Things to do in Wisconsin

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No matter where you are in Wisconsin, there are tons of Father’s Day activities and  events to enjoy this weekend with your dad. Make this Father’s Day the best ever by giving your dad a day that shows him just how special he is to you. There is still plenty of time to plan a fun-filled day; check out the ideas below! 

  1. Catch a fish on Father’s Day: Get out in nature, away from the computer and your phone and enjoy quality time with Dad on the lake! Check out the all of the great fishing options here :
  2. Have some fun on the farm: Dads are free this Father’s Day at Mulberry Farms in Hilbert, WI. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy some fun family time. More info:
  3. Family Zoo Day: The Milwaukee County Zoo is a great place for kids and fathers to spend time together.  All fathers receive free admission, no cooupon necessary, as Prairie Farms Dairy sponsor’s Father’s Day at the Zoo. Learn more here:
  4. Hang out at the Harley-Davidson Museum: Explore 114 of Harley-Davidson history this Father’s Day, the Harley-Davidson Museum honors fathers and grandfathers by offering free admission:
  5. Run the trail: Is your father into fitness? Wisconsin Trail Assail is a Father’s Day Run in Menomonee Falls, WI. Learn more here:



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Full disclosure: I truly love Door County.

Over the years I’ve discovered some really COOL places, encountered so many really NICE people and thoroughly enjoyed every trip in and through “The Door”.  However, I’ve only ever been there in spring & summer – not fall.

So, with that in mind, I set out to discover what makes Door County an amazing place to visit in autumn…

Family Fun:
Many visitors come to the Door in fall to experience Mother Nature’s beautiful fall foliage, and there are so-o many ways to get out and enjoy the crisp fall days. From horseback riding to carriage rides, to mini-golf, go-karts and paintball target shooting you’ll find enough to do to keep the whole family entertained. Need even more? Grab your bikes or lace up your sneakers and head for one of the five state parks in Door County. Looking to spend some time on the water? Check out a Family Kayaking Tour or perhaps a Fall Color cruise on the Harbor Lady or Deaths Door Lighthouse Cruise.

Nighttime Fun:
GHOST TOURS OF DOOR COUNTY – “Trolley of the Doomed” departs nightly from Orchard Country Winery in Fish Creek
TWILIGHT ZIP TOURS – “Walk the trails back to the zip lines by candlelight and glowsticks while the guides share stories of their adventures!” Gravity Trails, Ellison Bay
Catch an evening performance of GUYS & DOES (Monday through Saturday) at the American Folklore Theatre, Fish Creek

Grown Up Fun:
ROCK & ROLL ART NIGHT at Hands On Art Studios, Fish Creek
Check out the “complementary tasting bar” at the DOOR PENINSULA WINERY, Sturgeon Bay or take a “WINE ENCOUNTERS” tour at Stone’s Throw Winery in Egg Harbor
HAUNTED TROLLEY PUB CRAWL picks up in Egg Harbor most Fridays & some Saturdays through October

Mark your Calendars:
Oct 9th-10th: FALL FUN FEST AND CIDER PRESSING PARTY – Washington Island Farm Museum

– Egg Harbor
Live music, arts & crafts, plus face-painting & kids activities throughout Egg Harbor.

Oct 15th-17th: FALL FESTIVAL -
Sister Bay
This one includes a 10,000 ball ping pong ball drop!

– Fish Creek
One word: HALLOWEEN!

Did You Know?
> You can drop by for Open Knitting at Red Sock Yarns, Fish Creek, Thursdays from 9:30 am-12:00 pm
> Lou Close entertains the crowd with his accordion at the White Gull Inn’s Fish Boils from May through October
> The Door County Visitors’ Bureau offers a free 172 page Visitors’ Guide – order one here or view an online version here

As always, click on over to to find amazing places to stay on your Fall trip to Door County! I know there’s even more that’s fabulous about Door County in the fall – what did I miss? Click the comments link at the top of this post & share YOUR recommendations!


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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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Ready for a truly unique addition to our series on Wisconsin’s indoor waterparks & water activity centers? Billed as “the first urban indoor waterpark of it’s kind in America,” Paradise Landing is located in the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. 

The 20,000 sq ft facility features a three-story Jamaican village theme with four water slides, a Hydro-therapy Spa, and an idyllic lagoon. Watch the kids enjoy themselves on the Lily Pad walk, Turtle Squirt, Beached Boat Slide, Seashell & Frog slides, and Mushroom Rain Drop Fountain.

Because all this fun will create big hunger in even the littlest bodies, the Cabana Cove serves up a variety of snacks and refreshments. The menu includes nachos, pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, and hot dogs (prices are fairly reasonable, too!) Adult beverages are also available.

When you’re ready to throw in the beach towel, remember that you’re in the middle of Milwaukee’s many family attractions; the Zoo, museums, and shopping!

As always, click on over to to learn more about the Hilton Milwaukee City Center as well as more Wisconsin waterpark destinations.


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Yep, half way through winter in Wisconsin & there’s still plenty of festival fun to be had…

February 19-21
Madison Winter Festival
Family fun from tubing to snowshoeing, ice carving and snow sculpting, plus running, walking, biking and more all around Madison’s Capitol Square.

February 20th
Chilly Fest, Menomonie Falls
Includes Chili cook-off and ice carving contests, food, games & live entertainment at Mill Pond Park.

2010 Freeze Fest, Whitewater
Rise and shine with a pancake breakfast by the Kiwanis, then head out for a carriage ride or family skating time and much more! Freeze Fest is also one of the three Polar Plunge events this weekend in Wisconsin (see below for more).

