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.

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

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

Door County

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

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

orchard-country-winery

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

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

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

Kewaunee County

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

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

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

whitegroup-1

Marinette County

11. Forgotten Fire WineryMarinette

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

Brown County

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

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

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

15. Trout Springs WineryGreenleaf
8150 River Road, Greenleaf
9930056

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

Outagamie County

17. Kerrigan Brothers WineryFreedom
N2797 St HWY 55, Freedom

google_place_photo

Winnebago County

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

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

WineryBuilding-1

Fond Du Lac County

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

Sheboygan County

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

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

Oconto County

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

Manitowoc County

24. Silarian WineryCato
11715 Hilltop Road, Cato
sialrian

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

Waupaca County

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

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

Enjoy! 

6 Things You Didn’t Know About EAA Air Venture

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

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

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

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

Tweets about the 2019 event from around the world.

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

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

EAA 2015. Credit: Wikipedia

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

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

A welcome sign at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

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

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

A feature volunteer at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

5. The event attracts aviation loving celebrities

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

Harrison Ford. Credit: Celebrity Diagnosis

6. Thousands of volunteers make the event happen

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

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

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

March Events in Northeast Wisconsin

March 2019 Events in NE Wisconsin

We have a short list of great events in Northeast Wisconsin this March 2019, but we know event season is right around the corner! So is spring, and I could not be more excited.

Cheese Champion

pexels-photo-821365
Photo by NastyaSensei Sens

When? March 7th – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where? KI Convention Center – Green Bay

Alright Wisconsin people.. $30 and you can enjoy beer sampling, 50 different cheese samples and a cash bar. There is no better way to embrace our (hopefully) last few freezing cold weeks of the winter than by eating and drinking! Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cheese-champion-tickets-54142100480

The Britins  

When? March 9th – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where? Bridgewood – Neenah 

Live bands are a no brainer if you’re looking for something fun to do with friends or a date night. There will be a silent auction prior to the band and the proceeds from this will benefit the Neenah Historical Society! The timeline for the evening looks like this:

6 PM – cash bar and hor d’oeuvres

7 PM – dinner buffet

8 PM – the Britins.

You can purchase regular tickets for $34.99 plus tax and gratuity, or if you’re feeling extra special this month, VIP tickets are offered for only $39.99 plus tax and gratuity.

white and black floral cap sleeved shirt
Photo by Artem Bali

Everybody’s Rummage Sale 

When? March 9th – 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Where? Resch Center – Green Bay 

Rummage Sale season is here! …. kind of. This is an indoor rummage sale where anyone and everyone is welcome. Join community members at the Resch Center in Green Bay as some shop and others sell (or both!) It costs $35 to sell at the rummage sale, which allows you to rent a 10’ x 10’ space. Once the event is over, items may be left at the Resch Center to be donated to St. Vincent.

If you are only looking to buy, admission is $4 a person or $2 if you bring in two non-perishable goods for The Giving Tree. You’ll also find free parking at Lambeau! Go on, get your spring cleaning done early this year and gather your goods to sell!

Artigras

When? March 9, 10 AM to 5 PM & March 10, 9 AM to 4 PM
Where? KI Convention Center – Green Bay

Even the name of this event is fun! Here you will get to see art from 100 different artists from all over the Midwest. That in itself is an incredible opportunity, but besides just viewing their art, you will also have a chance to purchase their creations to support them. There will be several types of artists demonstrations and various creative art and music activities for children to participate hands-on. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time at Festival Foods in Green Bay for $7, or $10 at the door. FREE weekend parking at the Main Street Ramp.

Food Sensitivity Open House

When? March 12 – 5 PM to 6 PM
Where? Synergy Sports Performance – Hobart 

Ever think that something you eat fairly often, that is known to be healthy, could actually be the cause of your bloating? Inability to lose weight? Join Nutritional Healing at their office inside of Synergy Sports Performance for a FREE informative conversation about foods that may be making you sick without you even knowing! Call 920-358-5764 or email frontdesk@nutritionalhealingllc.com to reserve your spot at this free informational event!

Paper Night Out

When? March 13 – 6 PM to 8 PM
Where? Paper Discovery Center – Appleton

The Paper Discovery Center is looking into starting a fun new event. This first round of “Paper Night Out” will be free and have a limit of 30 people. You will be provided with paper crafting activities, fun, appetizers and even better, wine! In order to participate you must register and at the end, give your imput on the event. Go on, you have nothing to lose!

Cuisine for a Cause 

When? March 15 – Begins at 5 PM
Where? Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel – Appleton

Food for a good cause. I don’t know about you, but I was sold after those few short words. This is the 7th annual Food for a Cause event to support Rebuilding Together Fox Valley.  Cocktail attire is recommended for this extravagant event. Four chefs from some of Appleton’s best restaurants, will make you four

burger and vegetables placed on brown wood surface
Photo by Ray Piedra

courses and each course is two different dishes! You will get the opportunity taste all of them and then vote for best one. – Tickets for this event start at $100.

