4 Wine Drinking Paradises You Didn’t Know were around Appleton, WI

The title says it all – calling all of you wine-o’s to draw your attention to four places that are killing the wine game in Appleton, WI. Occasionally people say, “There is nowhere with higher-end wine around here.” Or, “You can’t find good wine in Wisconsin”. False, my friends. I went on a solo hunt for some of the best places to grab a glass of wine in Appleton, and I was extremely successful. My journey consisted of four unique wine bars in or near Appleton.

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#1 – Xe54 Wine Bar

Beginning in the little town called Fox Crossing, we discovered Xe54. Only a little over a year old with a very “boujee” feel to it. The interior is filled with popping colors – blue walls, large gold lettering, purple velvet couches, quirky art on the walls – and has a very “New York” vibe to it for being located in a small Wisconsin suburb. Overall,  very sleek and elegant interior.

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Wine Options

The important part – what wine selection do the offer? First off, Xe54 uses tap wines. It’s one of their main attractions. Which means they have kegs (yes, entire kegs) full of wine. They have eight total wines on tap – four reds and four whites. Essentially, this helps to keep the wine at the perfect serving temperature and provides a fresh glass with every pour. Beyond the tap wines, they have about 12-15 wine options that they provide from the bottle. Each glass on average runs between $8-$10. They also provide a retail section which guests can either take a bottle home for enjoying, or drink in the bar for a corking fee. As for regions of wines that they offer, they just began selling international wines alongside their domestic options. For a smaller menu and retail section, they have a very wide range of grapes and regions.

Beyond the Wine Options

Beyond their wine list, Xe54 also offers a build-your-own cheese board menu. Allowing you to check mark which cheeses, meats, and extras (crackers, olives, etc.) you may be looking to snack on while drinking your wine. They also have extensive options for liquor, beer, craft cocktails, and live music on Saturday evenings around 7-10 PM. They have a plethora of events including wine tastings and pairings. Xe offers a happy hour from 3-6 offering $1 off all drinks (wine, cocktails, and beer).

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From the Staff: Candice – Wine Events Coordinator

I spoke with Candice from Xe54, who is the wine events coordinator. She runs tastings and events that help to showcase new wines the Xe54 has to offer. From speaking with her, she wants the general public to know:

“We want a broad enough spectrum of wine to fit different people’s tastes and pallets while also bringing in different varietals to help others try new things. We pick wines that can cover any occasion, birthday party or graduation, we’ve got wine for you at an affordable price.”

Taste Test

To really give you all a look into what Xe54 has to offer, I tried four different wines that all range in different taste, acidity, depth, etc.

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  • Essence Riesling – a sweeter white with fruit notes to it. I tasted notes of more green apple, a little touch of sour notes coming through but balanced well with the sweet. (Mosel, Germany)
  • Misty Cove Sauvignon Blanc – which had more of a tart and citrus taste to it with nice acidity. This taste test was my favorite that Xe54 had to show me, very tasty. When I drank it, I immediately thought of a seafood dinner for pairing. Dee-Lish. (Marlborough, New Zealand)
  • Diablo Dark Red Blend – this was a blend of Syrah and Malbec wine which gave the blend a nice, lingering finish. Notes of darker berries like cherries and raspberries. (Chile)
  • MWC Shiraz Mourvedre – a spicier, drier wine with notes of blackberry. A very bold wine with great flavor! (Victoria, Australia) 

#2 – Uncorked

My second stop was in downtown Neenah at Uncorked Wine & Bistro. Along with the rest of the downtown area, Uncorked has beautiful brick walls (inside and out) with dim and intimate lighting. There are retail options covering two full walls with plenty of options to look at, and the bar has a darker marble finish to it. While I was visiting, it was decorated for the Halloween/Fall season and was done beautifully. A very inviting setting really focusing on the socialization and intimate aspect of wine drinking.

Wine Options

Uncorked has an insane selection for wines – both retail and by the glass. They have a rotating wine menu that’s categorized into two sections: Sweet, crisp, aromatic, and rich (whites) and fruity, spicy, earthy, and bold (reds). Beyond that, they offer 11 different flight options or BYO. Within the 11 flights there is also a Port Wine flight option. Uncorked offers over 300 options for retail which guests can either drink at home or in house for a corking fee. They offer 32 wines by the glass and carry both international and domestic. They also provide a list of their “bubbly” options for guests – which are all fresh.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Uncorked offers a wine club where you can choose between all white or all red wines, a mixture of both at two different price ranges occur once a month. They offer wines from many different regions and very diverse options for varietals and countries. Uncorked offers beer, liquor, and cocktails with options in abundance for those looking for other options. As for food, they have a pretty large range of options. From crostini’s and pita pizzas to cheese platters, desserts, salads, meatballs, salmon, and daily specials. It’s a really extensive food menu for the size of the location. They also have a happy hour from 3-6 where they offer two white and two reds for $5 a glass. There is live music every other Saturday and they do occasional wine tastings.

From the Staff: Kris – Manager

At Uncorked I met with the Manager, Kris. She has been management for Uncorked for 10 years now and knows the establishment like the back of her hand. She wants the general public to know:

“We listen to customers for what they’re looking for. We love helping them find the perfect fit for where the night is leading to and what they enjoy in a wine. We try our best to do a read on them and let them try new things they have never had. We enjoy doing new wines on happy hour to teach others about different varietals that people don’t typically ask for. We try pushing them from comfort zone and helping them.”

Taste Test

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  • Spätlese Riesling – A sweeter wine that had a light and fresh taste to it. A very balanced and vibrant wine. (Germany)
  • La Plage Rosé  Du Var – Drier for a rose, yet still holding the lighter fruit flavors all the way through, very refreshing. Cool thing is, Uncorked serves this wine year round for you Rose lovers that can’t seem to find one in the depths of the winter. (Profanse, France)
  • Shooting Star Blue Franc – This was my personal first time ever trying a blue franc, and I was delighted by the flavors. It was a medium bodied red that reminds me of the kind of red wine you actually enjoy drinking during the summer. Subtle hints of darker berries. Very flavorful but drier on the back end. (Washington)
  • Freakshow Red Blend – A familiar label for most people, darker fruit notes, tastes higher end than it actually is, drier, with chocolate aromas and subtle tastes. (Lodi, California)

#3 – Mondo! Wine Bar

Third on the list was Mondo! Wine Bar in downtown Appleton. The aesthetic of Mondo! is very simplistic with most of the color coming from the menu and the wine bottles along the walls. They have very lively music playing within the bar and has a heart of the city feel to it. The owner, David, is also a bartender at Mondo! which was awesome to see from a customer standpoint. A charismatic little place.

