Wisoncin Dells and the House on the Rock

Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:11 PM
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Wisoncin Dells and the House on the Rock

We have just booked a timeshare unit at Christmas Mountain Resort for the week of May 18. I am looking at all the things there are to do in the area and have become a bit overwhelmed. I will be traveling with my Dad who is 84 so we are not interested in many things like waterparks, Ripley's, etc. My Dad does golf so the onsite course is what made us pick this resort.

Has anyone actually been to the House On the Rock? I am looking at brochures and I am a bit confused as to what the attraction is. Is it worth the hour drive and the $60 it will cost us to see it?

Any other suggestions for adult activities would be much appreciated. I am looking forward to a bit of R and R while he golfs but he does not do well with sitting still for more than a day or 2.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:05 PM
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House on the Rock is a collection of collections. Basically a bunch of themed rooms, each housing a lot of similar items...collectively its fairly tacky. I think originally it started as a guys house and he start adding on to house his various collections and it got a bit out of hand.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin is nearby and probably more worthy of the drive.

What kind of things are you interested in? Baraboo is not far away and has the Crane Foundation and Circus Museum plus Devils Lake State Park. For that matter, Madison is about an hour away and you could find a lot better activities there than the House on the Rock.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:21 PM
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Many years ago House on the Rock was worth a visit. Tacky is a good description of what it has become.
IMHO Taliesin is worth a visit.
If you enjoy theatre check out American Players Theatre. Pack a picnic supper and enjoy an evening outdoors watching a classical performance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Players_Theatre
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 03:25 PM
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Mr. Pickle has fond memories of House on the Rock from his childhood, so we're going there later this month. We also plan to visit Taliesin while we're in the neighborhood.

Lee Ann
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 04:27 PM
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It has probably been 15 years since I went to the House on the Rock, but it was pleasureable for sure. The best part IMO is the collection of all the music machines!! We enjoyed dropping our nickles/dimes/quarters into the slots to hear and view the wonderful music and animation.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 08:06 PM
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I went to the House on the Rock as a child. Back then, the attraction was the house itself.

I've been back several times as an adult as well. Yes, it's tacky, but, I love it.

I can spend hours just staring at the Carousel.

Taliesin was cool as well. It's been a few years since we were there. You needed advance reservations when we went, couldn't just walk in and go on a tour.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 05:06 AM
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As part of a trip to Wisconsin Dells in 2000 when our kids were 14 and 11, we went to House on the Rock. It has become a family joke. Whenever we've visited a tourist attraction that's a bit lame, someone will remark that at least it's better than House on the Rock. There are some interesting things in the place, but there is no rhyme or reason and it just goes on forever. We were already tired of it when we reached the halfway point. It did however give me a real appreciation for the role of a museum curator. A bunch of stuff just dumped in rooms isn't all that interesting. Perhaps it has improved since then.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 05:51 AM
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House on the Rock has some parts we really enjoy like the Streets of Yesteryear, Music of Yesteryear (whole rooms of mechanized musical instruments and automatons) and the wonderful carousel. Touring these parts tires us out. We bypass the rest or give it a quick once-over. I think it is worth the trip. We've been there a few times over the years and have taken out-of-towners there. As long as you hit the right things it is fun and quirky.

The house itself is ok.

For an 84 year old the walking and stairs may be too much. My mom always enjoyed visiting House on the Rock and insisted on going several years ago. She needed to be let out one of the emergency exits when it became too much for her.

If you plan to go, call ahead for directions because there is a major construction project with road closures that has resulted in very substantial DETOURS!

I recommend saving it for a day when the weather may be less than perfect.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Thank you all for your input. From the brochure of the House on The Rock all I thought was tacky too. If figured that if the brochure confused me that it may be somewhat of a haphazard place.

I had noticed the circus muesem and I have that on the list. My grandfather traveled with Ringling Bros so it may be interesting.

Has anyone exprerienced the Duck tours? That is also on my list.

mdwest - fortunately my Dad is pretty active. He just started using a cart at the golf course about 2 years ago. However, I do appreciate the thought.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 11:33 AM
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Ducks are funas long as the weather is warm. Might be too cold that early in the month. Earlier this week temps were in the 80's -- today low 40's with rain.
If the weather isn't cooperative you might want to see about a boat tour instead.
This is very early in the season so check their schedule.
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