Category: Family Fun

Instagram-Worthy Fox Cities Spots

Instagram has fast become a place to not just post a photo, but to show your followers the world from your perspective. We love seeing photos of the Fox Cities from a view we maybe haven’t seen before. From our cool downtown’s to our beautiful parks and nature centers, we’ve put together a little list of great Instagram-worthy spots. Thanks for sharing your Fox Cities view! #explorefoxcities #foxcitieswi

  • Vibrant Downtowns

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Pictured from Top Left: Downtown Appleton; Shattuck Park, Downtown Neenah; Lawrence University Main Hall, Appleton; 222 Building, Appleton; Art Alley Project, Appleton; Shattuck Park, Neenah; Fox Cities Performing Arts Center; Houdini Plaza, Appleton; Shattuck Park, Arial view; Downtown Appleton Farm Market; :Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton; Octoberfest, Appleton

  • Beautiful Trails and Nature
    You’ll find more than just city amenities here, we’ve got plenty of gorgeous nature centers and parks waiting for you to enjoy!

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Pictured from Top Left: Heckrodt Wetleand Reserve, Menasha; Appleton Sunset; Trestle Trail, Menasha; Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton; Trestle Trail, Menasha; Jones Park, Appleton; Menasha Locks Bridge; 1000 Islands Environmental Center; High Cliff State Park, Sherwood; Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, Appleton; High Cliff state Park, Sherwood. 

  • Fox Cities Foodies
    The Fox Cities is home to countless great locally owned restaurants.

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Pictured from Top Left: Broken Tree Pizza, Neenah; Rye, Appleton; SAP, Appleton; Appleton Beer Factory, Appleton; The Source Public House, Menasha; Happy Bellies, Appleton; Antojitos Mexicanos, Appleton; Zuppas Cafe, Neenah; Stone Cellar Brew Pub, Appleton; Timshel Cafe, Neenah; Lion’s Tail Brewing Co, Neenah; Mark’s East Side, Appleton

  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game
    Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium

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  • Waterfront Oasis
    Gorgeous views on the Fox River and Lake Winnebago

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*Photo Credits to the following Instagram users:
@kruegerphotos, @lindsayghintz, @lindseyschmidt, @kimjwillems22, @g_toxx, @alikoestner, @hintzilla, @jkehring, @mitslittle, @brianne_zinger, @chuckzachariasphotography, @kimthielphoto, @joshdukelow, @therealtorsofc21ace, @particktcooper, @vaughnlowery, @maryrhode, @ellieg17, @patrickjnowak, @michelle.a.gauthier, @kaijuluvspnut, @pampi_25

September “Fests” Keeping Summer Alive

 

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Written by: Pam Seidl, Executive Director

While many may view Labor Day weekend as the unofficial end of summer, September in the Fox Cities is full of summer-like festivals that keep the fun going!

Fox Jazz Fest kicks off the month with great music on Labor Day weekend (September 3 and 4 this year).  Fox Jazz Fest is a free, 2-day concert from local, regional and national jazz artists. The 2016 Jazz Fest theme this year is ‘How My Heart Sings’.

2013 seafood fest logoSeafood Fest is September 9 & 10.  This legendary event is a fundraiser for several local Rotary clubs.  Lobster and salmon plated dinners, live music both nights and, new for this year, the Fox Valley Food Truck Rally will also be offering delicious food for any palette. Fun for the whole family!

IMG_2060The Fox Cities Marathon is a festival of races September 16 through 18.  The Guardian Kids Run & the Kimberly Clark Diaper Dash & Toddler Trot take place at the Fox Cities Stadium.  A 5k course starts and finishes at Riverside Park in Neenah on Saturday.  The main marathon, half-marathon and relay races start at UW Fox Valley and finish at Riverside Park. If you’re not a runner, not a problem! There’s plenty of fun to be had by spectators as well!

OctoberfestChalk_dsc_0165f6Octoberfest, the biggest “fest” of all, wraps up the September fun on the 24th.  This community-driven festival that provides family-friendly events for all ages while raising funds for more than 100 local nonprofit organizations.  Locals and visitor alike enjoy this summer-ending days of live music on five stages and great food at one of the 100+ food booths!

 

These signature festivals plus many other events like Fox Cities Restaurant Week, make September a great time to plan a  visit to the Fox Cities today!

10 Ways to Make the Most of Fall in the Fox Cities

10 Ways to Make the Most of Fall in the Fox Cities

Fall is fast approaching and with back-to-school on the horizon, people are gearing up for sweater weather, football season, apple-picking, pumpkin patches and all things fall. We’ve put together a little list of ways to make the most of your fall in the Fox Cities!

