Written by: Jeni Strom, Marketing and Visitor Services Coordinator
Tis’ the season to start your holiday shopping and gift baskets are a great way to give a little bit of everything! The Fox Cities has plenty of places that offer pre-made or customizable gift baskets full of great locally made products that are sure to please everyone on your list! Not sure where to start or what your options are? No worries, we’ve done the work for you!
Simon’s Specialty Cheese – Offering 15 different pre-packaged gift baskets to suit any taste! Choose from local cheeses, sausage, beef sticks, crackers and fudge. Baskets starting at just $11.50.
Lamer’s Dairy – Choose from 12 different pre-packaged gift baskets with an assortment of local cheeses, salsas, sausage, crackers and nuts. Starting at just $18.
Kerrigan Brothers Winery – Choose from their large selection of wine and they’ll package it beautifully! Available in 2 or 3 bottle crates. Or feel free to create your own basket with wine and gifts and they’ll make it for you!
Wilmar Chocolates – Gifts boxes in all sizes at a wide range of price points filled with their signature assortments.
Vande Walle’s Candies – Choose from their pre-made gift boxes or customize your own with their wide variety of chocolates, nuts, candies and gifts.
Olive Cellar – Offering pre-made or customized options. Choose from vinegars, olive oils, pastas, sauces, seasonings, jams, and wine.
If you’re feeling extra creative or maybe you want to personalize your own homemade gift basket, you can visit a number of local businesses that offer products made right here in the Fox Cities! Restaurants and shops such as; Blue Moon Emporium, Fox River Brewing Company, Stone Cellar Brewpub, All Things Jerky, Mudd Creek LLC., Sunset HIll Stoneware, Carmella’s Italian Bistro, and Valley Popcorn, just to name a few, all sell locally made products that would be the perfect addition to any gift basket!
Get into the holiday spirit and head out for the 45th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade coming up on Tuesday, November 24. The parade starts at 7pm. Full of lights, music, holiday cheer, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus! Check their website for details.
Looking for some Thanksgiving break fun for you and your kids? Whether you’re a Fox Cities resident or here visiting family, the Fox Cities has plenty of weekend specials and fun events going on to keep you and your family busy!
Badger Sports Park is offering special pricing on their Utopia package. With laser tag, mini bowling, inflatables and more. This package is sure to please!
Funset Boulevard has special pricing on wristbands, game tickets and food!
Let the kids jump out some energy! With trampolines, laser maze, rock climbing walls and more, Xtreme Air trampoline park is fun for kids of all ages!
Kaukauna Public Library’s Schools Out, Fall Crafts event. Let the kids tap into their creative side with arts and crafts!
Paper Valley Model Railroad Club, Open House – A free event for the whole family. Come check out built to scale model trains in action!
Holiday Drop-in Studio at the Trout Museum of Art – Stop in and make your own holiday crafts, featuring upcycled Christmas ornaments! Free!
Fang’s Holiday Extravaganza! – Head out to Fox Cities stadium for some holiday fun with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers mascots Fang and Whiffer! Plenty of kids activities and visits from Santa and Buddy the Elf!
One Stop Elf Shop Kids Market – Let the kids pick out gifts for parents, siblings, or grandparents with the help of their own elf shopper!
Last but very not least…pay a visit to the big man himself! Head out to the Fox River Mall to visit and get photos with Santa! Click here for schedule and details.
Visit our website for more events!
A girls getaway is never a bad idea and with the holiday shopping season fast approaching, now is a great time to plan a weekend trip with your ladies! Enjoy shopping, food, and fun in the Fox Cities! We have everything you need to check off that holiday shopping list! Journalist RoseAnna Schick, from Winnipeg, Manitoba paid a visit to the Fox Cities and you can read all about her experience below!
“Girls Getaway? There’s an Appleton for that!”
