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!

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!

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 Fun Hangouts in The Fox Cities This Winter Break

NE WI Winter Activities Blog Image

If you live in Wisconsin, you’ve no doubt had a conversation and either defended or cursed the Wisconsin winter. Although we agree that the winters can get dragging and sometimes make it difficult to get out of bed, we at Venture Wisconsin know that Wisconsin winters are what you make of them. If you are looking for ways to not be bored this 2017-2018 winter season, here are some suggestions to start getting you into the season.

1. See Larry the Cable Guy

Oshkosh just built an awesome new stadium next to Lake Winnebago for their new basketball team. The benefits of that new stadium are opportunities for awesome live events. Live events like Larry the Cable Guy! Buy tickets and watch The Cable Guy live on January 27th.

2. Candlelight Hikes Through the Woods

Hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski through Northeast Wisconsin’s landscapes via candle light. A few state parks, nature centers, and public lands are hosting candlelight hikes and walks like this through January, including: Navarino Nature CenterHartman Creek State Park, and Horicon Marsh. Check out this link for DNR sponsored candlelight walks across the state this winter.

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3. Keep warm with a show at the PAC

The PAC has a few events this winter. Most notably The King and I and The Nutcracker. Either way, it’s worth checking out. Buy a friend tickets to go with you to a show this winter or plan a date night!

4. Go to the Green Bay Garden of Lights

Bring some friends to the classic Green Bay Botanical gardens for their annual Garden of Lights. It’s their 21st year of operation in Green Bay, and they have some special events this year.

5. View Christmas Lights with Your Friends

Warm up the car and take your friends on a cruise around the Fox Valley or Northeast Wisconsin in general checking out some of the awesome Christmas decorations that people work on. Go Valley Kids even made it easy, they have a list of the best lights in town here.

6. Watch a Laser Light Show at Barlow Planetarium

Barlow has a great variety of popular music and holiday based light shows. Some of the music shows include classic albums like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, or groups of artists like their Laser Tribute, which features the mega hits of music superstars of the past that have passed away. Either way, at $10, it’s a new experience to have while the weather outside is below freezing.

7. Go Ice Skating

You could skate at indoor locations like Memorial Park in Appleton, or you could head up to Green Bay and check out the new Titletown Skate Rink near Lambeau Field! The outdoor skate rink resembles something that you would see in Chicago, and is definitely worth checking out.

8. Remember Bowling?

For some people bowling is what they do. Many who aren’t in bowling leagues often don’t think of bowling when looking for things to do. The Fox Cities has a good number of bowling alleys waiting for you to visit.

bowlingpins
Bowling. Remember how fun it is?

9. Visit the Theater

Visit one of the local movie theaters this winter and enjoy the newly updated recliners at many of the locations.

10. Go Cross-Country Skiing

Nature spots on the West side of Lake Winnebago are pretty easy to count on both hands, and many of them have cross-country skiing available. There are many more places for cross country skiing once you go east of Lake Winnebago. Here is a list to check out. We recommend the Reforestation Camp in Green Bay by the NEW Zoo.

11. Go to One of Northeast Wisconsin’s Museums

If you are stuck inside and want to get out on your day off, check out one of Northeast Wisconsin’s niche museums. Northeast Wisconsin doesn’t have much outside of the Appleton History Museum and Neville Public Museum for regular exhibit museums. NE Wisconsin does however, have many crazy weird niche museums focusing on things like paper, paper weights, airplanes, railroads, many artists, and more. For some museums you can check out this list.

8 Outdoor Things to do in Door County that the Tourists Don’t Know About

In 2016, I was a kayak tour guide for the summer. I lived among the locals for 3 months, and while there, I decided that I would find unknown or underappreciated gems in the county. Although this is a good list of some of the hidden gems in Door County, I had to leave a couple secret beaches out for the locals to continue to enjoy. So it looks like you’ll have to do some more digging if you want more true hidden gems. For now, enjoy these secrets of Door County that most tourists never find.

Door County Land Trusts

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Land Trust in Ephraim! Credit: Door County Land Trust

Starting with the Land Trusts is crucial. These are truly hidden gems! There are 14 land trusts in Door County, which are just pieces of land set aside for the public to enjoy that keep the native nature and wildlife in tact. These are all unique ecosystems with diffhttps://wordpress.com/post/venturewisconsin.blog/1690erent sights and trails to see. The Land Trusts are run by a non-governmental organization which is why they are under advertised.

Cana Island Light House

One of Door County’s 11 lighthouses (the third most lighthouses in any US county.) Being off the beaten path and on an island on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula, Cana Island is not as well advertised of an attraction. If you want a unique Door County experience, walk across the land bridge and explore the Cana Island light house!

