Tag: Downtown Appleton

A Walking Historical Pub Crawl – Appleton Style

A Walking Historical Pub Crawl – Appleton Style

Written by: Alison Hutchinson; Convention Sales & Marketing Representative

Downtown College Avenue is known for it’s vibrant nightlife and many pubs and taverns but most people probably overlook the fact that they all have a lot of history to offer.Thanks to the History Museum at the Castle, they’ve came up with a great way to enjoy the nightlife and learn a little while you’re there with a Historic Pub Crawl featuring downtown Appleton pubs.

Our tour guide was Nick Hoffman, Chief Curator at the History Museum. He took us inside four downtown taverns and highlighted others noted for their individuality and preservation. The most interesting tidbit that we were all surprised to hear; Appleton long ago, was a “dry” city..for 75 years! It wasn’t until April 6, 1909, that liquor was approved in the city but it didn’t take long to catch on; by 1935 there were 76 taverns in Appleton, 35 on the Avenue alone.

20161130_174313 (1).jpg  20161130_181735.jpg

Our first stop was Dr. Jekyll’s Bar; it contained many original features including a “P” shaped bar to encourage conversations.  This tavern location is popular with Lawrence University students past and present, due to the closeness to the campus.

jims-placeJim’s Place is full of history and it’s showcased on the walls in it’s pictures, the woodwork in the main bar and the original back bar with it’s antique cash register. It is still framed out where it once had a separate area for women and children.  We are standing next to the structure in the photo.

Bazil’s Pub and Provisions, is technically 3 bars in one..with the option of the Old Town Tavern connected next door and No Idea? bar downstairs, they’ve got options! It wasn’t Bazil’s until 1993, the bar itself used to fall under other names but it’s history has been kept alive with new owners. Some say they used to offer a free meal for the working man and then we were shown photos of pots that used to sit next to bar for men to relieve themselves in..slightly gross but back in the day considered normal bar etiquette.

cleosdowntownapp4Our favorite stop was Cleo’s Brown Beam Tavern; it’s been around for decades and the decor is nothing short of unique. Christmas is celebrated everyday, all year long here, with it’s over-the-top Holiday decor displayed about the tavern. It’s home to the popular dirty snowball drink. Cleo’s is considered a Hallmark of downtown Appleton and plans on staying that way!

mcguinness-irish-pubThe last location we visited was McGuinness Irish Pub, a little off the Ave on S. Walnut Street, but still a staple of the downtown scene. Some tax records may show that it is the oldest tavern in Appleton, as opposed to Fox River House, located just down the block. Both taverns were once located across the street from the George Walter Brewing Company, which has long-since been gone.

The History Museum at the Castle walking tours are great for convention-goers as a fun and interactive introduction to local history. Tours begin at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Lawrence University, CopperLeaf Hotel, or the Museum. It is $7.00 per person for walking tours. Tour packages can include visiting the Museum’s exhibits for an additional fee of $3.00 per person. Happy Pub Crawling!

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday – Check off your list in Wisconsin’s Shopping Place!

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday – Check off your list in Wisconsin’s Shopping Place!

Whether you’re a die-hard Black Friday shopper, the casual ‘maybe I’ll go’ type, if you prefer to stick to small businesses, or skip the chaos all together and online shop, the Fox Cities is the place to be for your Holiday shopping. Afterall, they don’t call us Wisconsin’s Shopping Place for nothing! With hundreds of stores in and around the Fox River Mall area and our unique downtowns’ with one-of-a-kind boutiques, we’ve got everything you need to check off your holiday shopping list!

black-friday-mall-post-crescentBlack Friday – Some stores are set to open as early as 3pm on Thanksgiving Day with all others opening throughout the night and into Friday morning. The Fox River Mall will be opening at 6pm on Thanksgiving, but each individual store will open at it’s own discretion. Click here to see the Top 10 things to know before Black Friday in the Fox Cities!
*Photo credit – Post Crescent


Small Business Saturday – A great opportunity to take advantage of some great deals and contribute to your local community!


  • Downtown Appleton  -Pick up a Shop Appleton Passport at participating business (or download online). Bring your passport to downtown businesses while you shop and receive a stamp at each location. Turn in your passport for a chance to win great prizes, including $350 Appleton shopping spree!
  • Downtown NeenahSelect downtown retailers will be offering Shop Small sales and specials along with some great giveaways from Future Neenah! Visit their Facebook page everyday this week, like and comment on their post of the day for a chance to win! Follow them on Instagram and look for their #shopsmall promotion and participate in their Shop Small Selfie Saturday photo contest while you’re shopping for even more giveaways! Click here for details!

