Get Outdoors in April!

Bubolz-Spring flower

Written By: Alison Hutchinson, Convention Sales & Marketing Representative

Warmer weather is coming…we hope! Time to get out in nature and experience spring. The Fox Cities has plenty of parks to enjoy the spring weather, and our nature centers are always offering some great classes and programs for all ages! Below are some of the upcoming spring activities you can find around the Fox Cities. From bird watching to playing in the mud, we’ve got you covered!

Mayhem in the MudSaturday, April 11 from 12:00pm-1:30pm OR 2:00pm-3:30pm at Heckrodt Wildlife Preserve. Dress for the weather as we spend a day in the MUD going on a Dinosaur Dig!  We’ll also be MUD artists, biologists, builders, chefs, and explorers.  By the time we’re done with this medley of mud, you’ll be covered from head to toe.  This activity is great for kids age 2-10.  Bring extra clothes! Please call (920) 720-9349 to register or email at lukes@heckrodtwetland.org.

Spring Clean-Up – Saturday, April 25 from 9:00am-12:00pm at 1000 Islands Nature Preserve. Wrap up your Earth Day celebrations by helping to beautify the 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone. Clean up litter, bark trails or help battle invasive species. Bring work gloves if you have them! Lunch will be provided after the clean-up.

Guided Bird HikeSaturday, April 25 & 26 from 8:00am – 10:00am at Heckrodt Wildlife Preserve.  Join volunteer birder, Larry Riedinger, for a guided walk on HWR’s trails to catch the spring migration.  No birding experience necessary.  Bring your own binoculars of borrow a pair of ours.  Meet at the Nature Center.  Dress for the weather.  Register by April 24 at (920) 720-9349 or by email at traceyk@heckrodtwetland.org.

Annual Arbor Day Event and Spring Park Clean-Up – Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at High Cliff State Park. Volunteers will meet at the Pavilion for a short program and instructions for tree planting. Trash bags and trail maps will be provided for litter pick-up and lunch to follow! Click here for details.

Birds of a FeatherApril 28, 2015 8:00am-10:00am at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. Join us as we go on a morning bird hike. Spring is great time to see many species migrate through the preserve. Hear warblers sing and red-winged blackbirds call. We will be looking, listening, and discovering many of the birds at Bubolz. Please call (920) 731-6041 to register. 

For a full list of events visit our Events Page!

Get Your Kids in the Garden!

Written By: Jeni Strom, Marketing & Visitors Services Coordinator

Spring is arriving and it’s time to start thinking about gardening! You can start most of your seeds indoors so when it starts to really warm up your plants will be ready to move outside!

Last week my kids and I headed out to 1000 Islands Environmental Center for a gardening class for kids. The class was free and held inside their nature center. 1000 Islands, in combination the Kaukauna Public Library, provided the seeds, dirt and egg cartons for planting. They started the class by reading two short children’s books about gardening and composting, and asked the kids questions about starting seeds and what plants need to grow. They also included a cheat sheet for us that included information on starting and germinating your seeds. This was really all about getting the kids involved in gardening and showing them the importance of being able to grow your own plants and vegetables! They had so much fun!

1000 Islands Gardening-Adrian 1000 Islands Gardening-Lilly1000 Islands-Seed Planting 3 1000 Islands-Seed Planting 2

Be sure to check out 1000 Islands Environmental Center for more classes like this, take a visit to the nature center, there’s plenty to see (check their site for hours), or just head out for some hiking along the river! It’s always free and such a beautiful spot!

Easter Fun in the Fox Cities!

easterWritten By: Jen Hecht, Convention Services Coordinator

Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner now! Are your family’s Easter plans still in the works? We are here to help! Here is a listing of Easter egg hunts and places serving Easter brunch in the Fox Cities area. Please note that many of the brunch spots either highly recommend or may even require reservations.