Newport State Park

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Newport Nightsky. Photo by Denny Moutray

It’s hard to call a state park a hidden gem, but of the FIVE state parks in Door County, Newport State Park is the least know among tourists. A mile or two off the beaten path, Newport is actually IDA certified as a Dark Skies Park and Wisconsin’s only wilderness-designated state park. What that means is that Newport is a huge nature reserve that has very limited infrastructure, so that visitors can get a genuine nature experience!

Mink River Estuary

The Mink River almost cuts through the northern tip of the Door Peninsula. Located just West of Newport State park, the river is spring fed and runs into Rawley’s Bay. A Ramsar certified Wetlands of International Importance. Click the link and ctrl+f “Door County Coastal Wetlands.” The Mink River can be toured via your own kayak or canoe or rented from local companies. The Mink river is home to a large variety of birds and mammals, and is very pristine. SECRET: A hidden gem within a hidden gem is the grass beach and the only public place where you can access the Mink from land! Click the link for approximate directions!

Europe Beach

Another hidden gem on the East side of the peninsula, Europe Bay, Europe Lake, and Europe Beach are basically attached to Newport State Park on the north end. If you visit, you will find an intense and well maintained beach that overlooks the vast Lake Michigan. You will also find peace and quiet. This beach is much less visited, so if you visit the area, especially during the week, you may be visiting it alone. At least with many less people than say, Peninsula State Park’s beach. As for Europe Lake, it joins Clark Lake and Kangaroo Lake as the three impounded lakes of Door County. What’s an impounded lake? You’ll have to visit the nature centers and ask! Mention Venture Wisconsin if you ask. 🙂

Garrett Bay

I would argue Garrett Bay is in the top 3 for hidden gems on this list. It is a small, quick stop that has something for everybody. Just a mile-ish off the main path (Hwy 42), Garrett Bay has a public boat launch where you can skip perfectly flat rocks at the stone beach, launch you kayak, or just look across the bay at the Deathdoor Bluff. If you do bring a kayak or book a tour of the bay with a local kayak tour company, you will find the Fleetwing Shipwreck right off the shore and an amazing view of Door Bluff County Park and the rest of Door County to once you get around the corner. (If you read this far and are wondering which corner, it’s around the left corner.)

Door Bluff County Park

Right next to Garrett Bay, Door Bluff County Park is the hidden gem version of Ellison Bluff County Park. (Another kind of hidden gem you should check out.) The cliffs of limestone become more prominent as you travel north on the peninsula. So naturally Peninsula State Park is not the only spot where you can catch a beautiful bluff. Drive to the flat stone beach at Garrett Bay, skip some stones, and drive 2 minutes to the park to see trails less traveled and a unique perspective of Lake Michigan.

Pick Thimbleberries

Thimble berries are unique to the great lakes region, and are relatively unknown within the general public as they are not sold at many market places. These sweet red berries are widespread in the norther half of Door County. If you are a visitor, a common place you will find them and didn’t even know it is Whitefish Dunes State Park along the hiking trails! Note: They are very soft, so don’t be concerned if you think they are too ripe.

Thimbleberries on a leaf
This is what Thimbleberries look like!

This article should be titled, “The Lake Michigan side of Door County.” Most of the larger towns, shops, and attractions are on the Green Bay side of the Door Peninisula, so don’t be afraid to explore the East side and use these suggestions as an excuse! I hope you like this list and at least check out a few of these awesome things to do outside while you visit one of the Midwest’s favorite touring regions! If I missed any or you try them out, and want to share your tips and experiences with others looking for the less traveled trails of  let me know in the comments.

10 Outdoor Activities to Get You Outside… That Aren’t Hiking

Forest Floor

Even the most seemingly boring places that you may live in this world have parks, trails, and natural areas full of potential and unique wildlife. The reason people don’t visit new parks, nature and wildlife areas, and trails is the same reason people don’t read blog posts word for word, it’s not convenient enough for our instant world. A great way to have the desire to explore new places more often, is to have something to do when you get there. Here are some suggestions of activities and hobbies that you can adopt to motivate you to utilize the outdoor areas in your local area.

Don’t just read the headers, find an activity that jumps out at you and plan a day trip around it for next weekend!

1. Climbing

Climbing can be as professional and dedicated as rock climbing or as simple as finding trees to climb. Climbing a good tree is a childhood activity that gets put on the “adults don’t do this” shelf, and really can be a fun way to interact with nature. Exercise caution while climbing, and climb within your abilities.

2. Hammock

If you don’t like exercise, you like to push the boundaries of extreme leisure, or you just enjoy relaxing, hammocking is a great and low key way of getting outdoors more often.

Hammocking/Extreme Leisure Over a Cliff
Extreme Leisure. Photo by Sebastian Wahlhuetter Photography

3. Canoe or Kayak

If you or a family member don’t already have one, a canoe or kayak can turn a local river, even a brook or stream into a new adventure. You can always get a cheap or inflatable kayak or buy a used boat if you’re budget is low.

