Sunday, August 13, 2017

Regner Park

Regner Park is a large park in West Bend.  It looks like they have a LOT to offer, but we went there to swim.

I will start by saying it was a really nice beach and splash pad.  It is a man-made pond with lifeguards.  There began the less desirable qualities.  I am all for safety, but this place seemed little over-the-top.  Kids under....5? 6? (I'm not sure because the prerecorded repeating announcement contradicted itself) are required to be within arm's reach of their guardian.  Seems like a reasonable request, right?  Except the "kiddie" area of this beach is VERY shallow VERY far in.  I do not need to stand in water up to my ankles to keep my child within arm's reach.  I can sit on the beach and watch her safely. Yes, I know kids can drown in 2 inches of water, but in the very slim chance her face went in and didn't pop right back out, I could easily stand up and run to grab her in plenty of time.  And even kids with flotation devices are not allowed to go past their armpits without passing a swim test.  Now HERE is where the arm's reach rule would actually make sense to me.  If she's past her armpits I should be able to reach her.  But no matter because she can't go there anyway.  And flotation devices aren't allowed outside of the very shallow kiddie area, so...? Don't worry, if you even think about doing something that might not be allowed, a lifeguard will start yelling through a megaphone from their chair.  You can't entirely understand them sometimes, and you usually have no idea whether they are yelling at you or someone else, but there is a lot of yelling none-the-less.

Overall, the kids really did enjoy themselves, and it was a nice clean place.  And I will say I'm sure they almost never have any incidents.  I just found it to be a little bit stressful.  I was looking forward to be able to relax a bit knowing there were lifeguards watching, but it felt to me more like I was constantly on edge trying to make sure we weren't getting in trouble.  It would probably also be better if you went there a few times and were more familiar with the expectations.

In the winter, the pond turns into a skating rink, which sounds fun.

Also at the park: playgrounds, trails, a fishing pond, and sport fields.  There is a labrynth garden, too!  I wish I would have known, because I would definitely have dragged my kiddo there to check it out.

Would I go back to explore the park some more?  Absolutely!  Would I take my kids swimming there again?  No.

Regner Park
800 N Main Street ~ West Bend, WI ~ (262)335-5087
Admission: for swimming $4/adult, $3/child, 2&under free

Traxler Park

We attended a party this summer at Traxler Park in Janesville.  It was a great venue, and we had a lot of fun!

The playground area was separated into sections, giving us lots of room to play and explore.  Even the adults had to try out some of the unique equipment we found here!

The bathrooms were pretty nice.  I assume they are usually open, but it may just have been for the party.

One note of caution: this park is on the water, so it's something to keep an eye on, but the playground was not close enough to cause us much concern.  There is a water-skiing team that performs at the park that would be pretty fun to check out too.

Traxler Park
600 N Main St ~ Janesville, WI ~ (608)755-3025

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bay Beach Amusement Park

Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay is a great place to take the family!

There are rides for all ages, from kiddie rides to roller coaster.

The best part about Bay Beach, though, is the price.  Tickets are only 25 cents each, and most of the rides are only one or two tickets.  We bought $20 for our family of 2 adults and 2 littles, and we brought more than half of them home with us.  (Don't worry - they don't expire!)

Bay Beach Amusement Park
1313 Bay Beach Rd ~ Green Bay, WI ~ (920) 448-3365
Admission: No admission, 25 cents/ticket

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is not usually the first place you think of when you hear "Bay Beach," but it is a gem! 

Our first stop was the Nature Center.

 It is a really fun, hands-on place!  There are things to climb in, including a mock tree with hidey-holes that show different critters that live there.  There are live animals and animal bones.

This miniature house gives examples of different ways wild animals could invade your home.
 There's also a "beaver slide" into the "otter pond," which does a pretty good job of making you feel like you are under water.

Then we got to explore the animals.  It is like a very natural zoo.  We saw all kinds of animals, but our favorite were the deer.  This guy hung out pretty close to the fence, so the brave one got to pet it!
 We really enjoyed the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

 Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
1660 East Shore Drive ~ Green Bay, WI ~ (920) 391-3671

Apple Valley Park

Apple Valley Park is in Beaver Dam.  It is a small neighborhood park in a subdivision on the edge of town.
It is not a very large park, but there is a covered picnic shelter and a nice playground.  There are swings, monkey bars, and slides.
We also enjoyed the rock climbing tunnel.
Their favorite part of the playground was a fake wall with a cut out that worked really well for playing drive-thru.

There were no bathrooms.

Apple Valley Park
Empire Drive ~ Beaver Dam, WI

Dodge County Historical Society

The Dodge County Historical Society has a museum in Beaver Dam.

Admittedly, we did not see the entire museum.  For some reason my kiddo got totally freaked out and would not go to most of it.

Both littles enjoyed the loft area, which has a model wigwam and teepee.  There is also a large collection of arrowheads found in the area.

Most of the museum was jam-packed full of antique items.  There was plenty of daylight, but most of the lights were turned off, so it was still a bit dark.

There is a mock one-room schoolhouse set up on the second floor.

It was a bummer that the kids couldn't touch anything.  I was hopeful when a sign mentioned something about playing in the schoolhouse, but there were signs all over once we got up there saying not to touch anything.

There were some easy opportunities I saw for them to make this museum a bit more interactive, but it is really just a very large collection of stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I found it pretty interesting!  It is a place worth stopping by once for an hour.

The curator was very friendly.

Dodge County Historical Society
105 Park Avenue ~ Beaver Dam, WI ~ (920) 887-1266

Woodlawn Park

Woodlawn Park is Neosho's only park.  It features a dock and a boat launch.

 My kiddo thought it was "hilarious" that the road drove right into the water :)
 There is some confusion when it comes to the playground.  Is it part of the park?  Does it belong to the school? I cannot tell.  Google maps shows it as part of the park, the random guy I asked said it was the school's.  Since the park edges right up against the school property, I really don't know where the line is.
 We played there anyway!

There is a nice picnic shelter that is definitely part of the park, as well as permanent bathrooms.  They were nothing great, but they were better than port-a-potties!

Woodlawn Park
Center St ~ Neosho, WI