The Fox Cities are full of a diverse array of attractions for all ages. Theater, shopping, sporting events, nature preserves and parks – all this and more is accessible right here in Appleton and the Fox Valley of Wisconsin! Read on to see 21 popular escapes to have fun in the Fox Cities.
1. Hearthstone Historic House Museum – Appleton, WI (pictured above)
Who knew that Appleton has the world’s first home lit by hydroelectricity? Hearthstone is only a couple minutes from downtown Appleton and is the first residential hydroelectric power station in the country! Enjoy a tour of this stunning Victorian House and museum to learn a little history about Appleton’s embracing of residential electricity.
2. Plamann Park – north of Appleton, WI
With over 250 acres of hills and trails, you’ll never run out of things to do at Plamann Park. Attractions include a Children’s Farm, 27-hole disc golf course, and courts for volleyball and tennis. Plamann Park is winter friendly, with sledding hills as well as cross-country skiing trails.
3. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center – downtown Appleton, WI
Located in the heart of downtown Appleton, the PAC is a jewel of the Fox Cities. The PAC features an ever-changing rotation of musicals, bands, and other performances. If you enjoy music or theater, you owe it to yourself to visit the PAC!
4. High Cliff State Park – Sherwood, WI If you want scenery, this is your place. High Cliff offers hiking, biking, and camping opportunities, as well as fishing, boating, and horseback riding. For the winter months, there is a ski trail, as well as one for winter hiking and snowshoeing.
5. EAA AirVenture and Museum – Oshkosh, WI
Celebrate aviation every July with EAA AirVenture! For the rest of the year, enjoy the EAA Museum, which features a vast collection of historic airplanes and educational classes.
6. Badger Sports Park – Appleton, WI
Your one-stop shop for FUN! Badger Sports Park is a family-owned entertainment center offering outdoor attractions including a Go Kart Track, 18 Hole Mini Golf Course, and 8-Stall Batting Cages as well as an indoor entertainment complex with a Large Arcade, Laser Tag Arena,Hologate Virtual Reality, Escape Rooms, and more…
7. Field of Scenes Outdoor/ Drive-In Theater (and 18-hole mini golf) – Freedom, WI
Looking for a quiet night out? The Field of Scenes features double-header movies for your evening enjoyment, with several additional recreational areas including an 18-hole miniature golf course. Great for family outings.
8. 1000 Islands Environmental Center – Kaukauna, WI
1000 Islands is a great place to explore nature, offering over 200 acres of woodland and river area. Featuring bird nesting areas, hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and more, 1000 Islands is a delightful place to explore nature!
9. The Attic Theater – Menasha, WI
Located in the UW-Fox Valley Communication Arts Center, the Attic Theater provides a smaller alternative to Appleton’s PAC, but without sacrificing the quality. If you like great acting in a local setting, try the Attic Theater.
10. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass – Neenah, WI
Known for its paperweight collection, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass also features exhibits of Germanic glass, Contemporary glass, and Victorian glass. Watch for rotating exhibits of new works as well!
11. Barlow Planetarium – Menasha, WI
Just across the campus from the Attic, the Barlow Planetarium welcomes all ages. For Astronomy newcomers to those with an established interest in the field, their are family and featured shows for everyone. Check out the real stars!
12. Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium – Appleton, WI
Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium (formerly Fox Cities Stadium)is home to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. If you want to take your family out to the ballgame, look no farther! Occasionally a Milwaukee Brewer, such as Ryan Braun, will make an appearance and play for the Rattlersduring a rehab assignment.
13. History Museum at the Castle – Appleton, WI
Showcasing Houdini, Edna Ferber, Joe McCarthy, and other exhibits, the History Museum as the Castle is a great little education adventure nestled just a short distance from Lawrence University and the Franklin Street Inn.
14. Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve – Appleton, WI
Featuring walking trails and educational programs for any time of year, the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve is a tranquil place where visitors can get back to nature. A wooden bridge on one of the trails is pictured below on the left.
15. Appleton Farm Market – picture above right
Available year round! Mid-June through October on College Avenue downtown, and November through May in the City Centre Plaza. The Farm Market provides an opportunity to buy fresh produce and unique food items including specialty cheeses, meats, and baked goods. Additional vendors provide crafts and one-of-a-kind gifts. The Appleton Farm Market is well-worth your time!
16. Weis Earth Science Museum – Menasha, WI
Another offering from UW-Fox Valley, the Earth Science Museum offers a variety of attractions year-round, including dinosaur fossils, minerals, and other hands-on geological exhibits.
17. Building for Kids Children’s Museum – downtown Appleton, WI
Looking for somewhere to take the kids? The Building for Kids Children’s Museum is just the ticket. With over a dozen exhibits ranging across the arts and sciences, as well as educational hands-on summer camps, there is no shortage of fun to be had at the Building for Kids!
18. Fox River Mall – Appleton, WI
Need a little retail therapy? Hit the Fox River Mall in Appleton, just off of Highway 41. With plenty of food choices, free WiFi areas, and a stores for every shopping desire, the Fox River Mall is a great destination.
19. Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin – Appleton, WI
Feeling whimsical? Head on down to the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin. With a butterfly house, bridge, and maze, you’ll get a wonderful view of Monarchs and many other butterflies!
20. Mulberry Lane Farm – Sherwood, WI
Mulberry Lane Petting Farm provides an ideal country learning environment where people of all ages can interact and learn about farm animals through “hands-on” group and self-guided tours.
21. Additionally, there are several public golf courses in Appleton and the Fox Cities that are both challenging and/or peaceful courses. Try Reid Municipal, Chaska, High Cliff, Winnagamie Golf, The Creeks at Ivy Acres, or Irish Waters just to name a few of the wonderful courses in the area.
With all of these great attractions, who wouldn’t want to visit Appleton? Explore, enjoy, and embrace the Fox Cities.