Venture Wisconsin

Giving you the best things to do in Northeast Wisconsin

New Social Animation App. Raises $600k in Combined Locks, WI

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Dodles App in Action. With Mario animation

Big Tech in Small Town Wisconsin

(Note: Full video interview with Dodles founder here.)

Imagine you have a crazy experience with a stranger at the grocery store. You want to tell people, but you need to show them. Do you go tell the story to your mom? Maybe your three best friends in person? What if you could quickly make your story into a cartoon, and share it to the world?

Dodles wants you to make your story into an engaging animation, and share it with your friends, all on your phone. The app was conceived by Craig Doriot with money from one of his past startups, an online mortgage engine.

Dodles sign inside the Combined Locks Headquarters. A refurbished church.

When you think about social media startups, you probably think of Silicon Valley. So what about Combined Locks, WI, a small village on the Fox River outside of Appleton? A few months ago Dodles, a mobile social animation app, closed on a $600,000 round of fundraising, and have launched the beta version of the app in smaller markets around the world.

The app is meant to bring animation to a broader audience. Just in time considering the constant rise in video content online. YouTube alone says 1 billion hours of video are consumed each day on their platform alone.

Dodles And Autism

Dodles also intends their product to be useful in engaging autistic users. Playing to their strengths by allowing them to express themselves through technologies, and also giving them an opportunity to make money on the app if they are creative enough. Doriot says that some members of the Dodles team, including himself, are on the autism spectrum.

“Traditionally we’ve had a hard time with gainful employment because of being on the spectrum usually presents a number of interpersonal challenges that employers have a hard time with.”

A senior developer at Dodles.

According to autism.org, people with autism, “are often disadvantaged when it comes to getting and keeping a job because of difficulties with social communication and interaction, other people’s lack of understanding, and sensory issues.” Dodles is a tool that works well with this group’s strengths and weaknesses.

Funding Dodles

It is unusual for Northeast Wisconsin to see this type of startup outside of Green Bay or the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Dodles continues picking up steam. They just finished their third round of funding, picking up $600,000. Doriot initially invested two million dollars of his own capital into Dodles. He says of Northeast Wisconsin, “I believe you can build a good technology company here. As well as you can build it in any other place.”

Dodles app in action.

Cost of living was cited as a benefit to starting a tech company here in Wisconsin, along with other factors. The company has launched the app in beta in secondary markets around the world.

Writer’s Thoughts

The prospect of a well executed app that can deliver on making animation accessible to a broader audience on your phone is very promising. I hope that Dodles acts as an example to local tech companies in Northeast Wisconsin. Showing the region and other entrepreneurs and investors what’s possible. I highly recommend you watch the full interview here! What are your thoughts on Dodles? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!

Top 12 Events in the Fox Cities – December 2018

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The weather is getting colder, the snow is starting to fall, and the ideas of “what can we do?” …in Northeast Wisconsin are becoming more and more limited, to the indoors at least. We are all busy with the Holidays, but when that slows down, the kids will be nagging to do something, and of course you’ll be ready for a night out! End 2018 on a positive note with fun activities all throughout the Fox Cities.

Race for the Light 5k, Saturday December 1, 2018 – Oshkosh

Join over 1,000 people as you run through Oshkosh’s Celebration of Lights at Menominee Park by the Lake. (Oshkosh’s best park!) The 5k run raises money for the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services in Oshkosh. The run starts at 4:30pm. Registration opens at 2:30pm. After the race, be sure to stop by Ground Round in Oshkosh for some delicious food, they are generously donating 15% of their sales to the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse center! winterrun

Oshkosh Gallery Walk, Saturday December 1, 2018 – Oshkosh

Right after you’re done with the Race for the Light 5k, head downtown to enjoy tons of local art at 13 different venues throughout the city. Including at Becket’s, Jambalaya, and New Moon Cafe! The walk starts at 6pm. Full line-up of artists, art styles, and venues here!

Electric City Parade, Tuesday December 4, 2018 – Kaukauna

Did you love the Appleton Christmas parade? Did you accidentally miss the Appleton Christmas parade? Kaukauna also has an annual parade that you’re bound to enjoy! After the parade, you have the opportunity to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate with Santa in the Community Room of the old City Hall.

