Things to do in Wisconsin

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To celebrate National Tourism Week, participating WH&LA member properties are offering a free third night of lodging when you stay two nights May 11 – 12, 2012.

To take advantage of the offer, book a stay for May 11 – 12, 2012 with any of the 35+ participating properties listed here. Use the promotional code listed when you book your stay, and then pick Thursday or Sunday as your free night!

All different types of properties are participating in the 3-for-2 Weekend, from all corners of the state – check them all out & book your stay now!

 

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A cool city with a laid-back vibe. Stroll past lively brewpubs along downtown’s charming RiverWalk and enjoy shopping at the Milwaukee Public Market in the trendy walk-around neighborhood of the Historic Third Ward. Award-winning brewery tours await and no one can resist the Harley-Davidson Museum, where you can have a blast playing Easy Rider!

Milwaukee Public Market

Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt

Who does she think she is? The Queen of Egypt?
The world of Cleopatra VII, lost to the sand and sea for over 2,000 years, will be brought back to life through the exhibition of 150 artifacts from the smallest gold pieces to colossal statues at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The exhibition, Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt, will open on October 14, 2011 and extend into the spring 0f 2012, only the third stop in the entire world and second in the nation.

Lakefront Brewery’s Pumpkin Lager and Sprecher Brewery’s Oktoberfest beer aren’t the only “spirits” in Milwaukee this fall. If paranormal activity ignites your inner ghost chaser, reserve the haunted penthouse room of Shaker’s Cigar Bar and World Café, scene of a murder at this former bordello. Take the ghost tour of the building with period authentic absinthe cocktail in hand to help coax the spirits from their corners before your stay.

Milwaukee Food Tours also serves up the haunted history of Milwaukee’s unique neighborhoods on a three-hour bus tour featuring local ghost stories through the Historic Third Ward, along Brady Street and down Wisconsin Avenue. Delicious tastings in the haunted Concordia and Fifth Ward neighborhoods with accompanying BOO-ze and spirits fill out the activities and your stomachs along the way.

From the time the leaves go from green to gold and from gold to the ground, Milwaukee rolls through fall with plenty to do and see. Milwaukee – the perfect fall getaway destination!

This blog post is presented by Visit Milwaukee – find more great things to do at visitmilwaukee.org.

Browse Wisconsin hotels, motels, resorts, B&Bs and other lodging accommodations at wisconsinlodging.org.

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Never let it be said that there’s nothing to do in Wisconsin! Compiled below is part TWO of our list of Wisconsin events happening in September throughout Wisconsin from A to (almost) Z!

National Public Lands DaySeptember 25th
Give back with the “nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance” our public lands; nine Wisconsin sites to choose from.
Norskedalen Threshing Bee, Coon Valley – September 25th
Learn how oats were threshed, butter was churned, ropes were made & more in this “authentic pioneer setting”.

Celebrate your German heritage with one of these OKTOBERFEST celebrations: Chippewa Falls (9/17-19),  Fox Cities (9/25), Germantown (9/25-26), Glendale (9/10-26), La Crosse (9/24-10/2), New Glarus (9/24-26), or Plymouth (9/17-18). Or check out Old World Wisconsin’s Old World Country Fair in Eagle September 18-19.

Pendarvis Crowdy Crawn, Mineral Point – September 25th
Celebrate your Cornish heritage with storytelling, quilting, lace-making and more.
Parallel 44′s Fall Harvest Fest, Kewaunee – September 11th
Watch local TV celebrities compete in a Grape Stomp, sample wines, take a vineyard tour and hear live music including Swing/ Dixie Land Jazz by Talk to the Town.

Quarry Quest, Neenah – September 18th
Be prepared – you may get dirty! Ride a boom lift, work a backhoe, learn to make concrete or construct a brick wall.
Quilt Expo, Madison – September 9th-11th
Shop the expo hall, watch a stage demonstration or catch a lecture – plus check out the “10-category juried and judged Quilt Contest”.

Richland County Fair, Richland – September 8th-12th
Fun everyday with the “Catch a Pig Contest” or lawn mower racing, plus Euchre tournament, karaoke contests and more.
Rock River Wine Fest & Craft Show, Watertown – Sept 11th
Over 100 exhibitors in the craft show plus live music, great food and lots of wines to sample.

