Friday, August 15, 2008

Things to do in Wisconsin with Kids

Having grown up in Wisconsin and eventually settling here as an adult, I have had lots of opportunities to explore the outdoors. As a child, we searched for concretions on the shores of Lake Superior, collected purple quartz from abandoned quarries, climbed deep into caverns looking for cave drawings and arrowheads, hiked through bogs, sand dunes, pine forests and open fields (weather we liked it or not!). Now with a family of my own, I have revisited old favorites and explored new territory like the LaPoint Museum on Madeline Island, Fish Days in Port Washington (World’s Largest Fish Fry), the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc a multitude of drives through the farmland and the national forests to little towns like Sheboygan, Cedarburg, Egg Harbor, Bayfield, Lake Geneva, Ashland, Jefferson and many more. Here are some of our favorites!

Apostle Islands: Tour the Apostle Islands near Bayfield, Ferry to Madeline Island, have a drink at Tom's burned down Cafe
Baraboo: take a swim in Devil's lake , camp, rock climb
Blue Mounds Mine, Dig and explore Cave of the Mounds
Copper Falls State Park : (Near Mellon) Watch the bad river fall
Door County: Take the Washington Island Ferry, visit Port des Mort (Deaths Door)
Eagle: Visit recreated late 19th century farmsteads at Old World Wisconsin
East Troy: Ride on Wisconsin's last original electric railroad line at the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum
Horicon: Look for loons, herons, and migrant flocks of geese at the wetlands in Horicon Marsh
Jefferson: Watch a movie under the stars at the Highway 18 drive in theater
Lake Geneva: Spend a day at the beach, tour the lake by boat
Madison: Swim at Spaight beach on Lake Monona, play at nearby Orton park, visit the Capital building, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, and the Dane County Farmers’ Market
North Freedom: Ride a restored steel coach at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Oshkosh: See the EAA AirVenture and pick up some overalls B'gosh!
Sheboygan: Visit the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Blue Harbor Resort and water park, and the sand dunes at Kohler Andre State Park.
Spring Green Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin East and the strange and unusual House on the Rock
West Bend: Make a visitation to the effigies at Lizard Mound State Park
Wisconsin Dells: Ride a Duck, conquer Mt. Olympus

Bonus Oddities
Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, Mt.Horeb
Sputnikfest Landing site of debris from Russian Sputnik 4, Manitowoc
Replica of Aldo Leopold Shack, Shack Near Portage
Bristol Renaissance Faire
Warrens Cranberry Festival
(Although not in Wisconsin) Devils Kettle Falls in Grand Marais, Minnesota - Truly a sight to behold - The rushing Brule River splits around a mass of volcanic rock, half of which plunges 50 feet into a pool, while the rest disappears into an underground river thought to empty into Lake Superior. "They have thrown dyes and logs and other things into the pothole, but apparently nothing ever comes out." Freakish!


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