Tag: Downtown Appleton

Time for Date Night!

Tired of the same old date night routine? We can help! We’ve got some great ideas for you and your significant other to get out and enjoy some time together.

Get Creative!

  • Pinot’s Palette: 226 E College Ave, Appleton – Have a drink or two while you create your own art!
  • The Wobbly Painter: 112 E Bell St, Neenah – New to the Fox Cities and they just had their grand opening. Head out for a night of wine and canvas painting!
  • The Fire – Pottery, Mosaic & Glass Fusing Studio: 230 E College Ave, Appleton – Bring your creativity and they’ve got all the supplies! Pick out your art and create, they’ll finish and fire it for you to pick up later!

Want Wine without the Paint?

Take in a Show!

  • Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Downtown Appleton – Plan a night out with a broadway show! The performing Arts Center brings many different shows to the area every year. Old classic favorites and new and upcoming hits, there’s something for everyone!
  • Skyline Comedy Cafe: 1004 Olde Oneida St, Appleton – Take your date out for some laughs! With fantastic comedians from all over the United States, the shows are sure to please!

Get Out and Play!

  • Badger Sports Park: 3600 E Evergreen Drive, Appleton – Channel your inner child with arcade games, laser tag, mini-golf, batting cages and go-karts!
  • Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium, Appleton – Take yourselves out to the ballgame! With ticket options for any budget, theme nights, and fun fan interaction, you’re sure to have a great time!
  • Wisconsin International Raceway, Kaukauna – Stock car and drag races. Check their schedule for upcoming events and race schedule.
  • Appleton Family Ice Center – Couples skate!😉 Check their website for open skate dates and times.
  • Escape Room of Wisconsin, Appleton – Test your detective skills in their date night themed escape room! Can you figure out the clues in time to get out?
  • Field of Scenes, Freedom – Catch a flick at the outdoor theater! Cozy up in your car or on the reclined benches up front for a movie under the stars!
  • The Wire Whisk, Appleton – Take a cooking class! They offer evening classes throughout the year.

Discover Fox Cities Craft Beer 

Fine Dining Date Night

Live Music

  • The Fox Cities has countless options for catching some great live music. Click here to see a list of upcoming venues and shows!
  • Plan a visit, or maybe a ‘stay-cation’ if you’re a local, during Mile of Music, Appleton’s largest live music event!

Dance Lessons?

Think Cheese!

Have a Coffee Day-Date!

Fine Dining with a Jazzy Vibe

Band2Written by: Amy Karas, Convention Sales and Marketing Manager

One of the most unique features of the Fox Cities is its outstanding music festivals and outdoor concerts. Some of the most popular include the annual Mile of Music and Appleton’s Octoberfest events, but what many visitors and residents alike don’t realize is the amount of bands that regularly play year round in restaurants and bars throughout the Fox Cities.

Cena_OutsideI had the pleasure of joining one of my social networking groups, the 20s and 30s Meetup Group, at Cena Restaurant and Bar this past Tuesday night. Cena is located on East College Avenue in historic downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. It has a bistro-style feel featuring exposed brick walls, wood flooring and a pressed tin ceiling, designed by famed Wisconsin architect William Waters. They offer fine dining, an excellent selection of wines, beer and spirits, and feature live jazz, blues and other musical genres every Tuesday and Thursday night. As a multiple winner of Fox Cities Magazine Golden Fork Awards for Best Live Entertainment, they did not disappoint.

Cena’s kitchen is open Tuesday – Thursday from 5– 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 5-10pm. Reservations are highly recommended on Friday and Saturday nights and holidays. There is no cover charge for live music unless noted on the website. The bands perform from 8-11pm. For schedule, menu and more information, please call (920) 830-7820 or visit their website.

Other weekly and monthly live music options in the Fox Cities include Déjà vu Martini Lounge and Mill Creek in Appleton , The Stone Toad Bar and Grill and Waverly Beach in Menasha and Greene’s Pour House and Cranky Pat’s in Neenah.

Last Minute Holiday Shopping!

Last Minute Holiday Shopping!

Written by: Karen Treml, Visitor Services Coordinator

Still working on crossing off your shopping list? A few of my favorite shops in downtown Appleton are great spots to find those last minute unique gifts for your family and friends!

Eco Candle Company
123 E. College Avenue  920-830-0123

These candles make the perfect little gifts! I’ve picked these up for holiday party hostess gifts, something for my Hairdresser and as a house-warming gift. My favorite item in their store are their hand-poured soy candles. I enjoy checking out their candle of the week specials, all the different fragrance and Holiday Candle selections. They also carry natural bath and body products, beeswax candles, handmade soap, home fragrance, accessories, incense, unique gifts and more!

