Wisconsin’s Schoolhouse Destinations

Return to the classroom for all of the fun, with none of the homework. Across the state, Wisconsin’s historic schoolhouses have been transformed into A+ attractions.

Here are our picks for fun schoolhouse destinations, whether your favorite subject these days is shopping, eating, or history! 

If you enjoy antiquing, these converted schools will put a special sentimental spin on your shopping: 

School Days Antiques Mall, Sturtevant

42 antique dealers now occupy this former school, offering three floors of fun finds, from furniture to feathers.  Wednesday is Senior Discount Day. Open: Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-5pm. 

Elmdale School Antiques, Clintonville

This 1911 schoolhouse is now a friendly antiques shop focusing on glassware, stoneware, toys, furniture, and household items. Open: Thursday-Monday, 10am-5pm, April-October. Call ahead for hours from November-March.

These schoolhouses appeal to the food lover in all of us. (Your former lunch ladies only wish they could have served this.)

Uncle Tom’s Newport School Candies, Ellison Bay

Visit this off-the-beaten-path schoolhouse known for handmade peanut brittle and fudge, as well as pancake and porridge mixes from family recipes. They’ll give you a free bag of popcorn just for stopping in. Open: Monday-Sunday, 10am-5pm, May-October. Call ahead for November-April visits.

Dorset Valley School Restaurant, Wilton

Visitors to this old schoolhouse in the scenic Driftless Area rave about the service, the Friday night fish fry, the Saturday night prime rib, and the homemade pies. It’s the ideal place to fuel up for an Elroy-Sparta State Trail bike or hike. Open: Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm; Saturday, 8am-9pm; Sunday, 8am-2pm. Hours may vary, so call ahead to confirm. 

For the history buff, Wisconsin’s schoolhouse museums offer a charming glimpse of the past:

Cambridge Historic School

Exhibits in this 1906 schoolhouse include a historic schoolroom, Asian and African culture displays, an agriculture room, a veterans’ display, and a collection of nostalgic items from Cambridge and nearby towns. Open: May-October, Wednesday & Saturday, 12:30pm-3:00pm.

Little Red School House, Tomah

Watermill School first opened its doors in 1864, and ran until 1965. It’s now a museum with a wood stove, desks, old books, and maps. An attendant gives a history of the school and answers visitors’ questions. Open: Wednesday, 1pm-5pm; Saturday, 7am-noon; Sunday, 1pm-5pm.

Craving more classroom time? Wisconsin is home to some fantastic cooking and art classes.

This entry was posted in History & Heritage and tagged Arts, Attractions, Tours & Trails, Shopping