Mardi Gras Festival, Wausau
Food & drink specials plus fun family events at Granite Peak Ski Hill.

February 20-21
Klondike Days, Eagle River
Head to Eagle River for a full weekend of family fun including snowshoe races, lumberjack competitions, plus a winter rendezvous encampment. Be sure to also check out the traditional Ojibwe dances by the Waswagoning Dance Theatre.

February 20thPolar Plunge for Special Olympics
In addition to the Polar Plunge during Freeze Fest in Whitewater, brave souls will also be raising money and making the plunge in Madison & Oshkosh on February 20th. To learn more & check for Plunge dates/ locations near you, visit the Special Olympics website.[youtube=]

As always, head on over to and start planning your Wisconsin winter getaway!


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As I’ve shared in a previous post, I don’t fish. However, in the spirit of remaining open-minded, I’d like to once again ramble a bit about fishing – or to be more exact, Ice Fishing.

Here’s what I know:

  1. First, you need to make sure the ice is thick enough to support you (at least 4″ thick if it’s just you, 12″ thick for your ice shanty or snowmobile)
  2. Then, you start dressing in layers – LOTS of layers!
  3. Next, add warm, waterproof footwear (you’ll be standing on ICE, remember!)
  4. Finally, you’ll need something to cut through the ice & fishing equipment

That’s all I know.

However, there are experts across the web who speak fluent ice fishing, including those at the Wisconsin DNR. There’s also with a full line-up of articles including Secrets of the Pros and the National Ice Fishing Association‘s web site.
Had to share this as well, ‘cuz it made me laugh!

Now, get out your calendars because there are a host of fun “Fisherees”, “Derbies” and “Jamborees” across Wisconsin in the coming days:
January 30th
Hancock Lions Club Fisheree, Fish Lake
5th Annual Justin Donner Memorial Fisheree, Mercer

January 31st
Phillips Winter Fest features an ice fishing contest on Lake Duroy
Lake Montesian Fisharee/ Chickaree, Monticello

February 6th
Ice Fishing Jamboree, Mosinee
Sno Gypsies Winterfest Fisheree, Park Falls
6th Annual Ice Fishing Rumble, Phillips
Plum Lake EMT’s Holes for Life, St. Germain
50th Annual BPCA Winter Fishing Derby, Lake Onalaska

As always, don’t forget to head on over to to plan your ice fishing getaways!


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With Halloween just around the corner, many families are seeking fun, safe, and affordable ways to get in the spirit and celebrate. Here are a few to get you started:

Fridays & Saturdays in October:
Zoo BooNew Zoo, Green Bay
Cost: Zoo Admission: advanced tickets $8, at the gate $10, 1 & Under are free
Begins: 3 p.m.
Features: Inflatable fun, games, horse-drawn haunted wagon through ‘Freaky Forest’, dancing with live D.J.

October 17:
BooFestWisconsin Ave. & Commercial St, Neenah
Cost: Free
Begins: 9 a.m.
Events: Pumpkin carving, scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin recipe contest & trick-or-treating

Zoo BooWildwood Wildlife Park, Minocqua
Cost: Under 12 free with non-perishable food donation, over 12: $7 admission at door
Begins: 1 p.m.
Events: Costume contest, fun activities & trick-or-treating

October 23:
Spooka MinookaMinooka Park, Waukesha
Cost: $10 per car (some activities have additional fees)
Begins: 5:30 -9:00 p.m. for kids 6-12 (Haunted Barn Encore for older kids 10/24)
Events: Haunted trail ride, ‘Spookagraphs’, crafts, cookie decorating, campfire & Haunted Barn

October 24:
Halloween FestPrairie Springs Park, Pleasant Prairie
Cost: Free (some events may have additional charges)
Begins: 4 p.m.
Events: Costume contest, camp fire, pumpkin painting, scavenger hunt, “feel factor” for kids, hayrides

October 23-24:
Candlelight Cave ToursLedge View Nature Center, Chilton
Cost: $5 per person
Begins: 5:30 Friday, 4:30 Saturday
More Info: Use stairs & ladders to descend into the caves led by costumed guides, dress in layers!

As always, check out for great places to stay, then hit the road for some fun (& not-so-spooky) fall adventures!
Thanks Pamela for all your help with these!


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I’ve said it before & I still know it to be true: Wisconsinites love a good time… And what better way to have a good time this autumn than a true Wisconsin fall harvest FESTIVAL! Check out the following Fests & Festivals on the calendar this weekend:AudubonDays_Mayville

October 1st – 4th:
Audubon Days, Mayville

October 2nd:
Taste of Wine and Beer in De Pere

October 2nd – 3rd:
27th Annual Apple Affair, Galesville

October 3rd:
Thorp Pumpkin Fest, Thorp
Chili Cook-off & Oktoberfest, Monroe
Fall Harvest Festival, Chippewa Falls
Watertown’s Fall Festival
Lincoln Lager Barleyfest, Merrill

pumpkinsOctober 3rd – 4th:
Fall Heritage Festival, Mount Horeb
12th Annual Nekoosa Giant Pumpkin Festival
Cranberry Fest, Eagle River
Shihata Orchard Fest, Prairie du Chien
Grandview Orchard Applefest, Antigo

October 4th:
Maxwell Street Days, Cedarburg
Crex Meadows: Fall Wildlife Festival, Grantsburg

As always, check out for great places to stay, then hit the road for fun fall adventures!


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