Hillside Studio & Theater Tour

All Ages 1 Hour

Get an intimate look at the life of Frank Lloyd Wright as you explore the Hillside Studio & Theater, designed in 1901 for his aunts.

Rates & Starting Location

Adult – $22
Student, Senior & Military – $17
Children 4-9 – $7
Children under 3 – FREE

Meeting Location is the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center (Spring Green, WI).

Summary

The Hillside Studio & Theater Tour provides an intimate look into 60 years of the life of one of America’s greatest architects, and into the lives of the family who inspired him.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hillside in 1902 for his aunts, who ran an innovative children’s boarding school based on the motto “learn by doing.” Wright’s building, as innovative as the school is housed, is situated on land cleared by his pioneering grandparents.

Some of the highlights of this 1-hour walking tour include:

  • The charming, light-filled Assembly Hall
  • The dramatic 5,000-square-foot Drafting Studio
  • The Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower
  • The jewel-like Theater

17 years after his aunts retired, Wright re-opened their building and expanded it to accommodate a community of architects and designers…a community that continues to live and work at Hillside to this day.

This is a great introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright’s life, work, and philosophy.

What Is Not Included?

Please note this tour does NOT include a tour of the Taliesin house.

Accessibility

The tours begin on a picturesque rural estate that has some unique characteristics. All tours require a significant amount of standing, stair climbing and walking on uneven terrain. There are several series of steps and some with no handrails. Some exterior walkways consist of loose gravel or grassy pathways. There is no opportunity to leave the group should you wish to stay behind. Our public tours are not wheelchair accessible. We can arrange private accessible tours with three weeks’ notice. Please call directly for details. 877-588-7900 Ext 229. We share this information so that all guests may be fully prepared for what to expect.

Cancellation Policy

Tour tickets are non-refundable. Tours can be rescheduled with 48 hours advance notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Advance purchase is strongly recommended, as space is limited per tour. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased using a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express.
What is the main difference between the tours? Which one should I take?
We offer a variety of tours which vary by duration and sights seen. While there is some overlap in terms of the areas seen, each tour is very different and often guests take more than one during their visit. In general, our most popular tours are the House tour and Highlights tour, which also run the most often. In addition, our Estate tour is also popular and the most in-depth tour of Taliesin. However, if you are short on time, consider taking the Highlights tour, which combines overviews of both Taliesin and Hillside into a quick-paced 2-hour tour. If you've taken the Estate tour or Highlights tour, it would not be necessary to take an additional tour. However, the House tour and Hillside Studio & Theater tour are complimentary of one another.
Are there any age limits? Can we bring our kids?
Yes, children can attend, however, please note that younger children may not fully understand the content and get much out of it. As parents, you should use your best judgement as to whether your child will enjoy the tour. We do offer a reduced price ticket for children ages 10 and under. However, infants and toddlers who will sit on a parents lap in the shuttle can attend for free. Please note this tour is the only tour children under the age of 10 are permitted to attend.
What about inclement weather?
Tours will run rain or shine. Most of the buildings on the Taliesin estate do not have heat or air-conditioning. We suggest you check the forecast and dress appropriately for the weather as our tours go out regardless of conditions.
Can we explore Taliesin on our own or do we need to take a tour?
The Taliesin estate is privately owned, and is therefore accessible only on a guided tour. The Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, which houses the Taliesin Bookstore and the Riverview Terrace Cafe are free of charge but guests must have tour tickets to view the remainder of the property. The Visitor Center is open to the public everyday from May 1 through October 31 and on Fridays through Sundays in November and April.
Do you offer discounts for booking more than one tour?
Yes, there are certain tours which complement each other nicely and therefore we offer a discount when these tours are booked together. A discount is offered if you book the House tour and the Hillside Studio & Theater tour. This discount is only available if you book over the phone. Please call (608) 588-7900 or (877)-588-7900 and mention you would like the combo tour discount. Note that you do not have to take the tours on the same day, but you must book them at the same time.
How will we get to the Taliesin estate from the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center?
Part of the tour includes a short 5-minute drive to the estate from the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center in one of our climate-controlled 21-passenger shuttles. While the drive to the estate is short, your guide will provide narration along the way.
How much walking or standing will there be? Will I be able to sit down?
Other than during the 5 minute shuttle ride, guests will be standing or walking for the entire tour. Please note we do walk at a casual pace, but we will be walking on some uneven terrain including gravel walkways and grassy areas.
Is Taliesin handicap and stroller accessible?
Since the tour covers uneven terrain and stairs, as well as boarding our shuttle, we do not advise this tour for those with accessibility issues or children in strollers. If you are concerned about accessibility please contact us prior to purchasing tickets to determine which tours are best suited to your abilities. Accessible tours are available by special arrangement with 3 weeks notice. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an accessible tour, please contact us.
Do you allow photography?
Casual photography is welcome and guests can take photos on the tour.
Can I leave the tour early?
Guests are shuttled from the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center to the estate, guests will not be able to leave during the tour.
Is Taliesin open all year round?
Taliesin is closed from January through March and our regular tour season runs from May 1 - October 31. In addition, we also offer the House Tour Friday through Sunday in April and November.
Do you have a gift shop?
Yes, the Taliesin Bookstore is open every day from 9am to 5:30pm during our regular season from May 1 through October 31. It is also open Friday through Sunday during April and November from 10am to 4:30pm.
What should I wear? What should I bring?
Since a portion of the tour takes place outside, we recommend being prepared for the day's weather and wearing comfortable clothing and shoes. Note there are gravel walkways that connect the buildings, so please be sure to wear appropriate shoes. In terms of what to bring, we generally find the fewer items you carry with you, the more comfortable you will be.
Are food and drinks available for purchase?
Yes, bottled water can be purchased in the bookstore. Food and beverages, other than water, are not permitted on tour. Cafe hours everyday May-October: coffee & pastries 10:00-11:00 | lunch served 11:00-4:00.
Are there any restaurants nearby?
Yes, located within the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, the Riverview Terrace Cafe has a warm and friendly atmosphere with windows that span the entire length of the building, giving diners an unforgettable view overlooking the scenic Wisconsin River. For those traveling for business or pleasure, the restaurant also has free access to Wi-Fi. Sit, dine, relax and enjoy! Cafe hours everyday May-October: 10:00-11:00 coffee & pastries | lunch served 11:00-4:00.
Are restrooms available along the tour?
Restrooms are only available at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center. We recommend using the facilities prior to the departure of your tour.
Is there parking available?
Yes, there is a free parking lot at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center.
Are pets allowed to come?
Certified service dogs are always welcome. Other pets are not permitted on tours. Also please note there is limited shade in our parking lot and pets should not be left in vehicles while guests are attending tours. Call us for information on local day care for pets.
Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is permitted in the exterior areas near the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center. Smoking is prohibited on the grounds of the Taliesin estate.
Do you offer gift cards?
Yes! gift cards are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion!
Do you offer group tours?
Yes, in addition to offering tours to the general public, we also welcome larger groups to the Taliesin estate. For these groups, we offer the Hillside Studio & Theater Tour and the House Tour. To set up a group tour, please contact us.
Can we do a private tour?
Yes, we offer group tours or development tours of Taliesin. To set up a private tour please contact us.