AppletonFarmersMarket_dsc_2852y.jpg1. Farm Markets – Many of our area farm markets run through October, with downtown Appleton switching to an indoor market in November. It’s the perfect time to check out new fall crafts, fresh in-season produce and enjoy the tastes of fall! Click here to see a full list of farm markets in our area.

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2. Kayak the Fox River with the Appleton Locks Paddle event! A scenic course with a little bit of history as you paddle through four of the Fox River locks. Held on Saturday, September 24. Click here for more.

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3. Pick some apples, find a pumpkin or get lost in a corn maze! The Fox Cities is home to plenty of orchards to choose from so get out and get picking and try your luck through a corn maze! Check out any of the orchards listed below for a great way to spend a fall day!

IMG_78154. Mulberry Lane Farm starts their Pumpkin Harvest Celebration mid-September and runs through October. Visit the farm anytime during that time and pick a FREE pumpkin, and while you’re there take some time to ride a pony, play with a pig, pet a goat, take a hayride and have some fun of the farm! Click here for details.

 

Octoberfest_Appleton Sidewalk5. License to Cruise and Octoberfest will make Downtown Appleton the place to be on September 23 & 24. The festival kicks off Friday night with License to Cruise, where hundreds of classic cars line up and down College Avenue. The fun continues on Saturday and brings thousands to the area to enjoy live music, great food and plenty of fun! Click here for details.

HighCliffRunners6. Enjoy the fall colors at High Cliff State Park. With trails for any skill level, you can take a leisurely walk or hike a more challenging trail and enjoy the views of Lake Winnebago or visit the old Lime Kiln Ruins. Best time for peak fall colors is late September to mid-October.

7. Head to Greenville Lions Park on October 2 for the 42nd Annual Greenville Fall Craft Fair! You’ll find everything from homemade crafts and bakery to fresh produce and food. Click here for more.

FallTrees8. Spend the afternoon in Downtown Appleton on Saturday October 15 for their annual Soup Walk! Stop at participating downtown restaurants to taste their soups and vote for your favorite!  Tickets go on sale October 1; quantities limited so don’t wait!

9. Head out to Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve October 22 for the Romp in the Autumn Swamp! Celebrate the season with a hay-ride, trick-or-treat trail, Halloween games, and more! Click here for details.

10. Get your spooky on with these family friendly Halloween events!

  • Heckrodt Halloween EventHalloween Campground Walk at High Cliff State Park on October 22 for trick-or-treating throughout the parks campground! Open to the public but vehicle admission is required.
  • Neenah’s Farm Market Boo Fest! – Neenah’s last farm market will be hauntingly fun! With a costume contest, trick-or-treating, and activities for the whole family, it will be a Boo-tastic event you won’t want to miss!
  • YMCA Freeky 5k – The run/walk event where costumes are encouraged! Enter to win the costume contest, all participants receive a halloween goodie bag. Register by October 18.
  • Creepy Crawlies Halloween at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, October 7 & 8. Enjoy hayrides, kids crafts, live owl interactions and haunted trail! Fun for kids of all ages!
  • Haunted Hearthstone: Take a tour through the Hearthstone Historic House Museum and explore the Victorian customs of death, the supernatural, and mysticism. Tours will be every Friday night through October from 6-8pm. On October 28 they will have an extended haunted tour from 8:30-10:30pm where you’ll get a glimpse of Hearthstone’s ghostly past.

 

The Fox Trot Trail: A Walk Through Appleton’s History

The Fox Trot Trail: A Walk Through Appleton’s History

Written by:  Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager

Houdini  plaza springThe site of a famous magician’s childhood home, a Pulitzer Prize winning author, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant, and a 4-time NFL Super Bowl champion are just a few of the people and places walkers can learn about on the new self-guided 16-stop, 2.2-mile Fox Trot Trail showcasing the history of downtown Appleton
and the Fox River. The Fox Trot Trail opened just Lawrence Memorial Chapel_AppletonWIin time for Mile of Music as 60,000+ attendees filled downtown Appleton August 4-7. Perhaps you have seen the blue fox footprints on the sidewalks and signs throughout downtown?

The trail starts in Houdini Plaza, heads towards Lawrence University, goes through the former industrial flats, and concludes in Jones Park. The History Museum at the Castle, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Between the Locks Building, Trolley Square, Fox River Mills, and Rocky Bleier Run are just some of the points of interest you will read about. Several of the stops along the trail are related to each other in history.

FoxRiverMills_LUSkyline.jpgThere is a scenic shortcut along the Fox River if you do not feel up to walking the entire 2.2 miles, although you will miss out on 5 of the 16 points of interest along the trail. Pick up a trail brochure at our Visitor Center or view the online map on the Appleton Parks & Recreation website. Happy walking!

A Day at the Appleton Farm Market!

