Tag: Downtown Appleton

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.

Wisconsin War Stories; A Perfect July 4th Activity


Written by: Pam Seidl, Executive Director

The Trout Museum of Art’s “Wisconsin War Stories” exhibit features a collection of photographic portraits of Wisconsin War Veterans featured in “Wisconsin War Stories,” produced by Wisconsin Public Television.  Photographer James Gill’s portraits capture the personality of each individual in a remarkably beautiful and moving way. Alongside each photo is the personal account of the man or woman who served.  Their stories give insight into the reality of war from the battlefield to the everyday mundane life back at the base.

IMG_20160419_150922784One image that I found most impactful was of the highly-educated nurse who served in Vietnam and gave a very matter-of-fact perspective on death.

The exhibit is on display through July 3rd and worth the effort to see it on this weekend when we celebrate our freedom and the sacrifices of those who fought for it.

IMG_3536 (1)

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.