Circus World - Baraboo, WI | WisDells
Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

Circus World

Circus World

Circus World

Circus World Map
550 Water StBaraboo 53913
(608) 356-8341
(866) 693-1500
(608) 356-8341
(608) 356-8341
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See astounding world-class entertainment live with big-top circus performances, magic shows, sideshow instrument concerts, amazing animals, hands-on programs for kids and adults, guided tours and new exhibits, including the world's largest collection of authentic circus parade wagons during the summer performance season. See acrobats, jugglers, circus animals, and clowns as they bring the circus to life in all new Big Top Shows May-August. Enjoy elephant rides, camel rides, a vintage carousel, moon bounce or get your face painted. Our main lobby gift shop provides memories for Children of All Ages! Full onsite restaurant and of course circus tasty treats such as hot popcorn and cotton candy. Spring and Fall performance season information coming soon. Circus World is located at 550 Water St. Baraboo, WI.; just follow signs. Preserving the National Landmark Site of the Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters, where the brothers started with a small wagon show and became the largest outdoor amusement enterprise the world has ever known. Circus World is a priceless gem that celebrates the American circus and the many ways it has influenced our culture. Discover Circus World, Wisconsin's National Treasure. 

Classic Experience

Baraboo was home to The Ringling Bros. Circus from 1884 thru 1918, and during those thirty-four years, the operation grew to become the largest circus enterprise the world has ever known. Although the Ringlings left in 1918, many of their original structures survived. In 1954, Circus World Museum, Inc. began raising funds and collecting artifacts. On July 1, 1959, Circus World opened with two buildings, six wagons, and some circus memorabilia. It was deeded to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Circus World now owns eight of the ten surviving Ringling buildings, all of them having achieved National Historic Landmark stature.

Convention Overview

See the worlds largest collection of glorious parade wagons plus 7 authentic Ringling Bros. buildings filled with colorful, big top memories. Enjoy elephant, pony and carousel rides; cotton candy, ice cream, tasty sandwiches and 2 gift shops. Circus World is 10 minutes south of Wisconsin Dells area on Hwy 12.

Circus World Convention Amenities
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Circus World Videos
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Circus World
Circus World Stories
2013-08-11My husband and I take our girls there every year! They love it....we are going again tomorrow :)
2012-08-01There were 4 of us and we spent the whole day n the grounds. The day we were here the Buffalo Bill show was too. We enjoyed everything we saw. So glad we saw the extra show.
2010-03-15"Remembering Great Times!! We had a wonderful time at the Circus World in Baraboo,back in the summer of August in 1974. Enjoyed all the animals and especialy were we took pictures with me in the cage with a gorilla. Of course the gorilla was not real, but that was lots of fun. To this day I tell the story of the wonderful time we had to my children and grandchildren.
2009-06-11Loved the experience several years ago with the Cody family. Looking forward to getting up for the BB Wild West Show in July!
2009-04-24" Had a wonderful time at Circus World in Baraboo, last summer. Well worth taking the time to run down from the Dells. Very interesting exhibits and my son loved the animals!!!! Will be making it back this summer for some more fun in the Dells and of course visitng the Circus again!

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Circus World Articles
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

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


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.



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Happy Time-Out For Toddlers2010-02-09Tour waterparks, attractions and more that are just the right size for the little ones.Read More
Happy Time-Out For Toddlers

Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

Wisconsin Dells has been known as a family-friendly vacation destination for more than a few generations, and this includes activities perfect for the littlest members of the family too. If you have children under the age of five, here are a few suggestions on where to stay and where to play.

Where to Stay Great Wolf Lodge is ideal for families with little ones, both the accommodations and the waterpark. Wilderness Resort, Chula Vista Resort, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions made toddler-friendly play areas a priority too. Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort on Lake Delton is a classic with modern amenities. Lots of mid-size resorts with water playgrounds too, like Atlantis Waterpark Hotel & Suites, Alakai Hotel & Suites, Meadowbrook Resort, and Grand Marquis Waterpark Hotel & Suites. Spring Brook Resort offers easy vacationing in their rental homes and condos. If you like to camp, Sherwood Forest Camping & RV Park is a sure choice, with a toddler-friendly splash pad.

Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

Where to See Animals Timbavati Wildlife Park has behind-the-scenes tours where the children can get up-close with the exotic animals. At Wisconsin Deer Park, they can feed the gentle deer. Don’t forget about the ducks, as in a scenic tour of the Wisconsin River aboard an amphibious DUCK land-to-water vehicle. Circus World, a national historic treasure in nearby Baraboo, has different shows daily under the Big Top.

Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

Where to Eat Meals are delivered by miniature train at Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille. MACS - Macaroni and Cheese Shop has two locations, with gourmet mac and cheese offerings for mom and dad too.  For breakfast, Mr. Pancake is a tradition, as is Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty.

Stroller Friendly The Scenic River Walk downtown is stroller friendly and the views are stunning. Great for family selfies.

