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

10 November Events & Shows You Must Look Into!

November 2018 Events List

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

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

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

*Admission is $3

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

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

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

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

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

4. Downtown Appleton Light Up the Town – November 9

Trout Museum Christmas Tree Lighting in Appleton
Appleton Light Up Ceremony. Credit: WLUK News

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

5. Downtown Appleton Window Walk – November 9

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

6. TED talks in Oshkosh! – November 10th

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

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

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

Pablo Fransisco Promotional Graphic for Skyline in Appleton
Pablo Fransisco Credit: Skyline Comedy Club

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

 

8. Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade – November 20

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

9. Small Business Saturday Downtown Appleton – November 24

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

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

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

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


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

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

Possibly Oshkosh’s Coziest, Most Interesting Breakfast – Camille’s Choice #2

For this experience, I was in the mood to try somewhere more low-key, relaxing, and straight up comfort food. Where better to go than a local cafe in close to my college housing in Oshkosh, WI? This cafe is called Pilora’s cafe and it’s located right on Main Street, just outside of Downtown Oshkosh.

What attracted me to this cafe initially was the exterior. I had always passed by the restaurant on Main Street, but never seemed to have the time to stop in. I knew I had to feature it for the Camille’s Choice series. The restaurant is cute, quaint, and even has a little outdoor patio which was perfect for a 75 degree summer’s afternoon! Once you enter the cafe, you’re overwhelmed with smells of fresh brewed coffee and the smell of syrup – yes, even at three in the afternoon. There is a little coffee bar behind the main register that instantly caught my eye as well. Around the restaurant are tables and booths with different pieces of art and many kinds of plants. The sun is able to come in through their huge windows and keep you warm while you eat, too. All around, Pilora’s atmosphere is perfect if you’re looking for that Sunday morning, coffee and pancakes kind of meal.

For my meal, I decided to go with something the server said they were well-known for – their Pilora’s french toast. This is the thickest, richest, and sweetest french toast. It was so good and their homemade syrup was truly the “icing on the cake.” Along with the french toast I got some nitro cold brew coffee (which I am a HUGE fan of), and it was creamy and so fresh.

I enjoyed the company of my roommate, Lace, on this journey and it was a nice place for us to sit and share a meal and some warm conversations. Lace and I have both agreed we would love to go back sometime soon and check out some of their other unique menu items as well, and so should you!

If you really want to see how beautifully displayed (and tasty) Pilora’s french toast is – click here to see my vlog! 

Trying to find Pilora’s and try it out for yourself? Here’s some information that might help you out!
Simplified directions: Right on the end of Scott Street, where it turns into Main Street
Address: 910 N Main St, Oshkosh, WI 54901
Located by: Cinders Charcoal Grill, Doctor Benzie’s Pizza, Family Dollar

Spilling Shakes in Oshkosh – Camille’s Choice #1

I was really excited to try Recharge because I love protein shakes and healthy food in general, and it seemed like a really fun and different place to enjoy my lunch. This is the first location for Camille’s Choice, my video series with Venture Wisconsin. This nutrition club is called Recharge, and it’s located in Oshkosh, WI over on Koeller Street, if you’re from around the area of course. Going to my first video of my very own series was so nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. I got to bring my best friend, Larisa, along with me so that helped to both calm the nerves and make the experience overall so exciting.

To help you all visualize a little bit, from the outside Recharge looks like it’s almost non-existent. It’s a tiny little space squeezed between a few other businesses, but it’s got a bright orange sign that says “Recharge” to help identify the cafe a little easier. Once you walk in through the front door, there is immediately bursts of orange and green colors; on the walls, the counter, and the menu. It’s a very inviting place inside.