Scarecrow Fest, Delavan – September 18th
Free pumpkin decorating! Plus food, music, scarecrows & a duck race raffle.
Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, Hudson- Sept 25th-26th
Two day juried art fair featuring 75 artists showing paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography and more.

Taste of Whitewater, Whitewater – September 10th-11th
“Featuring Whitewater food, Wisconsin beer & wine, live music and entertainment for all ages”
Thirsty Troll Brew Fest, Mount Horeb – September 11th
8th annual event featuring “25 craft brewers serving over 100 different beers” plus live music.

U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships, Pardeeville – September 11th
Free sliced watermelon for all plus an open air market, food stands, live music and, of course, the CONTESTS: watermelon carving, speed-eating, seed-spitting and largest watermelon.

Viola Horse & Colt Show, Viola – September 24th & 25th
Horse show, horse pull, live country music, carnival rides, and even a parade in a beautiful area of southwestern Wisconsin.
Volksfest, Waupun – September 10-12th
Fabulous live music, German food, arts & crafts show plus the Wild Goose Chase 5k & 10k run.

Warren’s Cranberry Fest, Warrens – September 24th-26th
If you like shopping, this is where you want to be! Over 1300 exhibitors including arts & crafts, flea market & antiques and farmers’ market. Plus marsh tours and a parade on Sunday.
Westfield Rendezvous Days, Westfield – September 24th-26th
Revisit the 1800s pioneer days with “Traders, food, clothing, Gun Show, Traders Jubilee, and games.”

No Xs on the calendar this month.

Yahara Riverfest, DeForest – September 25th
Learn more about the Upper Yahara River through guided tours plus a geo-caching scavenger hunt, kids activities such as painting pumpkins, making caramel apples and more. Wrap up the day at the bonfire with toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate.

Sad to say, there’s just no Z either this month… :(

Well, we almost made it through the whole alphabet! So, where are YOU headed next? Click on the comments link above & let me know…

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Never let it be said that there’s nothing to do in Wisconsin! Compiled below is part one of our list of Wisconsin events happening in September throughout Wisconsin from A to (almost) Z!

Alma Music & Arts Festivals
- September 5th
Arts & crafts fair with live music, kids activities along the Mississippi River.
Amish Market, Ferryville – September 18th
Shop from a large variety of Amish goods including furniture, quilts, organic produce, flowers & more.

Beef-A-Rama, Minocqua – September 24th & 25th
There’s a dance, Rump Roast Run & Parade of Beef – what else can I say??
Blair Cheese FestivalSeptember 16th-19th
Events kick off Thursday night with the Tapping of the Golden Keg & include live music, a moped fun run and arm wrestling.

Cannons at the Fort, Prairie du Chien – September 17th-18th
Historic reenactment of early 1800′s life in Wisconsin. Learn basket & candle making, bowl carving & more.
Cornish Festival, Mineral Point – September 24th-26th
Celebrating their Cornish heritage, the Southwest Wisconsin Cornish Society hosts this 18th annual festival with tours, demonstrations and more.

Darien CornfestSeptember 10th-12th
Activities include a corn-eating contest, a corn fest parade, softball, volleyball & horseshoe tournaments as well as hammerschlagen contests.
Driftless Area Art Festival, Soldiers Grove – Sept 18th-19th
80 exhibitors, from sculptors to painters plus live music, kids art area and more!

East Troy Bluegrass FestivalSeptember 11th & 12th
Two full days of bluegrass music in the historic East Troy downtown square – free admission!
Ethnic Festival, Two Rivers – September 18th
Live music, dancing, crafts and more all celebrating “more than 60 cultures from around the world” in Central Park, downtown Two Rivers.

Fall Festival/ Booya Days, Cadott – September 18th
Live music, crafts, pumpkin painting and free Booya plus Miss Booya & Princess Coronations!
Fall Harvest Days, Union Grove – September 18th & 19th
Presented by the SE Wisconsin Antique Power & Collectibles Society, this two day event features threshing & baling demonstrations plus kids activities and free horse-drawn wagon rides.

Gemuetlichkeit Days, Jefferson – Sept 17th-19th
This 40th annual celebration of German culture includes live music, dancing, euchre tournament and a sauerkraut eating contest!
Green County Cheese Days, Monroe – September 17th-19th
Food & cheese-making demos, music & dancing, carnival, kids activities & yodeling lessons – what else do you need?