“Every woman I know loves getting away with the girls — myself included. While there are countless places to go, Appleton, Wis. is one you’ve likely never considered, but should. Appleton is part of the Fox Cities region, consisting of 19 cities and towns along the Fox River. With a combined population of 360,000, they create the third-largest metropolis in Wisconsin. I think Fox Cities has become so popular for girlfriend getaways because women like to shop. And eat. Myself included. I know it’s stereotyping, but then again, it’s pretty much true. Fortunately you can do plenty of both in Appleton, where the cheese does not stand alone….”
To read the full article and find out more about Wisconsin’s Shopping Place click here.
Written by: Alison Hutchinson, Convention Sales & Marketing Representative
There’s been quite the buzz for a while around the Fox Cities with big retailer Costco coming to the area. They finally opened their doors this month and the response has been great so far. I was already a fan so naturally I was on board. Prior to moving to the Fox Cities 10 years ago, I was a Costco Wholesale member. Shortly after they opened a location outside of Green Bay in Bellevue, I became a member once again. Imagine my delight when I found out that Costco would be opening up on the west side of Appleton in Grand Chute on 5401 W Integrity Way. I was thrilled!
Costco is a great store for families of all sizes. I am a family with only one child, and we make a trip to the store monthly. I love never running out of essentials like frozen vegetables, crackers or tissues. Also, they have great prices on seasonal items that you can’t find in other stores.
For being a member of Costco, I was invited to attend the Member-Only Open House on Friday, November 6, 2015. The Open House was on the Eve of the Grand Opening. This was my first time attending an event such as this. There were plenty of staff at the entrance welcoming us. These giant 93-inch stuffed bears were among the first items that you saw as you walked in.
Throughout the store were several opportunities to sample food items. I nibbled on a European cookie, some hot turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, salted chocolate covered caramels and grabbed a bottled water.
There were staff members around the store to answer any questions on the items in all the different departments from bakery, meat, wine, produce, clothing, electronics and tires. They also had the optical and pharmacy department staffed to answer questions.
Near the food court, I ate some of their tasty frozen yogurt. I am very familiar with their all beef hot dog, chicken Caesar salad, pizza by the slice and hot turkey and provolone sandwich. There is something for everyone at the food court.
My favorite area of the store is the clothing department. It is located in the center of the store and can be accessed from many sides. They always have clothes for the upcoming season. At the time of the Open House, they featured warm weather items from brands such as Under Armour, the North Face, Realtree and Calvin Klein. You could pick up some warm wool blend socks or a new flannel shirt too.
For those of you are just getting familiar with this new store in the Fox Cities area, here are some tips on things to buy at Costco that will make your membership worthwhile:
Rotisserie Chicken and Meats: The ground turkey, for example, comes in four one-pound packages. The frozen chicken breast bag has individually wrapped breasts. This is great, so you can take out what you need and not have to worry about whether or not you sealed the bag properly to prevent freezer burn.
Frozen Vegetables and Meals: If you’ve got the freezer space, these items will keep. You can have great tasting vegetables all year round.
Soda and Alcohol: Here, volume is your friend. Buy soda in 32-packs and beer and wine in large packs, which are cheaper per unit than in grocery stores. They carry all the brands and flavors that you love.
Gift Cards: However you feel about gift cards, Costco sells major restaurant and retailer gift cards for 15 to 20 percent less than face value. Bargain! I like to stock up on I-tunes cards for gifts.
Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: This would also include your eyeglass prescription. I got some designer frames and contact lenses at very affordable prices.
Kitchen Appliances: The list price on items like a microwave tends to be much lower at Costco.
So if you’re looking to save money, stock up on items for your family, and find great deals on big ticket items..wholesale shopping just might be for you!
Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales & Marketing Manager
A friend of mine recently won free tickets to a 10:15pm show at the Skyline Comedy Cafe. I hadn’t been there in almost a year, so when she asked me to come along I jumped at the chance to visit one of my favorite area attractions! They have the perfect atmosphere for groups; even if you don’t know others in your party, you’ll be fast friends reminiscing about the show together afterward.
