Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is a city that boasts much more than just its picturesque waterfront. While it may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a getaway, this charming Midwestern gem has a surprisingly eclectic array of unique experiences waiting to be discovered.
From haunted houses and eccentric museums to true historic terror, Sheboygan offers a delightful blend of the strange and the sublime. So, if you’re ready to embark on a unique adventure that will leave you both mystified and mesmerized, join us as we uncover cool, creepy, and quirky things to do in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Get ready to explore the unexpected in this hidden treasure of the Badger State.
1. Burial Mounds
Indian Mound County Park is home to 18 effigy mounds created by nomadic indigenous peoples more than 1,000 years ago. The mounds were formed in the geometric or animal shapes, and often were used for burials. These particular mounds, known as the Kletzien Mound Group, are unique for being among the best-preserved and longest-known in Wisconsin. But, more importantly, there’s the Open Mound Exhibit with a window into an excavated mound containing artifacts and replica bones.
Get a heaping dose of nostalgia and grab a few new pieces for your vintage toy collection at FreakToyz! Imagine a big store packed full of your favorite childhood action figures, comic books, games and more. Now imagine it bigger. BIGGER! FreakToyz is a whopping 4,000 square feet of cool and rare collectibles from Star Wars to He-Man to Batman, to WWF and on and on. The only bad thing about this place is eventually you have to leave.
3. Bookworm Gardens
Part Alice in Wonderland, part Magic School Bus, Bookworm Gardens is a whimsical adventure through storybook worlds that kids, parents, and even grandparents will love. Wander through the garden and experience interactive scenes that have come to life right from some of the most beloved picture books. Throughout the month of October you can also experience some spooky family fun with the Happily Haunted Gardens.
4. Lottie Cooper Shipwreck
The three-masted Great Lakes schooner Lottie Cooper sank in the Sheboygan harbor during a storm in 1894. Most of the crew survived, except for one lowly soul who drowned while trying to float to shore on some wood planks. The wreck was discovered in 1992 and an 89-foot section was brought to the surface where you can walk through it today. There’s even a haunted yacht club nearby.
5. Railroad Museum
The Sheboygan Railroad Museum is home to literature, videos, and artifacts related to all eras of railroad history. But most importantly, they have 8 elaborately detailed miniature model railroad displays in varying scales, including one that kids (or kids at heart) can operate.
6. Art Preserve
Part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Art Preserve is dedicated to exhibiting artist-built environments, such as when an artist transforms their home into an art piece, or fills their yard with sculpture. Some of Wisconsin’s own eccentric creatives are represented here, such as Fred Smith whose Concrete Park in Phillips, WI draws countless visitors, and Mary Nohl, the so-called “Witch of Fox Point.”
7. Haunted Asylum
Commonly referred to as the Sheboygan County Asylum (though the asylum was in a different location) the imposing remains of the Sheboygan County Comprehensive Health Care Center has taken on a peculiar afterlife since the facility closed in 2002. For years, curious teens were arrested and fined for trespassing while exploring its desolate halls for evidence of the spectral activity experienced by workers while the hospital was still in operation. Eventually the building opened for tours and ghost hunts, and has since been visited by famous paranormal investigators for Travel Channel series Destination Fear and Kindred Spirits.
8. Dominion of Terror Haunted House
Operated by the Sheboygan Jaycees for nearly 50 years, the Dominion of Terror haunted house is testament not only to their commitment to their community, but also to scaring the crap out of you. Or urine, as one story goes. Dominion of Terror is housed inside a huge historic building some workers think may have some of its own real ghosts based on personal experiences they’ve had. Not that it needs it, though, because this unique and innovative haunt is bursting at the seams with scares. Not to mention they tear the scenes down each year and build everything new from scratch every year, so you’ll never have the same experience twice!
Did we miss something? What are your favorite things to do in Sheboygan? Let us know in the comments below!