FM street view

My daughter and I recently spent our Saturday morning at the Appleton Outdoor Farm Market. Within Houdini Plaza and from Appleton to Drew Street, College Avenue is lined with over 100 local and Wisconsin vendors.  From fresh assortments of produce and flowers, decorative gift items, local arts & crafts to the wonderful smells of baked goods, there’s something for everyone discover and enjoy! Many selling food items also offer gluten free options too!

The Trout Museum of Art (located next to Houdini Plaza) was hosting an art project for young and old to participate in and there was a balloon artist who was taking requests from children in the crowd.

It was definitely a hot day but that didn’t discourage a large crowd of attendance. You can always find cool tasty treats like specialty ice cream or freshly squeezed lemonade to help cool off, or break from the outdoors and head into one of the many shops or boutiques located downtown.

As we walked along College Ave, we noticed a few different live musicians playing, and came across a few stands selling exotic meats and traditional “festival” food. On occasion, we stopped to sample one or two specialty dips/sauces, but we had to make sure to get some of our classic favorites; a pork egg roll and strawberry, chocolate, and caramel crepes. We also found homemade dog treats and couldn’t pass up purchasing a little something for our favorite furry friend back at home.

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Head on out to the Downtown Appleton Farm Market and see all there is to offer! You definitely won’t be disappointed!

Free Summer Concerts in the Fox Cities

Summer is perfect for enjoying live music and the outdoors at the same time. There are plenty of opportunities to take in some great, live shows this summer throughout the Fox Cities for free. So grab some friends, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Concerts In the Courtyard
5:30-7:30pm
Radisson Paper Valley Hotel & Conference Center
333 W. College Ave. Appleton
Every Wednesday June 1 – September 21. Moves indoors for inclement weather.

Live! From Hydro Park Kaukauna
5-8pm
Hydro Park
100 Crooks Ave. Kaukauna
Summer Concert Series every Wednesday. City of Kaukauna together with Appleton Rock School and Kaukauna Lions Club will be running this event. You are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

Rock The Transit Center
11:30am-1pm
Valley Transit Center
100 E Washington Street, Appleton
Bring your lunch and enjoy live music by local musicians every Wednesday afternoon.

Lunchtime Live Concerts – Downtown Appleton
11:30am-1pm
Houdini Plaza
College Ave. & Appleton St. Appleton
Enjoy live music during your lunch break every Thursday! Bring your lunch from home, enjoy take-out from one of the many restaurants Downtown or buy on-site from a food vendor.

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Heid Music Summer Concerts
5:30-8:30pm
Houdini Plaza
College Ave. & Appleton St. Appleton
Thursdays during the summer through September 1st move & groove to the region’s hottest live bands during FREE concerts. Before or after the concert, visit one of our 70+ local restaurants or bars for a bite to eat or something cool to drink.

Sunday at the Amphitheater
6:30pm
Sunset Park
800 W Kimberly Ave. Kimberly
Free concert every Sunday through August 21st

Music Sunday – Music on the Beach
3-7pm
Waverly Beach
N8770 Fire Lane 1, Menasha
Must be 21 to attend. Weather permitting enjoy live music on the beachy shore of Lake Winnebago.

Appleton City Band Summer Concert
7pm
Pierce Park
1035 W Prospect Ave. Appleton
Tuesday nights all summer long enjoy the sounds of Appleton’s City Band at Pierce Park.

Neenah Community Band Summer Concert Series
7pm
Riverside Park
500 E. Wisconsin Ave. Neenah
Free concert in the park on Tuesday evenings all summer long.

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Future Neenah Out to Lunch Concert Series 

Shattuck Park
210 E Wisconsin Ave. Neenah
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Enjoy a mid-day break by listening to a variety of musical entertainment every Thursday afternoon all summer long. Bring your own or buy your lunch from a featured restaurant vendor of the week.

Neenah – Evening Concert
6-8pm
Shattuck Park
210 E Wisconsin Ave. Neenah

Every other Wednesday. Enjoy a beautiful evening in the park with family and friends. Grab a chair or lay on a blanket while you listen to a variety of music.

Art at the Park: A Fox Cities Tradition

ArtInThePark_AppletonWI1541.jpgThe 56th Annual Art at the Park is almost here! The festival will be held on Sunday, July 31 from 9am-4pm. Each year Art at the Park draws thousands of visitors to this one-day event held in historic City Park in downtown Appleton.  The festival will feature almost 200 participating artists from around the country. Live entertainment, local food vendors and children’s art activities make this a fun family friendly event!

Are you an artist and want your work in the show? Click here for details on how to apply. Accepted artists have the chance to win cash prizes!

They will also feature a Creative Kids Art Show during the event. Kids ages 5 and up can submit artwork and have their pieces on display! Click here for details.

Get out and enjoy this fun family Sunday at the Park!

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