12th Annual Shamrock Shuffle

When? March 16th – 10AM – NOON
Where? UW Oshkosh

Who doesn’t love running? Join an awesome crowd for the Shamrock Shuffle 5k to benefit the Oshkosh Area United Way, the UWO PD K9 unit, and the Student Rec & Wellness Scholarship fund. Register alone or as a team here.

Sinfonia Saves the Day : A Concert Saluting Superheroes

When? March 16 – 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Where? UW Fox Valley – Menasha

This sounds like an event you don’t want to miss – especially if you’re a music lover! This unique event will feature 61 local people playing an instrument… these people have only had FIVE lessons with the instrument and FOUR group rehearsals. This is a must-hear event that will benefit the Fox Valley Symphony. Tickets are $30.

Pollinator Bed Build

macro photo of five orange ants
Photo by Poranimm Athithawatthee

When? March 23 – 1 PM to 3 PM
Where? Heckrodt Wetland Preserve – Menasha

Within the next few weeks, we will start seeing our multi legged friends come out of the woodwork as the weather warms up. Join the Heckrodt community to learn about why native bugs are so essential for a healthy ecosystem in your backyard, and then build your own “Pollinator Hotel”!

Maple Syrup Saturday

When? March 23 – 8:30 AM to 12 PM
Where? Bubolz Nature Preserve – Appleton

Enjoy a Pancake and Porkie Breakfast followed by a hike to the Sugarbush and a guide through the Maple Syrup making process – finish off your morning with ice cream topped with maple syrup! This is an awesome event for both kids and adults. Tasty and

appetizing bread breakfast close up
Photo by Pixabay

educational! Tickets cost $9 per adult, $6 for children ages 4-12, and FREE for kids 3 & under. You’ll be amazed at how this sweet and sticky breakfast delight comes to fruition!


As we said, the list of events in March is short, but the one’s we found we thought were pretty solid! If we missed any or you know of some great events in April or May, let us know! If you go to one of these events, send us a good picture, and we’ll post it on our Instagram! Don’t worry, this summer is going to be packed with awesome events, and we’ll make sure you see the best ones.

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.

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 5.10.44 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-31 at 5.35.50 PM

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!

Coworking Spaces Are Destroying the Cubicle in Northeast Wisconsin

T2 Coworking Space in Green Bay, WI

With the dawn of startups, tech, and the death of the cubicle, co-working spaces have been a popular new office environment across the country. The benefit of coworking spaces is they are low cost and for businesses that are just starting or consist of a small team, these spaces are a great way to collaborate with others and network. These spaces are inhabited by all types of businesses; independent contractors, small startups, and satellite offices for large companies. This creates a low cost, high production environment where commerce and innovation can thrive.

What is exciting is that Northeast Wisconsin is investing heavily in these new spaces, and that means more people able to follow their dreams with less barrier to entry. We thought it is important to let people know that these co-working spaces are available, and where they can find one.

1. Rise & Grind – Oshkosh

A very successful coworking space is The Grind in the Beach Building in Oshkosh. The Grind packed with small, medium, and large businesses. Businesses like Verve Credit Union, Mirrorless Productions, and contractors for everything from social media to architecture.

Also embedded in The Grind is Planet Perk Coffee Shop, so you don’t have to bring any coffee because members get a discount. For more information visit their website.

2. T2 Accelerator – Green Bay

T2 is brand new to Green Bay. Depending on when you are reading this it might not be open yet, but it is slated to open early 2018. T2 is located near Titletown Brewery and the Cannery, and has a pretty cool view from the second floor.

For a better look at the space, check out the video.

3. Docking Station – Green Bay

Just down the street from T2 Accelerator is The Docking Station. The Docking station is geared specifically towards small time free lancers, independents, and solo-preneurs. This coworking space has a cafe feeling to it, and gives its small team/solo members a productive area to work and collaborate. More at their website!

4. Rise & Grind – Green Bay

Opens March 2018, this Rise & Grind is on the third floor of the Brown County Library. Visit their website for more details or to become a member.

5. Regus – Appleton

Regus Building in Appleton
Source: Regus

The Regus building is right next to The Fox River Mall, and many aren’t aware of the coworking space within. the building is host to many companies, and now they offer fixed desk and flexible desk coworking space. Visit their website for more.

6. World Headquarters – Appleton

World Headquarters is working on being everything! They have coffee, catering, and you can hire a virtual assistant through them to take care of things like data entry, marketing, and booking. In 2018 World Headquarters plans to roll out child care and an art studio.

World Headquarters is located on Northland on the north side of Appleton. Check our their website for more.