Heritage Weekend, New Richmond – September 24th-26th
Presented by the New Richmond Heritage Center, events include a spaghetti dinner, 5K run/walk plus pony rides for the kids & more.
Harvest Windmill Festival, Evansville – September 10th-12th
Featuring historic trolley tours, live music & polka dancing, wine & cheese tasting plus a petting zoo.

Indian Summer, Milwaukee – September 10th-12th
Live music, Pow Wow, traditional (Frybread-yum!) and modern foods plus lacrosse tournaments, native arts & crafts and so much more.
Iowa County Fair, Mineral Point – September 2nd-6th
Midway rides, Jr. Fair animal judging, Wii competitions and even a free spaghetti dinner!

Four JAZZ music events to choose from:
Jammin’ on the Porch, Mineral Point – September 10th
Jazz at Five, Madison – September 1st & 8th
Jazz in the Park, Milwaukee – Sept 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd
Jazz on Jefferson, Sturgeon Bay – September 11th

Kermis Dutch Festival, Little Chute – September 17th & 18th
All the elements of a fun Wisconsin festival: arts, crafts, food, beer, live music + Dutch clog dancing.
Kites over Lake Michigan, Two Rivers – September 4th-5th
Most kite flying activities will be wind/ weather dependent, but you won’t want to miss the Saturday night bonfire & the free kite-making for kids Sunday morning.

Lake Geneva Wine FestivalSeptember 10th & 11th
Learn about wines & wine pairings, plus a celebrity chef challenge Friday night and Grand Tasting Saturday.
Lena Dairy FestSeptember 11th
Food, free rides, games, kids activities, tractor pulls and a parade!

Maple Fall Fest, Marshfield – September 18th & 19th
Maple syrup products & seminars, “Amish specialties”, food, beer, petting zoo and arts & crafts exhibitors.
Milwaukee Ukulele FestivalSeptember 25th
If you love all things ukulele, this is one festival you don’t want to miss! Includes vendors selling instruments, instruction books, CDs and more.

Part 2 coming your way soon!
So, where are you headed? Click on the comments link above & let me know…

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Another hot & steamy day here in southeast Wisconsin & what better way to cool down than with an ice cold beer or crisp glass of wine?  Check out some of these upcoming beer & wine fests & festivals and experience Wisconsin by-the-glass!

August 13-14
Brews, Brats & Bands – Point Brewery, Stevens Point

August 20-22
Cedar Creek Winery’s 20th Anniversary – Cedarburg

September 4
Milwauktoberfest – Milwaukee

September 10-11
Lake Geneva Wine Festival – Lake Geneva

September 11
8th Annual Thirsty Troll Beer Fest – Mount Horeb
Fall Harvest Fest – Parallel 44 Winery, Kewaunee

September 11-12
5th Annual Fall Festival – Autumn Harvest Winery, Chippewa Falls

September 12-18
Milwaukee Beer Week – Milwaukee

September 17-18
Great Lakes Brewfest – Racine

September 18-19
Annual Wine & Harvest Festival – Cedar Creek Winery, Cedarburg
Fall Harvest Festival – Chateau St. Croix, St. Croix Falls
Wet Whistle Wine Fest – Von Stiehl Winery, Algoma

September 24-October 2
Oktoberfest 2010 – La Crosse

October 1
Taste of Wine & Beer – DePere

October 2
Lincoln Lager BarleyFest – Merrill

Mark your calendars & raise a toast to Wisconsin this fall! (As always, please enjoy responsibly.) What are your favorite beer or wine tours in Wisconsin? Are there any fests we missed on the list?

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Looking to get outside this weekend? Throw some music and art in the mix, and you’ve got the Why Not Wausau? music, arts and outdoor festival this Friday and Saturday, August 13-14. Tickets to the Granite Peak concert on Saturday are $20, but the Stay in Wisconsin blog wants to send you for free!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the festivities:

Friday, August 13: Free music in downtown Wausau at Downtown on the Square. Bring your pets (on a leash), your beverages and your lawn chair, and enjoy some great music from Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls at 6:30 and BlueHeels from 8:00-10:00. Check out the International Art Exchange gallery show downtown, featuring work from new and independent artists with fresh ideas. There is no admission fee to any of Friday’s events.

Saturday, August 14: An entire day of music at Granite Peak, with gates opening at 11:00 am. Line-up includes Trapper Schoepp & the Shades, Absinthe & the Dirty Floors, Farewell Milwaukee, Communist Daughter, The Daredevil Christopher Wright and headliners .357 String Band and STEEZ. Music continues to 10:00 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at whynotwausau.com, Inner Sleeve Records and Central Board Shop.