Rudolph Run, Friday December 7, 2018 – Neenah

A costume contest and a fun run all in one? Could it be? That’s exactly what the Rudolph Run has to offer.  Dress up in your best Christmas outfit for the chance to be one of the three lucky people to win the dress up competition. Not a good runner? Don’t worry, this isn’t necessarily a race (though it can be if you’re feeling competitive!). Start out at Shattuck Park, pay $8 per person and run down to the Christmas tree on the corner of Wisconsin Ave and Main Street. Even better, the first 300 participants get fuzzy antlers to add to the awesome dress up and a glow necklace.

Make a Glass Ornament at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass – Saturday December 8, 2018 -Neenah

A very special way to get creative with your family. The local Museum of Glass in Neenah offers friends and families an opportunity to make your own glass ornament for $15  a person. They will also have various other art projects to partake in. The event runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Menasha Holiday Hayride, December 8, 2018 – Menasha

You have 8 opportunities for a ride – you don’t want to miss it. From 5 PM to 8:40 PM, get your tickets at the Parks and Rec office through December 8th. Tickets are $2 a person. The ride will take you through Menasha Island, which is beautifully decorated for the Holidays. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, all while enjoying some delicious treats!

Hayride events in Menasha, WI

Downtown Appleton Holiday Fun Fest, Saturday December 15, 2018

Games, activities, cookie decorating, horse-drawn wagon rides, and Santa with Mrs. Claus. That’s enough said. Enjoy these activities and downtown Appleton from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Brunch with the Grinch, Saturday December 15, 2018 – Appleton

Brunch with the grinch activity in Appleton, WI

Join the grumpy ol’ Grinch at the Children’s Museum for a fun brunch and story, plus a Grinch themed photo booth. Cost is $5 a person if you’re a member, $12.50 a person if you’re not. This is something your kids won’t want to miss! Hurry though, as this was written there were only two time slots available for tickets.

Pet Photos with Santa, Mondays through December 17, 2018 – Appleton

Get your furry friend a photo with Santa at the Fox River Mall from 5 – 8 PM on Mondays! This can be the perfect addition to a Christmas card, or just a fun excursion for your four legged loved one.

Noon Year’s Eve, Monday December 31, 2018 – Appleton

Join WIXX at Funset Boulevard on New Year’s Eve from 10 AM to noon for a bunch of New Year’s Eve fun! Donating five non perishable food items for their food drive for St Joe’s food pantry gets you two unlimited wristbands completely free! End the new year by having a great time and donating to an important need in our community!

Menasha New Year’s Eve Celebration, Monday December 31, 2018

25th annual! Enjoy free live music, a ball drop, fireworks and giveaways happening in Downtown Menasha at Reed Square. The celebration runs from 10 PM to 12:30 AM. It may be a good idea to make dinner reservations at a local restaurant nearby!

New Year’s Encore Eve, Monday Dec 31, 2018 – Appleton

Now here’s a party! The sixth annual New Year’s Eve concert celebration, produced and promoted by Mile of Music Presents. The party is at the Red Lion Hotel Downtown Appleton. The event goes from 8:00pm-12:30am. There is a surprise emcee, and the full music line up can be found here!

Events in Appleton December 2018
Mile of Music – Credit: Lawrence University

At Venture Wisconsin we make it easy for you to find cool s#!+ to do here in Northeast Wisconsin. Simple as that. What you will find on all of our blogs? Events the author would go to. In this case I, Melanie, enjoy drinks, pets, live music, hanging with loved ones, and large events. I hope you enjoy one of these throughout the month! Let me know in the comments if you went or if I missed something, and I will reply!

10 November Events & Shows You Must Look Into!

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November 2018 Events List

As the leaves are rapidly falling and the pumpkin carving comes to an end, many people in the Fox Cities begin to wonder what exactly there is to do during this cold winter season. Luckily, the people of the Fox Cities come together as well this time of year, and are surprisingly lively. If you’re looking for something to do this November besides the typical deer hunting and Thanksgiving dinner, look no further!