The menu has a ton of different flavored protein smoothies ranging from fruity flavors, to chocolate, to coffee. Choosing one flavor was actually hard for me to do once I started looking around. I finally chose a flavor called the Almond Bliss, which tasted like a healthier version of an Almond Joy candy bar (AKA amazing). After ordering my protein smoothie, I was shocked when the owner poured me a shot of mango flavored aloe, along with asking my preference of tea (unsweet versus sweet, lemon or peach, iced or hot, etc.). So to simplify, I unexpectedly got three things in one order – talk about a fun surprise. All of the items went together really well and everything I tried tasted so good.

Overall, the cafe was delicious and nutritious – exactly what I was looking for! The owner was super sweet and awesome about being on camera, and really helped in explaining the process of what her products do and why the cafe is set up the way it is. After we left the club, Larisa and I ran into a little dilemma which only made the experience more exciting, honestly.

Want to know what happened? Check out the full vlog here!

Loved this blog and want to try the club out for yourself? Here is some more information to help you get there:

Address – 246 N Koeller St, Oshkosh, WI 54902
Located Near – Enterprise Car Rentals, A-Z Vapor

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!

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

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

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

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

1000 Islands Nature Center
Inside 1000 Islands Nature Center.

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Image Events in the Fox Cities - September 2018

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

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

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

Eve of Destruction – Friday September 7th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oshkosh Biking Brewery Tour: Final Ride

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

Biking Brewery Tour
Touring Oshkosh Local Breweries

1st Annual Harvest Fest – Sunday September 16th

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

Brews, Bistros & Bonfires – Friday September 21st

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

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

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

Too White Crew at Appleton Octoberfest
Credit: Too White Crew

Barktoberfest (During Octoberfest) – Saturday September 29th

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


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

 

10+ Spots to Take Your Pup in the Fox Cities

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

1. CU Saloon in Appleton

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

Dog ordering a beer
Yappy Hour at the CU Saloon. Credit: @real_frankie_whitman

2. Drool in the Pool

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

3. Lucy’s Closet

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

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

4. The Depawsitory

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

5. High Cliff State Park

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

Girl and dog overlooking Lake Winnebago

6. Outagamie Dog Park

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

7. Wiouwash Trail

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

screenshot-www.instagram.com-2018-03-29-13-57-02
Good pupper on the WIOUWASH Trail. Credit: @caritam925

8. Fox Cities Trestle Trail

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

9. Pet Friendly Restaurants

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

Carmel Crisp – Oshkosh

Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In – Oshkosh

Leon’s Frozen Custard – Oshkosh

Bare Bones Brewery – Oshkosh

Brewed Awakenings – Appleton

Fox River House – Appleton

10. Winnebago County Park

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

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

6 Fox Cities Valentines Day Dates that don’t suck.

Do you have a lady that drives you crazy? Do you have a mister that makes your love blister? If so, then you’re probably looking for something cute to do this Valentines Day. Everyone wants to dress up, feel good, and have a good night. If you are trying to throw a little variety in your life and want to steer clear of the traditional dinner and a movie then this post is for you. I compiled a list of great date ideas that you can do to impress your sweetie this V-Day. Conveniently, if you’re busy on Valentine’s Day, some of these are available at other times as well.

1) For those of us who don’t have someone…

Shred Your Ex (Free Drink)

Pictures shredding

I didn’t forget that some of us aren’t so lucky to be in blossoming relationships, so there’s a great event for all of us salty single people out there. At Gameday Sports Bar in Appleton they will be having their Shred Your Ex event. If you come in with a picture of your ex on the 14th they will shred it and you get a FREE DRINK. What says “single” better than a free vodka cranberry?

2) Chocolate Drunk – The Cocoa Crawl ($5)

The Cocoa Crawl is an affordable and cool (or should I say hot) event where you get to sample hot chocolate from over 15 local downtown businesses in Oshkosh. Walking downtown in the winter is always a good time, especially after a nice cup of hot chocolate. You can even purchase a mug courtesy of Fire Escape and 50% of the proceeds will go to Day By Day Warming Shelter. If you’re looking for a cheap, fun date the Cocoa Crawl is a good start. Make sure to get food after, you’ll be hungry from all that walking! The event will be held on February 10th and you can get your tickets here.

