Ardy & Ed's in Oshkosh

As my girlfriend and I were eating burgers and chicken tenders that had been delivered to our car via a highschool student in roller blades at Ardy and Ed’s Drive-In in Oshkosh, it had never occurred to either of us that the Fox Cities has so many Drive-Ins with so much history. So I asked around and did some research to see how many I could find within 45 minutes of Lake Winnebago. I included drive-in food, ice cream, and theaters, and there are 11! Check them out before many of them close for the winter, or check them out next season. Let me know if I missed any in the comments!

Zesty’s Custard

Zesty’s is now three locations strong in Green Bay, Depere, and Howard, WI. Quality food and custard and being as local as possible are Zesty’s focuses. Even their custard machines were made in Wisconsin. Interestingly enough the machines came from Leon’s Custard, which is also on our list.

JD’s

Jd’s is an Appleton fast food staple. Still a leader on price, JD’s is more of a drive thru than a drive in, but they are JD’s Drive-In. They are open year round, and I recommend their shakes.

Ardy & Eds

Arty and Eds is located on the south end of Oshkosh on your way to Fond Du Lac. Servers bring your meals on roller blades right to your car! Not only does Arty and Ed’s give you the experience of the 50’s drive-in, but they provide a quality meal to boot.

Leon’s

On the north side of Oshkosh is the other side of the drive-in coin, Leon’s. Much like Arty and Eds, Leon’s waiters come to your vehicle to take your order. Take away the roller blades and add some the best frozen custard in Wisconsin since 1947 and you get Leons!

The Well

The Well in Winneconne is built right into the community. It has been around since 1954, and features a large array of entrees that you might not expect at the traditional American drive-in, such as gyros and pizza. The Well is a neat little place to set your sights on this summer season.

Dick’s

Like many of these historic local drive-ins, Dick’s has a strong following in its community of Kaukauna. A classic burger joint, Dicks also has many homemade ice cream treats!

Frogg’s Ice Cream

Frogg’s has great soft serve ice cream. Located just past High Cliff State Park near Appleton, Frogg’s in Sherwood makes a great pit stop after your next hike.

Charlie’s

Hortonville’s own carhop drive-in. Charlies has been around since 1982, and before that it was an A&W owned by the same family since 1965! Head on down at the beginning of next years season for their Elvis Tribute Week.

charlies
Charlie’s in Hortonville. Credit: Charlie’s

Gilles Frozen Custard

Delicious custard out of Fond Du Lac. Gilles was started and is owned by the same family since 1949. If my math is correct, Gilles is the third oldest drive-in in the area after Leon’s and Ardy & Ed’s in Oshkosh!

Mullin’s Drive In

Mullin’s has been searving since 1934 according to their sign. A unique drive-in to its area in Fox Lake, WI. Currently closed for the season they specialize in floats, malts, and shakes. I love this addition because people don’t think to travel to Fox Lake from the Winnebago area, but Mullins is less than an hour away from Oshkosh and about 30 minutes from Fond Du Lac. A great place to explore next season!

Chester’s

Another spot that nearing other communities. On the east side of Lake Winnebago in Plymouth, Chester’s is a drive-in that has a multitude of offerings including hot dogs, burgers, bbq, root beer by the gallon, and frozen treats. Although on the “other” side of the lake for many Winnebago inhabitants, we highly recommend going to check them out. Make a trip to Kohler-Andae State Park and make a stop at Chester’s.

Tom’s

Tom’s comes across as a national chain, but you can’t say they aren’t local. Starting out of Appleton in 1960, Tom’s is now an eight restaurant chain and did not get this far for no reason!

Dairy Cove

This northern ice cream sanctuary is located near Shawano Lake in Cecil, WI. Widely recognized for their ice creams, Dairy Cove is a must pit-stop for many cabin goers from the Fox Cities and beyond. We highly recommend checking them out for a nice ice cream date.