Fox Cities Easter Egg Hunts

03/21/15
9:00 am – 11:00 am  Appleton North’s National Honor Society Egg Hunt
Appleton High School, Appleton

03/21/15
10:00 am – 12:00 pm  Easter Family Fun And Pancake Breakfast (All Ages)/ACY
Apple Creek YMCA, Appleton WI

03/21/15
10:30 am – 11:30 am  Autism Family Network Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Faith Community United Methodist Church, Greenville

03/28/15
10:00 am – 1:00 pm  5th Annual Free Easter Egg Hunt
Prospera Credit Union, Appleton WI

03/28/15
10:00 am – 11:00 am  Free Easter Egg Hunt
Trinity Lutheran School, KAUKAUNA WI

03/28/15
10:00 am – 11:00 am  New Hope Easter Egg Hunt
New Hope Lutheran Church, Neenah

03/31/15
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Easter Egg Hunt
St. Mary elementary campus, Menasha WI

03/31/15
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Easter Egg hunt: SMCS CLUBHOUSE March 31 – Egg-stravaganza
St. Gabriel elementary campus, Neenah WI

03/31/15
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Easter Egg hunt: SMCS CLUBHOUSE March 31 – Egg-stravaganza
St. Margaret Mary elementary campus, Neenah WI

04/04/15
8:45 am – 11:00 am  Easter For Kids
St.Paul Lutheran Church and School, Appleton WI

04/04/15
9:00 am – 11:30 am  Easter Egg Hunt
Pathways Church, Appleton WI

04/04/15
10:30 am – 11:00 am  Town of Menasha Easter Egg Hunt
O’Hauser Park, Neenah WI

04/04/15
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm  2015 Appleton Area Jaycees Easter Egg Hunt
Appleton Memorial Park, Appleton WI

Easter Brunch Spots

Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel, 1000 Cameron Way, Neenah. Brunch 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $18.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 4 to 11. Reservations recommended: 920-720-8000, ext. 5030.

Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering, 111 E. Kimball St., Appleton. Buffet 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: $17.50 for adults, $1.50 per year for children until age 10. Reservations: 920-731-7271.

Fratellos, 501 W. Water St., Appleton. Buffet 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $18.99 for adults, $8.99 for ages 9 to 12, $6.99 for ages 4 to 8. Reservations recommended: 920-993-9087.

Grand Meridian, 2621 N. Oneida St., Appleton. Buffet 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: $16.95 for adults, $8.95 for children ages 5 to 12. Reservations: 920-968-2621.

Ground Round, 1010 Cameron Way, Neenah. Breakfast menu, including gluten-free items, served 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations taken for groups of six or more. 920-725-1010.

Main Event Steakhouse, 1727 Freedom Road, Little Chute. Brunch 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $13.95 for adults, $1 per year for children ages 3 to 12. Reservations: 920-788-6246. More information on Facebook page.

Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, 333 W. College Ave., Appleton. Buffet served in Grand Ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: $21.95 for adults, $11.95 ages 8 to 12, $6.95 ages 3 to 7. An 18 percent service charge is added. Reservations recommended: 920-733-8000, ext. 1529.

Red Ox, 2318 S. Oneida St., Appleton. Serves off the dinner and children’s menus, plus Easter specials, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. All items available as carry-out as well. Can accommodate groups up to 8 people. Reservations: 920-830-4121.

Remington’s, inside Riverwalk Hotel, 123 E. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah. Brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $18.95 for adults, $11.95 ages 8 to 12, $5.95 ages 3 to 7. An 18 percent service charge added. Reservations recommended: 920-725-8441.

The Source Public House, 890 Lake Park Road, Menasha. Buffet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $19.95 adults, $9.95 children ages 6 to 12, $4.95 children ages 4 to 6. Reservations recommended: 920-830-2050.

Stone Cellar at Riverview Gardens, 1101 S. Oneida St., Appleton. Buffet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $19.99 for adults, $8.99 ages 4 to 12. An 18 percent service charge added. Gluten-free and dairy-free options. Special children’s buffet. Reservations preferred: 920-731-3322.

Waverly Beach, N8770 Fire Lane 1, Menasha. Buffet 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: $16.95 adults, $8.95 for children ages 4 to 10. Will have Easter bunny and live entertainment. Reservations recommended: 920-733-9721.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Fox Cities Stadium, 2400 N. Casaloma Dr., Grand Chute. Upstairs club level. Two seatings, at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cost: $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 3 to 12. Reservations taken through April 1. No walk-ins allowed that day. 920-733-4152.

Fox Cities Visitor Center, Not Just For Visitors!

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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!LogoVG

The weather is warming up! Time to get outside!

Posted by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales Representative

Growing up in Door County, I was surrounded by scenic shoreline and had plenty of parks available for swimming or hiking. When I moved to Appleton 9 years ago, I was excited to find that I could still enjoy nature while living in a bigger city. One of my favorite places to hike is at High Cliff State Park. The park is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Winnebago in Sherwood, Wisconsin, just a short 15 to 20 minute drive from Appleton, Wisconsin, the Fox Cities’ largest community.

