Review of the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin

by StevenHelmer

My family and I visited this attraction this past weekend. Read to find out what I thought of it.

Description: The Mid-Continent Railway Museum, located on Museum Road in North Freedom, Wisconsin and featuring still-working historic steam engines and train cars. I took my family to this museum this past weekend as a Mother's Day gift for my wife, both visiting the museum itself and treating the family to a ride on one of the trains.


Last June, I took my family on a weekend-long vacation to Mount Olympus Resort in Wisconsin Dells and, while there, were talked into sitting through a time share presentation. One of our gifts for doing that was a free hotel stay and I decided to cash that in this past weekend as a way of helping my wife celebrate Mother's Day.

I wanted to really surprise her while vacationing with the kids and, knowing she loves trains, decided to visit the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin. I had been to this museum before, a long time ago. But, it was my family's first visit and my surprise wound up being a big hit with all of them.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Photo by Steven Helmer

While a little out of the way, this local Wisconsin attraction proved to be well worth the money I spent on it. My wife was excited to see the trains as soon as we pulled up and parked the car and, while I wouldn't exactly call it "hands-on," it was really cool being able to see the old steam engines and train cars up close.

This is especially true of the museum's coach shed, which is full of train cars. We were in awe walking in between so many of them and the kids (and my wife) got a kick out of climbing the steps and being able to see inside. Some of those cars were really amazing to look at too, especially the ones that had decorative sky-light-like windows on the roof.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Photo by Steven Helmer

As a special treat for my wife, I splurged a bit and booked first class tickets on the museum's special "pizza train." I wasn't really sure if this experience would be worth the money, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. This is both because we got a full meal, complete with appetizer and dessert, and because the scenery on the hour-long train ride was beautiful. We even saw deer. As a result of this, I do recommend taking a train ride, whether they offer pizza on it or not, just because it is an experience that is worth having.

Another thing I found I liked about this museum was the friendly staff. This isn't always the case with volunteer-run attractions like this one, but everyone we met while visiting went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

Also, unlike so many other attractions we've visited, the gift shop had a great selection and wasn't overpriced. I was able to take my wife and daughters in there without fear of blowing my budget. And, that is something I will always appreciate.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, this museum is a little bit out of the way. But, if you are visiting the Wisconsin Dells/Baraboo area, it is worth taking the time to drive out to see and even ride the trains. I know my family and I will likely be going back real soon.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 05/08/2016, StevenHelmer
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