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. 

hands-on activity at Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum
Hands-on activity, Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum, Burlington, Wis.
Credit: Judith Schulz

“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