As always, you can find great places to stay and book a room in Wausau at wisconsinlodging.org!

OR! Why not win a free four-pack of tickets? Leave us a note in the comments section letting us know why not Wausau? Have you found yourself in Wausau and discovered a great place? Had a great meal? Stayed at a great hotel? Tell us about your favorite Wausau experience (or what you’d like to experience in Wausau) and we’ll pick a winner at random. Comments will be open through noon on Tuesday, August 10!

So let’s hear it… Why Not Wausau??

Special thanks to Flap Jack Creative for hooking up the free tickets!

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Every year we start to get really excited as we countdown to the Wisconsin State Fair and this year is no exception!

Check out our list of the Top 5 Things to Do/ See/ Eat at Wisconsin’s State Fair this year:

  1. Cream Puffs - Always makes our list for two reasons – Nothing compares to a REAL WI State Fair Cream Puff (in fact we even devoted an entire blog post to it last year) PLUS they are made by the WI Bakers Association to promote Wisconsin’s dairy products
  2. Giant Slide – That big green & yellow slide (& their burlap sacks) beckons us every year from smack dab in the middle of the Fair
  3. FREE samples – Be sure to pick up your Information Booklets when you enter the Fair to find out where you can get FREE samples of Coke Zero (full run of Fair), Mello Yello (9th-15th) or Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (12th-15th) + free cups of water from the Salvation Army (east side of Expo Center)
  4. The Animals – No trip to the Fair is complete without checking out the cute babies in the Birthing Barn and catching a Pig Race (or two!) New “animals” at the Fair for 2010- check out the Days of the Dinosaur exhibit in the Big Backyard ($1 admission)
  5. Deep Fried Food-on-a-Stick – It’s become almost a cult-like phenomenon!  With dozens of foods-on-a-stick (most, but not all, deep fried) we asked our resident expert, a girl who saves up her dollars and calories for the Fair, for some of her recommendations:
  • Deep Fried Oreos, Snickers, Pickles & Veggies are all located along the strip of food vendors parallel to the racetrack along the eastern border of the Fair grounds
  • Check for a ‘buy one-get one’ coupon in the info booklets for the Milk Barn, located at the northeast end of the park (just south of the Midway area). The line is always long, but it moves pretty fast.
  • Then, grab some Cookie Dough-On-A-Stick — best enjoyed shared (and with a cup or two from the Milk Barn!)

Bonus #6 - Don’t forget the Wisconsin Products Pavilion:
Home to the Maple Syrup producers (Maple Cotton Candy- yum!), plus Grilled Cheese sandwiches, Palermo’s pizza, the FFA ice cream sundae folks and US! Be sure to stop by the Dept of Tourism booth in the center of the pavilion and pick up your 2010 Wisconsin Lodging Directory.

What did we miss? Click the comments link at the top of the post & tell us about your top 5!

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Why Wisconsin festivals, of course!

You see, we don’t just hold music fests or art fairs, we’ll put together whole celebrations centered around food, too! Check out the list below for some upcoming (delicious) fun:

JULY 24th-
Summer Harvest Cherry Fest, Fish Creek:
Free wine & beer tasting (yeah!), cherry pit spitting contest, free winery tours, face painting and more.

Blueberry Blitz, Merrill:
Includes hay rides, goat cart racing (really!), live music & more. Benefits Randlin Home’s Homeless Veterans.

Pig in the Park, Elkhart Lake:
Pig & corn roast, live music and more in Marsh Park.

Platteville’s Hometown Hog Roast:
Featuring “fun, music, games, raffles, pig races, and- of course- food!

Grandad’s Pancake Festival & Grass Volleyball Tournament, La Crosse:
The name says it all – start the day with a Pancake Breakfast and then participate in one of 3 categories of volleyball (advance registration of your team required).

JULY 24th & 25th-
Iron River Lions Blueberry Festival, Iron River:
Includes Queen & Princess coronations on Saturday evening and pie eating contest Sunday, yum!

JULY 25th-
Stanley Lions Watermelon Festival, Stanley:
Kids games, car show, flea market and FREE watermelon (while supplies last)!

COMING UP-
August 5th-7th: Brat Days, Sheboygan:
Entertainment for all ages including live music and -of course- a brat eating contest.

