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.
Just being able to say that it’s “June” brings a sense of happiness, doesn’t it? We are all itching for some outdoor music, drinks on patios, killer sunsets, and well also literally itching from the inevitable mosquitoes….. But we at Venture Wisconsin think June in Wisconsin is SO worth a few bites.. and here’s our proof!
Dine on the Deck
When? June 5, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where? City Deck, Green Bay
This is an awesome event that will be going on all summer. Take advantage of your lunch break and enjoy the fresh air and entertainment, as well as local meals from different local establishments! “Hump Day” may soon become your favorite day!
Way Back Wednesday with DJ Ross Grizzly
When? June 5, 7:00 PM
Where? Deva Vu Martini Lounge, Appleton
Have you heard of DJ Ross Grizzly yet? …you should. Check him out at Deja Vu Martini Lounge as he mixes some tunes from way back in the day to today’s loved hits. The show will start at 7 PM, and to entice you even more…. There’s an cool new martini inspired by DJ Ross that you have got to try! No cover for this killer show!
Fridays on the Fox
When? June 7, 6:30 PM
Where City Deck, Green Bay
We will see you on City Deck Main Stage in Green Bay on Fridays! Enjoy free live music and food and drinks for purchase from the beloved Hagemeister Park. Bring a chair, bring a friend, and don’t forget your dancing shoes*! This week? The BriTins: A Tribute to the Beatles
*Dancing shoes are not required but encouraged
Allouez Movie in the Park
When? June 7, 7:00 PM
Where? Green Isle Park, Green Bay Area
Get there early for some fun crafts and games to be followed by a fun and relaxing evening of a free movie with your loved ones. Bring your chairs or blankets and get comfy! Concessions will be available, so no need to hurry through dinner to make it here! This week’s movie? Ferdiand.
Flag Day Parade
When? June 8, 2:00 PM
Where? Downtown Appleton
Appleton takes the cake on parades in our opinion. We have one for just about everything you can think of, and we love just about any reason to celebrate good ol ‘Murica! Come out to Downtown Appleton and watch the parade and make sure to stop in for a drink or a bite at one of our amazing local eateries!
Parallel 44 Summer Concert Series
June 8, 3:00 PM
Where? Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery, Kewaunee
You guys… does it get better than this? Wine and live music. Amazing views of a beautiful vineyard. You and your loved ones. You’re picturing it, I know. Bring a picnic lunch, blankets and chairs and grab your favorite bottle of wine from Parallel 44 to enjoy! Seriously, you have to. This week? R & R.
Glide for Father’s Day
When? June 10 – 15
Where? You choose!
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t love to try a Segway? Especially at half the price? I bet all of our dads would jump all over that bargain! Glide NEW is offering half price any of their tours for dads on June 10 – 15. Go to glidenew.com, choose the tour closest to you, (or make it a trip somewhere) and use the code “LoveDad”. It will certainly be a Father’s Day gift he won’t forget!
Venture Wisconsin’s Biking Brewery Tour
When? June 15, 11:00 AM
Where? Starts at Appleton Beer Factory
Bikes, beers, brews…. does it get any better? Doesn’t sound like it, but it seriously does. Join us at Appleton Beer Factory as our starting point. We will be biking 12 miles and enjoying brews at Appleton Beer Factory, Stone Arch Brew Pub, Fox River Brewing Company, and ending at McFleshman’s Brewing Company. $16 presale tickets gets you a mixed six pack of local beers to take home, a pint glass to take home, giveaways, $1 off beers at all the breweries, and live music after the ride with a food truck waiting for us! Seriously, it is an event you don’t want to miss out on. Day of the event tickets increase to $25. Get yours NOW, right here!
Paws on the Patio
When? June 15, 1:00 PM
Where? Ground Round, Oshkosh
Your favorite four legged friend, a drink in your hand, and a beautiful view. Maybe a good friend and some food, too? Whatever tickles your fancy. Take advantage of an event where everyone will be bringing their pups out to enjoy the patio of Ground Round on River’s Edge. Let your dog do some socializing, and maybe follow their lead!