Wine Options

To start, the owner of Mondo is very smart when it comes to wine. He really knew his stuff. Not that all of the places before didn’t, he just surprised me with how much knowledge he had about the wines he served. He considers his bar “unique to the world” due to the way he has his wine organized. He composed a period table of wine that helps each wine-o find exactly what they’re looking for. At Mondo!, the menu is organized with the lighter wines at the top of the menu and they get darker, richer and deeper as you move left to right and down the menu. He used this method to help his customers experiment with new varietals based off of wines the customer already knows they enjoy. It is also color-coded to make finding your type of wine even easier, with an icon to match every wine. Although their “by the glass” menu is a bit more limited, Mondo! has a pretty large array of wines for retail purchasing.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Mondo! offers educational tastings, free tastings once a month, and in the summer they do a wine camp one Saturday every month. Alongside wine, they also offer beer, liquor, non-alcoholic options, and food. For food, they have items such as cheese platters, pizza that is made in house, and ala carte options like nuts and olives. Their location is also right by the Performing Arts Center in Appleton making it a great stop before or after a show in Appleton.

From the Staff: David – Owner

David is the owner and creator of the unique wine bar, Mondo!. The idea of the periodic table concept was created by him and he is usually at Mondo! every day. He wants the public to know that:

“We expose people to wine and things they have not seen or heard of before. We have uniqueness of organization, and we want things to be fun for people. We want to stray away from the idea of being “stuffy”, so we go to great lengths to keep things light and fun. We love getting to know our clientele, we compare ourselves almost to ‘cheers’ – that neighborhood bar that just happens to serve wine. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated to come in.”

Taste Test

  • Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha – a bright wine, flavor packed, showcases a lot of fruit, has a little bit of spice mixed with sour. (Spain)
  • Black’s Station Cabernet Sauvignon – untypical for a cabernet, tasteful and not as dry as expected, divine, fruitful but also has minor bitterness. (California)
  • Domaine De Pouy – very vibrant and bright, has good notes of acidity, with notes of fruit. (France)
  • Long Little Dog White Blend – softer acidity, more fruity mostly pear flavors/armoas. (France)
  • EXTRA Sangue di Giuda Sweet Red – chilled, reminded me of a breakfast meal or the smells of a bright morning. Not too sweet but has the perfect balance of sweet while combining what one expects from a red. Smells close to a buttery scent. (Italy)

#4 – Tandem Wine Lounge

Last on our wine tour through the Fox Valley is a relatively new option to the area – Tandem Dinner & Wine Bar. After being immediately greeted by not only the owner himself but also the earthy, aesthetic, home-y interior of the bar itself, you are overwhelmed with the beautiful chaos that is Tandem Wine Bar. It’s complicated yet also intriguing and even though it’s only in the process of being complete it feels as though the interior is a vision you’ve been searching for a long while for a casual place to have a good glass of wine. A very intimate setting with dim lighting and wooden accents everywhere you look – Tandem focuses on the less stuffy side of wine and the more freeing side.

Wine Options

Tandem has a wine menu that fluctuates every couple of weeks with their options by the glass. They do offer both retail and by the glass for their customers; with an average glass costing about $8.00-$9.00. Their wine options include both international and domestic, carrying many different flavor varietals for customers. Included in their “by the glass” options are about 13 options ranging between sweet whites and dry reds.

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Beyond the Wine Options

Beside their copious amounts of retail wine options placed along the beautiful brick walls, Tandem also offers many other bar-like amenities. They have begun dipping their toe into the food world and offer a cheese board currently for $18. Although it’s only one option, the cheese board is extensive and offers something for guests to nibble on while they sip. They also offer an extensive selection of bourbons, scotch, and whiskeys. There is a cooler in the bar filled with craft beer by the bottle along with 3 beer options on tap. Moving past food and drink – Tandem offers live music and specials throughout the week.

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From the Staff: George – Owner

“We’re a wine, beer, and spirits store with a nice lounging atmosphere. We refer to ourselves as a wine lounge rather than a wine bar. We don’t really do bar hours, typically closed by 10 PM. People enjoy the simple aesthetic and authentic space. Tandem was a swan dive into a vision.”

Taste Test

  • Bouza Tannat Reserve 2015 – Big and bold, showcases flavors of darker fruits including plum and blackberry, deep and rich, could be paired with any kind of “hardy” meal like stews, roasts, steak. Velvety finish. (Montevideo, Uruguay)
    • Very interesting and delicious try – was informed not many people are familiar with the varietal.
  • Chateau Buena Vista Cabernet – Racey, bold, a little sweeter on the tongue. Intense and powerful red. Strong flavor of cherry and dark berry. (Napa, California)
  • Chateau Ferrande Graves 2015 – Very subtle, light flavoring. Soft and earthy with bright notes to it. Nice alternative to a super sweet and fruity white. (Graves, France)

If you’re like me and love a good, rich, and flavorful glass of wine mixed with an environment to match your mood – one of these four places is bound to be the perfect match. They are all so different and so unique in their own way, allowing for each place to have an entirely different experience. Which place are you visiting first? Let us know in the comments below – and thank you so much for reading!

Until next time.

– Camille

Homey Spot with Family-Sized Portions at Rico’s Family Restaurant – Camille’s Choice

Breakfast is always something I often miss due to my habit of sleeping in or sometimes simply just not having an appetite right away in the AM. However – whenever I know I’m doing a breakfast episode for Camille’s Choice I get extremely giddy until the day comes. For my last episode of Camille’s Choice, I brought my good friend Morgan with me to Rico’s Family Restaurant in Kaukauna for the worlds biggest brunch.

