Resting beneath natural light from the skylights mounted above it, the hulking figure of the 1.2 million-pound Union Pacific Big Boy cloaks visitors in a shadow that stretches for nearly 50 yards. As guests ascend the monstrous cab of this steam locomotive, they enter the centerpiece of the National Railroad Museum, a chamber echoing with more than 150 years of American railroading history.
After exiting Big Boy, guests can view a computer-generated porter that recounts how African-American rail workers formed the nation's first all-black labor union, and another stop invites passengers to view inside a portion of General Eisenhower's WWII command train. Elsewhere in the museum, various collections are housed with more than 15,000 photographs, archives such as maps and engineering drawings, and more than 5,000 artifacts including uniforms and tools.
The National Railroad Museum has over 60 pieces of rolling stock, including diesel, steam, and electric locomotives, and passenger and freight cars. Among these are some of the most influential and unique pieces in railroading history, including a number of items that pertain to the state of Wisconsin.
Other must-sees of the museum include General Motors’ experimental Aerotrain; the streamlined Pennsylvania Railroad No. 4890, a GG-1 electric locomotive; and the Frederick Bauer Drumhead Collection, the largest, single collection of railroad drumheads known to exist in the United States. Most facilities are accessible, except where rolling stock cannot be altered due to their historic nature. The Museum’s train ride is accessible, and a wheelchair lift is available.
A train ride is offered on a daily basis from May through September and guided tours are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Museum also hosts a variety of special events for all ages.
More than 5,000 Green Bay Packers collectables adorn the walls of Champion’s Sports Bar & Grill, where skilled grillmasters churn out a lengthy menu of flame-smacked steaks and burgers, including the 6-pound Gravedigger featured on the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food. Mouths warm-up for main events with ineffectual deep-knee bends and bites of the crispy Champion's Tots, drowned in creamy nacho cheese and bacon bits ($6.95), and fingers tightly clasp around spicy or barbecue wings ($7.99). A lineup of phalange fillers wear the jerseys of past and present Green Bay legends, including the #64 cowboy burger, which chefs bury beneath a mound of melted Swiss, bacon, and barbecue sauce ($8.50). A perfectly seared rib-eye steak ($10.95) weighs in at 14-ounces, and french fries guard golden pieces of beer-battered perch ($10.50) as intensely as offensive guards protect their quarterback from learning the truth about Santa Claus.
Communities tend to like places that have good roots. That's one reason why Green Bay Press-Gazette readers voted the locally owned and operated Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley the 2012 Best of the Bay's Best Bowling Alley. For more than three decades, guests have flocked to the facility's 60 lanes to test their ball-rolling and pin-eating skills alongside friends and family. Each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night, DJ Rusty Lee's tracks work with black lights and fog machines to create a nightclub-like cosmic bowling experience.