 

Northeast Wiconsin loves drive-ins! I wanted to give some coverage to some of the many historic drive-ins we have here, and since Food Network didn’t give us any recognition… Venture Wisconsin did. This post only covers the drive-ins within an hour of Lake Winnebago, but I can think of at least three more if you include the north woods and Door County. Are you a local drive-in fan? Tell me your favorite drive-ins, and if you are looking for things to do in Northeast Wisconsin, get out and check out the other ones this season!

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T2 Coworking Space in Green Bay, WI

With the dawn of startups, tech, and the death of the cubicle, co-working spaces have been a popular new office environment across the country. The benefit of coworking spaces is they are low cost and for businesses that are just starting or consist of a small team, these spaces are a great way to collaborate with others and network. These spaces are inhabited by all types of businesses; independent contractors, small startups, and satellite offices for large companies. This creates a low cost, high production environment where commerce and innovation can thrive.

What is exciting is that Northeast Wisconsin is investing heavily in these new spaces, and that means more people able to follow their dreams with less barrier to entry. We thought it is important to let people know that these co-working spaces are available, and where they can find one.

1. Rise & Grind – Oshkosh

A very successful coworking space is The Grind in the Beach Building in Oshkosh. The Grind packed with small, medium, and large businesses. Businesses like Verve Credit Union, Mirrorless Productions, and contractors for everything from social media to architecture.

Also embedded in The Grind is Planet Perk Coffee Shop, so you don’t have to bring any coffee because members get a discount. For more information visit their website.

2. T2 Accelerator – Green Bay

T2 is brand new to Green Bay. Depending on when you are reading this it might not be open yet, but it is slated to open early 2018. T2 is located near Titletown Brewery and the Cannery, and has a pretty cool view from the second floor.

For a better look at the space, check out the video.

3. Docking Station – Green Bay

Just down the street from T2 Accelerator is The Docking Station. The Docking station is geared specifically towards small time free lancers, independents, and solo-preneurs. This coworking space has a cafe feeling to it, and gives its small team/solo members a productive area to work and collaborate. More at their website!

4. Rise & Grind – Green Bay

Opens March 2018, this Rise & Grind is on the third floor of the Brown County Library. Visit their website for more details or to become a member.

5. Regus – Appleton

Regus Building in Appleton
Source: Regus

The Regus building is right next to The Fox River Mall, and many aren’t aware of the coworking space within. the building is host to many companies, and now they offer fixed desk and flexible desk coworking space. Visit their website for more.

6. World Headquarters – Appleton

World Headquarters is working on being everything! They have coffee, catering, and you can hire a virtual assistant through them to take care of things like data entry, marketing, and booking. In 2018 World Headquarters plans to roll out child care and an art studio.

World Headquarters is located on Northland on the north side of Appleton. Check our their website for more.

7. Appleton Coworking – Yep, Appleton

Appleton Coworking is a nonprofit coworking space. Located behind Antojitos Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Appleton, this is the most downtown located co-working space in Appleton. Appleton Coworking has a kitchenette, and you can learn about their memberships here.

8. Menlo Park – Appleton

Menlo Park is right next to the River Heath development on the Fox River in Appleton. Menlo Park is right above Tempest Coffee and also has a kitchen available. The biggest perk of Menlo Park however, is the views of the Fox River. Here is their website for more information.

Menlo Park Fireplace
Source: Menlo Park

9. Blank Slate Collective – Appleton

Not exactly a coworking space, but you’ll want to keep your eye on Blank Slate. This is an up and coming project for Appleton entrepreneur Brad Cebulski. The space is a place where members can have access to creative tools such as hardware and software for video, audio, music, etc. The hope to give creators access to tools they may not otherwise be able to afford and allow them a space to collaborate and create. Here is their Facebook account to follow along with the progress.

10. Jake’s Cafe – Sheboygan

Home to over 30 businesses, Jake’s Coffee is a homey coworking space in Sheboygan. Jake’s Coffee is a few blocks from Lake Michigan, and you can learn more about this cool place at their website.

