MADISON, Wis. -

The Wisconsin Historical Society's 12 historic sites and museums have seen a 16 percent increase in paid attendance so far this year.

Officials said new programs have been popular, and the weather has been better this year than it was last year.

Through the end of July, paid attendance was up 30 percent at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle and almost 14 percent at Circus World Museum in Baraboo.

Cheryl Sullivan is the administrator of the Historical Society's Division of Museums and Historic Sites. She said attendance at Old World Wisconsin was driven by monthlong events including a display about children's author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She said the nice weather also helped. She said attendance in July 2012 was poor because of unseasonable heat.