsmanship and inspiring to see. We hope that your future travel plans allow for a return visit.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We found this museum while taking a walk in Baraboo along the river. What an excellent find! This is definitely a hidden gem. The museums are done very well, and the circus pictures and floats are outstanding. Very memorable!

Thank meyerla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott O, General Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for visiting and your thoughtful review. Baraboo is truly blessed with our Riverwalk area, that highlights so many of our communities blessings that developed along the river corridor. The Ringling Bros blessed Baraboo by choosing our site along water street adjacent to the Baraboo River in the late 1800's. Pleased to read that you enjoyed the wagon collection and our displays with the life-stories reflected therein. We truly hope that your future travel plans will allow for a return visit.

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

When it was announced that "The Greatest Show on Earth” would no longer be, my heart crumbled at the thought that a childhood tradition would soon come to an end. How sad for future generations.
A three-hour visit to the Circus World Museum triggered some fond memories. As you approach the front doors, calliope music welcomes you into the world of lions, tigers and elephants. In the exhibit hall and visitor center are bigger than life posters and lithographs that wooed children and adults alike into the magical world of the big top. In the collection are views of people who were part of the sideshow acts. Discover how these outcasts of society found employment, worth and love through the circus.
Learn of the five Ringling Brothers who started a circus in Baraboo, WI, May 19, 1884 with a small tent, three horses, a hyena and a troupe of 21 people. You’ll gain insight into the life of each brother, their life’s apart and as a unit to make their circus the best the world would know.
At the W.W. Deppe Circus Wagon Pavilion, you will see an impressive array of beautiful circus wagons. In the C.P. Fox Wagon Restoration Center, you’ll view the Star Tableau wagon from Sir Robert Fossett, considered England’s oldest circus in the world.
Other barns on the property showcase the stories and costumes of the ringmaster, clowns and costumes of different acts of the day.
Admission during the spring and fall is under 10.00. Summer rates are under 20.00. A must see is the to scale circus big top display with movement of circus acts.
Overall: This was a great day trip that was worth the drive and time.

Thank Hitheroadwithlila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott O, General Manager at Circus World, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thank you for visiting and your thoughtful review. So pleased to read that our amazing state heritage and the vibrant stories of those who truly made "The Greatest Show on Earth" great resonated during your visit. We are caretakers of a million stories of circus lives lived to the fullest to bring joy to their fellow citizens. For many from very humble beginnings to lofty achievements, each followed their dream and in the process inspired other dreams. We truly hope that your future travel plans allow for a return visit.

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