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The fountain in the Formal Garden during spring.Eric Reischl

Plan a Visit

Visit a historic estate with art galleries and botanical gardens

The Paine Art Center and Gardens is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Founded in 1948, the English country estate includes a historic mansion, art collection, and nearly four acres of botanical gardens. The Paine is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

With art exhibitions that change throughout the year, display gardens that vary by the season, and events for people of all ages and backgrounds, the Paine offers a spectrum of experiences to enjoy throughout the year.

Nutcracker in the Castle

Self-guided tours

Featuring 20 decorated settings and 70 Christmas trees in the historic Paine mansion

November 24, 2023–January 8, 2024
Monday–Saturday | 10:00 AM–4:00 PM*

Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day:
10:00 AM–4:00 PM

Reservations recommended

On self-guided tours, journey through more than 20 rooms and spaces elaborately decorated as the fantastic scenes of the Nutcracker story. On the first floor, each setting features a large storybook with illustrations that reveal a portion of the fairy tale. On the second floor, the rooms portray the home and lifestyle of the Stahlbaum family, as well as the workshop of Godfather Drosselmeyer and a wide variety of finely crafted wooden Nutcrackers. Throughout both floors, more than 60 mischievous mice are hidden within the settings.

$17 Adult
$13 Youth (ages 5–17)
Free for Members
Free for ages 4 and under

*Self-guided tours are not available on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.

Verve, A Credit Union members receive 2-for-1 admission to self-guided tours. Proof of membership required.

Amcor employees receive 2-for-1 admission for self-guided tours. Proof of employment is required.

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Candlelight tours

Featuring the decorated settings illuminated by Christmas trees in the evening

November 24, 2023–January 5, 2024
Sundays | 5:00–8:00 PM*
Wednesdays & Fridays | 4:30–8:00 PM*

Reservations required

Candlelight tours offer guests an especially entrancing way to take a self-guided tour of the Nutcracker display in the evening. The lights of the “castle” are dimmed and the settings are illuminated by the glow of more than 70 Christmas trees. As guests enter, they are handed electric candles to carry as they wander through the glowing rooms.

$17 Adult
$13 Youth (ages 5–17)
Free  for Members
Free for ages 4 and under

*Candlelight tours are not available Nov. 26, Dec. 22, Christmas Eve, Dec. 27, New Year’s Eve, or Jan. 3.

Verve, A Credit Union members receive 2-for-1 admission to candlelight tours. Proof of membership required.

Amcor employees receive 2-for-1 admission for self-guided tours. Proof of employment is required.

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Guided tours – SOLD OUT

Featuring live musical, acting, and dance performances

November 25, 2023–January 7, 2024 
Saturdays | 5:00–8:00 PM*
Sundays | 12:00–3:30 PM*

Additional holiday guided tours:
Dec. 21–22 | 5:00–8:00 PM
Dec. 26–28 | 5:00–8:00 PM

Reservations required

Please note: Limited reservations are available for guided tours. To inquire about availability, please call 920-235-6903 x30.

A guided tour of Nutcracker in the Castle brings the characters and scenes of the fairy tale to life. The tour begins with a festive party in the “Ballroom” and live performances by a string quartet. Guests enjoy punch and cookies while Godfather Drosselmeyer tells the story of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince.

Afterwards, he leads guests through the elaborately decorated rooms of the mansion. The story culminates in the “Lands of Afar” where youth and professional dancers perform selections from the Nutcracker ballet. Guests then tour the second-floor rooms, which are fancifully decorated as Clara’s family home and Drosselmeyer’s workshop.

$32 Adult
$27 Youth (ages 5–17)

$25 Member Adult
$21 Member Youth (ages 5–17)

Free for ages 4 and under

Tours begin every 30 minutes and last about an hour.

*Guided tours are not available on Nov. 18-19, Dec. 23, Christmas Eve, Dec. 30, or New Year’s Eve.