3) The Newlywed Game at Backlot Comedy House ($10)

My mom always used to watch a show called the Newlywed Game where couples would compete based on how well they knew each other. It’s a really funny game to watch, but it is even more fun to play. Backlot Comedy House is bringing their own Newlywed Game to downtown Oshkosh. The event is rated R so don’t expect a family friendly show at the comedy club. The winner will receive a gift that is only described as a “grando-super splendid gift that will outlast the test of time”, so I have a feeling that it is going to be good. The event is Feb. 10th at 9pm, and don’t forget you have to be 21 because there will be drinks!

newlywedhead
The Newlywed Game Show

4) Valentines Day 3-Course Dinner Magic Show ($40/per person)

I have a bit of a bias for this event because it’s my own. I host a dinner show called Now Serving Magic, which is a 3-course dinner. Between each course every table gets to see one of the three professional magicians perform close up magic right at the table. There is also a host that performs for everyone at the beginning and at the end of the show. The night is full of laughter and amazement and there’s never a dull moment with the three magicians. I host these events at different venues and always have different performers to keep it fresh. This Dinner will be held at Paloma Modern Mexican; one of the newest restaurants in Oshkosh, known for it’s gourmet fusion tacos. The $40/per person ticket includes the 3 course meal and the entertainment. There is also packages that include a bottle of wine or flowers. You can see more about the dinner here, and you can buy tickets by clicking here.

RJs Magic Show
Now Serving Magic Details

5) Escape Artist – A Double Date.. For One Couple ($95/couple)

This is a double date, and by double date I mean two dates in one. You receive an hour escape room voucher for two at Escape Oshkosh, one project for each of you to paint at the Fire Escape, and a $10 voucher for food at an Oshkosh Restaurant. You essentially get 3 dates in one. You could take that $10 voucher and get two Wisconsin Dogs with bacon sauce at Hotdog Charlie’s. Trust me, its worth it. Tickets can be purchased online at FireEscapeArt.com/calendar, by phone at (920)420-0700, or in person at Fire Escape 423 N Main St.

Valentines Day Event in Oshkosh
Escape Artist Details

6) Who Doesn’t love baseball?- 4-Course Timberattlers Dinner ($160)

Who doesn’t love a good baseball game? For $160, you can get a private suite at a Timberattlers game, which includes chocolate covered strawberries! The night features a 4-course dinner and champagne and features everything you can think of. Everything from home made crostini and apple/pear compote to Bacon 6oz beef chateau with glace de poulet. You can even make it a double date. An intimate candlelit suite with America’s favorite pastime and bottomless Rosé, sounds like a great night! It will take place Feb. 10th and the 14th at 5pm, and you can Get Tickets Here!

Timber Rattlers 4 Course Dinner Event
T-Rats Dinner Details

There is no reason why you shouldn’t have a unique and memorable Valentine’s day date that doesn’t suck. Now go make some plans and buy some tickets before everyone realizes that valentines day is only two weeks away!

15 Touristy Things to do in The Fox Cities

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

1. Paper Discovery Center

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

2. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass

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

3. Appleton History Museum

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

4. Building for Kids

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

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

5. Hearthstone House

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

6. Fox River Mall

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

7. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

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

8. Oshkosh Grand Opera House

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

9. Weis Earth Science Museum and Barlow Planetarium

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

10. EAA Aviation Museum

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

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

11. Paine Arts Center and Gardens

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

12. Menominee Park and Zoo

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

13. Take a Party Bike Ride with The Social Station

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

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

14. Oshkosh Public Museum

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

15. Take a Segway Tour

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

Conclusion

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

One Restaurant, Indivisible with Inclusion and Pizza for All

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

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

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

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

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