CIRCUS WORLD – Baraboo, Wisconsin

CIRCUS WORLD - Baraboo, Wisconsin.jpgDedicated to the long and colorful history of the circus, Circus World is located on the site of the original Winter Quarters of the famed Ringling Brothers Circus in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Visited yearly by nearly 100,000, circus enthusiasts are treated to a world of circus history. Circus World houses the world’s largest and most extensive collection of priceless circus parade wagons. More than 200 of these colorful and artfully constructed wagons are on display.

Entry to the museum is through the Irvin Field Exhibit Hall and Visitors Center where state of the art exhibits of rare circus posters, lavish circus costumes and spectacular floats can be seen. The museum features a wide selection of exhibits, demonstrations and offerings which are ever changing through-out the year.

Over 10,000 rare circus posters are on exhibit in the “Trumpets on Paper” display. “A Century of Spectacle” showcases the wonderful and imaginative circus costumes worn by performers from the earliest days of the circus.

The Circus World Theatre additionally offers a motion picture showing of “Century of Spectacle” documenting circus history. The film is shown several times a day. Special seasonal programs are offered annually and divided by Spring-Summer-Fall-Holidays-Winter and Special Events. Since events change frequently, it is advisable to check with the museum prior to visiting.

Circus World stages one of the largest and most spectacular circus street parades annually. The parade is a 2-1/2 mile celebration and historical re-creation of the once highly anticipated arrival of the circus in small towns throughout the United States.

The parades have featured as many as 35 antique circus wagons, 15 bands, 1,200 costumed marchers, 350 horses and nearly two dozen assorted animals. In addition, there is the Pawnee Bill Bandwagon featuring a ten horse pyramid hitch and the spectacular thirteen tandem hitch on the Bostock and Wombwell Menagerie Band Carriage. Unfortunately, the parade for 2006 was cancelled.

The Ringlingville General Store is a fun place to browse and shop for unique circus-themed gifts, games, mugs, dolls, puppets, hats and more detailing circus history, music, videos and apparel.

Hungry museum visitors can dine at the so-called “pie car” which is the dining car on a circus train. However, the pie car is only open during the summer program season. Circus World staff members will gladly direct visitors to local restaurants at other times.

Students and educators interested in researching circus-related information can avail themselves of the museum’s Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center. The library offers a wealth of material on the subject.

Museum admission fees: Perfonance Season  (end of May – early September)
Open daily 9 am – 6 pm

• Adults – $14.95• Seniors (65+) – $12.95
• Children (5 – 11) 0 $7.95
• Children (4 and under) – Free

Fall Season (Early Sept. – late Oct.)
Open daily 10 am – 4 pm

Adults $7
Senior Citizens (65 and over) $6
Children (5-11) $3.50
Children under 5 Free

Seven buildings with their exhibits, plus a giant screen theatre will operate seven days a week during the fall season

If your visit cannot be completed in one day, visitors can get their tickets stamped for free admission the following day.


Circus World
550 Water St
Baraboo, WI 53913

Phone, Fax and Email

608-356-8341 (phone)
866-693-1500 (toll-free)
608-356-1800 (fax)


  1. check your spelling of BARABOO

  2. Thank you for catching the incorrect spelling of Baraboo! We appreciate your taking the time to let us know, it has been corrected.
    We hope that and all the other “beautiful’s” help you in planning your next vacation or trip to see some of the wonderful things this country has to offer!

    The Editor

  3. Sue Bartleson says:

    I have a copy of buffalo bills wild west and congress of rough riders of the world poster with the bottom corner saying courtesy of circus world museum baraboo wisconsin at the bottom right corner…had been in the family for a while and wonder if it has any valuable worth…it looks like a reproduction because of your location printed at the bottom but i didn’t want my family member to just throw it out…can you tell me anything about it…I would so look forward to hearing from you as I am in AZ and am interested in history…wild bills face is in the middle…thank you so much for your time…am very anxious….Sue Bartleson

  4. I have forwarded your request for assistance on to Circus World and asked them to respond to you directly.
    Thank you for contacting with your request.

    Pat Watson, Editor

  5. Peg Behnfeldt says:

    We were to one of the circus parades held in Baraboo a few years back. It was wonderful! When is the next circus parade? Will they continue in Baraboo?


  6. I have contacted the circus and asked them to respond to you and to me.