RiverHeath Summer Concert Series
When? June 15, 6:00PM
Where? RiverHeath, Appleton
Head on down to the Riverheath and take in the breathtaking views of the river while enjoying local music and local vendors. This is such a unique part of our little city and this event is one you don’t want to miss! This week? The Way Down Wanderers.
Love Your Dad Cruise – Fox River Tours
When? June 16, 12:30 PM
Where? Little Chute
You love him, don’t you? Imagine all the dad jokes he may come up with as you guys set sail on the Fox River and travel to Little Chute. Kids get on the tour for just $5! It is a 90 minute ride and a scenery you’re sure to love. What a great way to celebrate a special dad in your life!
Summer Solstice Celebration
When? June 20, 5:00 PM
Where? Whitney Park Green Bay
Food trucks, beer, wine, live music, and games. That’s all you need for summer, right? Right. The Presidents will be performing, the beer will be cold, the food will be tasty. Don’t forget a chair or blanket to sit on! Kick off summer 2019 in the best way you know how, eating and drinking!
Greek Fest, Sheboygan
When? June 28 – 30
Where? Deland Park, Sheboygan
This is an ongoing tradition that has been going on for decades! It is actually the 76th annual. That’s a big deal! Three full days of Authentic Greek everything you can think of! Food, drinks, pastries, music and entertainment. The best part? It’s free. What a cool way to bring the community together to experience something so unique!
Fly a Kite Fest
When? June 29, 10:00 AM
Where? Arnie Wolff Sports Complex
Free, family friendly event! There will be a big kite show, kite decorating, and many other kid friendly activities. This is something you certainly won’t see everyday!
There you go friends, so many awesome things to do in Northeast Wisconsin this month! Get out there and enjoy the warmth. Let us know which event you thing looks the best!
This month has some solid events. There’s even some outdoor events on 4/20. Northeast Wisconsin really respects the green after a long winter. Check out the awesome events from beer and (mac n) cheese to litter cleanups to popup dinners, here are the best April 2019 events we could find.
Manitowoc Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) : Sip Sip Hooray!
When? April 5 @ 6PM
Where? Sepia Chapel
Looking for a way to give back to the community? Join Manitowoc County’s CASA program for a fun night out! Cocktail and social hour start at 6, immediately followed by dinner and a performance by Janet Planet at 6:30. Admission includes signature drink, dinner by Courthouse Pub and dessert by French Creek Bakery. Proceeds from this event go directly to Manitowoc County CASA Program!
Fifth Annual Pig Out
When? April 5th @ 6PM
Where? Badger State Brewing
This event is present to you by Badger State Brewing and Ahnapee Brewery. It entails a pig roast to benefit the Friends of the Ahnapee State Trail. The event will take place at Badger State Brewing from 6 – 9 PM. The cost is $35 per person, with options to bundle if you have a table of 8! The cost covers a pork meal, a specialty brewed beer, and an opportunity for some awesome prizes all while supporting a wonderful organization committed to making the community and outside visitors aware of all the quality aspects of the trail!
Fox Cities Kidz Expo 2019
When? April 6th @ 9 AM – 3 PM
Where? Fox Cities Exhibition Center
Have you gotten a chance to check out the Exhibition Center in Appleton yet? If not, here’s the perfect opportunity! Activities for this family event include face painting, inflatables, costumed characters, crafts and balloon animals! There will also be brief seminars with information on various community activities.
Mini Golf on the Town
When? April 6th @ 1 – 6 PM
Where? Downtown Appleton
Can’t wait to get out on the golf course? We have the perfect solution! …kind of. Nine holes of mini-golf are being set up at different bars with beverage specials at each bar. You and your team can register at a participating bar – $60 per foursome. See y’all at the after party at D2!
Free Electronic Recycling
When? April 6 @ 9 AM – Noon
Where? Sunset Park Kimberly, WI
Join the local community and K9 Tech at Sunset Park in Kimberly for an opportunity to finally get rid of your old electronics that are just collecting dust – for FREE! This isn’t an every day opportunity, don’t miss it!
