Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cave of the Mounds : House on the Rock : Mustard Museum

Today I am going to continue doing some throwback for you.  This one is related to our first backpacking experience.  Aside from backpacking and some hiking, we made sure to stop at some points of interest along the way.

After we visited here Travel Wisconsin put this on the list of the 7 natural wonders of Wisconsin.  More on this list and my goal of seeing all seven at a later date.   The cave was rediscovered in 1939 when they were blasting for limestone. It is listed as a "National Natural Landmark".   The cave has the same temperature all year round of a balmy 50 degrees.  So if you go take a sweatshirt.  Now without further from our day.

This was the main cave and where our tour started.  It took millions of years to form this cave.

Visitor are led throughout the cave on lighted paths.  The formations of the cave are fragile and to not disturb them one should not touch them.

Outside of the cave there is also activities and trails.  One of the activities is the gem mining.

And now the details (current as of 03/26/2015):

Tours are available year round and last approximately one hour.

Tour Schedule 

SPRING: March 15 - Friday before Memorial Day Weekend
Weekdays - Tours on the hour, 10am to 4pm (last tour 4pm)
Weekends - 30 Minute Intervals, 9am to 5pm (last tour 5pm)
SUMMER: Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day
Weekdays and Weekends - 20-30 minute intervals 9am - 6pm (last tour departs at 6 pm)
FALL: Tuesday after Labor Day Weekend - November 15
Weekdays - On the Hour, 10am to 4pm (last tour departs at 4pm)
Weekends - 30 Minute Intervals, 9am to 5pm (last tour 5pm)
WINTER: November 16 - March 14
Monday through Friday: 11am and 2pm tours, please call ahead to reserve
Saturdays and Sundays: Tours on the hour, 10am to 4pm (last tour 4pm) - No reservations are needed.


(includes one hour guided Cave Tour)
Adults ........................$ 16.95
Children (age 4-12) .........$ 8.50
Children (age 3 & under) with paid adult

So go and experience one of the seven wonders of Wisconsin. 

Address: 2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517
ph. 608-437-3038


Another stop on our trip was the House on the Rock.  Due to the darkness of the interior of the house, there were not many photos to share.  My description of this house is that has the most expansive collections with a gigantic amount of items in the collection that I have ever seen.  the world's largest carousel is here along with a 200' sea creature.

The tour is divided into three sections.  Within the 1st section, you will find the original house and the infinity room (shown above). You can walk out there and it is amazing and scary all at the same time.

The 2nd section of the tour includes the streets of yesterday, which is a basically a tiny town, the heritage of the sea, and the carousel.

Section 3 focuses on the organ room, the doll carousel and and doll room.  If you are scared of dolls, I wouldn't recommend this section of the tour.

Since it is self-guided and very large place, the wizards are there to help give you some directions and get around.

Now onto the details....

    2015 Regular Season Dates and Hours
    March 12 - May 3, 20159 am to 5 pm
    (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    May 4 - May 21, 20159 am to 5 pm
    (Open Daily)

    May 22 - September 7, 20159 am to 6 pm
    (Open Daily)

    September 8 - October 18, 20159 am to 5 pm
    (Open Daily)

    October 19 - November 15, 2015 9 am to 5 pm
    (Cosed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Regular Season Ultimate Experience Admission

    The Ultimate Experience is a self-guided visit of all three sections of The House on the Rock during the Regular Season. Four (4) tokens are included with each paid full price adult and senior Ultimate Experience Admission. We recommend at least 3 to 3 1/2 hours for the Ultimate Experience Admission. The last Ultimate Experience Admission ticket is sold 2 hours prior to closing
    Adult (age 18 and over)$29.95
    Senior (age 65 and over) and Military$26.95
    Children (age 4-17)$15.95
    Children (3 and under)FREE
  • Section 1 - Includes the Asian Garden, the Alex Jordan Center and Sculpture Pavilion, the Gate House and the Original House and the Infinity Room.

  • Section 2 – Includes the Mill House, Streets of Yesterday, Heritage of the Sea, Tribute to Nostalgia, Music of Yesterday, Spirit of Aviation and the Carousel.

  • Section 3 – Includes the Carousel, the Organ Room, the Doll House Room, the Circus Room, the Galleries, the Doll Carousel Room and the Japanese Garden.

Regular Season Other Admission Options

If you are short on time or looking for a shorter experience, we offer two other options:The Highlight Experience Admission which includes Section 1 and 2. Visit is self-guided. We recommend you allow at least 2 hours for The Highlight Experience Admission. The last Highlight Experience Admission ticket is sold 1.5 hours prior to closing time.
    Adult, Senior and Military$24.95
    Children (age 4-17)$13.95
    Children (3 and under)FREE
The Original House Experience Admission which includes Section 1 only. Visit is self-guided. The last Original House Experience Admission ticket is sold 1 hour prior to closing time.
    Adult, Senior and Military$14.95
    Children (age 4-17)$8.95
    Children (3 and under)FREE
Address: 5754 State Road 23, Spring Green, WI 53588

On our way back home we decided to take a side trip to Mount Horeb for the National Mustard Museum.  If there is anything you wanted to know about mustard you can find it here.  Basically it was the love of mustard that got this place going...and if you love your mustard this is the place to stop.

Seriously this is a vending machine the dispenses...mustard.

And he played a game to win his very own bottle of mustard.  They have a store where you can purchase and sample various varieties of mustard.  So if there is a mustard lover in your life...stop here.

Hours of Operation

The National Mustard Museum & Gift Shop is open 7 days a week — except New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The online store never sleeps.

Standard Hours

When we’re not under extended Summer Hours (see below), we are open 7 days a week 10 am to 5 pm.

Extended Summer Hours for Thursday!

When it’s summer, we’re open with extended summer hours until 7pm each Thursday night all summer long through Labor Day! Stop in at America’s Favorite Condiment Museum…
While the Mustard Museum is summit of mustard love, it should be noted that the City of Middleton also has many of other attractions to round out your visit.


And that sums up the outings that were associated with our first backpacking adventure.  And without even knowing it, I managed to check off a natural wonder of Wisconsin

** please note that information here is subject to change based on the venue.  I am providing information that is current as of the date of the blog post.

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