Written by: Jen Hecht, Convention Services Manager
I recently had the opportunity to attend Attic Theatre‘s production of “The Lion in Winter” at the Communication Arts Building on the campus of UW Fox Valley in Menasha. “The Lion in Winter” is set in the twelfth century and surrounds the royal family squabble over which prince should inherit the crown. A play set in medieval times wouldn’t usually be my first choice, but a friend of mine was one of seven in the entire cast of this dramedy so I was excited to see him with so much stage time, not to mention the main source of comedic relief. A girlfriend of mine and I made it a nice night out by enjoying dinner and a drink at Fratellos on the Fox River before heading to the show.
While I have been to other performances at UW Fox, they were in Perry Hall which holds a much larger audience. This particular show was set “in the round” in the Lucia Baehman Theatre inside UW Fox Valley. This theatre is small and cozy seating up to 125 people. The “theatre-in-the-round” setting intensified the acting and was a very unique experience. The choice in staging added to the entertainment being able to see the rest of the audience’s reaction to what we were watching unfold.
Attic Theatre was founded in 1950 in the attic of a private home on North Union Street in Appleton. What began as an acting class has grown into the longest running community theatre in the Fox Cities. Attic Theatre’s 2015 summer season has now come to an end, but I would highly recommend checking out all live performance events open to the public at UW Fox Valley. If you love live theatre and visiting the area, you’ll definitely want to check out the talent the Fox Cities has to offer! Visit UW Fox Valley or Attic Theatre’s site for more information.
Written by: Karen Treml, Visitor Services Coordinator
With summer in full swing, the Fox Cities is bursting with events and things to do and see. It’s easy when you live here year-round, with the hustle and bustle of your everyday schedules, to overlook and miss, not only events, but also the great areas we have to explore. We decide to take some weekend time checking out a few events and exploring a little more of our area.
We started our morning in Kimberly at the Old Glory Café for breakfast. The restaurant is decorated to honor our Military and service members, the wait-staff was friendly and helpful, and the food was excellent! We then drove to Neenah for the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass 41st Annual Arts Festival in Riverside Park – A great event to walk around and view the work of hundreds of artists.
We also took this opportunity to take a walk through part of Neenah’s historical district. It showcases many of the historical mansions that were once the homes of some very prominent and influential people of our local paper industry in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Part of the tour takes you past the Kimberly Point Lighthouse at Kimberly Point Park, where the Fox River and Lake Winnebago meet; a great spot to take in the views of both the river and the lake.
The next stop was the Old Car Show & Swap Meet at Pierce Park in Appleton. This event was free and featured antique collector cars & trucks; almost 1,000 vehicles to view! The also had live music and food to enjoy while walking around the park. This was a fun relaxing day and a great way to enjoy the summer weather and take in a lot of what our area has to offer!
Summer seems to be flying by, so make sure you get out to some of these great events and take some time to explore the area! From farm markets, live music, art shows and sporting events; the Fox Cities has something for everyone! Check our website for a full listing of upcoming events and things to see!
Written By: Karen Treml, Visitor Services Coordinator
Are you looking for a place in the state to visit or for information on local attractions, hotels and dining options? If you’re from the Fox Cities, it probably hasn’t occurred to you to stop at the Visitor Center. After all, you’re not a visitor and you know your way around . . . or do you? I’m willing to bet that you’ll find lots of new things to do in the Fox Cities, as well as nearby Green Bay, Manitowoc, Oshkosh and all around the state. You’ll find it all when you visit the Fox Cities Visitor Center, located inside the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Here are just a few of the items we have:
Local attraction brochures including tours, museums, kids’ activities and more!
Local dining information
Walking/Bike trail maps (local and state)
Travel Wisconsin Guides including Fall & Winter Events Guide and Activity Guide
Rustic Road Guide
The Official Travel Guide and Wisconsin State Maps
Milwaukee Brewer Schedules and Green Bay Packer Schedules
Wisconsin International Raceway schedules
Timber Rattlers Schedules
Destination Guides for most areas of the state including: Door County, Wisconsin Dells, Madison, Green Bay, Bayfield, Cedarburg, La Crosse/Onalaska, Uplands (Southwest Wisconsin) and close to 100 different brochures on places to visit in the state.
Our Visitor Center is located at 3433 W. College Ave and is open Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm. All of our information is FREE and we have a friendly staff member waiting to help you! We hope to see you soon! You can also visit us online at www.foxcities.org for information and a list of upcoming events!
Written By: Alison Hutchinson, Convention Sales and Marketing Representative
Tucked away in a business park in Kimberly, sits the Richeson Art School and Gallery. Even though it can be seen as you pass on Hwy 441, the building, with it’s warehouse shape, tends to blend into it’s surroundings, but once you step inside you are taken to another place. When I visited I felt as though I was in a fine art gallery in a large city, and the best part; it’s free to visit!
Upon entering I headed to my left to view the exhibit titled, “A Century of Painting with Phil Sealy & R.E. Jelinski, Two Men x 50 years = A Century of Painting”. The exhibit celebrates the creative talent of two local artists, Phil Sealy and R.E. Jelinski, whom have spent the past 50 years developing their styles of work. Both artists work in water based media to create their spectacular works of art. Their work was beautifully displayed, and I enjoyed their interpretations of nature’s beauty.