7. Appleton Coworking – Yep, Appleton

Appleton Coworking is a nonprofit coworking space. Located behind Antojitos Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Appleton, this is the most downtown located co-working space in Appleton. Appleton Coworking has a kitchenette, and you can learn about their memberships here.

8. Menlo Park – Appleton

Menlo Park is right next to the River Heath development on the Fox River in Appleton. Menlo Park is right above Tempest Coffee and also has a kitchen available. The biggest perk of Menlo Park however, is the views of the Fox River. Here is their website for more information.

Menlo Park Fireplace
Source: Menlo Park

9. Blank Slate Collective – Appleton

Not exactly a coworking space, but you’ll want to keep your eye on Blank Slate. This is an up and coming project for Appleton entrepreneur Brad Cebulski. The space is a place where members can have access to creative tools such as hardware and software for video, audio, music, etc. The hope to give creators access to tools they may not otherwise be able to afford and allow them a space to collaborate and create. Here is their Facebook account to follow along with the progress.

10. Jake’s Cafe – Sheboygan

Home to over 30 businesses, Jake’s Coffee is a homey coworking space in Sheboygan. Jake’s Coffee is a few blocks from Lake Michigan, and you can learn more about this cool place at their website.

Jake's Coffee in Sheboygan
Source: Jake’s Coffee

Coworking spaces are growing fast! Many of the places on this list are either brand new or nearly at capacity. The benefits of collaboration, and the cost savings as compared to renting your own office space has done tremendous things for many small businesses. If you are curious about any of these spaces, follow them on social and more importantly, check them out! If we missed any co-working spaces in Northeast Wisconsin, please let us know in the comments.

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.

candle-light.jpg

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

Ephraim_preserve_Dan_Eggert_pond2
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

NewportSP-feat-700px-366px
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.

Top 7 Touristy Things to do in Appleton

Tourist

Appleton natives don’t always think of their clean, humble city in Northeast Wisconsin as a place where tourists come to find things to do. There are plenty of unfamiliar visitors of Appleton between Appleton’s huge events Octoberfest, the Mile of Music, the PAC, and the EAA in Oshkosh which brings tons of tourists through Appleton. Appleton is also a hub for UW Oshkosh and Lawrence University families and students to find things to do during drop off, visits, and holidays. If you are a visitor or a local to Appleton, here are some touristy things to do while you are here.

Visit the History Museum in the Castle

Appleton has some serious pride in the arts and Harry Houdini. Both can be found at the History Museum. There is rotating local history and unique exhibits as well as the Harry Houdini Exhibit. There are often locally driven art exhibits at the museum as well that come and go, keeping things fresh and local.

Museum Exhibit
Exhibit at the Appleton History Museum

Walk Along the Fox River at Lutz Park

I recommend walking along the Fox River at Lutz Park. At Lutz Park you will find a quiet little park with a bridge to the middle of the river. If you visit during the summer, you are likely to find local fishermen trolling the current of the Fox. Another great place to view the river in a more historical manner is the Vulcan Heritage Park. This spot is right next to one of the many dams along the Fox River, and nestled in right next to the Paper Discovery Center where the old paper mills used to run the city of Appleton.

Learn at the Paper Discovery Center

Paper is what Northeast WI’s economy was built on. Now that many of the mills are closed, the Paper Discovery Center is a great place to learn about the area, and its paper making history.

Bring Your Little People to the Building for Kids

The Building for Kids has amazing interactive displays for kids to have fun, learn, and explore. Plus, the museum is right in the heart of Downtown Appleton across the street from the Houdini Plaza and the Trout Museum of Art.

Visit the Hearthstone Historic House

Hearthstone_1887
The Hearthstone House

This house was the first to run off of electricity from a centrally located hydro-electric source using the Edison system. In 1882 the system went live, at the time there was only one other plant running off of steam in New York. Check out this little touring spot to learn more about Appleton history.

Shop Your Heart Out at the Fox River Mall

By number of stores, the Fox River Mall in Appleton is the largest mall in WI. If you are touring the area and looking for something to do during the day, look through their traditional and unique stores as you browse through the enclosed marketplace. Make sure to stop and get some food while you are there!

Visit a light show event at Barlow Planetarium

Barlow Planetarium hosts many astronomy and music based shows. Not every place has their own planetarium committed to bringing things to do to their city. Stop by UW Fox Valley Community College and enjoy one of Barlow’s shows such as Pink Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon Lightshow, Beatles and Led Zeppelin themed shows and more!

UWFoxValleyBarlowPlanetarium
The Barlow Planetarium at UW Fox Valley

Appleton, WI has a rich history with the Fox River, Native Americans, Paper, and even innovation. At the beginning of the 20th century, Appleton seemed positioned to be a large city. They had a lot of firsts. If you find youself traveling to or through Appleton for business or any large event like the EAA, stop and check out these touristy things to do. If that’s what you are into.