Jake's Coffee in Sheboygan
Source: Jake’s Coffee

Coworking spaces are growing fast! Many of the places on this list are either brand new or nearly at capacity. The benefits of collaboration, and the cost savings as compared to renting your own office space has done tremendous things for many small businesses. If you are curious about any of these spaces, follow them on social and more importantly, check them out! If we missed any co-working spaces in Northeast Wisconsin, please let us know in the comments.

If you live in the Fox Cities or are driving through, many people don’t give the Fox Cities credit for all the reasonably priced activities in the area! We composed a list of the more established things to do in Appleton, Menasha, Neenah, Oshkosh, and surrounding area that would interest tourists and locals alike.

1. Paper Discovery Center

The Fox River is Paper Valley! Many large corporations like Kimberly-Clark for example originated in the Fox Cites. In memory of this history, the Paper Discovery Center was developed right off the Fox River and Downtown Appleton. If you are visiting or live in the Fox Valley and want something unique to see, to bring your kid, or show a friend who is visiting, this is a unique spot.

2. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass

Head to Neenah for a unique museum experience! If you are looking for things to do in Neenah, this is one of the big attractions that is certainly a new experience. The museum has different exhibits all the time!

3. Appleton History Museum

With revolving exhibits, and the constantly evolving exhibits of Appleton’s history and Houdini, this is a great activity in the Fox Cities for any age!

4. Building for Kids

If you are looking for something to do in the Fox Cities for kids, this is the crown jewel. The Building for Kids features interactive, educational fun! Multiple stories of construction, factories, grocery stores, airplanes, play land, and more! Check it out in Appleton!

Kids learning at Building for Kids in Appleton
Kids playing at the interactive Building for Kids in Appleton. Credit: FoxCities.org

5. Hearthstone House

The Hearthstone House is a gemstone in any city. Hearthstone is the first home independently powered by hydroelectric power using the Edison System. We talk about it here as well. It is always cool to have a first in innovation, and Appleton back in the late 1800s had a lot of promise as a city. Visit the Hearthstone House to learn more about Appleton history.

6. Fox River Mall

A big local hang out spot in the Fox Cites, the Fox River Mall attracts people from all over Wisconsin. So if you are visiting for EAA, Mile of Music, or any local event, check out the mall if that is your cup of tea.

7. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a world class venue that brings tons of unique shows to the Fox Cities. World class shows like Mamma Mia, The Lion King, and The Book of Mormon come to the PAC in cycles, and it is worth checking out if you can get the opportunity.

8. Oshkosh Grand Opera House

Much like the PAC, the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh is historic and world class. Slightly smaller shows frequent “The Grand,” but there are plenty of unique and reasonably priced shows to make it worth checking out the historic theater.

9. Weis Earth Science Museum and Barlow Planetarium

If you go to the local community college you will find more than local students saving money. You will find the Weis Earth Science Museum and the Barlow Planetarium where you can find unique science exhibits and awesome seasonal light shows!

10. EAA Aviation Museum

EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association, and they put on the largest airshow in the country for a week! Every summer over 100,000 people come to Oshkosh for the EAA Airventure event, so you can imagine the museum is pretty special.

Inside the EAA Hangar
Part of the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI

11. Paine Arts Center and Gardens

With rotating art exhibits and outdoor gardens and events, “The Paine” is a great place for tourists to experience Northeast Wisconsin in a unique way! Here you will find their events and exhibits

12. Menominee Park and Zoo

Menominee Park is Oshkosh’s crown jewel as far as parks go. A huge spot of land with a lot of lake shore on Lake Winnebago. Plenty to do including the beach, trails, huge playgrounds and massive trees. The park also includes a zoo! If that’s not enough you can also rent kayaks or water bikes.

13. Take a Party Bike Ride with The Social Station

Mega bikes or party bikes are vehicles that are pedaled by a group of people. Very unique and new to the area, The Social Station offers tours, pub crawls, and exercise expeditions to anyone in Appleton! Book here.

Party Bike Group
A group after a group ride on The Social Station.