1. JINGLE – Sip & Shop, a Vintage & Artisan Market – November 2

Have you checked out the new Fox Cities Exhibition Center? Have you gotten any Christmas shopping done? If not, here is the perfect opportunity to do both! On November 2, starting at 4 PM at the Exhibition Center, you will find tons of Wisconsin vendors selling all kinds of handmade, vintage, and upcycled items. Plus, there will be a cash bar and a food truck on site. This is the perfect opportunity to support local vendors and get your friends and family a unique gift for the holidays!

*Admission is $3

2. Downtown Appleton Indoor Farmers Market – (Every Saturday)

Reinvent Ferment at the Farmers Market

Reinvent Ferment at the Appleton Indoor Farmers Market Credit: Downtown Appleton Farm Market

How awesome is it that we barely have to go a month without a farmers market between summer and winter? To kick off the holiday season, Downtown Appleton’s Farmer’s Market starts right away on the first Saturday of November, the 3rd. Running from 9 AM – 12:30 PM weekly, you’ll find 50 vendors with all kinds of fresh fruits and veggies, unique food items, as well as crafts for sale. There really is no better way to spend cold Saturday mornings!

3. Dueling Pianos in Oshkosh! – November 3rd, 16th, & 21st

It is as awesome as it sounds. Dockside Tavern in Oshkosh is featuring the N.E.W. Piano Guys starting at 7 P.M. It will undoubtedly be a show you don’t want to miss! Dockside has phenomenal food to complement the great entertainment, as well as great drinks. If you love them (which you will) or miss the show, catch dueling piano shows on November 16th at Fox River Brewing or the 21st at Fletch’s Tap House.

4. Downtown Appleton Light Up the Town – November 9

Trout Museum Christmas Tree Lighting in Appleton

Appleton Light Up Ceremony. Credit: WLUK News

Head down to Houdini Plaza on November 9th at 4 PM, for this fun family friendly night downtown! You will experience live music from local choirs as well as tons of activities for the kids to enjoy, that undoubtedly will also keep adults entertained! The lighting ceremony begins at 6:30 PM

5. Downtown Appleton Window Walk – November 9

After experiencing the lighting ceremony, be sure to walk down The Ave and take advantage of the opportunity to check out all the special decorated windows of our local downtown businesses, as well as many specials offered on this evening only. This event goes until 8:00 PM.

6. TED talks in Oshkosh! – November 10th

TEDx Oshkosh is hosting a live program at The Grand in Oshoksh! A great opportunity to hear from 14 thinkers and doers across the region! It is a most of the day event. The live presentation costs $50+ to attend, and includes food and TED goodies. More information and tickets here!

7. Pablo Francisco at Skyline Comedy – November 15 – 17

Skyline Comedy brings in so many awesome comedians to Appleton, and this particular weekend they are featuring Pablo Francisco. A night at Skyline is the perfect date night activity or a night out in Appleton with friends. To make the night even better, consider having dinner at Stone Cellar (it’s right underneath Skyline)!

Pablo Fransisco Promotional Graphic for Skyline in Appleton

Pablo Fransisco Credit: Skyline Comedy Club

Bonus: If for some reason you can’t make this show, check out Open Mics on Wednesday nights. Hear local comedians try out their best routine, and enjoy BOGO drinks! Wednesday nights are free, and absolutely hilarious.

 

8. Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade – November 20

A holiday favorite in Appleton! Come enjoy the beautiful downtown Christmas parade that has been a hit here in Appleton for over 40 years! The parade begins promptly at 7:00 PM at the corner of State Street and College Avenue. We absolutely recommend getting there early in order to ensure you get a great viewing spot. This parade gathers quite a crowd!

9. Small Business Saturday Downtown Appleton – November 24

With so many awesome small businesses in Appleton to choose from, this Saturday will be a busy one. Download a “passport”, pick one up from a small business, or get one from the Post Crescent on Thanksgiving Day, and go shop on Saturday the 24th. When you collect 5 stamps from different local businesses, you can turn your passport in and be entered to win some amazing prizes. What an awesome way to support our local economy and tackle some holiday shopping!

10. Fiddler on the Roof at the Performing Arts Center – Nov. 27 – Dec. 2

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is featuring “Fiddler on the Roof” to finish off a fun filled November. Tickets start at $31.00 (maybe someone can get an early holiday gift?!). No matter what you are celebrating, or not celebrating, a night out at the Performing Arts Center is guaranteed to leave you in awe.