4. Swim (Be creative)

As with many of these outdoor activities, the more you do any activity, the more doors open to do more of everything. This happens by being becoming more creative and in better shape. For swimming, you don’t need always need a beach, but you may have to become more comfortable with silt or water that isn’t quite as warm as a hot tub. Swimming creatively could involve a ledge dive, cliff dive, skinny dip, or Frisbee. Be creative and careful and you won’t be disappointed. Skinny dip only where it is legal of course.

5. Slackline

All you need is a heavy duty truck strap and two trees to go and slackline. This is another easy activity that can scale as simple or extreme as you’d like.

Person tight rope walking or slacklining
Slacklining

6. Fishing

Fishing is a popular way of getting outdoors for its enthusiasts, but anyone with a license can fish with an old pole, a bobber, and a worm. You can use a boat or fish off the shore. Fishing is a great way to combine two activities. You can fish from the hammock, fish from the kayak, or hike to a fishing spot.

7. Hunting

Although expensive and not for everyone, hunting or trapping is a great way to get in touch with nature and be outside. Especially a good activity during the colder months leading into winter.

8. Break Out a Camera

Taking pictures is a great excuse to get outside and appreciate the small details of nature. If you don’t like hunting or it’s out of season, photography is a great excuse to sit in a blind and wait for animals to show themselves. You don’t need a DSLR or professional setup. Go out and use your phone or digital camera that’s been in your cabinet since 2007.

Girl holding a camera.
Source: Pexels

9. Biking

Biking is limited to trails if you respect the landscape, but consider looking up mountain biking trails in your area or planning a trip. You never know what you’ll find.

10. Wading, Snow Shoeing, or Cross Country Skiing

These are mixed season suggestions, but trudging through a body of water and walking or gliding on snow is a creative way to have fun, see new things, and be outdoors. Once again you can combing these with other activities like photography and fishing.


Here are ten of unlimited activities that can give you an excuse to visit your local parks and small natural areas. This is a list of things that you can do just about anywhere.

Let us know your favorite outdoor activities. They may even be featured in our next post.

 

 

7 Unique Outdoor Things Near Oshkosh

I have lived in the Fox Cities my whole life, and it seems like many locals don’t know about the outdoor activities and other hidden spots that Northeast Wisconsin has to offer. To see some more of these secret gems and other unique finds in the Fox Cities, join our newsletter at ratedventure.com. Otherwise, here are seven outdoor gems within a hour of Oshkosh that you may not have heard of.

1. Hiking at Bubolz Nature Preserve (Appleton, 27 min)

Butterfly on a flower.
Source: Bubolz Nature Preserve Facebook Page

There are 8.5 miles of trails at Bubolz to hike at the tucked away nature escape just a few minutes north of Appleton. This nature preserve is operated by a nonprofit company, and has a very well done website where you can find their trail conditions and educational events.

2. Biking The Fond Du Lac Loop (Fond Du Lac, 27 min)

Recently Fond Du Lac built a giant biking and hiking loop around the city. A great way to get to know the area surrounding Oshkosh. Over 15 miles of trail in all!

3. Tubing The Wolf River (New London, 44 min)

This is less of a secret, but still a great outdoor activity close to Oshkosh and the Fox Cities that many aren’t aware of. Most visit Wolf River Trips to journey down the river with friends because they provide rental tubes and a ride to two different launch sites.

4. Hike or Camp at North Kettle Moraine Forest (Cascade, 53 min)

The Kettle Moraine Forest is more known for its proximity to Milwaukee, but the northern section of the forest is within an hour of Oshkosh and offers many trails including a section of the statewide Ice Age Trail. As well there are plenty of camping areas in the 30,000 acre northern unit.

5. Waterfall at Fonferek Glen County Park (Green Bay, 54 min)

In middle of a farm in Green Bay you can find a beautiful glen and a waterfall tucked away along the stream. A pretty cool hidden secret of the Fox Cities.

RatedVenture Waterfalls in the Fox Cities
Source goodfreephotos.com

6. Skiing or Mountain Biking at Nordic Mountain (Wild Rose, 55 min)

Nordic is also less of a secret. It is well known among the Fox Cities, but is still a great place to check out if you never considered downhill skiing as an option for fun in winter.  Or if you want to take your mountain biking skills to the next level after you’ve tried “Oh Deer” during summer.

7. Hiking and Wildlife Viewing at Collins Marsh (Reedsville, 55 min)images-duckduckgo-com

Collins Marsh hosts an observation tower over 100 feet tall. Offering the view of one of the lesser known outdoor activities near Lake Winnebago. Collins Marsh is a great place to bird watch, snow shoe, and canoe.