Middleton, Wisconsin is known as the ‘The Good Neighbor City.’ It’s a small and inviting town with a strong cultural heritage. Outdoor activities include an extensive trail system, a nature conservatory, and two farmers markets. There is a free trolley that takes visitors around town to experience award-winning restaurants, breweries, and local shops. For recreational fun, there is a town theatre that performs plays and musicals, a Middleton history museum, and a communal style cafe for socializing and making new friends.
1. The National Mustard Museum
© The National Mustard Museum
The National Mustard Museum opened its doors in 1992, and has since become an iconic treasure both locally and nationally. Barry Levenson, founder and curator, received inspiration to establish this museum on the evening of October 28, 1986. This was the night his favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox lost the World Series. While walking through the market, he passed by a collection of mustard's and heard a voice say, “if you collect us, they will come.” To date, the Mustard Museum has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Jeopardy, to name a few. Admission is free and visitors can view over 6,000 mustard's from all 50 U.S. states, and 70 plus countries.
7477 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-831-2222
2. Pope Farm Conservancy
The Pope Farm Conservancy is a 105-acre park located in Middleton, Wisconsin. The Art Pope family was instrumental in the conservation of this farm. And in 2006 the park opened for visitors, and has become an ideal field trip by local grade school students. The farm offers panoramic views of Lake Mendota, Black Earth Creek valley and the Capitol. Precious wildlife and landscapes are protected by the conservancy and include several prairie restoration projects and a variety of crops, such as the beautiful sunflower fields. Another piece of the farm that serves as an educational component for young learners is the Native American garden. Entrance is free and the conservancy is open year round.
7440 W Old Sauk Rd, Verona, WI 53593, Phone: 608-833-5887
3. Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Pheasant Branch Conservancy has two primary restoration efforts. They include preserving the natural habitat and educating locals about its resources. Nearly the entire staff are volunteers who have successfully increased the number of bird species and overall bird population over the last eight years. As such, the conservancy is an idyllic location to bird watch and take photos.
Other noteworthy accomplishments include the two viewing platforms constructed in the 1990’s with the help of community donations and volunteers. One platform features sweeping views of Lake Mendota and the other features views of Pheasant Branch Springs. The conservancy is about 550 acres and is home to a wide variety of habitats. It contains wetland meadows, lowland forests, dry prairies, and an oak savanna.
4864 Pheasant Branch Rd, Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-224-3730
4. Middleton Area Historical Society
© Middleton Area Historical Society
The Middleton Area Historical Society became a town staple in 1972. It started inside the City Hall basement to preserve the history of Middleton and the surrounding areas. Additionally, other objectives of this Society included record keeping of significant events, and honoring past residents who helped shape the town and its community. By 1989, the organization outgrew the small basement and relocated to the historic Rowley House on Hubbard Avenue. Thanks to a personal donation by Gilsie Techman, a long-time resident, this move was possible. A few decades later, a second museum opened in 2010, called The Museum at the Depot.
7410 Hubbard Avenue Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-836-7614
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5. N & N Electric
© Oleksandr Delyk/stock.adobe.com
N & N Electric is a family owned and operated business that has more than 15 years of experience as a licensed electrical contractor. Their electricians specialize in providing services for new construction, remodels and general service work in residential homes throughout Dane County. Some of their services include installing smoke detectors, fire alarm systems, interior and exterior lighting, rewiring, and adding new circuits. Their specialized services include adding custom lighting features, installing electrical charging stations and smart home technology. They received the prestigious titles of “Top Rated” and “Elite Service” by Home Advisor. N & N Electric also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
5227 County Road M Waunakee, WI 53597, Phone: 608-316-6122
6. Middleton Players Theatre
Middleton Players Theatre is a neighborhood theatre that brings musicals, comedies, dramas and other productions to stage for members of the Middleton community. Volunteers from Middleton High School have played and continue to play an important role in the operation of the yearly productions. In its 25 year history, close to 40 shows have taken stage by local and national actors, singers, and musicians at this theatre. Because of the many successful performances put on by the Middleton Players Theatre, BroadwayWorld.com and other organizations recognized them for their significant contributions to theatre and to the arts.
