Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center Map
Address:
560 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy NWisconsin Dells 53965
Phone:
(608) 254-2525
Open:
Year-round
Hours:
Summer 9 am- 9 pm
Spring, Fall & Winter 10 am- 4 pm
Contact:
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Phone:
(608) 254-2525
 
Phone:
(608) 254-2525
 
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Overview

One of the most exciting favorite Wisconsin Dells Attractions; all day, every day, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory is the place to be for hands-on family fun. Filled with more than 175 interactive activities, it is sure to boggle your brain. Test the laws of physics with our Giant Lever, where you can lift a 5,000-lb., full-sized vehicle off the ground! This Wisconsin Dells attraction is also the only place on Earth where you can see, feel and experience an authentic Russian Space Station MIR core module. Ride our High Wire SkyCycle (seasonal) on the world’s thinnest bike trail, a one-inch cable 12 feet in the air! Experience virtual reality adventures, simulator excitement, mirrors, magic, puzzles, holograms and scientific wonders!  Out of all the wonderful things to do in Wisconsin Dells, anything Tommy Bartlett is a must. Enter our Exploratory and get lost in the wonders of science, technology, space and fun! 

Directions

From Chicago

Take I-90/94W toward Rockford. Continue to Wisconsin on I-90W toward Madison. At Madison, I-90 and I-94 merge and become I-90/94. Take Hwy 12 (Exit 92). Follow ramp to the right - travel 2-1/2 miles on Hwy 12W. Take right at 4th traffic light continuing on 12W & 23N. The Tommy Bartlett Show and Tommy Bartlett Exploratory are located 1/4 mile on right.

From Milwaukee

Take I-94W toward Madison. At Madison, I-90 and I-94 merge and become I-90/94. Take Hwy 12 (Exit 92). Follow ramp to the right - travel 2-1/2 miles on Hwy 12W. Take right at 4th traffic light continuing on 12W & 23N. The Tommy Bartlett Show and Tommy Bartlett Exploratory are located 1/4 mile on right.

From Minneapolis/St. Paul

Take I-94E toward Madison. Take Hwy 23 (Exit 89). Take left at traffic light onto Hwy 23N. Travel 1 mile to intersection of Hwy 23N & 12W. Take left at traffic light. The Tommy Bartlett Show and Tommy Bartlett Exploratory are located 1/4 mile on right.

From Green Bay

Take Hwy 41S to Oshkosh. From Hwy41S, take Hwy 44W to Ripon.

In Ripon, take Hwy 23W. Take I-39S (Hwy 51S) to the Wisconsin Dells exit, Hwy 23. Continue on Hwy 23W to Wisconsin Dells. Go through town and cross the Wisconsin River Bridge. Take left on Hwy 23S & 12E at next traffic light. The Tommy Bartlett Show and Tommy Bartlett Exploratory are located 1/4 mile on right.

 
Convention Overview

One of the most exciting favorite Wisconsin Dells Attractions; all day, every day, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory is the place to be for hands-on family fun. Filled with more than 175 interactive activities, it is sure to boggle your brain. This Wisconsin Dells attraction is also the only place on Earth where you can see, feel and experience an authentic Russian Space Station MIR core module. Out of all the wonderful things to do in Wisconsin Dells, anything Tommy Bartlett is a must. Enter the Exploratory and get lost in the wonders of science, technology, space and fun! 

     
    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center Videos
     
    Add Your Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center Story
    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center
     
    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center Stories
    2012-08-19This was a very enjoyable experience. It was so fun to have so many hands on things to play with and explore. Never a dull moment, super fun!
    -AliciaPine City,MN
    2012-08-01Enjoyed
    -diana 
    2012-07-29This is a very fun and interactive! Suitable for all ages! All of the space simulator like exhibits were fun and amazing!
    -Mark 
    2009-09-14I went to Tommy Bartlett's Exploratory this past year with my brother. The place kept you quite busy and interested in trying everyone of the hands on experiments b4 you would leave to another area. Everything was like a science experiment yet so fun. A great idea for families to enjoy. Tottally worth the money. The Russian Mir Space Station was a favorite of ours to see. Especially since there were only three ever made.
    -MegPlatteville,WI
    2009-03-10Cant believe its out of this world just like Space Camp! We brought our kids there every year so wild in there. I love the stars in this hallway and the mirrors that move in different directions. And the camera you take a pose and snap the picture is taken and see your creation! Want a fun place to get information and see the Mior Spacestation! Cant belive its real! Thanks The Heidens and The Taylors summer of 2008
    -JessicaMilwaukee,WI

    Have you been to Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center?

