An unusual museum of tops, yo-yos and gyroscopes awaits in historic Burlington, Wisconsin. The Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum delivers a tour, program and hands-on fun for all.
Group tour visitors meet Judith Schulz, tops expert and collector, who has worked on an MGM movie and in Hollywood on a TV show.
The fun and fast tour and program includes 40 different hands-on tops and optical illusions to spin, plus challenges to try. Schulz can even perform a live show. The collection includes 2,000 antique and modern spinning tops, yo-yos and gyroscopes.
The hands-on feature is classic fun for adults, said Schulz, the museum curator. Everyone gets to try tops that defy physics, a two-person challenge, top action games, a two-handed spinner, shape changers and unique spinners.
“Adults always enjoy this as much as the kids, because we are all really just kids,” Schulz said.
The exhibit features both old and new: Cracker Jack tops; a 5-pound Malaysian sports top; Chinese, British, American and French gyroscopes; optical illusion tops; Carrom boards; 1,000 yo-yos ranging from Duncan & Fli-Back to Smothers’ Brothers; top games from Wisconsin, Japan and Germany; Dreidels; Japanese tops; classic peg tops; and funny advertising tops for cars, bread and shoes.
The visit concludes with a demonstration/show of antique tops, rare tops, modern visual surprises, a musical top, classic yo-yo tricks and a re-enactment of a top scene from the movie My Summer Story, a sequel to A Christmas Story.
“I find that I have to make adult tour groups leave,” Schulz said. “They are having so much fun, and the time flies by.”
Schulz is with groups during the entire visit, which is a series of features. Operators should allow for 2½ to 2¾ hours at the museum and make arrangements with Schulz in advance.
After the program, groups can browse the gift shop, which offers 400 kinds of spinning tops, yo-yos and gyroscopes, and hands-on logic brain puzzles and books.
Contact the Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum at 262-763-3946 or go to topmuseum.org.