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As the hometown of the famous Ringling Brothers, Baraboo attracts visitors with Circus World Museum. Their famous circus wintered there at the turn of the century. Baraboo is also the home of the International Crane Foundation, an eco-resource that protects and displays a mating pair of each of the world’s fifteen crane species. Just outside Baraboo, Devil’s Lake State Park is a geologic gem. Created by the glaciers, the park’s spring-fed lake is surrounded on three sides by 500-foot-high bluffs.
Nearby, in North Freedom, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum offers 45-minute rides aboard an old-fashioned train. To the south, Merrimac is a tiny crossroads community at the southern end of Lake Wisconsin, a broad expanse of the Wisconsin River created by a hydroelectric dam just downriver. The lake is a popular vacation destination, while the town is famous for its free car ferry service across the river.
Your child will always remember...
Going to the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue. You will fall in love with these magnificent creatures. Come and meet their family of 29 lions, tigers, and leopards. Ask them about their special guided tours by one of the founders. It's a one-hour tour where you get to see the special bond between the cats and their guardians. They will show you the caring side of a big cat like you have never seen before. The rescue's mission is to provide a safe place and comfortable home for abused, neglected, and unwanted big cats and also to educate the public about these extraordinary animals and the actions that necessitate the need for Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue & Educational Center.
Don't leave without tasting...
A Cow Pie from Baraboo Candy Company. Come and see their unique cow candies. They're all made from the finest ingredients, and each is individually packaged in a fun and colorful theme box. Their Cow Candy is sure to be a hit. They also have other sweet treats that you are not going to want to miss!
The Al Ringling Theatre in Baraboo has been called "America's Prettiest Playhouse." The magnificent theatre was built in 1915 by legendary circus showman Al Ringling, the eldest of the famous Ringling Brothers. Designed both for stage and silent movies, this historic theatre continues to host the best of movies, local talent and touring productions.
You'll know you're here when...
You visit Circus World in Baraboo. You are going to want to see this beautiful National Landmark site and the original buildings of the Ringling Bros. Circus. Come and see acrobats, horses, jugglers, dogs, clowns, aerialists and elephants. Also come and see the new Tristan Crist Magic Theatre with jaw-dropping illusions that capture the imagination! Spend the day seeing the huge collection of circus wagons, posters and memorabilia for a day of fun, history and entertainment.
Top photo opportunity is...
The International Crane Foundation. Come and be inspired by the beauty of these endangered Whooping Cranes. Watch them wading through a tranquil wetland. Take pictures and hike through a restored Wisconsin landscape. There are 15 crane species, and you can have an expert guide give you a tour and tell you about crane biology and the challenges to the world-wide conservation of these beautiful birds.
Dining: Near Baraboo