2100 Bristol Street Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-829-9834
7. Capital Brewery, Middleton
© Capital Brewery
Capital Brewery, also known as ‘Middleton’s Backyard’ became established in 1984. Their first beer, a pilsner, was brewed in 1986. From that point forward, Capital Brewery set out to brew traditional German lager beer. Since the spring of 1986, they have expanded their offerings and have incorporated American style ales, barrel aged beers, and an assortment of IPA’s into their menu. Every April through October, patrons can sit in the Bier Garten and listen to live music or take part in other entertainment events. During the winter months, the indoor Bier Stube and Grain Room host customers. To tour the brewery, book a reservation online through the Capital Brewery website.
7734 Terrace Ave Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-836-7100
8. Craftsman Table and Tap
© Craftsman Table and Tap
Craftsman Table and Tap is an European-style tavern that includes modern and industrial design elements. The interior is warm and cozy, allowing guests to feel welcome and at home. The restaurant pays homage to all the craftsmen and craftswoman who honed their skills using hard work and dedication. With these ideals as inspiration, the food and beverage menu came to be. They incorporate the highest quality craft beers, exquisite cocktails and spirits, and delectable locally-sourced food to provide a lovely dining experience for customers. Beer connoisseurs have 18 craft beers and more than 24 bottled beers to choose from.
6712 Frank Lloyd Wright Ave. Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-836-3988
9. 1847 at the Stammhouse
© 1847 at the Stammhouse
The Stammhouse has a very rich history in Middleton. In 1847, it was built as a service store, but by 1852 it became a hotel and tavern. Even more than a hotel, it might have doubled as a way station for the Underground Railroad. The hotel and tavern closed in 1910 and reopened as a dancehall. In 1925, Heine Fuller bought the establishment and named it Stammhouse, which is similar to the German word “stammtisch,” meaning “regulars table.” Ownership changed hands many times over the years and in 2013 it was purchased and restored to its original charm. Today they serve traditional American food for brunch and dinner.
6625 Century Ave Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-203-9430
10. Nitty Gritty
© Nitty Gritty
The Nitty Gritty was founded in October of 1968 by Marsh Shapiro. During the late 60’s and early 70’s the Nitty Gritty featured live blues music every night of the week. Some of the most famous musicians who performed here include, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Charlie Musselwhite, and Cheap Trick. In 1985, Nitty Gritty was re-branded as Madison’s official birthday venue. Since then, guests who come to celebrate a birthday are greeted with a birthday bell and song, a birthday board and Gritty memento mug. As of 2018 the number of birthdays celebrated here exceed 725,000. Besides a birthday destination, Nitty Gritty is also the long-time recipient of the ‘Best Burger of Madison’ award.
1021 N Gammon Rd, Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-833-6489
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11. Long Table Beer Cafe, Middleton
© Long Table Beer Café
Long Table Beer Café is a restaurant that focuses on community first. As the name implies, the cafe is equipped with a 23-foot long table that seats 22 people. The goal of Long Table Beer Café is for customers to walk in as strangers, but leave as friends. Located in downtown Middleton this cafe is also a bottle shop and tasting room. Besides the one long table, other seating in the cafe is communal and casual. Even more, some of the windows and walls open completely, which bring the outdoors in. It also allows the inside environment to flow freely to the outside patio.
7545 Hubbard Ave Middleton, WI 53562, Phone: 608-841-2337
12. Lakeview Park
The largest community park in Middleton, Wisconsin, Lakeview Park spans across eighty acres and features trails for hiking, LifeTrail Exercise Stations, soccer fields, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, three different playground areas designed for kids between the ages of five and twelve, a reservable large shelter with kitchen and restroom facilities, a picturesque gazebo, and an open play field. A scenic, small pond with ADA-accessible fishing piers is surrounded by an accessible path. During the summer months, Lakeview Park also offers a splash pad that’s open daily from nine in the morning until seven in the evening.
6300 Mendota Ave, Middleton, WI 53562, 608-821-8360
13. Pleasant View Golf Course
© Pleasant View Golf Course
Pleasant View Golf Course is set on scenic hills around 300 feet above Lake Mendota. This location offers panoramic views for golfers of the surrounding area, including the City of Madison and the lake. Owned and operated by the city itself, the golf course takes pride in offering golf opportunities at a great value. Pleasant View Golf Course consists of a practice range, a scenic nine-hole par 3 golf course, and 27 holes of championship golf. There is also a patio featuring fire pits where guests can enjoy burgers, sandwiches, and drinks while taking in the area’s scenic views.