Chris Company Pop-Up Dinner
When? April 6th @ 6PM
Where? W5562 Center Valley Rd, Black Creek
A popup dinner in a historic 1887 schoolhouse located in Black Creek, Wisconsin. Tickets are $75 for one person and $130 for two. The event promotes unique venues and the best local food and wine in Northeast Wisconsin.
Game of Thrones Trivia
When? April 9 @ 7 – 9 PM
Where? Fox River House
Are you dying to know how well you know Game of Thrones? You’re not alone. Come test out your knowledge at Fox River House downtown Appleton on April 9th from 7 PM to 9PM. Bring a friend and make it an intense competition.
Mac and Brew Fest
When? April 13 @ 6 – 10 PM
Where? Sunnyview Expo Center
21+ – $30 a person, $50 a couple.
Alright Wisconsinites… beer and cheese – everything we could ever want! Share a laugh with some awesome comedians, devour mac and cheese through various tastings, and find your new favorite beer or wine! If none of that tickles your fancy, there will also be dancing and indoor yard games. The cost is $30 a person. Make it a date, and couples can sign up for $50 for two! All of the funds raised from this project are for Oshkosh South West Rotary projects.
When? April 13 @ 7PM
Where? Dockside Tavern
I’m sure you’ve heard of the NEW Piano Guys by now. If you haven’t, you need to. You really won’t regret it. Check them out at Dockside Tavern on April 13th!
Loop the Lake Earth Day Hike
When? April 20 @ 9AM
Where? Arrowhead Park, Neenah
Here is another opportunity to check out one of the newer additions to our community. On April 20 (rain date April 27) grab a friend or simply you hiking shoes and get out on the Loop the Lake Trail that encompasses Neenah, Menasha, and Fox Crossing. This event is free and it begins in Arrowhead Park in Neenah. The loop is about 3.5 miles. There will be refreshments and activities at Fritze Park! Plan to start between 9 & 10:30 AM. Before you get your hiking shoes on, make sure you grab this Sierra Club liability waiver form to fill out and bring it with you!
Earth Day Hoot
When? April 20 @ 7PM
Where? Mosquito Hill, New London
On 4/20 at 7PM come help celebrate the Earth, with a variety of musicians in an Earth Day themed program. – Folk, acoustic, traditional music. The event is kid friendly – $5 adult, kids are free with intermission treats included.
Party like it’s 1995
When? April 25 @ 6 PM
Where? TRATS Stadium
We are all severely itching for summer – the Timber Rattlers feel it too. They’re ready to party like it’s 1995 with you. Join the TRats on April 25th for a good ol game of America’s favorite pastime and enjoy prices like you would have seen in the 90’s! $5 box seats, $4 bleacher seats and $3 grass seats. Enjoy popcorn and cotton candy for $1, and craft beer and brats for just $3! This is an event you don’t wanna miss!
Broadway Beer Hop
When? April 27 @ Noon
Where? Lyric Room, Green Bay
On April 27th, for $20 a person you can hop around town and sample beer from four different breweries! You’ll have a punch card that can be turned in at the end for a chance to win some cool prizes. The event will start at noon and go until 4 PM!
Earth Day Event & Fox Valley Cleanup
When? April 28 @ 10:30AM
Where? Mr. Brew’s Taphouse
Whatever your thoughts on Climate Change are (cough cough, it’s here folks) i think we can all agree that littering is not OK. On April 28 from 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM, starting at Mr. Brew’s Taphouse there will be a cleanup happening by the Fox River east of downtown. Garbage bags and water will be provided but it is recommended that you bring gloves! Of course, you won’t want to miss the after party immediately following the cleanup at Mr. Brews. The first 72 people over 21 years old will get a free event t shirt!
Editors Pick – Best Event in April
I’m impartial because I’m big on outdoor activities and clean up projects, but I like to pick the best events based on excitement. I think the most exciting event this month is the Mini Golf on the Town. So there’s my pick for the month. We’re extremely excited for the warm season in 2019. Which event do you think sound the most exciting?