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First off it was the perfect day to grab a nice warm meal in the cozy environment that Rico’s has to offer. It was raining and so gloomy outside that all I wanted was a nice cup of coffee and something to warm my belly. Sure enough, the coffee was delicious and a great start. Not only that, but the Rico’s staff are so friendly and welcoming that their presence warms you up as well. As soon as you walk in the door the feeling of “I would totally come here with my family for a Sunday morning brunch” fills your heart and you feel at home.

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Our experience continued with an awesome server. He gave us the low-down on what was good, and what was to die for. So naturally, we took his best recommendations and rolled with it. His face lit up every-time he talked about the food and the flavors that they all provided with their dishes – it was so obvious that he loved his job.

For our first dish – an appetizer of course. Because even though it was nine in the morning, courses are still important when you’re getting to know a new spot. We ordered their quesadillas, plain. Sounds typical, I know, but they were very tasty. The cheese was melty – not too little where it wasn’t gooey, but also not so much that it’s like drinking nacho cheese. And all of the spices and veggies on the side made them tasty for Morgan and I to enjoy all four pieces (oops).

Our entree’s were a mixture of breakfast and lunch – and we did happen to get three entrees for the two of us to share (oops, again). We started with their Mexican omelet that Morgan could not get enough of.
With the omelet, they gave us a potato pancake for Morgan to try for the first time. I told her she had to pair it with applesauce because… duh! She did say the texture was different but the flavor was definitely great – and she loved the applesauce with it. My taste test agrees – yummy and obviously homemade.

Next we both got a “lunch” item. So yes, we had three dishes each. My lunch entree was their JT burger which essentially is every burger lovers go-to. It had “the works” and more. For starters it was 1/3 pound patty with bacon, cheese, onions, mayo, lettuce, mushrooms, and pickles – basically you name it and it was on that burger. So good and tasty, the bun was crispy from being on the grill for a bit and the mayo tied everything together. Probably one of the only good burgers I’ve ever had at 9 in the morning. Morgan got their chicken avocado wrap – which is basically exactly what the name states. However there was some bacon and secret sauce on their to spice up the wrap. She said it perfectly – “They don’t mess around with portions at Rico’s!” The wrap and burger were both huge and it was so great how you could taste each little spice and flavor the wrap had to offer. Avocado was a friendly familiar face I was happy made a visit.

If you can’t already tell, Rico’s is a must. The environment is so cozy and welcoming for a breakfast date or a family meal on a Sunday afternoon. Good coffee, big portions, and great flavors were experienced throughout our entire time. Thank you so much to Rico’s for having us for Camille’s Choice, and we can’t wait to come back and try your amazing ice cream which we’ve already gotten a lot of comments on!

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Have y’all ever been to Rico’s in Kaukauna or any of their other two locations? If so – what did you order? Comment below so we have an idea for which dish to try next!

See you all next time.

10 Professional Art Classes for every age in the Fox Valley: September 2019

The art scene in the Fox Valley is booming the last few years, and we noticed a lot of cool opportunities for you, dates, lovers, friends, and kids to learn different skills.

Step 1: Basic Hand Lettering Class – Preparation for Calligraphy

When? September 6th

Where? Letter Create

A prerequisite for all Letter Create Workshops is the Basics Hand Lettering Class.

This class translates into all forms of writing techniques including brush lettering, calligraphy, modern flourish script, paint lettering, to name a few.  It is a pencil and paper penmanship class. They recommend you take a Step 2 class if you would like to learn calligraphy, brush lettering, or flourish calligraphy.
Tickets/Sign Up

Hand Lettering

Water & Skies Landscapes Watercolor Class

When? September 11

Where? : Mud & Prints

Channel your inner Bob Ross OR your inner Lee Mothes!

This is a three week class and you meet two hours each Wednesday to really develop your skills over time. Wednesday September 11th, 18th, and 25th from 6pm-8pm.

Classes are beginner friendly (ages 10+)

Tickets/Sign Up

Immersive Painting Class: “Critters” (Ages 12+)

When? Sept 12

Where? Mud & Prints

An immersive painting class led by Terri Einer. Fun for all ages & skill levels. Bring a picture of a critter to life! They call it their “Critter Class”

Bring a friend and master your skills. No experience is necessary. Learn about loose, spontaneous styles as you discover your own artistic voice. September 12th from 6pm to 9pm. $45/person entry fee.

Tickets/Sign Up

Terri Einer “Critter” example from a past class.

Dot Art Class

When? September 14

Where? The Rustic Burrow

The cost is $40.00 per person and includes a 12×12 stained project board, all paint and supplies and a light snack.

    Your choice of 6 different designs:

  • Elephant
  • Heart
  • Paw
  • Wisconsin
  • Dragonfly
  • Butterfly

Tickets/Sign Up

Functional Hand-building Workshop

When? September 14

Where? Mud & Prints

Learn basic hand-building techniques to make plates, cups, and vases. Hosted by local artist Samuel Thompson.

Tickets/Sign Up

Clay Animation (Ages 11 – 14)

When? September 18

Where? Trout Museum

Participants are in charge of every step of making a claymation. Develop a story, create clay characters, build set design, select music, and learn the basics of video movement in this fun beginner class. Students will have the opportunity to work with a variety of materials as they plan, produce, and assemble their videos. Working in teams of 2-3, students will use a stop motion app on an iPad to record their clay animations.

Tickets/Sign Up

Collage And Print Class (Ages 12+)

When? September 18

Where? Mud & Prints

Learn to incorporate layers into your art with a printmaking collage class hosted by Mel Kolstad.

Only $40, materials included. Ages 12+

Tickets/Sign Up

Multi-Arts Studio (Ages 8 – 11)

When? September 18

Where? Trout Museum

This after school class is a crash course in all things art! Painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking, and more! Repeat students welcome!

Every Wednesday until November 6th.

Tickets/Entry

DIY Rug Making Class

Where? Letter Create

When? September 22

Make your own rug in this workshop.  You can bring additional fabric (any type) to this workshop to create a more interesting depth to your rug.  We will have a limited variety of fabrics to choose from. Cotton is the best fabric to use. T-shirts make a great option as well.

Everyone will go home with a 2×3 foot rug.  If you do not finish your rug during the workshop you will take home the instructions and be able to finish your rug at home. 

Tickets/Sign Up

Time to get creative! Have fun. We hope this inspires a few people to make the leap, and try their skills.

