Open Daily

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

330 E. College Ave., Appleton, WI


Fox Cities History


Eight stained glass panels, which depict the history of the Fox Valley region, were created by local artist Thomas Dietrich in 1977. They have been on display to teach visitors about area history ever since. 

Bridging the GAP Years, 1969-2019

Explore growing divisions in American society. Over the past 50 years political polarization, income inequality, and feelings of social isolation have increased while our collective empathy has declined. Bridging the GAP Years presents that data and challenges citizens to creatively address those "gaps."

GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World 

This nationally traveling exhibit explores the science, sound, history, and pop culture behind the world's most popular instrument. Immersed in a unique collection of instruments and hands-on interactives, people of all ages will enjoy.

These exhibits can be borrowed for display by local organizations. If they are not on the road, they may "pop-up" at the museum itself.

A Stone of Hope: Black Experiences in the Fox Cities 

Learn about the history of African American experiences in the Fox Cities from the fur trade through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to Menasha. The exhibit also discusses Appleton's sundown town custom which prevented Blacks from spending the night in town from about 1920 to 1960.

Traveling Pop-Up Exhibits

Play: Golden Age of Toys

Explore the history of classic and locally-made toys in a whimsical exhibit about the golden age of toys. Play offers children, parents, and grandparents an opportunity for intergenerational learning and fun!

(In)Visible: Homelessness in Appleton

What does homelessness look and feel like in our area? Featuring 150 photographs taken by people who are homeless or living on the edge of homelessness, (In)visible sheds light on the history and present conditions of the struggle for stable housing in Appleton. 

Main Attractions

AKA Houdini 

Experience some of Harry Houdini's famous tricks through hands-on activities. It is great fun for the whole family! See why the world renowned magician called Appleton his hometown.

Why McCarthy?

Senator Joseph McCarthy, born and raised in the Appleton area, went on to become the figure-head of anti-communist persecutions in the 1950s.  Watch videos about McCarthy's life and his bust that was once displayed in the Outagamie County Courthouse.

​Edna Ferber


Spend a few moments with Edna Ferber and enjoy her wit and perspectives on growing up in a small Midwestern town. Ferber won the Pulitzer Prize for So Big and was also the author of Cimarron, Showboat and Giant

Tools of Change

Examine the tools, the work, and everyday life in the Fox Valley region from 1840 to 1950. See the bank in Nichols that was robbed, a Model T Ford in a vintage gas station, and a model train table created to look like downtown Appleton in 1951.