14. Oshkosh Public Museum

Across the street from The Paine Arts Center is a historic Oshkosh home near the Fox River. There exists the Oshkosh public museum with awesome changing exhibits. The Oshkosh Public Museum is a one of many reasonably priced things to do in the Fox Cities for tourists and locals alike.

15. Take a Segway Tour

Segways are cool!.. Right? Book a segway tour and learn about the local history and hotspots in Neenah, Appleton, or Oshkosh. Click here to book a tour!

Conclusion

The Fox Cities has many awesome resources for the public, including many outdoor things to do. For now, this will get you started for planning your next visit to Appleton, Oshkosh, or Neenah! If you want to find events, outdoor treasures, and other things to do in Appleton and the Fox Cities, follow our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. Thank you for reading and let us know in the comments if you ended up trying any of these.

Did you know that a brand new pizza cafe has just opened at 432B Wisconsin Ave. in Appleton? The new restaurant is called Harmony Pizza Cafe, inspired by Harmony Cafe, the awesome coffee shop that closed its doors a few years back.

The restaurant is open Thursday 5:00pm-9:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm, for now. Harmony Pizza has plans to grow, but is currently developing a strong business model as the owners get the word out. They are currently building a stage for live music and an environment of inclusion for LGBT and all races, creeds, etc. in the community.

Harmony Pizza Cafe owners doing prep work
Part owners, Julia and Forrest, doing prep work for their second night of business.

Harmony Pizza offers Neapolitan pizza, and they opened their doors officially on the winter solstice December 21, 2017. Also commonly known as the day with the least sunlight each year. Part owner Julia says, “At first it wasn’t planned that way, but when it timed out, we were like, let’s do a solstice celebration.”

We were told that Harmony Pizza uses nearly all organic ingredients, with only a few exceptions. Also using nearly all local ingredients with the exception of their crust! We hope you find your way to Harmony Pizza to give this great new addition to the Appleton community a try! If you read this post and try it, please come back and leave a comment about how it went.

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There are ways everyone can make extra money like starting your own business or doing things online like ebates or surveys. We thought we would find some of the ways to make some extra money that are offered by local brick and mortar businesses in Northeast Wisconsin (NEW)

Donate Plasma

Military member donating blood.
Donating plasma typically takes about one hour per donation.

You can donate plasma at two different companies now in Northeast Wisconsin (NEW). Biolife Plasma has locations all around NEW and the new-to-town Biomat USA in Menasha. Donating plasma can make you between $200-300 per month for about 5-8 hours of your time. Certainly a way to make some extra money on the side.

Sell Stuff on the Market Place

You can always sell your existing things, ask others for their throw aways, or buy things from thrift stores and up sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace! This is a good way to make some side cash anywhere you could live.

Sell Your Clothes

If you don’t want to spend the time selling all of your clothes on a Buy, Sell, Trade page or on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, there are four places in NEW where you can sell your clothes for money.

Clothes Mentor – Cash for Clothes (Appleton)

Plato’s Closet – Cash for Clothes (Appleton and Green Bay)

Chic to Chic – Consignment (Appleton)

Nice As New – Consignment (Appleton)

Rack full of clothes

Although we can’t give you much insight into which one pays the best, but if you have any knowledge about the difference in payment, please let others know in the comments.

Recycle Aluminum Cans

Really recycling any scrap metal can make you money. You can recycle cans for money at many pop up locations in the Fox Cities, but the actual companies where you meet with an employee pay you the most per pound. Here are a few companies to get you started:

Fox Valley Iron & Metal – Oshkosh and Neenah

Goldin Iron & Metal – Kaukauna

Sadoff Iron & Metal – Green Bay, Fond Du Lac, and Oshkosh

Get a Job

Lol. Yeah. For real.

Signup for Care.com

Babysit or nanny on the side for some extra money. Websites like care.com are a great way to get connected with others in your area that need caretakers.

Babysitting

Obviously there are unlimited ways to make money, but here are some businesses and services relative to Northeast Wisconsin that you may not have known are out there for you to utilize! If we missed any or you have some insights about the best way to make some side cash, let us know in the comments.

