Category: Family Fun

Trick or Treat Fox Cities!

Trick or Treat Fox Cities!

With the Fox Cities being home to 20 different communities there’s no shortage of Trick-or-Treating options! Check out the list below for all of our area trick or treat hours. Happy candy hunting!

Halloween2Appleton: Oct 31, 4 pm – 8 pm

Buchanan: Oct 31, 4 pm – 8 pm

Combined Locks: Oct. 31, 5 pm – 7 pm

Fox Crossing (formerly Town of Menasha): Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm

Freedom: Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm

Grand Chute: Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm

Greenville: Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm

Harrison: Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm

Hortonville: Oct. 30, 3 pm – 5 pm

Kaukauna: Oct. 31, 4 pm – 6 pm

Kimberly: Oct. 31, 5 pm – 7 pm

Little Chute: Oct. 31, 5 pm – 8 pm

Neenah (city and town): Oct. 31, 4 pm – 7 pm


Our Fox Cities Fall Traditions

Written by: Matt Ten Haken, Director of Sports MarketingLotsOfPumpkins

Apple Picking, Friday Night Football, Pumpkin-flavored everything, Jumping in huge leaf piles….what is there not to like about the fall?! Every family has their favorite fall traditions, here are some of the best autumn activities we like to do, and they’re all right here in the Fox Cities.
Pumpkin & Apple Picking
There are oodles of options for picking your favorite fall produce in the area. We have frequented Sprangers Orchard over the last few years. You can pick your own, or they have a huge pre-picked selection for you to choose from as well. Also, try their delicious apple cider and caramel apples. Sprangers staff is always friendly and helpful, it makes the experience really enjoyable! They are located just outside Appleton, in the Heart of the Valley area, check out their Facebook page.
Pumpkin Carving
A hidden gem that we love to go to each year is the Rades Family Pumpkin Carving Display on Appleton’s east side. Each year the Rades family transform their entire front yard into a pumpkin-themed paradise. They carve intricate designs into dozens of pumpkins and add in special lighting, music, and displays. Our girls have been especially fond of the Disney princess carvings over the years. The display runs the nights of October 29-31, this is non-scary event so it’s great for the whole family. Donations are accepted and appreciated for the Fox Valley Humane Association. Click here for details!
Freaky 5K
The final run/walk that we do each season is the YMCA’s Freaky 5K on October 29. Starting and finishing at Appleton’s Pierce Park, the run takes competitors through three parks and some of the city’s most distinct neighborhoods. Costumes are encouraged! Our girls love the 1/4 Mile Mini-Monster Dash. The 5K field ranges from competitive runners looking for a personal best to novice walkers looking to show off their Halloween costumes. This is a great family event that culminates with post-event food, drinks, and activities. Click here for more information!
dsc_2255Hike our Nature Preserves
We love to head out and take hikes with our kids this time of year and with three different nature preserves located right here in the Fox Cities, it’s an easy drive to any of them and a great way to spend a gorgeous fall day! 1000 Islands Environmental Center, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve and Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve all offer free access to their trails and nature centers. The trails aren’t too long so it’s great for kids and there’s plenty of nature to take in while you’re there. Stop in and visit their nature centers too where you’ll find information about the area, animals, and activities to engage the kids!

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales and Marketing Manager

Fall is here and that means football season is too. Here in the Fox Cities, with Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, just a short 30 minute drive away; there are plenty of opportunities for both area residents and visitors alike to catch a home game. Don’t want to deal with the game day traffic? Hop on a shuttle from one of our local bars and enjoy the ride! The Bar on Lynndale or the Bar on College Ave, D2, or Tanner’s Bar and Grill in Kimberly, all offer transportation and beverages for just $20 per person!

13925839_10154203901144733_8403565281344930166_oWith our 20 communities and Lawrence University in Appleton, the Fox Cities is also home to countless local football teams and plenty of games to catch on any given fall weekend. Lawrence University plays their home games on Saturday afternoons at the Banta Bowl in Appleton. Area public and private high schools have varsity football games on Friday nights at Appleton East, North and West, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Neenah, Menasha, Fox Valley Lutheran, Xavier and St. Mary’s Central fields.


14355697_1467980143216059_811243965567511418_n.jpgDuring football season, Monday nights in the Fox Cities is the place to be if you want to talk shop with Packer players. Clubhouse Live is a weekly pro sports talk program hosted by Green Bay Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery and his special guests. Watch it live at 6:30pm at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill inside the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton, or stream it at or ‘In the Huddle’ is a Packer radio show hosted by Justin Hull, Packers safety Chris Banjo and tight end Jared Cook. Watch it live at Game Day Sports Bar in Appleton from 6-7pm or listen to it on 105.7 WAPL. Both shows are free to the public!

1973584_10152820185483513_6731381116984047219_o.jpgThere is also an abundance of sports bars throughout the Fox Cities for game-day fun. They offer plenty of flat screen tv’s and game day specials including drinks, food, trivia and giveaways. Some of the more unique venues with great game day specials include Holidays in Neenah, where Packer fans congregate downstairs and Chicago Bears fans come together upstairs; Bad Badger Sports Bar in downtown Appleton, which is a popular venue for Wisconsin pro and college games and features a bowling lane as a bar top; and Game Day Sports Bar in Appleton, with plenty of flat screens playing multiple games you’re always on top of what’s happening in any game, food and drink specials, and their heated outdoor patio is open year-round!

*Photo credit: Lawrence University facebook page; Inside the Huddle facebook page; Bad Badger Sports Bar facebook page.

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

downtown-appleton  lawernce-u  img_1931222-building  art-alley-project-michelle-a-gauthier  shattuck-park-therealtorsofc21ace pac-sunset  mile-houdini-plaza-g_toxx  fullsizerender-5 IMG_2068 (1)  Lawrence Memorial Chapel_AppletonWI   ShattuckParkOverview_NeenahWI

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!

heckrodt-trail-chuckzachariasphotography  fox-cities-sunset-bike  trestle-trail-ellieg17 img_2151  TrestleTrail_MenashaWI6564jre-1  jones-parkmenasha-locks-bridge  thousand-islands-brianne_zinger  img_2370Bubolz-Spring flower  1000Islands_KaukaunaWIfence5710u  HighCliffStatePark_SherwoodWIfallview

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.

fullsizerender-2  rye  IMG_1054appleton-beer-factory  The Source - 2  Happy Bellies-donuts  antojitos-joshdukelow  stone-cellar-maryrhodeTimshel  lions-tail-brewing-co  Marks6

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

t-rats-whiffer-vaughnlowery  _dsc4119b-1  t-rats-fang-in-the-rain-kaijuluvspnutt-rats-beer-pampi_25  t-rats-fang-patricktcooper  stadium

  • 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



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.

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.

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!