The study of history can tell us how we arrived at our current situation, unless that situation is groggily waking up in a Brazilian rainforest dressed in a Big Bird costume and covered in Monopoly money. Educate yourself on explainable occurrences with today's deal: for $17, you get a one-year membership to The History Museum at the Castle (up to a $35 value), located on East College Avenue.
Featured on the Travel Channel for its Houdini artifacts, The History Museum at the Castle contains a plethora of family-friendly exhibits about famous folk from the Fox River Valley. Learn the many identities of Harry Houdini with hands-on magical apparatus, vintage film, and photographs, as well as posters and other ephemera about the famed magician. Appleton's own history takes center stage with a collection of historic postcards. Visitors interested in local sports culture can try on old uniforms, perform vintage cheers, and view memorabilia such as Alex Rodriguez's old bat or Mike Holmgren's bronzed moustache. The museum's Norman Revival architecture inspires brain images of times gone by, with elegant cobbled towers and arrow-slit windows that recall happier, moat-filled times. A one-year membership provides unlimited visits for you and one guest, as well as the following benefits:
- Free admission to the 1837 Charles A. Grignon Mansion during regular open hours.
- Free History Today subscription, the museum’s quarterly newsletter
- 10% discount at the museum shop
- Invitations to exhibit premiers and other members-only events
- Discounts on programs and workshops
- There were three life-sized plaster busts of Harry Houdini made shortly after the escape artist's death. Two of them met abrupt and tragic ends. One bust remains intact, housed at the History Museum at the Castle in downtown Appleton, where some say it holds the restless spirit of the late illusionist. – Appleton Post-Crescent
The History Museum at the Castle
Harry Houdini was legendary for his daring escapes, but he's still never escaped the public's imagination. To wit: AKA Houdini, whose artifacts offer a hands-on glimpse into some of his most infamous tricks. Along with the Appleton-raised illusionist, The History Museum at the Castle's award-winning exhibits focus on other notable Fox Valley natives, including Senator Joseph McCarthy. Dating back to the 1840s, the museum's collection of Fox Valley artifacts includes 35,000 photographs and 20,000 pieces, such as parts of a vintage gas station. At an exhibit tracing the origins of the area's most famous foods, such as frozen custard and fish fries, visitors can even spear sturgeons inside a life-size virtual ice shanty.
These pieces of Fox Valley history are housed inside a Masonic temple listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1923, the temple exemplifies the medieval, Norman Revival style with rough-hewn stone, vaulted ceilings, and fire-breathing dragons guarding its entrance. Designed as a community center, the temple continues to serve that function by hosting the museum's year-round events, including papermaking programs and magic workshops.
330 E College Ave.
Appleton, Wisconsin 54911Get Directions