High Cliff1High Cliff State Park has over 26 miles of trails including the Bike and Horse trails, Forest Management Trail, Butterfly Pond Trail, Indian Mound Trail and the Lime-Kiln Trail. The Lime-Kiln trail is a combination of hiking near the Winnebago shoreline, in the steep Niagra Escarpment and through the kiln remains. From 1895 to 1956 a company town operated the limestone quarry in this area. All that remains today are the kiln ruins and the store. I have included pictures of the kiln ruins and other beautiful scenery from the Lime-Kiln Trail.

There are many other activities to do at High Cliff State Park for any season although the spring, summer and fall have the largest variety including picnicking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, boating, biking, horseback riding and fishing. It is definitely worth climbing the tower to look out across the fields from the observation deck.

High Cliff3I have also utilized the group campsites which can hold up to 60 people and are separate from the family campground. The field in the middle of the group sites is perfect for volleyball nets and other recreational activities. During the winter months, the trails are converted to snowshoe and cross country ski paths as well. Visitors do need a state park sticker for entry. Day passes are also available.

The scenic 18-hole High Cliff Public Golf Course is located just outside of the park and overlooks the Niagra Escarpment and Winnebago shoreline. High Cliff Restaurant and Banquets is also just outside of the park and is open year round for events. If camping is not your thing, but you would still like to experience the park, golf course or banquet hall, arrange to stay at the High Cliff Resort Suites in Sherwood or any of our Fox Cities hotels just a short drive away.

State Robotics Competition at Xavier High School

Written by: Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager

On Saturday, February 21st, 52 of the best VEX Robotics teams from Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will compete in the Wisconsin VEX High School State Championship at Xavier High School in hopes of advancing to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

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VEX Robotics is the world’s largest robotics competition for middle school and high school students, with more than 10,000 teams from 32 countries competing in over 750 tournaments annually.

 

Students build and program robots from scratch, using components from the VEX Robotics Design System. Each year students compete in a new game or challenge.

This year’s game is called Skyrise. The basic concept of Skyrise is for teams of two robots to put as many hollow VexSkyriseField (1)cubes on posts as possible in the time allowed. A match starts with a 15 second period where the robot acts autonomously using sensors and pre-programmed commands. Points from this period are scored, and then a 1 minute 45 second period begins in which students control the robots with remote controllers. For an example of a match, watch this video.

Fox Cities high schools competing in the state championship include Fox Valley Lutheran, Menasha, Neenah, St. Mary Central, and Xavier. These schools had to qualify at one of 8 local level tournaments throughout the state to advance to the state championship.

The competition will take place between 9:00am and 5:00pm in Xavier High School’s Torchy Clark Gym. For details, visit the Wisconsin VEX High School State Championship event page.

Great Live Sporting Events right here in the Fox Cities!

Written By: Matt Ten Haken, Director of Sports Marketing

Too often, we as sports fans become enamored with the pageantry of televised professional sports and forget about the exciting live sporting events happening right in our own backyard. The Fox Cities has plenty of options to fulfill your sports fix. Here are some options for you to consider over the next few weeks.

Fox Cities Ice Dogs: If you haven’t seen a hockey game in-person, you need to get out to one this season! Through the end of March, you can catch the Ice Dogs at Appleton Family Ice Center. They compete in the Great Lakes Hockey League and games are always a blast!

Lawrence University Athletics: The Vikings sponsor 22 different varsity sports. Besides the traditional winter sports like basketball and hockey, do you know they have a competitive fencing team? How cool is that! Home basketball games are on campus throughout the week and home hockey games are played at Appleton Family Ice Center. The historically cool architecture found throughout campus extends to awesome sporting venues like Alexander Gymnasium.

UW-Fox Valley Athletics: The Cyclones are quickly becoming a powerhouse in Wisconsin Junior College athletics.  They have won multiple conference championships in basketball over the last few years. Many local high school stars have taken their game to the next level at UW-Fox Valley. They have home games on the Menasha campus through the end of February.

High School Athletics: 13 High Schools are located within our definition of the Fox Cities. Is there anything better than the smell of freshly popped popcorn, the pep band blaring fight songs, and a packed gymnasium? The Fox Cities consistently boasts state champion teams, record breaking individuals, and athletes who are garnering college scholarships. The regular season is winding down as we approach the madness of March. Don’t miss your chance to experience the excitement. Maybe you can see that next professional athlete before they get on your TV! You can also visit http://www.easternvalleyconferencewi.org/ for more information about our local High School Athletics.