Fox Cities PAC

Fiddler on the Roof at the PAC Credit: Fox Cities PAC


If you’re trying to find ways to get out into the community and find some cool events before the winter comes, check out one of these events that sticks out to you. Personally, I think it’s nice to see so many live performances on the list! If you’re reading this, please know, we put these out there with the hopes that people like you will find something you like, and get out there and try it! If you do visit an event on the list, please jump back on here and let us know how it went! We will be sure to respond.

P.S. If you’re more of a hiker/photographer looking for something to do in November, you have to check out this state park within 1 hour of the Fox Cities!

Five Reasons Hartman Creek State Park Should Be Your Next Adventure

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Hartman Creek is the most versatile state park I have been too within an hour of Appleton! During the two hours I spent there exploring and watching all the different activities going on there I was truly in shock with how much potential this park has to so many people. So, the whole point of writing this is to give you the insight you need to get out there and experience this truly awe-inspiring place! I had the opportunity to visit with my girlfriend this fall, and our journey was great.

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Hiking

At Hartman Creek the beauty of their hiking trails is spectacular! I had the personal opportunity to hike these awesome trails. My favorite ran right along the water, and gave us an amazing view of Allen lake and the number of trails is enough for you to hike all day if that’s what you desire to do. But I highly suggest going in the fall, the true beauty of all the fall colors on your hike is amazing. Just looking across the lake and seeing the trees filled with oranges and reds is sure to drop your jaw in awe.

Fishing

Hartman Creek has some amazing fishing! We know that’s the truth because Hartman Creek was once a fish hatchery before it was even a state park! Fun fact! Plus, all the lakes around it are all spring fed. That makes for great fishing! You can expect to catch largemouth bass, perch (my favorite), blue gill, and other types of panfish. There are four lakes to choose from at Hartman Creek: Lake Allen, Lake Hartman, Lake Grebe, and Lake Middle. Along with that if you don’t have fishing gear you can rent it for free right at Hartman Creek! If you end up going to Hartman Creek don’t forget your fishing License.

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Winter Activities

Winter is just as much fun at Hartman Creek as the fall and summer are. You have winter activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking trails! When snowshoeing you have free reign to venture off the trials or stay right on path. There are six miles of cross-country skiing trails and three and a half miles of snowshoeing trails! That’s a lot of winter wonderland to explore!

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IMG_9592-2Kayaking/Canoeing

Kayakers can launch from Manomin Lake and paddle through Pope Lake, and Marl Lake. Don’t forget to stop and look at the crystal clear water and all the amazing red and orange colors from the trees surrounding each lake.  Then you can stop and have a lunch break at Whispering Pines picnic area!

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Swimming

Hartman Creek provides an amazing 300 foot sand beach which is great to bring your family to or go on a date! What’s even better is that the beach is right next to a three acre, multi use area which is perfect for social games like spike ball and bags or just having grill outs and getting together with family and friends for the weekend! Along with that if you’re from further out of town, they have plenty of camping sites for tents and Trailers!

From hiking to swimming and all the things in between you can clearly see how amazing Hartman Creek is. Not only a great stop during the spring and summer, but a place to explore all year long. So why not head out to Hartman Creek for an adventure?

Outdoor Spotlight: 1000 Islands Nature Center

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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.

11 September Events in the Fox Cities You Don’t Want to Miss

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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!

 

10+ Spots to Take Your Pup in the Fox Cities

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If a dog is a man’s best friend, then they deserve to be allowed to join us humans in some of our favorite activities, right? Sure, we can take our dogs on the same walk around the block every day but that gets boring for everyone involved rather quickly. Downtown Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities are currently undergoing a “dog friendly initiative,” which is great news for our four legged pals. Here are 10+ of the best spots in our neck of the woods to spend some quality time with our furry friends.

