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.

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.

14 Off-the-Beaten-Path Wineries in Northeast Wisconsin

There’s over 25 wineries in Northeast Wisconsin! No surprise… We wanted to bring you some of the wineries that aren’t Downtown or right off a major route. These are the wineries that are tucked into the woods a little bit.

1. Stone’s Throw Winery – Bailey’s Harbor

3382 County Rd. E, Baileys Harbor

Photo Credit: Door County Today

2. Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery – Sturgeon Bay

5896 Bochek Road, Sturgeon Bay

3. Harbor Ridge Winery – Egg Harbor

4690 Rainbow Ridge Ct, Egg Harbor

4. Forgotten Fire Winery – Marinette

N2393 Schacht Road, Marinette

Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin

5. Duck Creek Vineyard & Winery – Denmark

5046 County Rd R, Denmark

6. Cold Country Vines & Wines – Kewaunee

E3207 Nuclear Road, Kewaunee

7. Trout Springs Winery – Greenleaf

8150 River Road, Greenleaf

Photo Credit: Trout Springs Winery

8. Rushford Meadery & Winery – Omro

8389 Liberty School Rd, Omro

Photo Credit: All Events

9. Armstrong Apples, Orchard & Winery – Campbellsport

W853 County Road B, Campbellsport

Photo Credit: FDL Reporter

10. Woodland Trail & Winery – Lakewood

17153 Big Hill Rd, Lakewood

11. Silarian Winery – Reedsville

11715 Hilltop Road, Cato

12. Wild Hare Winery – Reedsville

11807 Hilltop Rd, Reedsville

13. Vines & Rushes Winery – Ripon

410 County Rd E, Ripon

14. The Blind Horse Winery – Kohler

6018 Superior Ave, Kohler

Photo Credit: Sheboygan Press

So what do you think? Are you surprised at how many local wine spots you’ve missed? Have you been to a few of these? What’s your favorite? Let us know if the comments! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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?

Getting Cozzy With Southern Dishes – Camille’s Choice #15

Nestled in a random alleyway in downtown Appleton, WI you can find one of the “cozzy-est” little diners, offering an array of unique and original southern options. Serving dishes all the way from freshly fried chicken to frog legs and hush puppies, The Cozzy Corner is a must-visit in the Fox Valley area.

Giving “The Blues” a Whole New Feeling

When I first entered the Cozzy Corner, I felt like I stepped into a diner in New Orleans itself. The interior is so attractive and different, and you’re constantly having something to look at. To me, the coolest thing about the interior was the records all over the ceiling. It was so cool to look up and see albums that I knew my mom had, or I had purchased, and to see so many other unique record covers.

Beyond the interior itself, the staff greeted my friend Izzy and I with huge smiles and open arms. This was my first time ever bringing my friend Izzy, and she loved the service just as much as I did (she said it was one of her favorite parts of the experience in our Camille’s Choice vlog). Our waitress, especially, was so sweet and helpful when it came to choosing the perfect dishes to try out.

Can You Eat Too Much?

One of the best appetizers I’ve ever had came from my experience at the Cozzy Corner, where Izzy and I split a plate of GUMBO cheese fries. Per recommendation of our server, the dish had character, flavor, and even a background story. The gumbo fries was an invention by none other than our server herself from a random day she happened to be fooling around in the kitchen. Lets just say our server is in the wrong field. She should be back in the kitchen fooling around with dishes more often because the gumbo fries were to die for. Izzy and I both had to stop ourselves to avoid eating the entire plate and ruining our appetite for our main entree.

We didn’t succeed very well. Our main dishes were placed in front of us and the amount of food that was sitting in front of me was overwhelming. The prices given by the restaurant are more than perfect for the amount of food you are given. I had fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, hush puppies, red beans and rice AND a slice of corn bread sitting in front of me. Long story short, I took a hefty box of left-overs home to enjoy the next day. The meal was delicious and mouth watering. All of the flavors were so different – sweet, then salty, then a little spicy – and all complimented each other very well. As for Izzy, she chowed down on something that seemed to come from a fantasy for her. A “big smokey” was a smoked sausage in a large bun covered with their homemade mac n’ cheese and barbecue sauce (yum). She also had mashed potatoes which tasted better than the homemade ones at Thanksgiving (sorry, mom). We both had to pry ourselves from our forks in order to not explode from eating too much.

The Cozzy Corner has so much to offer – unique interior, flavorful dishes, friendly staff – that it has been HARD not to go back already. Thank you to the Cozzy Corner for giving me such a unique experience to enjoy and look forward to experience again.

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Like I said, the Cozzy Corner is pretty cozy in it’s alleyway, here’s some help to find it:
Address: 111 N Walnut St, Appleton, WI 54911
Located near: ACOCA Coffee, Fox Cities Preforming Arts Center

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

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!

Five Reasons Hartman Creek State Park Should Be Your Next Adventure

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

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!

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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!

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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.