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Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café

Located in the Conservatory at the back of the Paine property

November 17, 2023–January 7, 2024 
Wednesdays & Fridays | 5:00–7:30 PM
Saturdays | 11:00 AM–7:30 PM
Sundays | 12:30–3:30 PM

Additional holiday hours
Nov. 19 | 12:30–7:30 PM
Dec. 21 | 5:00–7:30 PM
Dec. 26–29 | 11:00 AM–7:30 PM

No reservations necessary

Visit the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café for a scrumptious treat before or after tours of Nutcracker in the Castle! With the Sugar Plum Fairy herself as hostess, the café serves cupcakes and hot cocoa in a fairyland setting within the Paine’s Conservatory.

Cupcakes are made by Tamara’s the Cake Guru.

$8 includes cupcake and hot cocoa, milk, or coffee.

Gluten-free option available.

Closed on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Jan. 3.

Please note the hours of the café, and coordinate visits before or after Nutcracker tours.

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A view of a blooming tree, with a stained glass window in the background.
Ken Cravillion

Location & Parking

The Paine is located at 
1410 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901.

Visitors may park in a lot on Algoma Boulevard just north of the Paine mansion, which offers accessible parking spaces and a drop off area near the entrance gate. An additional lot with accessible parking is located on Congress Avenue. Street parking is also available on Algoma Boulevard and Congress Avenue.

A planter with pink and white flowers stands next to the mansion in spring
Eric Reischl


Amateur photography is allowed in the mansion and gardens with paid admission. Photography of art exhibitions varies by the exhibition. Photo shoots and professional photography of any kind require a permit and advance scheduling.

To arrange for a permit, please contact or call
(920) 235-6903.

A group of people view the Dining Room in the mansion.
Jim Koepnick

Tour Groups

Tour group visits of the mansion and gardens are available by appointment and must be arranged at least two weeks in advance. Availability varies by the season. Please plan to spend about two hours with us. To coordinate a visit for a tour group, please fill out a Tour Group Inquiry.

For more information, email or call (920) 235-6903. 

An aerial view of the mansion façade with colorful tulips in spring.
Jim Koepnick

More Resources

The following sites may be of help in planning your visit to Oshkosh: 
Discover Oshkosh 
Portal Wisconsin 
Travel Wisconsin 
EAA AirVenture Museum 
Grand Opera House 
Oshkosh Public Museum

Travel Beyond Your Horizon

The Paine is proud to be a founding member of Wisconsin Art Destinations. Learn more at

Logo for Wisconsin Art Destinations

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I expect a visit to last?

Touring the mansion and gardens on one’s own takes about an hour each. Plan for two hours total. To arrange for a docent-led tour, please contact the Paine two weeks before your visit.

Is the Paine accessible?

The Paine mansion is accessible and has an elevator for the second floor, however, a portion of the second floor is not wheelchair-accessible. Large wheelchairs may not fit through some doorways. The Paine has wheelchairs that fit through all doorways available at the mansion entrance. The Carriage House, Conservatory, and gardens are wheelchair-accessible.

Do I need a reservation to visit?

Reservations are recommended, not required. Walk-ins are welcome during open hours. Reservations are sometimes required during special events. For help with a reservation, please email or call (920) 235-6903.

Are dogs allowed?

Only fully-trained service dogs are permitted, and must comply with ADA requirements. Therapy dogs, emotional support animals, and other pets are not permitted on the property, including in the gardens.

May I bring a stroller?

Large strollers are not allowed. Visitors with small children should use umbrella strollers, which are available at the mansion entrance. The Paine does not offer storage for strollers.

Are backpacks allowed?

In order to protect the art and décor, backpacks are not allowed to be worn on backs inside the mansion. Backpacks may be worn in front or carried by the handle. This includes backpack-style diaper bags.

Are food or drinks allowed inside the mansion?

Food and drinks are not allowed inside the mansion. Water only.

Is there a smoking area?

In order to preserve the botanical gardens, there is no smoking or vaping allowed on the Paine property. 

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