August 7th: Cookie Daze, Ripon:
Where else can your kids build their own rocket and play cookie BINGO? Lots of family fun including a cookie DROP.

BONUS: Not sure how I feel about this one, but… there’s also Hog WRESTLING in Twin Bridge on July 24th.

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summertime + talented artists = art fairs & fests around Wisconsin:

July 10th:
Namekagon Art & Music Fest, Cable WI

Featuring potters, painters, weavers, carvers and more. New this year will be the Jingle Dress and Fancy Dress dances performed by the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe.

Fine Arts Fair, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee WI
“Enjoy a full day of arts activities featuring fine art and craft booths, a silent auction, and great food. A variety of continuous entertainment is provided on two stages throughout the day.”

35th Annual Lake Country Art Festival, Delafield WI

With over 150 exhibiting artists, you’ll find beautiful displays of pottery, woodwork, glass, jewelry, textiles and more at Naga-waukee Park. Includes musical entertainment and children’s arts & crafts area.

July 10th & 11th:
Find a whole lotta’ great art in downtown Madison, WI at Art Fair on the Square (450 exhibitors from around the country) as well as Art Fair OFF the Square (140 exhibitors from throughout WI).

Chalk Fest, Wausau WI
This 7th annual event transforms Wausau’s City Square with pastel art drawings. (Also going on in Wausau this weekend: Wausau Balloon Rally & Glow)

July 11th:
A Day in the Park Arts & Crafts Fair, Beaver Dam WI

“39th annual arts & crafts fair with over 200 vendors, 10 am – 4 pm, Swan Park”

July 17th:
Artarama, Eagle River WI

125 vendors showing (& selling) their paintings, sculpture, pottery and more in Riverside Park.

Stockholm Art Fair, Stockholm WI
Located on the Mississippi River, the Stockholm Art Fair will feature over 100 exhibitors this year. Check out their web site for a list of vendors, photos from last year’s event and directions.

Lake Mills Arts Festival, Lake Mills WI
Nearly 60 artists from around WI plus musical entertainment, children’s art activities and more.

PLUS one BONUS FESTIVAL:
The Hodag Country Festival runs Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 11 in Rhinelander WI.  In it’s 33rd year, this Country Musical Festival features Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Dierks Bentley, Steel Magnolia, Billy Currington and many more.

As always, be sure to click over and check out WisconsinLodging.org when planning your next Wisconsin Getaway!

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…then you’ll find much to love about Wisconsin this weekend!  Here’s just a quick look at eight places to explore great music, great dancing & GREAT FUN!

June 23rd – 27th:
Country USA – Oshkosh
Billed as “five days of non-stop, world-class entertainment featuring country music’s biggest and hottest headliners“, Country USA features a “$2.1 million dollar talent lineup, coming together for the biggest show of them all.” PLUS great food & shopping.

June 24th – 26th:
Star Spangled Celebration – Richland Center
Held in Krouskop Park, Star Spangled Celebration brings country music to southwest Wisconsin. Headliners include Dierks Bentley, Daryl Worley,  Phil Vasser, Neal McCoy and Wynonna Judd.

June 24th – 27th:
Country Fest – Cadott
And even MORE of country music’s hottest stars will be in northwest Wisconsin as well: The line-up includes Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Darius Rucker & Reba.

June 25th:
Big Woods Big Band and Dance Party – Washburn
Billed as “northern Wisconsin’s most popular dance jazz orchestra” the Big Woods Big Band will be performing at STAGENORTH in Washburn Friday night. Includes free swing dance lessons before the concert as well!

June 25th – 27th:
Fiesta Waukesha – Waukesha
Held in Waukesha’s Frame Park, festival goers will find “a wide variety of Hispanic entertainment” plus “Latin American cuisine, amusements rides, children’s area, youth tent and arts/crafts marketplace.” Free admission for all.

Willard Annual Polka Fest – Willard
Friday night kicks off three days of great polka bands. Admission from $6 (Friday), $10 (Saturday) and $9 (Sunday).

St. Anne’s Polka Fest – Wausau
Great Polka music and dancing from Friday to Sunday plus Bingo, Fish Fry, Craft Sale, Beer Garden & more!

And the big daddy of them all… Summerfest in Milwaukee – 11 days of music featuring more than 800 bands across 11 stages: June 24th – July 4th.

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