1322 N Pleasant View Rd, Middleton, WI 53562, 608-831-6666
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Attraction Spotlight: National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin
The National Mustard Museum in Middleton, Wisconsin, is one of the most popular attractions in the state featuring 5,676 mustards from around the world and offering free admission and a comprehensive mustard shop.
Museum founder and curator, Barry Levenson, blames the Boston Red Sox for the creation of the National Mustard Museum. According to Levenson’s story, after the sox lost the World Series of Baseball in 1986, he was sulking in a grocery store when he passed the mustards and an idea struck him suddenly to start collecting mustards.
In 1992, Levenson quit his day job as an Assistant Attorney General and opened the museum on April 5. The museum has since been featured on many popular daytime talk shows and gameshows. The museum features mustards from every state in the country and 70 other countries worldwide. In 2010, The National Mustard Museum began hosting the Annual Mustard Festival in downtown Middleton which draws hundreds of people to the area.
With more than 5,676 different kinds of mustards total, the National Mustard Museum proves that mustard is the king of the condiments. The museum also offers free admission to everyone, but does suggest leaving donations in the box or making a purchase in the giftshop which is also accessible online.
The exhibits at the Nationals Mustard Museum include over 5,624 mustards from every state and 70 countries across the world including all South American countries. There is also a vast amount of mustard memorabilia such as the Gibbons Collection which has been part of the permanent collection since 2000 and showcases antique mustard pots.
Many people bring mustard gifts to the museum from their travels such as Trale Bardell who travelled to South America on his motorcycle and came back with mustard like Barcatti Mostaza. Become a friend of the National Mustard Museum by donating your mustard or memorabilia to the museum and have your name and story told on the Friend of the Mustard Museum wall.
“Canada is the World’s Mustard” is one of the newest exhibits in the permanent collection. This exhibit tells the story of the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission, the largest exporter of mustard seed in the world. Other exhibits include The Great Wall of Mustard that features all 5,624 mustards, Mustard Ads, vintage mustards, and ornate mustard jars.
There is more to do at the National Mustard Museum than simple peruse through various jars of mustard. At the museum visitors can also indulge in mustard tastings, learn how to cook with mustard, watch musicals, and shop the vast gourmet delicacies of the giftshop.
Mustardpiece Theatre- Admission to the Theatre where mustard themed movies are shown on a big screen TV is always free. The theatre also hosts the Poupon U mustard comedy musicals such as The Sound of Mustard, Les Moutardes, Hello Dollop, and Annie Get Your Bun.
Food Quiz Game- An Interactive Quiz Game that tests the knowledge you gained in the videos shown in the Mustardpiece Theatre.
Mrs. Mustard’s Kitchen- Mrs. Mustard teaches visitors different ways they can cook with mustard and how mustard can be added to recipes easily. She also gives advice on the different ways mustard is known for health benefits such as being used as a metabolism booster, to relieve stress, and ease tension, and proper storage methods.
Tasting Bar- Located in the Gift Shop, the tasting bar is always stocked with hundreds of different mustard samples that are free to taste. From chocolate mustards to wasabi, the confidential condiment counselors can help you find the right mustards for your taste buds.
Museum Gift Shop- Nowhere else on earth sells as many varieties of mustards as are sold in the National Mustard Museum Gift Shop. The Gift Shop also sells other condiments such as dessert toppings, salsa, chutney, and hot sauce as well as all the supplies you would need to make your own mustard. Visitors will also find an assortment of souvenirs and gifts, mustard fashions and collectibles. The Museum Gift Shop is also available to be shopped on the National Mustard Museum website.
The National Mustard Museum hosts two events that they are recognized for nationally—National Mustard Day and the World-Wide Mustard Competition. There are other public events that are hosted by the Curator outside of the museum and at the museum that are not annual such as lectures and speaking engagements. More information about these events can be found online.
National Mustard Day- This event is hosted in Downtown Middleton and draws people from around the world with free food, live performances, games, and mustard celebrations, on the first Saturday in august.
World-Wide Mustard Competition- Curator Barry Levenson is a coordinating Judge for the biggest competition in the mustard industry with Gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in several categories of mustard creation.
7477 Hubbard Avenue, Middleton, Wisconsin, 53562, Phone: 800-438-6878
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