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    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center Articles
    It's Okay To Be Spacey2010-04-01Space capsules that are the real deal fill the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory.Read More
    It's Okay To Be Spacey
    2010-04-01

    tommy-bartlett-exploratory-wisconsin-dells-36There is a repository for life-size artifacts of the U.S. and international space program and it's not in Florida. It's in Wisconsin Dells. Imagine that!

    The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center, an attraction with enough hands-on experiments, games and gizmos to satisfy any curious kid, continues to build up its reputation as a place to plunge into space, figuratively of course. It started in 1997, when late owner Tommy Bartlett indulged his fascination with space travel by acquiring an authentic Russian Space Station MIR core module. The deal was brokered by current owner, Tom Diehl.

    The 43-foot MIR was couriered to the Dells directly from a Moscow museum. It's one of only three manufactured by the Russians and the only one open for public viewing. Visitors to the Exploratory can step inside, but be prepared -- the module is tipped at an angle to simulate space travel and it may play games with your equilibrium. The MIR program is credited with paving the way for the current International Space Station endeavors.

    Then last year, Diehl jumped at the chance to acquire a full-size replica of the Mercury Space Capsule, a piece of hardware that represents the United States' first manned spaceship of nearly 50 years ago and is memorialized in the book and the movie The Right Stuff. The replica capsule had been built for the Kennedy Space Center, but when plans to display it there changed, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory gladly stepped in. It is faithful to the real deal, having been constructed from NASA blueprints. You're sure to be surprised at just how compact it is -- a mere 6-feet 10-inches long by 6-feet 2 ½-inches in diameter. Its main function was to shield astronauts from the extreme heat experienced during re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

    In the same area where the MIR and Mercury now float, you'll also find a replica of Sputnik I, the first satellite in space, and other space memorabilia. And you may also see Mark Schilling, tour guide and a bit of a space expert himself, thanks to his 37-year career at Tommy Bartlett's. "I grew up with this, watching those big moments of space exploration on a black-and-white TV in the school hallway," said Shilling. "Today's school groups might consider it more like a Model T, but I still get excited thinking about it."

    Shilling confessed that, when he was little, he would have liked to have gone into space. "Not anymore," he said. "Having helped with this exhibit and the detailed timeline of events, I understand the reality of just how challenging it is."

    Trivia: Among the original Mercury Seven astronauts was Donald "Deke" Slayton, who grew up in Sparta, Wisconsin. While a heart condition grounded him from Mercury flights, he did make it into space in 1975 as part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project that marked the first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts.

    View all Wisconsin Dells Museums & Interactive Attractions.

     

    View Article
    Handy List Of Hands-On Activities2010-01-01Get hands-on. The Dells' definition of "interactive" is a whole lot more fun than Webster's.Read More
    Handy List Of Hands-On Activities
    2010-01-01

    Here's a lesson in having fun: Visit places that stretch your mind and body. That's right, learning a little something on vacation can be very entertaining, especially in a place like Wisconsin Dells.

    Circus World - Wisconsin Dells Hands On Attractions

    Circus World


    At America's historic landmark circus museum, kids get to be the star of the show.

    H.H. Bennett Studio - Wisconsin Dells Museums

    H.H. Bennett Studio


    Recreate the Stand Rock jump -- a leap from one bluff to another (only this time on land) made famous when Bennett photographed his son mid-air using his stop-action camera invention.

    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center - Hands On Attractions In The Dells

    Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center


    More than 150 interactive exhibits here prove the world is an amazing place.

    MagiQuest - Hands On Wisconsin Dells Attractions

    MagiQuest


    Armed with magic wands, kids explore this four-story, live-action adventure game that combines video gaming, role playing and story telling.

    Wizard Quest - Interactive Attraction In Downtown Wisconsin Dells

    Wizard Quest


    This game of strategy puts you smack dab in a full-size world of wizards.