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.
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
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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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!
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 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!
“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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 Center, Hartman Creek State Park, and Horicon Marsh. Check out this link for DNR sponsored candlelight walks across the state this winter.
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.
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.
Door County has many small towns that multiply with the visitors and snow birds who spend their summers on the peninsula. Just about all of these small towns put on a farmers market at different times, so there is never a shortage of cute locals, crafts, and foods to visit. Farmers markets in Door County are a must. Here is a link to most of the farmers markets in Door County.
Anderson’s Dock in Ephraim
On Anderson’s Dock in Ephraim is the the iconic dock house full of graffiti. It is a highly Instagrammed tourist gathering in Door County, and very interesting.
Get a Burger and Ice Cream at Wilson’s in Ephraim
Until this past year Ephraim was a “dry town.” Alcohol was not allowed to be sold in the small Wisconsin town, and out of that circumstance Wilson’s, a classic 1950’s soda bar thrived. Wilson’s often has lines out the door for ice cream during summer weekends. Definitely a tourist hot spot worth checking out on your visit through the county!
Take a Kayak Tour
Being a peninsula, Door County has hundreds of miles of shore line to explore. Shorelines with sites including limestone bluffs, ship wrecks, harbors, islands, and 11 lighthouses to explore. There are multiple options for rentals and guided tours across the whole county to enjoy.
Visit Peninsula State Park
Peninsula is beautiful, and Wisconsin’s second state park. Door County’s most popular state park. There you can find hundreds of campsites, limestone bluffs along the trails, and a beach equipped with kayak rentals. In a few years expect a handicapped accessible observation tower!
Get some Ice Cream at Last Lick
Just outside of Peninsula State Park is a small ice cream joint that is located on Fish Creek in Fish Creek. Enjoy delicious ice cream and feed the ducks that inhabit the site. Definitely a fun stop before or after Peninsula State Park.
Shop at the Fish Creek Outlets
The Fish Creek Outlets and shopping in general in Door County is a popular tourist activity for the area. The shops feature unique and high end stores that you won’t find outside of metropolitan areas.
Visit Cave Point County Park
The touristy parts of Door County will always take your to the West side of the peninsula or the side on the Bay of Green Bay. This is because the water is calmer and warmer. Cave Point and Whitefish Dunes are the exception. Mainly Cave Point brings tons of visitors to jump off the cliffs (not safely, and not advised), check out the shallow limestone caves, and the flat rock beach. Next time you go to cave point give the state park next door some love, they have a great visitor’s center. If you are looking for hidden gems, the East side is where you want to be.
Take the Ferry to Washington Island
Washington Island is the oldest Icelandic settlement in the US. (Of course… A small island). There is a small community as well as some public parks and trails and a lavender farm. A popular visit for tourists. Our favorite part of taking the ferry to Washington island is that is gets you one ferry away from Rock Island State Park!
Pick Some Cherries
Door County is famous for their cherries, so if you are there in the mid to late summer, be sure to pick some! Door County provides one third of Wisconsin’s cherries and apples because of the limestone soil the trees thrive.
Fish Salmon on a Charter Boat
Salmon were introduced by the DNR a few decades ago, and now Door County has one of the best salmon fishing in the world. Many charters run throughout the county from southern door county to Sturgeon Bay to Bailey’s Harbor and north. If you are ready to spend a few dollars and possibly wake up early you won’t be disappointed.
Sip at a Local Winery
Wine is probably the number one Door County export after nature in general. Although we don’t recommend you fact check that last statement, if you are looking for something fun and popular to do in Door County, a wine tasting at one of the many wineries is recommended!
If you have ever been to Door County you probably know we missed a few tourist favorites, so you’ll just have to ask the locals! If you are looking for some more secretive spots in Door County, check out this post. We hope this post helped you. If you tried one of these or think our list is lacking, share your expertise in the comments as to what is should be included.
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
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
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!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.