Our group met for a drink at the Stone Cellar Brewpub on the lower level of the building to enjoy a cocktail or two before the show. The Skyline Comedy Café also offers some of the Stone Cellar’s Brews. The Stone Cellar has two different bars to choose from; The Main Bar and the Tap Room. If you visit during warmer weather be sure to take advantage of their Beer Garden! In the past we’ve made time to arrive early for dinner as well. I love everything from their chicken bacon ranch pizza to elk pastrami wrap.
At 9:45pm, we rode the elevator up to the top floor to check in. Complimentary tickets cover admission, but there is still a 2 drink minimum which guests can select from a large variety of soda, beer, wine, mixed and blended drinks. A 15% gratuity is added to groups of 6 or more.
The show includes three different sets, a host, featured act and the headliner. Although they all give great stand up performances, the headliner is the advertised main event and the host’s responsibility is to keep the show moving by introducing the comedians and reminding patrons to purchase snacks and to tip their wait staff, which is very attentive.
Our headliner was Larry Reeb, also known as ‘Uncle Lar’, a regular on the Bob & Tom Show. He has been voted Chicago Comedian of the Year, and has made numerous television and radio appearances. Uncle Lar’s claim to fame is giving “tips” and handling hecklers. Our group thought he was hilarious and was exactly what I would expect from an R rated comedy show.
I always like to stop and chat or take pictures with the comedians on the way out, and some have DVD’s and other promotional items for sale. If you want a chance to win tickets like my friend did or receive free admission the week of your birthday, be sure to fill out a comment card from the table and drop it in the champagne bucket by the exit! You can also visit their website and enter for a chance to win.
The Skyline Comedy Café is located on the 3rd floor of the historic “Between the Locks” building at 1004 S. Olde Oneida Street in Appleton. Visit their website for directions, to see the schedule and ratings, or to make reservations. For groups and promotions, call the box office at (920) 734-5654 Noon – 8pm Mon-Thurs and Noon – 11pm Fri & Sat. Want to hear a preview of the week’s headliner? Tune in at 8-9am to 101.1 WIXX on Thursdays, 105.7 WAPL on Fridays or stream the morning shows live from your computer.
Written by: Jeni Strom, Marketing & Visitor Services Coordinator
Last night I attended an informative food seminar at the best little bakery. While I have been to this bakery before, attending this event made me realize I should really share the knowledge about this great little spot. So here’s how I discovered the bakery that promises a happy belly….
I had just moved to Appleton (last year) and was working at a coffee shop at the time, a coworker of mine showed up to work one day with a chocolate peanut butter cupcake and she was kind enough to share…it was delicious to say the least and when she told me it was gluten-free I almost didn’t believe her. I had to know where it came from so I could try more!
Happy Bellies Bake Shop is a small bakery here in Appleton, owned and operated by a local mother and daughter; not only do they make fabulous treats but they pride themselves on using whole, natural, good-for-your-belly ingredients. Everything they offer is 100% gluten free; they also have dairy free, vegan, egg free, refined-sugar free, nut free and soy free options, and everything is made in-house. In a time when food allergies seem to be becoming more prevalent, a place like this is a sanctuary for those who struggle with finding foods (treats in particular) that they can enjoy without wreaking havoc on their digestive systems. Now, I don’t have food allergies, but I do like to eat healthy and stay away from processed foods; so naturally, after that day Happy Bellies became a top choice of where to satisfy my sweet tooth. My then co-workers, even got me cupcakes from there on my last day of work. So nice of them :)
My kids and I have gone a few times since then and make sure to visit their stand at the Downtown Appleton Farm Market whenever we go. My son LOVES their baked donuts. He said, and I quote, “This is the best donut I’ve ever had mom!” It’s a good feeling to know that I can give my kids treats and know that it’s a healthier option, and the fact that they love them is even better!
From cupcakes to donuts, bars to breads, and seasonal specialties, Happy Bellies offers a wide variety of baked goods that are sure to please. Even if you don’t need to be gluten-free, they’re delicious regardless!! With a small cafe feel, it’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere to sit and enjoy your treats, or take them with you! They also have take-and-bake options too! Check out their website to read all about their journey, their mission for healthy options, and all the baked goodies they have to offer! Have a happy belly!