Off the Downtown Path but Worth the Small Business Stop!

  • Simon’s Specialty Cheese – When in Wisconsin, give the gift of cheese! Or just get it for yourself🙂 Simon’s offers delicious fresh made cheese, gifts, and more!
  • Wilmar Chocolates – Handmade specialty chocolates in create your own or pre-made gift boxes, they make the perfect party gift!
  • Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass Gift Shop – Unique, one-of-a-kind, beautiful glass pieces available in a wide-range of prices will fit any budget. They also feature a large collection of holiday ornaments and gifts!
  • Lemon Loves Lime – Children’s Boutique Clothing Store in Downtown Menasha
  • The Snake Pit-Timber Rattlers Team Store – Extended hours on Saturday and a special gift with purchase! Open Saturday 10am-3pm
  • Chic-to-Chic – Women’s Consignment Boutique in Appleton, offering name brand and high-end woman’s clothing and accerssories.
  • Creative Juices Artisan Shop – Shop local artists and handmade items, and a chance to win giveaways and door prizes! lOcated in Kimberly, open 10-3pm
  • Jansport Factory Store – Outlet prices on Jansport gear, collegiate and local high school team apparel! Open saturday 10am-4pm
  • Urban Evolutions – Reclaimed and repurposed furniture, home and holiday decor! Open Saturday 10am-5pm

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

train-crossing-at-fox-river  fox-river-bike-copy  fox-river-train-tracks-lindseyschmidt-copyfox-river-susnet-copy  atlas-waterfront-cafe-therealtorsofc21ace-copy  stone-cellar-at-riverviewkimberly-point-neenah  north-shore-golf-club  EarlyFallFoxRiver

*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

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!

Appleton’s Alive with the Sounds of Music!

Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales & Marketing Manager

Raquel Rodriguez_Chadwick'sThe fourth annual Mile of Music Festival kicked off Wednesday night with a reception on Lawrence University’s main hall lawn (sponsored by Tundraland), live music at Memorial Chapel and a First Songs Kickoff Concert at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Starting Thursday morning through Sunday evening there will be 800 live performances from 240 artists at 70 venues located within one walkable mile in Downtown Appleton.

13669375_823856191049325_4533490706018608072_oThe Mile of Music Bus and Downtown Trolley will also be running for free during the event. The festival features original artists from around the world showcasing different musical backgrounds including folk, indie rock, R&B and many more genres. There is no cover charge for any of the entertainment. Music Maker badges are available for purchase and gives a more exclusive experience.
*Photo credit: Mile of Music facebook page

Mile Of Music Pale Ale2Food and beverage will be available for purchase in the coffee shops, bars, parks and museums where artists are performing. Local Stone Arch Brew House crafted and distributed their specialty Mile of Music Americana Pale Ale for the event. It is currently being sold in Festival Foods and Woodman’s and will be on tap at Stone Cellar Brewpub, Spats, Fox River House and the Clubhouse inside of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel during the festival.

Mile of Music is a grass-roots festival co-founded by Appleton Marketing Executive Dave Willems and Appleton/Nashville-based national recording artist and Grammy nominee Cory Chisel with support from nearly 100 community organizations and 200 volunteers. Profits support two funds, the Mile of Music Education Fund and the Appleton Education Fund, which award musical scholarships and other opportunities to local youth.

Want to see more original music from these artists? Every Wednesday night from 5:30 – 7pm through September 21st, different Mile of Music featured musicians are performing free concerts in the courtyard at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel. The hotel also hosts the Mile of Music’s New Year’s Encore Eve event which includes concerts with options to add on dinner and sleeping rooms. For more information on Mile 4, including artists and schedule, visit their website.

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.

FM egg roll    FM crepe    FM music.jpg

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
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
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
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
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.

From parking ramp (2)

Heid Music Summer Concerts
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
Sunset Park
800 W Kimberly Ave. Kimberly
Free concert every Sunday through August 21st

Music Sunday – Music on the Beach
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
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
Riverside Park
500 E. Wisconsin Ave. Neenah
Free concert in the park on Tuesday evenings all summer long.


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
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.