Blue Moon Emporium
227 E College Avenue  920-205-2114

Blue Moon carries many unique wares of Wisconsin and Fox Cities-themed clothing, ceramics, screen-printed pillows, jewelry, and other handmade goods and candy. I was looking for something unique to send our daughter and found a cute t-shirt, I was able to choose from an assortment of screen print designs and they made the shirt for me; it was ready in less than 10 minutes.  A friend of mine has a Wisconsin Home sweatshirt from here and says how comfortable it is. One of my favorite purchase from here is a key holder made from a spoon, it’s made to hang just on the inside of your purse so you never have to go searching for your keys!

Items of Interest
10 College Avenue  920-831-0295

Whether you’re looking for an unusual gift or great items for you, your home, your pet, or someone you love, this is the place to go! They’ve got fun little gifts with something for everyone on your list. Featuring jewelry, toys, cards, games, gourmet items, candles, handmade soaps, baby gifts, t-shirts and more.

Just Act Natural
129 E College Avenue  920-574-2932

You can find a wide range of products from cooking tools to bath products, household items to organic apparel, this store is aimed at the environmentally conscious. One of my favorite purchases from here is their reusable mesh produce bags, I have two and use them often. They’re made from recycled material and work great for transporting my produce from the grocery store to home. Just last week got a compliment on them!

Flanagan’s Stop & Shop Liquor Store
522 W College Ave  920-733-6689

Our last stop to pick up that extra Holiday Cheer!  The staff here is always very helpful. They’ve got a wide selection no matter what type of spirits you’re looking for. We were unsure about which wine to choose and they offered to let us sample.

I hope this gives you some ideas for those last minute gifts. Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas to all!!

Our Top 5 Blog Posts from 2015

We’ve posted blogs all year about the great places and events the Fox Cities has to offer. For visitors and locals alike, there’s plenty to see and do here! Check out our Top 5 posts from the year and see what people are doing in the Fox Cities!



Cedar Harbor – A Shopping Adventure Awaits in Downtown Appleton




Yoga in the Park – Get Your Zen On


Mr Brews - outside patio


Burgers and Beers with a View




Memorial Day Weekend in the Fox Cities




Great Hiking with Some Hidden Adventure



Or maybe Top 6…..



Cupcakes, Cookies, and Cakes,..Oh My!


Appleton Octoberfest: A Mile of Fun!

Octoberfest_Appleton Sidewalk

Written by: Adam Schanke, Sports Marketing Manager

Since 1981, one of the most popular annual events in the Fox Cities is Appleton’s Octoberfest. Octoberfest takes place on a blocked-off mile-long stretch of College Avenue in downtown Appleton on Friday, September 25th and Saturday, September 26th.

License to Cruise 2014The fun kicks off on Friday with License to Cruise, featuring over 400+ classic cars, live music, and food from local restaurants. Every year 50,000+ people walk College Avenue to check out their dream cars. This year’s feature vehicle is a Volkswagen, which can be found in front of City Center plaza. Live music starts at 6:00pm with The Doo-Wop Daddies in Houdini Plaza. Several other musicians will be roaming the Ave and performing on street corners.

IMG_7429_100925On Saturday, the party continues with an estimated expected attendance of 100,000 people. Five stages of music, endless food options, and beer highlight the event. Each music stage is devoted to a specific genre of music. Headliners this year include Vic Ferrari, Cool Waters Band, The Doo-Wop Daddies, and more. With approximately 100 nonprofit food vendors, there will be a large variety of delicious choices. Bring your appetite! The beer stands will offer Budweiser products, in addition to several craft beers.

Also an Octoberfest tradition is an arts and crafts area located on the east end of College Avenue by Lawrence University. Over 150 vendors will offer various items from jewelry, clothing, and pottery, to home décor.

The festival is also family-friendly, with an entire area designated for family fun. This area features magicians, karate demonstrations, carnival games, and more.

Octoberfest still has a few open slots for volunteers. Available volunteer roles include being a block captain and bartending. By volunteering, you will be helping Octoberfest assist hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the Fox Cities.

Although it may not be available at Octoberfest, Stone Arch/Stone Cellar brews a seasonal Stonetoberfest beer, which can be found on tap and in stores this fall. Additionally, Fox River Brewing Company recently released their Foxtoberfest and Appleton Beer Factory tapped their Oktoberfest earlier this week.

Be sure to check out the Octoberfest website, Facebook, and Twitter for details and updates.