Families with Toddlers: Vacation Now Before School Lets Out

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Time Capsules2010-04-01Landmarks in their own right, these legendary destinations and perennial favorites stand out in their appeal across generations.Read More
Time Capsules

When you've been around as a Wisconsin Dells tourism town for 150+ years, it's inevitable that some attractions will be viewed as more "flashes from the past" than nods to the future. Good thing residents of the Dells have found those "flashes" to be worthy of preservation and visitors have found them to be worthy of continued patronage, because some of these are the last of their kind.

Circus World - Wisconsin Dells Museums


We'll start a short drive out of town in a quaint little community known as Baraboo. There you'll find a national historic landmark -- Circus World. The Ringling Bros. Circus was founded in Baraboo in 1884 by five Ringling brothers and, naturally, they named their property in Baraboo "Ringlingville." This compound along the Baraboo River served as the winter quarters for the troupe. The buildings date from 1897 and, while they are the largest surviving group of original circus structures in North America, the museum's collection of circus artifacts may just be the largest in the world. It includes more than 210 original wagons and an exceptional collection of thousands of circus ads and posters. You can't miss the Buffalo Bill Wild West poster which measures nine feet high by 70 feet long. During the warm weather months, take in a performance in the Hippodrome, see live animals and daydream about what it must have been like to be a circus performer all those decades ago.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum - Wisconsin Dells Museums


For the next stop, it's the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in the town of North Freedom. Stroll museum exhibits of steam locomotives that date back to the 1880s and then hop aboard a restored steel coach for a 50-minute ride through the countryside.

Lost Canyon Tours - Wisconsin Dells Museums


As long as we're on the subject of transportation, let's add to the itinerary a horse-drawn wagon ride at Lost Canyon Tours, located on the south shore of Lake Delton, back in the Dells. This mile-long tour gets you so close to cliff-walled gorges that it's a wonder the large Percheron horses don't get spooked. According to the guides, who really live the part, the deeper recesses of Lost Canyon have not felt the touch of the sun in more than 50,000 years.

Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum - Wisconsin Dells Museums


Then it's on to Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum. This business was opened in 1885 by Glenn Parsons, an honorary chief of four Native American tribes and a local river boat captain. Today it stands as one of the world's largest purveyors of Native American gifts and artifacts. Beaded moccasins, satchels, ceremonial capes and bold jewelry are inspired in both their design and technique. Parsons features the work of tribes from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.

H.H. Bennett Studio - Wisconsin Dells Museums


No historic tour is complete without a visit to the H.H. Bennett Studio, believed to be the oldest business in the Dells. Here, you'll see haunting images of Native American tribespeople and loggers, even Bennett's family. It was Bennett's other-worldly photos of the river and bluffs that helped turn Wisconsin Dells into a bustling tourism town.

Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater - Wisconsin Dells Drive-In Movies


Last stop is the Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater with its two big screens, each featuring a first-run double feature. Before the show starts, make a dash for the snack bar for some hot buttered popcorn, icy cold soda and sticky cotton candy. Now that'll take baby boomers back.



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

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.

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10 Wisconsin Dells Attractions That Are One-of-a-Kind2011-04-07Here are 10 reasons to drive past other destinations and deposit yourself in Wisconsin Dells for your vacation. You might be able to experience all 10 in one trip, but we recommend you visit us a few times year.Read More
10 Wisconsin Dells Attractions That Are One-of-a-Kind

Only in Wisconsin Dells

Here are 10 reasons to drive past other destinations and deposit yourself in Wisconsin Dells for your vacation.  You might be able to experience all 10 in one trip, but we recommend you visit us a few times year.

  • The largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks in the world.
  • The world’s largest and country’s only looping waterslide, Scorpion’s Tail at Noah’s Ark Waterpark.
  • The world’s longest underground roller coaster tunnel, with 90-degree turn in complete darkness for added scream-factor, is the highlight of wood roller coaster Hades at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks.
  • The largest fleet of WWII land-to-water craft in the country, better known as DUCKS.
  • The longest running outdoor show in America, the Tommy Bartlett Show, featuring water skiers and stage performers.  It’s been around since 1952, when Tommy’s traveling road show first performed in the Dells.
  • More holes of mini-golf than anywhere else in the state, 325 to be exact.
  • Two classic Wisconsin supper clubs – Del-Bar and Field’s at the Wilderness - both designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • The H.H. Bennett Studio, the original 1875 studio of famed landscape photographer Henry Hamilton Bennett, who not only made Wisconsin Dells famous with his landscape photos, but also invented stop-action photography.  The evidence is in his photo of his son Ashley caught mid-air leaping from one rock bluff to another.
  • The International Crane Foundation, the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes.  This restored prairie-style sanctuary is on the outskirts of town.
  • Circus World is home to the world’s largest collection of antique circus wagons and show vehicles, more than 200 in all.  This historic site, just a short drive from Wisconsin Dells, also houses some 8,000 circus posters, with the earliest dating back to 1855.


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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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