 

NE WI Winter Activities Blog Image

If you live in Wisconsin, you’ve no doubt had a conversation and either defended or cursed the Wisconsin winter. Although we agree that the winters can get dragging and sometimes make it difficult to get out of bed, we at Venture Wisconsin know that Wisconsin winters are what you make of them. If you are looking for ways to not be bored this 2017-2018 winter season, here are some suggestions to start getting you into the season.

1. See Larry the Cable Guy

Oshkosh just built an awesome new stadium next to Lake Winnebago for their new basketball team. The benefits of that new stadium are opportunities for awesome live events. Live events like Larry the Cable Guy! Buy tickets and watch The Cable Guy live on January 27th.

2. Candlelight Hikes Through the Woods

Hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski through Northeast Wisconsin’s landscapes via candle light. A few state parks, nature centers, and public lands are hosting candlelight hikes and walks like this through January, including: Navarino Nature CenterHartman Creek State Park, and Horicon Marsh. Check out this link for DNR sponsored candlelight walks across the state this winter.

candle-light.jpg

3. Keep warm with a show at the PAC

The PAC has a few events this winter. Most notably The King and I and The Nutcracker. Either way, it’s worth checking out. Buy a friend tickets to go with you to a show this winter or plan a date night!

4. Go to the Green Bay Garden of Lights

Bring some friends to the classic Green Bay Botanical gardens for their annual Garden of Lights. It’s their 21st year of operation in Green Bay, and they have some special events this year.

5. View Christmas Lights with Your Friends

Warm up the car and take your friends on a cruise around the Fox Valley or Northeast Wisconsin in general checking out some of the awesome Christmas decorations that people work on. Go Valley Kids even made it easy, they have a list of the best lights in town here.

6. Watch a Laser Light Show at Barlow Planetarium

Barlow has a great variety of popular music and holiday based light shows. Some of the music shows include classic albums like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, or groups of artists like their Laser Tribute, which features the mega hits of music superstars of the past that have passed away. Either way, at $10, it’s a new experience to have while the weather outside is below freezing.

7. Go Ice Skating

You could skate at indoor locations like Memorial Park in Appleton, or you could head up to Green Bay and check out the new Titletown Skate Rink near Lambeau Field! The outdoor skate rink resembles something that you would see in Chicago, and is definitely worth checking out.

8. Remember Bowling?

For some people bowling is what they do. Many who aren’t in bowling leagues often don’t think of bowling when looking for things to do. The Fox Cities has a good number of bowling alleys waiting for you to visit.

bowlingpins
Bowling. Remember how fun it is?

9. Visit the Theater

Visit one of the local movie theaters this winter and enjoy the newly updated recliners at many of the locations.

10. Go Cross-Country Skiing

Nature spots on the West side of Lake Winnebago are pretty easy to count on both hands, and many of them have cross-country skiing available. There are many more places for cross country skiing once you go east of Lake Winnebago. Here is a list to check out. We recommend the Reforestation Camp in Green Bay by the NEW Zoo.

11. Go to One of Northeast Wisconsin’s Museums

If you are stuck inside and want to get out on your day off, check out one of Northeast Wisconsin’s niche museums. Northeast Wisconsin doesn’t have much outside of the Appleton History Museum and Neville Public Museum for regular exhibit museums. NE Wisconsin does however, have many crazy weird niche museums focusing on things like paper, paper weights, airplanes, railroads, many artists, and more. For some museums you can check out this list.

Hotdog Charlie preparing a hotdog.

Hotdog Charlie’s is located just around the corner from Downtown Main Street on Church Avenue in Oshkosh. Delicious natural-cased wieners and Charlie’s own secret sauce recipes makes Charlie’s a must try if you are Downtown Oshkosh looking for something to eat.

As you can see from the video, Chuck is a stand up guy, and he’s very often at the shop interacting with his customers. If you find yourself in town for a Herd game, the EAA, or enjoying the nightlife on Main Street, pop into the little corner shop and try a hotdog. If you do visit, tell them you heard about Charlie’s from this blog post. He’ll be surprised.