Dining and Football History: A one-of-a-kind experience at Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse

Written By: Matt Ten Haken, Director of Sports Marketing
If you are looking for a memorable night out, a place to impress a key client, or if you just enjoy tasty food, large portions, or football, I would recommend Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse.
Located inside the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Downtown Appleton, Lombardi’s is a truly unique dining experience. The first thing that will hit you when you walk in the door is the shear quantity of Vince Lombardi and historical Packers memorabilia. Over 400 letters, photos, diagrams of plays and awards from the coach himself cover the walls of the entire restaurant. There’s even a replica Lombardi Trophy!
If you are like me, the football artifacts will put you into a daze, but you will be quickly snapped out of it as you are greeted by the friendly staff of Lombardi’s. The service during your dining experience from start to finish is always second to none. They really do go above and beyond to ensure that you have a memorable experience.
Upon settling in, you will notice Lombardi’s ample beverage choices. I have been told they have a great selection of wines and again a staff that is very knowledgeable about wine and wine pairings. As I am not much of a wine connoisseur, I can only tell you that there is a well-stocked selection of tap and bottled beers and a robust hard liquor selection to meet your needs.
And finally, onto the food; appetizers, sides, and desserts are served in massive family style portions. Here is my starting line-up: For appetizers; I like to go with the Spinach Artichoke Dip, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, or Twin Lump Crab Cakes. The Spinach Artichoke Dip is my all time favorite, the Shrimp Cocktail is huge and makes a great impression, and I have eaten here with people from Maryland who raved about the Crab Cakes. Now that is saying something! For the main entrée, I love the 16 oz. dry-aged Kansas City Strip, it has great flavor and as for the side; I usually pick the house salad, but I know many rave about the French Onion soup, and with the many side options they offer, if you happen to be with a group, I recommend getting a variety to share so you can try a few. Two sleepers that often get overlooked? Their Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce is amazing, or the Caramelized Brussels Sprouts; yes, I said brussels sprouts. They are awesome. To cap it off, I go with the chocolatey goodness of the Tuxedo Bombe, even though many would push for the gargantuan Strawberry Shortcake.
No matter what you choose at Lombardi’s, you can’t go wrong. You and your guests will be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience and the food is sure to please your palette.
For more information about Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse visit their website

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Fox Cities!

Valentines-Day-HeaderWritten By: Amy Karas, Convention Sales and Marketing Manager
Looking for a way to celebrate your Valentine’s Day? The Fox Cities has you covered. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a romantic night as a couple or a fun night with friends or family, there’s something for everyone!

Romance Get romantic this Valentine’s Day with a Sleigh Ride at Bubolz Nature Preserve on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Also enjoy hors d’oeuvres from The Marq by Festival, wine sampling from Kerrigan Brothers Winery, and beer from Stone Cellar Brewpub. Register now by calling (920) 731-6041. Available sleigh ride times are 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7pm.

Family Fun The United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leaders is holding their annual Valentine’s Family Festival from 10am – Noon on Saturday, February 7, 2015, at Maplewood Middle School. This event is free to the community and provides safe, fun activities for children ages 12 & under with their families. Enjoy cookie decorating, carnival games, arts & crafts, a photo booth, live DJ and giveaways. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Dinner and Dancing The Fox Cities Performing Art Center’s Kimberly-Clark Theater presents Northeast Wisconsin’s Got Talent at 7:30pm on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres, auctions and performances. A portion of the proceeds will benefit newVoices – Northeast Wisconsin’s Vocal Artists. Call (920) 832-9700 to book your tickets. The Milwaukee-based Doo-Wop Daddies will be performing on Friday, February 13, 2015, in the Marquette Ballroom at the Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Neenah. Dinner starts at 6:30pm with dancing at 8:30pm. Come for the show, dinner or make a night of it with a Guestroom Special. Call (920) 720-8000 for details and reservations.

Dinner at the Ballpark on Friday, February 13 or Saturday, February 14. enjoy an evening the club level at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. All couples will receive a four course meal, bottle of champagne, a long-stemmed rose, picture and ticket voucher for any Timber Rattlers game during the upcoming season. Sit in the main banquet facility or upgrade to a private suite for an additional fee. The club level bar is open at 5pm and dinner will be served at 6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling (920) 733-4152.

Valentine’s Day For All Lovers Event at the Melting Pot in Appleton. Choose from the Sweetheart or Forever Five course meal packages February 9 – 15, 2015. Call (920) 739-3533 for reservations.

Valentine’s Day at Flanagan’s Wine Review in downtown Appleton. Each course includes a different wine pairing. Choose from 5 and 8pm seating. Call (920) 749-9463 for reservations. No matter which activity you choose to do, get out and make it a sweet night to remember!

Need a place to stay? The Copperleaf Boutique Hotel & Spa is offering a Valentines Package including a one night stay in a whirlpool fireplace suite, a long stem rose, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, all for just $222.99. Price excludes tax. Call 920-749-0303 for more details!