32 of Northeast Wisco’s Best Sand Beaches

Do you ever feel like sitting in the warm sand with toes in the water of a beautiful beach – but just don’t have a clue where a decent beach is located in Wisconsin? This list will help that change with the snap of a finger. Today we’re bringing you a list of 32 beaches in Northeast Wisconsin alone so you never have to question again where to enjoy your day-cation.

Note: No man made swim lakes are included in this list. Sand beaches only.

Manitowoc County

1. Point Beach State Forest

Two Rivers, WI
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2. Neshotah Park

Two Rivers, WI
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3. Manitowoc Silver Creek Park

Manitowoc, WI

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Sheboygan County

4. Kohler-Andrae State Park

Sheboygan, WI

Note: Paid Entry

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5. Deland Park

Sheboygan, WI

Deland Sheboygan

6. King Park

Sheboygan, WI

Note: Includes Blue Harbor Beach.

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7. South Shore Beach

Sheboygan, WI

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8. Fireman’s Park & Swimming Beach

Elkhart Lake, WI

Notes: Paid Entry.

Firemans Park

Door County

9. Egg Harbor Beach

Egg Harbor, WI

Notes: Watersport Rentals Available.
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10. Fish Creek Public Beach

Fish Creek, WI
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Door County

11.Sister Bay Beach

Sister Bay, WI
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12. Haines Beach

Sturgeon Bay, WI

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13.Newport State Park (Europe Bay Beach)

Ellison Bay, WI

Notes: Two separate beaches. Both technically in Newport State Park. Europe Bay is free parking, Newport is paid.

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14. Nicolet Beach

Fish Creek, WI
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15. Bailey’s Harbor Ridges Park

Bailey’s Harbor, WI
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16. Beach Front Stage

Sister Bay, WI
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17. Whitefish Dunes State Park

Jacksonport, WI

Notes: Paid EntryIMG_3603-640x440

18. Clark Lake

Jacksonport, WI

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19. Portage Park

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Notes: Secluded
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Waupaca County

20. South Park Beach

Waupaca, WI

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21. Little Silver Beach

Wild Rose, WI

Note: Paid Entry.

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22. Hartman’s Creek Beach at Hartman Creek State Park

Waupaca, WI

Note: Paid Entry. Watersport Rentals.

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Shawano County

23. Shawano Lake County Park

Shawano, WI
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Brown County

24. Bay Shore Park

New Franken, WI
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Oconto County

25. Oughton Park

Townsend, WI
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(We couldn’t find a photo with the sand/beach in it – if you have any, send ’em our way!)

26. Oconto Falls East Side Beach

Oconto Falls, WI
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27. Little Newton Lake Beach

Athelstane, WI
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Marinette County

28. Red Arrow Park

Marinette, WI

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Kewaunee County

29. City Park

Kewaunee, WI

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30. Crescent Beach & Boardwalk

Algoma, WI

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Fond Du Lac County

31. Mauthe Lake Beach

Campbellsport, WI
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32. Wolf Lake County Park

St. Cloud, WI
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Which of these Wisconsin beaches have you tried out for yourself? More importantly – which one are you going to visit first? No time to waste – snow is just around the corner!

See you all next time.

The 3 Best Hole-in-the-Wall Restaurants in 4 NE Wisconsin Cities

I’m going to go ahead and start this with my definition of a “Hole-in-the-Wall” restaurant. To me, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant is a place that is small with limited or no indoor seating. Typically a place where something about the restaurant is deceiving, AKA the food surpasses the expectations set by a usually lack-luster interior or exterior. A hole-in-the-wall to me has an infamous character, a place where not everyone within a 5 mile radius eats there, but everyone in a 5 mile radius HAS eaten there. Places that are either simply great quality, passionately patronized by droves of regulars, or carry a special history or reputation when discussed in conversation. I hope this list finds you well, and gives you a few spots to go next time you and you’re friends are on the road in an unfamiliar area, or you and your partner need a new spot in town to check out.

Green Bay

Al’s Hamburger Shop

Address: 131 S Washington St, Green Bay, WI 54301

Al’s is a Green Bay classic. In the heart of Downtown Green Bay and a few doors down from the Meyer Theater, Al’s has been serving up classic American fast food since 1934! That’s older than McDonald’s (Est. 1940)

Joe’s Texas BBQ

Address: 1800 S Ashland Ave, Green Bay, WI 54304

A quaint and long established eatery, Joe’s recently moved locations to be closer to Lambeau Field. They serve classic barbeque that surpasses the expectations of their small shop.

Taqueria Don Pancho

Address: 1807 N Irwin Ave, Green Bay, WI 54302

This “Hole in the Wall” is such a hidden gem, we haven’t heard from them online since 2016. Taqueria has very high reviews for their authentic Mexican Cuisine at very fair prices. Don’t be scared off by the exterior, the food gets high marks from their customers.

Appleton

Basil Cafe

Address: 1513 N Richmond St, Appleton, WI 54911

Basil Café is on the line as a “Hole-in-the-Wall” The location isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to accommodate, but the exterior makes the real deal feel like a mirage. From the outside, Basil appears to be basic, but once you step foot inside, you’re transported into another world! The food lives up to the expectation set by the interior. Highly regarded in the Appleton community.

Home Burger Bar

Address: 205 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

Home Burger Bar is reminiscent of comfortable, delicious burger bars in larger cities like Madison and Milwaukee. Tucked in on College Ave Downtown Appleton, Home Burger Bar is clean, quirky, and delivers on their name sake, their burgers.

Mai’s Deli

Address: 104 S Memorial Dr, Appleton, WI 54911

Mai’s Deli is an awesome food shop with an awesome history. For years local immigrants sold their stuffed chicken wings essentially egg rolls but instead of the roll, the insides are stuffed into a chicken wing. Eventually, the family opened Mai’s Deli, and they’ve been consistently packed ever since. Very small, quaint location on the corner of College Ave and Memorial Drive. Mai’s Deli is a great spot for a tasty bite.

Oshkosh

Pete’s Garage

Address: 1514 Oregon St. Oshkosh WI

Pete’s has become somewhat of an unstoppable force in Oshkosh. The place barely has a chance to breath it’s often packed with warm faces, and happy customers.