     

     

    View Article
    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide2013-01-06Price it out, then plan it.Read More
    Attraction & Lodging Price Guide
    2013-01-06

    Price It Out, Then Plan It

    This section allows you to download the Wisconsin Dells area price guide. We're certain you'll land on the right dollar figure.

    http://www.wisdells.com/wisconsin-dells-family-vacation/search-guides/2015-Price-Guide.htm

    View Article
    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way2010-09-16Pay homage to all that's classic.Read More
    A Classic Influence Every Step Of The Way
    2010-09-16

    Prefer The Wisconsin Dells Classics

    Enduring. Endearing. Those were the two words that guided the research for this story on the classic Wisconsin Dells vacation. Many of the Wisconsin Dells hotels, attractions and restaurants included below have been building up a fan base for decades and across generations. Others are slightly more contemporary classics that still say “Wisconsin Dells” in a big way. Combined, they make for lots of choices for travelers who like to go classic.

     

    classic-dells-motels-100Classic Wisconsin Dells Hotels & Motels

    A good starting point is downtown, where classic Wisconsin Dells hotel and motels right on the main street are well maintained and still very popular. There’s Fitzgerald’s Motel, where the front sign reminds you to “Smile, you’re on vacation.” Last year, Fitzgerald’s celebrated its 60th anniversary, and owner Margaret Gewont is 100% sincere when she tells you guests are more like extended family than vacationers. A peek in the guest book proves it, with the first entry reading: “Margaret is the ultimate hostess.” The list of downtown Wisconsin Dells hotels and motels is long and varied, so take your pick.

     

    downtown-wi-dells-shops-100Downtown Wisconsin Dells

    As long as you’re already on the main thoroughfare, keep your car parked and put on your walking shoes for a stroll up and down Broadway. You’ll pass fudge shops like Swiss Maid Fudge and Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge and likely succumb to the sweets being made behind the picture windows. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, with its quirky and fun-to-read-about displays from adventures of days gone by, is one of the many amusing Wisconsin Dells attractions on Broadway. As long as you’re downtown, go ahead and have one of those old-timey pictures taken. For souvenirs, Bailey’s Landing and Winnebago Gift Shop are both known for their wide selection of Minnetonka moccasins, a fashion statement in Wisconsin and on the runways of New York.

     

    wisconsin-river-tours-100Classic Wisconsin River Tours

    On your walk through the Dells, you’re sure to see a Duck or two. Not the feathered kind, but the WWII amphibious vehicle kind that takes visitors on tours of Lake Delton and the Wisconsin River. Hop on and enjoy the splashdowns and scenery. Another classic river tour choice is a tour boat, either double decker or paddlewheeler. Some even offer shore landings, which is really the best way to experience the grandeur of the sandstone bluffs in the area.

     

    dells-animal-attractions-100Animal-Related Dells Attractions

    Now on to real animals, as in the deer at Wisconsin Deer Park, one of the classic Wisconsin Dells attractions that’s been in business for more than 50 years. Here you can feed the deer and also interact with American elk and bison. Wisconsin Deer Park also acts as a zoological supply service, with deer from their park being placed in zoos all over the country.

     

    tommy-bartlett-show-100Tommy Bartlett Classic Attractions

    Two Wisconsin Dells attractions that begin with the founder’s name, Tommy Bartlett, are staples on the classic vacation itinerary. There’s the famous Tommy Bartlett Show staged on Lake Delton, the longest running water ski show of its kind in the country. It's replete with complicated ski tricks, fast boats, comedy and acrobatic acts thrown in for good measure. Plus, the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory - Interactive Science Center is also known for its hundreds of hands-on science experiments, a real Russian MIR space station and an exact replica of NASA’s Mercury space capsule.

     

    noahs-ark-water-park-100Noah's Ark Waterpark - A Classic Wisconsin Dells Water Park

    If you want to experience a classic Dells water park, then Noah’s Ark Waterpark is it. It opened in 1979 and is the largest outdoor water park in the country, adding something new nearly every year.