1. CU Saloon in Appleton

“Yappy hour,” the next best thing to “happy hour.” Take your Wednesday night to a whole new level, and bring your pup with you for a midweek recess and enjoy a beer with a friend while your dog socializes with other people’s dogs who clearly have the same interests as you do. CU Saloon offers a couple different beers from Bare Bones Brewery for their two legged guests to enjoy, and $1 from each of those beer purchases gets donated to Downtown Appleton’s Dog Friendly Initiative as well as the Grey Muzzle Organization. It really doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Dog ordering a beer

Yappy Hour at the CU Saloon. Credit: @real_frankie_whitman

2. Drool in the Pool

It’s really not as gross as it sounds! With summer being right around the corner, (we hope,) our pups need to cool off just like we do every once in a while. Thankfully, local pools such as Mead Pool in Appleton and Neenah Public in Neenah will sometimes host all the well behaved neighborhood dogs for an evening in the pool. Typically, humans are to stay out of the pool while the dogs swim and do dog-like things in the water. Follow our local pools on Facebook for updates on when these unique events are hosted. The best part is, most of the proceeds typically go towards local animal shelters.

3. Lucy’s Closet

You just heard about “Drool in the Pool,” so now you have to find the perfect swimsuit for your favorite companion to debut on their first swimming outing of the summer. Well you’re in luck, Lucy’s Closet in Neenah is likely to carry something that is fashionable enough for your pup. They carry everything from dog jackets to dog carriers, and they allow your dog to shop with you. After all, they will be wearing it so they might as well help in the shopping process.

P.S. No, swimsuits aren’t required at Drool in the Pool, though appreciated for humorous purposes.

4. The Depawsitory

Very similar to Lucy’s Closet but The Depawsitory is located right in downtown Appleton. Stop in this cute little boutique during any of their fun pet related events, or just when you’re feeling extra generous and want to get your furry friend a homemade healthy treat. Follow them on their Facebook page to hear about all of their fun events.

5. High Cliff State Park

It is no hidden gem, almost everyone in the area has spent a day hiking here or climbing the infamous lookout tower but it is one of those places that you don’t get sick of. Pack a leash and a baggy, and get ready to tire your dog out on over 16 miles of hiking trails. During your hike, have your camera ready in order to catch astonishing views of limestone cliffs and the beauty of Lake Winnebago.

Girl and dog overlooking Lake Winnebago

6. Outagamie Dog Park

A whole 17 acres of land designated for all dogs to run off some energy and meet others of their kind. North Park includes 5 acres of open field where you and your dog can practice a good ol’ game of fetch. South Field is a partially wooded 12 acre lot that includes tall grasses and trails, for a more structured outing. If you’re someone that has a small dog, there is a designated area for those who are under 17 inches tall! Located on the corner of French Road and “OO”. This wonderful place only has 3 rules: pick up after your dog, control your children, and share water if possible! Website here.

7. Wiouwash Trail

This trail can be a great challenge for those adventurous dog owners, and of course, dogs. The lower trail stretches for 22 miles from Hortonville to Oshkosh. You can choose to do a short portion of it, or the entire trail in one day. It’s the perfect spot to practice long distance hikes with your dog in preparation for a future trip. This specific part of the trail takes you along Lake Butte Des Morts and then through tall grasses and wildlife areas. Pack a picnic lunch for you and the pup, and check out this neat Wisconsin trail.

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Good pupper on the WIOUWASH Trail. Credit: @caritam925

8. Fox Cities Trestle Trail

Who knew there were so many good hiking spots right in our immediate neighborhood? This trail is located in Menasha, and you can access it starting at Fritse Park. The trail has a 1,600 foot pedestrian bridge, the longest one in Wisconsin! From the trail you can also access Rydell Conservancy, which is another one mile, well maintained wood chip trail.

9. Pet Friendly Restaurants

A few restaurants in the Fox Cities have outdoor seating that allows pets. A few include:

Carmel Crisp – Oshkosh

Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In – Oshkosh

Leon’s Frozen Custard – Oshkosh

Bare Bones Brewery – Oshkosh

Brewed Awakenings – Appleton

Fox River House – Appleton

10. Winnebago County Park

Best Friends Dog Park is located within Winnebago County Park. Bring your own water when you go. There is a separate area for little pups at the park and there are lights for night trips!

With so many options so close to home, it is nearly impossible to stay home cooped up with your pup. Get out there to explore these areas, and let’s work hard to help Appleton and the surrounding Fox Cities to become more dog friendly.