Co-Owner Ryan at a Halloween event.

Leon’s

Address: 121 W Murdock Ave, Oshkosh, WI 54901

Leon’s covers the Northside of Oshkosh for it’s tasty fast food, and amazing custard needs. In fact, a custard machine from Leon’s was purchased by the Culver family for their first location. I don’t have a source for this, but I heard Craig Culver say this to the owner of Leon’s at an entrepreneurship event at UW Oshkosh (Craig Culver’s alma mater).

Ardy & Ed’s

Address: 2413 S Main St, Oshkosh, WI 54902

Ardy & Ed’s on the flip side, covers the Southside of Oshkosh’s needs. Ardy and Ed’s still has car hops on roller skates that serve their customers.

Sheboygan

Shulz’s Restaurant

Address: 1644 Calumet Dr, Sheboygan, WI 53081

Shulz’s has been around for DECADES! A truly classic American dining experience, and something that you have to see for yourself.

Chester’s Drive-In

Address: 1504 Eastern Ave, Plymouth, WI 53073

Not exactly in Sheboygan, Chester’s is a classic drive in with delicious American fast food and ice cream. The drive-in is over 40 years old.

Harry’s Diner

Address: 2504 Calumet Dr, Sheboygan

Harry’s Diner is a 1950 style diner open for breakfast and lunch. If you’re looking for a unique, quaint spot for breakfast in Sheboygan, Harry’s is a great place to start.

Honorable Mentions

The Booyah Shed – Green Bay

Mr. Taco – Downtown – Appleton

My Lee’s Egg Roll House – Appleton

Rhapsodies – Oshkosh

Notes

Hole-in-the-wall restaurants are interesting because they are always changing. For example, Joe’s Texas BBQ, just moved locations. Plus, sometimes new joints emerge or old ones lose their consistency. As Venture Wisconsin grow, and we learn more about Northeast Wisconsin, we will share the knowledge with you! What’s your favorite hole-in-the-wall? Do you agree with our definition? Let me know in the comments.

Calling All Wino’s – 26 Wineries in Northeast Wisconsin to Sip On

If you love learning about wine, trying new wines, or spending an afternoon sippin’ with your buddies you have got to check out some of these amazing spots. We’ve compiled a list of 26 different wineries here in Northeast Wisconsin (yes, just Northeast – it’s nuts) for you to skim through and enjoy on your next Sunday Funday.

Door County

1.Door Peninsula WineryCarlsville
5806 Hwy 42, Carlsville WIDoor-Peninsula-Winery2. Stone’s Throw WineryBailey’s Harbor
3382 County Rd. E, Baileys Harbordoor-county-winery

3. Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market Fish Creek
9197 State Hwy 42, Fish Creek 

orchard-country-winery

4. Harbor Ridge WineryEgg Harbor
4690 Rainbow Ridge Ct, Egg Harborharborridge

5. Door 44 WinerySturgeon Bay
5464 County Road P, Sturgeon Baydoor446. Simon Creek Vineyard & WinerySturgeon Bay
5896 Bochek Road, Sturgeon BaySome-of-the-wines-from-Simon-Creek-Winery

7. Red Oak WinerySturgeon Bay
3017 Enterprise Dr., Sturgeon BayWebsite-Header-Red-wine-grapes-1170x680

Kewaunee County

8. Von Stiehl Winery Algoma
115 Navarino St., Algomavon-stiehl-winery

9. Parallel 44Kewaunee
N2185 Sleepy Hollow Road, Kewaunee
bottles-and-glasses

10. Cold Country Vines & WinesKewaunee
E3207 Nuclear Road, Kewaunee

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Marinette County

11. Forgotten Fire WineryMarinette

N2393 Schacht Road, Marinette9b6ace55-df0f-4dbb-abf6-91ed19a4c427-forgotten-fire

Brown County

12. Duck Creek Vineyard & WineryDenmark
5046 County Rd R, Denmarkduck-creek-west-wines

13. Captains Walk WineryGreen Bay
345 S. Adams Street, Green Bay
capt

14. Mona Rose WineryGreen Bay
2696 South Packerland Dr., Green Bay
monarose

15. Trout Springs WineryGreenleaf
8150 River Road, Greenleaf
9930056

16. LedgeStone VineyardsGreenleaf
6381 WI-57, Greenleaf
thursday-night-music

Outagamie County

17. Kerrigan Brothers WineryFreedom
N2797 St HWY 55, Freedom

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Winnebago County

18. Rushford Meadery & WineryOmro
8389 Liberty School Rd, Omro
rushford

19. Vines & Rushes Winery – Ripon
410 County Rd E, Ripon

WineryBuilding-1

Fond Du Lac County

20. Armstrong Apples, Orchard, and WineryCampbellsport
W853 County Road B, Campbellsport
sitemgr_photo_181222

Sheboygan County

21. SoLu Estate Winery & Meadery – Cascade
W8269 County Road F, Cascade
sitemgr_photo_164094

22. The Blind Horse WineryKohler
6018 Superior Ave, Kohler
130-blindhorse-3

Oconto County

23. Woodland Trail WineryLakewood
17153 Big Hill Rd, Lakewood
Woodland-Trail-Winery-Exterio-IMG_5547

Manitowoc County

24. Silarian WineryCato
11715 Hilltop Road, Cato
sialrian

25. Wild Hare VineyardReedsville
11807 Hilltop Rd, Reedsville
Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 1.04.16 PM

Waupaca County

26. Winemakers DaughterManawa
327 S Bridge St, Manawa
SONY DSC

Phew – you made it through the list. Be sure to share this blog with your wine-loving friends and comment below about your experiences and favorite Wisconsin wineries.

Enjoy! 

6 Things You Didn’t Know About EAA Air Venture

EAA Air Venture just celebrated it’s 50th year in Oshkosh, and the EAA brand and their flagship week long event have become an international brand that’s put Oshkosh on the map on a level akin to Oshkosh B’gosh. We’ve been hearing a lot recently about the massive economic impact of the event on Northeast Wisconsin. We’ve been watching the online word of mouth for the event build, and we’ve learned some things about EAA Air Venture you may not have known.