     

    classic-dells-100

    More Wisconsin Dells Classics

    There are a number of other classic finds worthy of their own mention. In lodging, Dell Creek Motel, with its pretty courtyard gardens, has some of the best curb appeal in the community. On Lake Delton, there’s Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort, a fun place for family reunions. For shopping, Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store is a third-generation Dells’ family business which prides itself on its fun selection of apparel, souvenirs, moccasins, jewelry and toys. For breakfast, try Mr. Pancake with 30 varieties of pancakes and waffles; Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty with scrumptious donuts; or Howie’s Restaurant, home of Howie’s self-proclaimed “Huge Breakfast” and, if you’re really hungry, his “Super Breakfast.”

     

    wisconsin-supper-clubs-100Classic Wisconsin Supper Clubs

    The classic Wisconsin supper clubs in the area deserve a paragraph of their own. If you’re wondering what the requirements are for supper club designation, here goes: clubby bar in which to enjoy that Wisconsin cocktail favorite, the brandy old fashioned, before you sit down to your meal; well trained staff who see to your every need and never rush you; crisp table linens; interesting architecture; relish trays and fresh baked rolls, standout wine cellar; and steaks, seafood and chops that are remarkable. If that sounds mouthwatering to you, then consider one special dinner out at the Del-Bar, Field’s at the Wilderness, House of Embers, Ishnala Supper Club, or the newest entry in the genre of classic supper clubs, Kaminski Bros. Chop House at Chula Vista Resort.

     

    big-sky-twin-drive-in-wisconsin-dells

    Drive-In Movies In The Dells

    For one last flash from the past in the Dells, the drive-in movie.  Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater shows double features of first-run movies on two screens every night during the summer. Its concession stand is kitschy and comfortably cramped, serving everything you’d want from a classic snack bar. Side note, if you stay at Holiday Shores Camp-Resort or the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, ask about their seasonal outdoor movies too, shown right on the grounds.

    That’s it, the classic Wisconsin Dells getaway, filled with sweet memories to last until the next time you visit.

     

    View Article
    How Will You Wile Away The Winter In Wisconsin Dells?2010-11-03Whatever you do this winter, don’t stay cooped up at home. Embrace the frosty season. Celebrate the snowfalls. Ice those feelings of cabin fever. It’s Wisconsin Dells to the rescue.Read More
    How Will You Wile Away The Winter In Wisconsin Dells?
    2010-11-03

    Wisconsin Dells Winter ActivitiesWhatever you do this winter, don’t stay cooped up at home.  Embrace the frosty season.  Celebrate the snowfalls.  Ice those feelings of cabin fever.  It’s the Dells to the rescue.

    Admitting bias, we think there’s nothing quite as lovely as indoor Wisconsin Dells water parks in the dead of winter.  Picture this:  You and your family basking in 80 degree temperatures, perhaps at your own private poolside cabana, deciding which ride to do next - a water roller coaster, racing slides or perhaps an indoor surf machine.

     

     

    Snowboarding Cascade MountainNo less remarkable is the job Mother Nature does in dumping enough fluffy flakes in the Dells to make downhill skiing and snow tubing an extremely fun option.  Just as Wisconsin Dells pioneered the indoor waterpark, area business owners have done a stellar job translating the water slide for winter outdoor enthusiasts.  At Cascade Mountain Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tube, they have five 800-foot long snow tube chutes along with 36 downhill trails (hint: take the high speed Mountain Top Express lift to pack in more fun per minute).

     

     

     

    Wisconsin Dells HockeyIf you like to glide through the season, take advantage of open skate times Wednesdays and Sundays at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena.  Outside rinks include the one at Bowman Park in Downtown Wisconsin Dells and on beautiful Lake Delton.

     

     

     

     

     

    WI Dells Indoor Winter ActivitiesMany Wisconsin Dells attractions are open year-round, so peel off some time to bowl at Knuckleheads Bowling & Indoor Amusement Park or the Kalahari Indoor Theme Park at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort Convention Center, play a wizard quest-style full-size labyrinth game at MagiQuest or Wizard Quest in downtown Dells, explore at the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory – Interactive Science Center or go horseback riding through the snow at Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable.

    What’s that you say, you love winter more with every passing minute?  Good, very good.    

    See All Wisconsin Dells Winter Attractions

    View Article

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    Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

    701 Superior Street, PO Box 390
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-0390
    (800) 223-3557
    (608) 254-4293 (Fax)
     

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