In addition to this exhibit, I strolled through the gallery to view additional pieces from new and unknown artists, and where they also have over 200 pieces from the Richeson family on display. Near the center of the gallery is the classroom for the art school where they offer several classes and workshops throughout the year, and if you’re visit to the gallery happens to inspire you to paint or if you are already a skilled artist, they sell supplies as well. Located near the main entrance for you to shop, they have everything from paints and brushes; to easels and instructional books on how to paint.
Take some time to visit and enjoy this hidden gem located right here in the Fox Cities, I’m glad I did! Visit their website to find out more details and information about what they have to offer!
Written By: Mary Rhode, Marketing and Communications Manager
Beyond the colorful exterior, lies an abundance of information for a first-time visitor or the long-time local. I wanted to make sure to highlight some of the new sections, let you know where you can pick one up for yourself and of course share my favorite article in our guide this year. One new addition to our guide is the ABOUT page. Located in the front of the guide on page 2, this page lets you know which cities make up the Fox Cities as well as give you a few of the facts and figures about our area. Another new addition is the shopping series article; this three-part series highlights the many great options for shopping in the Fox Cities. The first part in the series focuses on Fox River Mall, with the other two parts focused on Downtown Appleton and Downtown Neenah, and will appear in the 2016 and 2017 guides respectively. Another new addition is the consignment and resale store listing. This special listing in the SHOP section of our guide was a request from visitors and locals alike. Lastly, our 2015 guide has a new and improved Visitor Services section. This section has new content headers including; kayak rental, boat rentals, sledding hills, outdoor/public pools and cross country ski trails. It seemed only logical to put this information in our guide to make it available for all visitors to discover. The Destination Guide is a labor of love for me to work on every year. When it comes to writing the articles for it, I love the challenge of coming up with interesting content for our visitors and locals alike to read. If I had to pick a favorite in the 2015 guide, it would be the ‘My Fox Cities’ article. This year’s guide highlights Cory Chisel and his journey from Appleton to Nashville and back to Appleton to create Mile of Music. This Q&A article was fun to do and as you read it, you can truly feel the passion Cory has not only for the festival but for his hometown of Appleton. A close second place for my favorite article would have to be the Local Brewers article. Although this article appeared in our 2014 Destination Guide, the 2015 article has the addition of Appleton Beer Factory. With it opening late in 2013, I was unable to include it before the final proof of the 2014 guide. I am thrilled to have them included in the 2015 article and I hope you find that article informative! The Fox Cities Destination Guide is available at a number of locations throughout our 20 communities. We have 15 Visitor Information Kiosks located at various attractions. The guide is also available at area hotels, Chambers of Commerce and the airport. Live outside of the area? Not a problem, as you can request one to be mailed to you by following this link: http://www.foxcities.org/explore/visitor_guide. You can also view a digital version of the guide through our website by following this link: http://www.foxcities.org/explore/d_visitor_guide
Written By: Jeni Strom, Group Visitor Services Coordinator
We headed downtown Appleton last night to take part in the Teen Night; Make One, Take One event at The Fire pottery studio. The event was held in conjunction with the Appleton Public Library and free for teens 11 and up (pre-registration was required as space and materials were limited). The idea of the event was for the girls to make one glass pendant for themselves and their second pieces would be given as holiday gifts to a elderly ladies in assisted living homes. A pretty neat idea and a great way to get them involved in the spirit of giving! The girls got to pick their glass pieces and colors they wanted to use, and draw out their designs. The final products will be finished in about a week.
While the girls had their fun, my son and I decided to do a little project of our own, and each painted our own mugs to be fired. They have lots of pre-made pottery to choose from, all you have to do is paint on your designs! They’re pottery projects range in price from as little as $5 up to around $30. They set you up and walk you through the process and then let you do your thing!
The Fire also offers mosaics and clay projects as well! Check online for more events through the Appleton Public Library at http://www.apl.org/, and for more information and events going on at The Fire visit http://thefireartstudio.com/. A fun indoor activity and great for all ages!!
Written by: Jeni Strom, Group Visitor Services Coordinator
My kids and I headed downtown Appleton on Saturday, November 25th for holiday family day. Our first stop was the Appleton Winter Farm Market at City Center Plaza, it’s definitely on a smaller scale than that of the summer farm market, but still offers a good selection of vendors and with the holiday season, they’ve added a few extra free family friendly events and activities. My kids were most excited to make a visit to Mrs. Claus and decorate cookies! This included coloring for the kids and a Christmas storybook time. We also got to see a small performance of some classic Christmas carols from the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir . Be sure to check out the Appleton Winter Farm Market every Saturday at City Center, and watch for more holiday activities!
We also took some time to walk around downtown to look at some of the holiday window displays. Many of the downtown stores take extra time to come up with fun and creative ways to spruce up their displays for the holidays. So if you’re out and about downtown, be sure to stop and take a look!
We ended our day with a walk through the Festival of Trees at The Trout Museum of Art. Festival of Trees is an exhibit for local businesses and artists to create and decorate themed Christmas trees or wreaths for silent auction. Bidding is open now through Dec 4, but the exhibit will be available for viewing through Dec 7. Throughout this time they will also have some special events and performances to see. You can get more information and details on their website. It’s free and open to the public, so stop in and enjoy these beautifully decorated pieces!