1. In July, outside of Wisconsin, the word “Oshkosh” literally means, “EAA Air Venture”

The event, and it’s seemingly obscure location in our amazing, quaint city of Oshkosh, has become a nickname for the event itself. Many people from around the country and around the world who have been coming to the event for a few years Tweet things like., “Oshkosh starts today.” People in their lives know this to mean, they are headed to EAA Air Venture

There were Tweets of people quoting their dads referring to EAA Air Venture as simply “Oshkosh.” If you say “I’m headed to Oshkosh” in any state that isn’t Wisconsin, and July is near, you can assume they’re going to EAA Air Venture.

Tweets about the 2019 event from around the world.

2. It’s the most attended aviation event in the world

EAA Air Venture has consistently brought in more than 500,000 visitors over the past few years. What makes EAA so popular? The event brings together programming and excitement for all ages and all aviation stripes. Since EAA is Experimental Aircraft Association, they bring in everything from commercial aviation, to historical, drones, model airplanes, personal aircraft, and even home built air craft.

EAA 2015. Credit: Wikipedia

3. The event started as a “fly-in” in Milwaukee

Although 2019 marked 50 years of the Air Venture event which came to Oshkosh in 1969, the event was seeded in Milwaukee in 1953, and it was called “EAA fly-in”. The event even moved to Illinois before settling in Oshkosh (I know… It hurts.)

A welcome sign at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

4. The fly-in manual before landing is 30 pages

Know as a NOTAM or Notice to Airman, the manual to read before flying in to Wittman Regional Airport is 30 pages long. They are landing over 10,000 aircraft over the span of the one week event, causing the air traffic control tower to be known as the “busiest in the world”.

A feature volunteer at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

5. The event attracts aviation loving celebrities

This year, 2019, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins was a speaker at the event. Other aviation loving celebrities such as Harrison Ford have made stops into Oshkosh for Air Venture in the past.

Harrison Ford. Credit: Celebrity Diagnosis

6. Thousands of volunteers make the event happen

In 2018, there were over 5,000 volunteers. The event regularly uses more than 4,000 volunteers to make the show happen.

The air traffic control tower at EAA. Credit: ArtifactsJournal.com

These are some interesting things we found in our research! EAA Air Venture’s 50th year was an amazing show as always. A bonus, more commonly known Air Venture fact is the economic impact of the event, over $100,000,000 in Northeast Wisconsin. What was the most surprising fact to you? Did I miss any?

Wait… I can find THAT at the Oshkosh Farmers Market? Camille’s Blog

What are your Saturday mornings filled with? Pancakes in bed, maybe catching up on some Netflix shows, or a nice morning walk? How about a trip to your local farmers market? That is one of my favorite things to do on my Saturday’s once the summer rolls in. I love seeing all the flower and fresh vegetable stands with local vendors sharing their stories of their locally grown products, and the smell of all the local businesses selling some early afternoon snacks. So, Camille’s Choice took a trip down to the local Oshkosh farmers market to sample three things from three local businesses to show the Fox Cities some of the many things the market has to offer.

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Our first stop: coffee of course. You can’t start off your Saturday the right way without enjoying a nice cup of coffee – at least in my book. What better way to enjoy your coffee than fresh and locally made?! We stopped over at JSA Roasting and went with something classic to do a true taste test. I tried their pecan flavored roasted coffee with just a splash of some almond milk creamer.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 1.45.45 PMScreen Shot 2019-06-19 at 1.46.41 PM

Truthfully, the coffee didn’t need any sort of additive at all. The flavor was bursting from the moment I took the lid off and took a smell. The pecan flavor was subtle but mouth-watering good. I finished my cup of (hot) coffee within 10 minutes easily in the middle of an 80 degree day – THAT’s how good it was. I normally can’t drink straight black coffee, but from JSA it would have been easy.

Next up we went to the stand literally right next door – The Roxy Club. My options were a breakfast wrap with assorted things inside (eggs, peppers, seasoning, hot sauce, sausage, etc.) or something called a kraut kuchen. Yeah trust me, the kraut thing wasn’t my first option. However, I do Camille’s Choice for a reason and that is to try new things, right? So, I went for it. I ordered out of my comfort zone and soon found myself eating a pastry stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, onions, and something called dusseldorf mustard. Going into something not wanting to eat it (like – at all) normally ruins it for people, especially me. Not even close to the case with this. It was a pleasant surprise with a flavorful and unique dish. It had a lot of bold flavors that combined perfectly. It reminded me of a classic home cooked meal with some mixed in flavors and spices that I had never tried before. Overall, it kicked me out of my comfort zone and surprised me in the best way.

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 1.54.57 PM

Last on our list was Compassion Creamery. Who else serves ice cream nachos?! No one that I’ve heard of! Talk about a unique and fun idea. It caught my attention enough, and we had to order them. The two initial flavors we ordered were their chocolate (duh) and their vanilla with Lucky Charms cereal mixed into it. And, as if we couldn’t make it anymore sweet, we added MnM’s to our chocolate. To make the ice cream a “nacho” tray, they add little wafers to the side of your platter to scoop your ice cream with. The wafers reminded me of little flat sugar cones, but way softer and really sweet. Everything tasted really great, but I have to say I liked the chocolate way more with the wafers. Just a little less sweet than the vanilla, and I love chocolate anything and everything. 10/10 recommend trying ice cream nachos at some point in your life though – they’re so fun!

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 1.46.18 PMScreen Shot 2019-06-20 at 10.45.47 AM

This Camille’s Choice experience was so fun and unique – and I visited three places I had never had the chance to try before and learned about them each as a local small business. There is so much Oshkosh (and other Wisconsin cities) have to offer at their farmers market that you may have no idea about. Be sure to check out the Oshkosh market, or surrounding cities to discover something new. You won’t be disappointed.

The Oshkosh farmers market is right on Main Street in downtown Oshkosh. It runs from June – October every Saturday from 8:00 to 12:30.

June 2019 Events in Northeast Wisconsin

June 2019 Events in Northeast Wisconsin

Just being able to say that it’s “June” brings a sense of happiness, doesn’t it? We are all itching for some outdoor music, drinks on patios, killer sunsets, and well also literally itching from the inevitable mosquitoes….. But we at Venture Wisconsin think June in Wisconsin is SO worth a few bites.. and here’s our proof!

