1000 Islands is an awesome nature spot in the Fox Cities. Located right off of downtown Kaukauna, you can find 7.2 miles of hiking trails. Including 1 mile of trails along the Fox River!

1000 Islands shoreline fox river picture
The Fox River at 1000 Islands. Source: FoxCities.org

The land is set aside for the public to enjoy. According to the Conservancy, the land is set aside, “with the idea of teaching good conservation practices and preservation of natural resources.” We at Venture Wisconsin support this sentiment! Our goal is to show you that awesome places like this exist, and to convince you that they are worth visiting!

Activities: Hiking, sight seeing, wildlife viewing, classes, snow shoeing, fishing, canoeing, and any classic outdoor activities (frisbee, catch, picnics, etc.) are welcome. If you’re running out of ideas of outdoor activities, we made you a list of a few!

What else? There is an amazing nature center, full of awesome displays and information about our local natural history, and other cool things!

1000 Islands Nature Center
Inside 1000 Islands Nature Center.

1000 Islands is open year round, and unfortunately, no pets allowed. Seriously though! Go visit! Leave yourself some time to hike. It’s worth it. What’s your favorite way to enjoy the outdoors?

Looking for something more?? Something you didn’t already know?! We did our first Neature Feature episode at 1000 Islands! Oh, also, they rent different items to enjoy the outdoors in a new way!

Check out our Neature Feature episode below on 1000 Islands. (Recorded February 2018)

“There is nothing to do around here!” Many people, mostly young people, complain of the Fox Cities. At Venture Wisconsin we’re taking it upon ourselves to lay out all the awesome things to do, as well as create awesome things to do across Northeast Wisconsin. This is why we spotlight outdoor areas to explore via our Neature Feature series, and our Instagram account.

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Blog Image Events in the Fox Cities - September 2018

Maybe you have kids, they’re now back to school, and the family is back into the comfortable groove of daily routine. Fall is near, and the crisp smell and feeling of winter looming. Thoughts of family and fresh dinner rolls loom in your mind. Maybe you don’t have kids, maybe you are going to school, college or high school. You’re back, the excitement of friends and a new chapter surround your daily life. EVEN if you have no kids in your life in any form, maybe you’re a young professional, a retired soul, or you just take life easy, September is a time of change. Event though September’s rain and temperatures are unpredictable, there are still events and opportunities for fun and community for all types of people, especially you! Which is why we made this list, to make sure you at least know what you’re potentially missing out on.

Seafood Fest – Friday & Saturday September 7th & 8th

Take the wildly successful, monthly Fox Valley Food Truck Rally that happens all summer at Jefferson Park in Menasha, and add two days of live music and lobster and salmon dinners from 4pm-9pm! If you love music and seafood by the water, this event may be for you!

Eve of Destruction – Friday September 7th

At the Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna is the annual Eve of Destruction event. From 7pm-10pm, you can expect a monster truck show and rides, extreme freestyle motocross, figure 8 racing, two man crew racing, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. $12/person entry. Expect an intense night of family fun! More details here.

Eve of Destruction 2017
2017 Eve of Destruction. Credit: Instagram @mayrae009

Green Bay & Oshkosh: Summer Send-Off Scavenger Hunt & Bar Crawl – Friday September 7th & 8th

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the end of summer with your friends? Venture Wisconsin has scavenger hunt bar crawl events in Green Bay, Oshkosh, and Appleton on September 7th, 8th, and 14th respectively. These events line up with the syllabus week for each city’s university. The goal is to welcome the students to join the community over some beers. Sponsored by Fox River Brewing, the events include drink deals and activities at each bar, and a photo scavenger hunt with prizes for the winning teams. $16 to register ahead or $20 to register at the door for each event if you wait until the last minute. Register by purchasing a shirt for your city at this link.

Bazaar After Dark Night Market – Menasha – Wednesday September 12th

The popular Bazaar After Dark series is taking place in Downtown Menasha for their final event of 2018! Don’t miss your last chance to join this night market and see what the buzz is about. You can expect a food truck rally (16+ trucks), crafts, food, and more!

Bazaar After Dark
Bazaar After Dark. Source: Fox Cities Magazine

Brew at the Zoo and Wine, Too – Thursday September 13th

This is a fundraising event at the NEW Zoo in Green Bay. From 5:30pm to 8:30pm there will be 70 different craft brews, wines, and non-alcoholic drinks to sample while raising money for conservation. Unlimited tasting, $35 to participate. Buy tickets here!

Appleton Summer Send-Off Scavenger Hunt & Bar Crawl – Friday September 14th

Celebrate the end of summer, join us for drinks, games, Blu Bobber and a photo scavenger hunt. Just like the Oshkosh and Green Bay events, you purchase a shirt to register. In Appleton we have Player 2, D2, OB’s Brau Haus, The Bar, Jim’s Place, and Mill Creek. Activities include Bobbing for Blu Bobber, Bags, Flip Cup, N64, photo station, and Hammerschlagen, plus the scavenger hunt! Purchase your shirt here to register. $16 ahead of time, $20 at the event!

Oshkosh Biking Brewery Tour: Final Ride

A 14 mile bike loop around Oshkosh along all of the main water ways with three stops! Fox River Brewing Co, Fifth Ward Brewing, and Bare Bones Brewery. Ride with us or ride with your friends. Enjoy $1 off pints at Bare Bones and Fifth Ward, a logoed glass from Fox River Brewing, games, giveaways, and fun! Tickets are $15 and you get a mixed six pack of Oshkosh beer, two from each brewery. Buy your tickets in advance here. $20 at the event.

Biking Brewery Tour
Touring Oshkosh Local Breweries

1st Annual Harvest Fest – Sunday September 16th

Bluegrass music, new local draft beers, an art fair, and a new special harvest menu at The Source Public House in Menasha! Visit The Source and enjoy the food, drinks, and art. Free entry event.

Brews, Bistros & Bonfires – Friday September 21st

Taking place at the Green Bay Botanical Garden is a cozy night of local brewery samplings and local food while you enjoy The Ultimate Steele Dan Tribute Band, the glow of the fire, and the fall air. More details here.

Appleton’s Octoberfest (37th annual) – Saturday September 29th

Self proclaimed, “Appleton’s largest block party.” All profits go to community projects, charities, and events. 100+ food vendors and live music throughout College Ave. Free entry event.

Too White Crew at Appleton Octoberfest
Credit: Too White Crew

Barktoberfest (During Octoberfest) – Saturday September 29th

A free fun event for humans and their pups. There is costume contest. Categories include: Kids and Dogs, Most Original, and Best Theme. Trophies for “Best Trick for a Treat.” There will be dog beer, pretzels, and cigars. As well as “Yappy Hour” from 1pm-4pm. This event takes place at the DePawsitory in Appleton during Octoberfest!


Just because summer is turning into fall doesn’t mean there isn’t ample opportunity to have fun with your family, friends, and community! We hope you find an event that fits your schedule and peaks your interest. Please share this list with your friends, and let us know if we missed any events in the Fox Cities that your are excited for September 2018!

 

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!

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.