Nutcracker in the Castle

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the main difference between the types of tours?

Guided tours feature live performances. Self-guided tours do not feature live performances. Candlelight tours are self-guided tours in the evening.


Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are required for guided tours and Kids Free Days. Reservations are recommended for self-guided tours and candlelight tours. Reservations are not necessary for the Cupcake Café.


Are you open for walk-ins on Sundays?

The Paine is open for candlelight tours from 5:00–8:00 pm on select Sundays; reservations are recommended. The Paine is open for guided tours only on Sunday afternoons, and reservations are required.


What will I do on a Self-guided Tour?

On self-guided tours, you will walk through more than 20 elaborately decorated settings with more than 70 Christmas trees. Oversized books depict the story along the tour. A “Mouse Hunt” is also offered for children with 60 mice figurines to find. You may tour the rooms at your leisure, which usually takes about 1 hour.


What will I do on a Guided Tour?

Guided tours begin with a party featuring live musicians and serving punch and cookies. Then an actor greets the guests and introduces the Nutcracker story. The actor leads a brief tour through the first floor of the mansion, which ends with a 10 minute youth ballet performance. Guests are then invited to tour the second floor of the mansion on their own. A Guided Tour lasts about 1 hour. Please arrive 10 minutes early for Guided Tours.


When is the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café open?

The Cupcake Café is open on most Friday evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings, as well as special hours during the holiday week. Please note the café hours and coordinate visits before or after Nutcracker tours accordingly.

May I bring a stroller?

The Paine encourages visitors with small children to use umbrella strollers, which are available at the entrance. Large strollers are not allowed.


May I take photos when I visit?

Yes, photography is allowed during all tours and within the Cupcake Café. Please do not use a flash and be considerate of other visitors and your surroundings.


Is the event wheelchair-accessible?

All tours and the Cupcake Café are wheelchair accessible. The mansion has an elevator for the second floor, however, a portion of the second floor is not wheelchair accessible. Please note that large wheelchairs may not fit through some doorways. The Paine has wheelchairs available that fit through all doorways. Wheelchairs are available at the Mansion’s reception desk, and the Mansion and Conservatory are wheelchair-accessible.


Does the Paine close in winter weather?

The Paine remains open and all tours continue during winter weather conditions. The Paine only closes during the most extreme weather conditions and does not follow school or other closings. In the event of severe weather near the time of a tour, please call (920) 235-6903 or visit the Paine’s website or Facebook page to learn about the status of tours. Reservations for guided tours will not be refunded due to weather, except in the unlikely event that a tour is cancelled.


Where do I park when I visit?

The Paine is located at 1410 Algoma Boulevard in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Visitors may park in the parking lot on Algoma Boulevard located next to the Paine Mansion, which offers accessible parking spaces and a drop-off area near the entrance gate. Visitors may also park along the street on Algoma Boulevard, Congress Avenue, and Elmwood Avenue. Additional parking is available in the Paine’s ancillary lot on Elmwood Avenue.


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Hours & Admission

Special hours and admission rates apply during Nutcracker in the Castle, November 18, 2022-January 9, 2023.