Dine on the Deck

When? June 5, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Where? City Deck, Green Bay

This is an awesome event that will be going on all summer. Take advantage of your lunch break and enjoy the fresh air and entertainment, as well as local meals from different local establishments! “Hump Day” may soon become your favorite day!

Way Back Wednesday with DJ Ross Grizzly

When? June 5, 7:00 PM

Where? Deva Vu Martini Lounge, Appleton

Have you heard of DJ Ross Grizzly yet? …you should. Check him out at Deja Vu Martini Lounge as he mixes some tunes from way back in the day to today’s loved hits. The show will start at 7 PM, and to entice you even more…. There’s an cool new martini inspired by DJ Ross that you have got to try! No cover for this killer show!

Fridays on the Fox

When? June 7, 6:30 PM

Where City Deck, Green Bay

We will see you on City Deck Main Stage in Green Bay on Fridays! Enjoy free live music and food and drinks for purchase from the beloved Hagemeister Park. Bring a chair, bring a friend, and don’t forget your dancing shoes*! This week? The BriTins: A Tribute to the Beatles

*Dancing shoes are not required but encouraged

Photo Credit: Associated Bank

Allouez Movie in the Park

When? June 7, 7:00 PM

Where? Green Isle Park, Green Bay Area

Get there early for some fun crafts and games to be followed by a fun and relaxing evening of a free movie with your loved ones. Bring your chairs or blankets and get comfy! Concessions will be available, so no need to hurry through dinner to make it here! This week’s movie? Ferdiand.

Flag Day Parade

When? June 8, 2:00 PM

Where? Downtown Appleton

Appleton takes the cake on parades in our opinion. We have one for just about everything you can think of, and we love just about any reason to celebrate good ol ‘Murica! Come out to Downtown Appleton and watch the parade and make sure to stop in for a drink or a bite at one of our amazing local eateries!

Photo Credit: Post Cresent

Parallel 44 Summer Concert Series

June 8, 3:00 PM

Where? Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery, Kewaunee

You guys… does it get better than this? Wine and live music. Amazing views of a beautiful vineyard. You and your loved ones. You’re picturing it, I know. Bring a picnic lunch, blankets and chairs and grab your favorite bottle of wine from Parallel 44 to enjoy! Seriously, you have to. This week? R & R.

Glide for Father’s Day

When? June 10 – 15

Where? You choose!

Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to try a Segway? Especially at half the price? I bet all of our dads would jump all over that bargain! Glide NEW is offering half price any of their tours for dads on June 10 – 15. Go to glidenew.com, choose the tour closest to you, (or make it a trip somewhere) and use the code “LoveDad”. It will certainly be a Father’s Day gift he won’t forget!

Our First Appleton Ride!

Venture Wisconsin’s Biking Brewery Tour

When? June 15, 11:00 AM

Where? Starts at Appleton Beer Factory

Bikes, beers, brews…. does it get any better? Doesn’t sound like it, but it seriously does. Join us at Appleton Beer Factory as our starting point. We will be biking 12 miles and enjoying brews at Appleton Beer Factory, Stone Arch Brew Pub, Fox River Brewing Company, and ending at McFleshman’s Brewing Company. $16 presale tickets gets you a mixed six pack of local beers to take home, a pint glass to take home, giveaways, $1 off beers at all the breweries, and live music after the ride with a food truck waiting for us! Seriously, it is an event you don’t want to miss out on. Day of the event tickets increase to $25. Get yours NOW, right here!

Paws on the Patio

When? June 15, 1:00 PM

Where? Ground Round, Oshkosh

Your favorite four legged friend, a drink in your hand, and a beautiful view. Maybe a good friend and some food, too? Whatever tickles your fancy. Take advantage of an event where everyone will be bringing their pups out to enjoy the patio of Ground Round on River’s Edge. Let your dog do some socializing, and maybe follow their lead!

RiverHeath Summer Concert Series

When? June 15, 6:00PM

Where? RiverHeath, Appleton

Head on down to the Riverheath and take in the breathtaking views of the river while enjoying local music and local vendors. This is such a unique part of our little city and this event is one you don’t want to miss! This week? The Way Down Wanderers.

Love Your Dad Cruise – Fox River Tours

When? June 16, 12:30 PM

Where? Little Chute

You love him, don’t you? Imagine all the dad jokes he may come up with as you guys set sail on the Fox River and travel to Little Chute. Kids get on the tour for just $5! It is a 90 minute ride and a scenery you’re sure to love. What a great way to celebrate a special dad in your life!

Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin

Summer Solstice Celebration

When? June 20, 5:00 PM

Where? Whitney Park Green Bay

Food trucks, beer, wine, live music, and games. That’s all you need for summer, right? Right. The Presidents will be performing, the beer will be cold, the food will be tasty. Don’t forget a chair or blanket to sit on! Kick off summer 2019 in the best way you know how, eating and drinking!

Greek Fest, Sheboygan

When? June 28 – 30

Where? Deland Park, Sheboygan

This is an ongoing tradition that has been going on for decades! It is actually the 76th annual. That’s a big deal! Three full days of Authentic Greek everything you can think of! Food, drinks, pastries, music and entertainment. The best part? It’s free. What a cool way to bring the community together to experience something so unique!

Photo Credit: Sheboygan Press

Fly a Kite Fest

When? June 29, 10:00 AM

Where? Arnie Wolff Sports Complex

Free, family friendly event! There will be a big kite show, kite decorating, and many other kid friendly activities. This is something you certainly won’t see everyday!


There you go friends, so many awesome things to do in Northeast Wisconsin this month! Get out there and enjoy the warmth. Let us know which event you thing looks the best!

Best April Events in Northeast Wisconsin

April Events in the Fox Cities 2019

This month has some solid events. There’s even some outdoor events on 4/20. Northeast Wisconsin really respects the green after a long winter. Check out the awesome events from beer and (mac n) cheese to litter cleanups to popup dinners, here are the best April 2019 events we could find.

Manitowoc Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) : Sip Sip Hooray!

