French explorers and Jesuit priests came to Green Bay in the 1600s, making this area one of the first to be settled. It's only fitting, then, for the city to have a living-history museum, even if it’s wedged between the Fox River, a busy highway and a correctional facility. But once on the grounds you're quickly transported back in time.
The park offers four main sections. The LaBaye area represents the earliest settlers and features a bark chapel, fur trader's cabin and maple sugaring house. The Fort Howard quadrant focuses on military buildings from 1836, when it served as a link in the chain of forts protecting America's interior river routes. The Ethnic Agriculture area contains an old Belgian farm, complete with animals, a 1905 cheese factory and a roadside chapel. And the Growing Community area showcases Green Bay trades during the latter half of the 19th century, such as printing and blacksmithing.
Costumed interpreters work several of the sites, although they're not always present off-season. If you visit then, you can look into all but four buildings, which have rare artifacts, and the entry fee is less. The park's Education Center contains a gift shop and related displays.