When? April 5 @ 6PM

Where? Sepia Chapel

Looking for a way to give back to the community? Join Manitowoc County’s CASA program for a fun night out! Cocktail and social hour start at 6, immediately followed by dinner and a performance by Janet Planet at 6:30. Admission includes signature drink, dinner by Courthouse Pub and dessert by French Creek Bakery. Proceeds from this event go directly to Manitowoc County CASA Program!

Fifth Annual Pig Out

When? April 5th @ 6PM

Where? Badger State Brewing

This event is present to you by Badger State Brewing and Ahnapee Brewery. It entails a pig roast to benefit the Friends of the Ahnapee State Trail. The event will take place at Badger State Brewing from 6 – 9 PM. The cost is $35 per person, with options to bundle if you have a table of 8! The cost covers a pork meal, a specialty brewed beer, and an opportunity for some awesome prizes all while supporting a wonderful organization committed to making the community and outside visitors aware of all the quality aspects of the trail!

Fox Cities Kidz Expo 2019

When? April 6th @ 9 AM – 3 PM

Where? Fox Cities Exhibition Center

Fox Cities Exhibition Center
Credit: Post Cresent

Have you gotten a chance to check out the Exhibition Center in Appleton yet? If not, here’s the perfect opportunity! Activities for this family event include face painting, inflatables, costumed characters, crafts and balloon animals! There will also be brief seminars with information on various community activities.

Mini Golf on the Town

When? April 6th @ 1 – 6 PM

Where? Downtown Appleton

Can’t wait to get out on the golf course? We have the perfect solution! …kind of. Nine holes of mini-golf are being set up at different bars with beverage specials at each bar. You and your team can register at a participating bar – $60 per foursome. See y’all at the after party at D2!

Free Electronic Recycling

When? April 6 @ 9 AM – Noon

Where? Sunset Park Kimberly, WI

Join the local community and K9 Tech at Sunset Park in Kimberly for an opportunity to finally get rid of your old electronics that are just collecting dust – for FREE! This isn’t an every day opportunity, don’t miss it!

K9 Tech Recycling event in Appleton
Credit: K9 Tech Recycling

Chris Company Pop-Up Dinner

When? April 6th @ 6PM

Where? W5562 Center Valley Rd, Black Creek

A popup dinner in a historic 1887 schoolhouse located in Black Creek, Wisconsin. Tickets are $75 for one person and $130 for two. The event promotes unique venues and the best local food and wine in Northeast Wisconsin.

Game of Thrones Trivia

When? April 9 @ 7 – 9 PM

Where? Fox River House

Are you dying to know how well you know Game of Thrones? You’re not alone. Come test out your knowledge at Fox River House downtown Appleton on April 9th from 7 PM to 9PM. Bring a friend and make it an intense competition.

Game of Thrones Screenshot for Game of Thrones Triva event in NE Wisconsin
Credit: Game of Thrones

Mac and Brew Fest

When? April 13 @ 6 – 10 PM

Where? Sunnyview Expo Center

21+ – $30 a person, $50 a couple.

Alright Wisconsinites… beer and cheese – everything we could ever want! Share a laugh with some awesome comedians, devour mac and cheese through various tastings, and find your new favorite beer or wine! If none of that tickles your fancy, there will also be dancing and indoor yard games. The cost is $30 a person. Make it a date, and couples can sign up for $50 for two! All of the funds raised from this project are for Oshkosh South West Rotary projects.

Dueling Pianos

When? April 13 @ 7PM

Where? Dockside Tavern

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor
Credit: NEW Piano Guys

I’m sure you’ve heard of the NEW Piano Guys by now. If you haven’t, you need to. You really won’t regret it. Check them out at Dockside Tavern on April 13th!

Loop the Lake Earth Day Hike

When? April 20 @ 9AM

Where? Arrowhead Park, Neenah

LoopTheLakeNeenahPostCresent
Credit: Post Cresent

Here is another opportunity to check out one of the newer additions to our community. On April 20 (rain date April 27) grab a friend or simply you hiking shoes and get out on the Loop the Lake Trail that encompasses Neenah, Menasha, and Fox Crossing. This event is free and it begins in Arrowhead Park in Neenah. The loop is about 3.5 miles. There will be refreshments and activities at Fritze Park! Plan to start between 9 & 10:30 AM. Before you get your hiking shoes on, make sure you grab this Sierra Club liability waiver form to fill out and bring it with you!

Earth Day Hoot

When? April 20 @ 7PM

Where? Mosquito Hill, New London

On 4/20 at 7PM come help celebrate the Earth, with a variety of musicians in an Earth Day themed program. – Folk, acoustic, traditional music. The event is kid friendly – $5 adult, kids are free with intermission treats included.

Party like it’s 1995

When? April 25 @ 6 PM

Where? TRATS Stadium

We are all severely itching for summer – the Timber Rattlers feel it too. They’re ready to party like it’s 1995 with you. Join the TRats on April 25th for a good ol game of America’s favorite pastime and enjoy prices like you would have seen in the 90’s! $5 box seats, $4 bleacher seats and $3 grass seats. Enjoy popcorn and cotton candy for $1, and craft beer and brats for just $3! This is an event you don’t wanna miss!

Broadway Beer Hop

When? April 27 @ Noon

Where? Lyric Room, Green Bay

On April 27th, for $20 a person you can hop around town and sample beer from four different breweries! You’ll have a punch card that can be turned in at the end for a chance to win some cool prizes. The event will start at noon and go until 4 PM!

Earth Day Event & Fox Valley Cleanup

When? April 28 @ 10:30AM

Where? Mr. Brew’s Taphouse

Whatever your thoughts on Climate Change are (cough cough, it’s here folks) i think we can all agree that littering is not OK. On April 28 from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM, starting at Mr. Brew’s Taphouse there will be a cleanup happening by the Fox River east of downtown. Garbage bags and water will be provided but it is recommended that you bring gloves! Of course, you won’t want to miss the after party immediately following the cleanup at Mr. Brews. The first 72 people over 21 years old will get a free event t shirt!

Image result for picking up trash

Editors Pick – Best Event in April

I’m impartial because I’m big on outdoor activities and clean up projects, but I like to pick the best events based on excitement. I think the most exciting event this month is the Mini Golf on the Town. So there’s my pick for the month. We’re extremely excited for the warm season in 2019. Which event do you think sound the most exciting?