Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GymTastics - CLOSED


GymTastics is a gymnastics center.  Their main focus is lessons, but they also offer open gym times which are available to the public.  My kiddo enjoyed her lessons, but she really loves just going to play as well.

Her favorites are the trampolines and the foam pit!  Not a bad way to burn off some energy for a couple of hours!

Open gym is only at certain times, so be sure to check the schedule online or call to check before heading over there.

925 S 12th St. ~ Watertown, WI ~ (920) 206-9323
Admission: $4-$8 depending on membership and which open gym session you attend

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Preview Post: Red Arrow Park

This is my first preview post!  With school going on again, we aren't able to go to new places as often, so I thought I'd try to research and feature some places we aren't likely to get to in the near future.  If anyone has experience here, let me know your opinions, and I will gladly feature them here.  Feel free to send pictures or add details as well!

Red Arrow Park appears to be Abbotsford's largest park.  There is a baseball diamond, a disc golf course, and a volleyball court.  Red Arrow also has a playground and a shelter to rent.

Red Arrow Park
407 W Hemlock St ~ Abbotsford, WI ~ 715-223-3444

Wilson Park

Wilson Park is nestled right next to St. Norbert College, which is how we came across it.  It would have been easy to miss!  It is a set of swings.  On a little piece of grassy land with lots of trees.  That's it.  Didn't even get a picture.  If you happen to be at St. Norbert, it's a place for the kids to take a break and swing.  Otherwise, don't bother!

Wilson Park
335 College Ave ~ De Pere, WI

Waldvogel's Farm

Waldvogel's Farm is a full-experience fall adventure!  There's plenty to explore and play.

 Duck races

 Hop-along Rodeo
 Inside the hay barn, there's also a hay maze to crawl through.

Other big hits for my kiddo were the train ride around the farm and the underground tunnel slide.
Of course, make sure you take a ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick that perfect pumpkin!

We can't wait to go back this year!

Waldvogel's Farm
N7416 County Road I ~ Juneau, WI ~ (920) 885-9590
Admission: $9 per person, 2&under free, some additional attractions available for additional fee

Lapacek's Orchard

I took my Kindergarten classes to Lapacek's Orchard for the past 4 years.  Unfortunately, they don't allow u-pick apples, but they do have some other produce you may pick yourself.  Plus, there are other fun things to do!

Lapacek's has an orchard walk, a sunflower field to play in, and two play areas.  One is made entirely of tires, which was always a big hit with my Kinders.  They also enjoyed the animals!

If you're looking for one adventure after the other, you'll probably get through everything in a couple of hours, but we always made a day of it.  We did most in the morning, ate a picnic lunch, then played on the equipment until it was time to head back to school.

Lapacek's Orchard
N1959 Kroncke Road ~ Poynette, WI ~ (608) 635-4780

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Betty Brinn Children's Museum

Betty Brinn Children's Museum is quite an extensive place!  We spent the whole day, and there was a whole lot we never got to.

My kiddo enjoyed the mock community businesses.  There were pizzas to make, buses to drive, shows to host, and more.

The indoor park was lots of fun too.

My kiddo also really enjoyed the golf ball area.  There were all sorts of ramps and such to experiment with.

Betty Brinn Children's Museum
929 E Wisconsin Ave ~ Milwaukee, WI ~ 414-390-KIDS (5437)
Admission: $8 per person, under 1 free

Staude's Apple Blossom Acres

 We spent the day at the farm picking apples - and by day, I mean about half an hour!  It was great!  We got the whole apple-picking experience without taking up our entire day.

Apple Blossom Acres is a family farm.  They do honey and pumpkins too, although I don't think they allow you to harvest your own honey :)  Pumpkins I'm not sure about.

Mr. Staude was great with my kiddo.  He took us down to his apple trees, suggested the best kinds for what we were looking for, and then he helped her pick her apples.

When we were done, Mr. Staude showed us around the farm a bit and sent us on our way.  Pleasant experience :)

Staude's Apple Blossom Acres
N1475 Hwy M ~ Watertown, WI ~ (920) 261-6729

Country Springs Hotel & Water Park

We had so much fun at Country Springs!  It is on the smaller scale as far as indoor water parks go, but it had plenty to keep us occupied for the morning.  I think young children could make a full open-to-close day of Country Springs, but older kids would probably get bored after a few hours.

There is an "interactive" water play area: small water slides, water guns, dump bucket, and the like.

This picture is a little bit of a broader shot of the back end of the water park.  The blue tunnel carries tubes to the top of the staircase.  The large slides start & end inside, but the structures themselves are all outside the building.

There is also an activity pool with basketball and balancing lily pads, plus there's a hot tub.

One of my favorite things about Country Springs were that my kiddo could wear her own floatie!  Wouldn't have seemed like a big deal except that I discovered this summer our nearest community pool didn't allow them.

My other favorite part was that there was no height or age requirement for the tube slides!  This really surprised me, but we were thrilled because my kiddo LOVES water slides.  Daddy may or may not have accidentally taken her on an unsupervised one this summer for which (we later discovered) she was technically too little, thus spurring her love of them.  Whoops!  Anyhow, at Country Springs it was no problem; as long as she was with an adult, she was good to go!

Country Springs Water Park
2810 Golf Rd ~ Pewaukee, WI ~ 262-547-0201
Admission: $15/weekday pass, $25/weekend day pass, but check for specials, especially during certain days/hours; under 2 is free

The Mineshaft

The Mineshaft is actually a restaurant, which is not exactly what I'm hoping to cover in this blog, but it really could be done without even eating at the restaurant part.  I will throw in there that they have a very extensive menu and pretty reasonable prices if you are interested in eating during your visit.

The main attraction to The Mineshaft is their huge game room! 

You buy tokens, play games, earn tickets, and cash in for prizes.  The great part about this place is that, while there were definitely plenty of kids playing games, it doesn't feel awkward for adults to play too.  In fact, when we visited with my family, we all played games - and my 2-year-old is the only one of us under the age of 16!  There is lots of fun to be had no matter what age you are, which makes this a GREAT place to take the whole family!

The Mineshaft
22 N Main St ~ Hartford, WI ~ 262-673-5416
Admission: Depends how desperately you want that giant prize :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wild Goose Park

This is not a park we would have easily stumbled upon, but I'm glad we discovered it!

It seems very new.  It is well-kept with a great bathroom facility, which was open when we were there.  The playground is bedded with shredded tire, so you may want to avoid wearing light-colored clothing.

I'm guessing the main attraction at this park is soccer games, based on the many fields at the park.  There are multiple covered picnic areas throughout the park.  Supposedly you can also camp here; we didn't see any camping area, though, admittedly, we were not here long.

The park is right on the Wild Goose Trail as well.

Wild Goose Park
401 N Hyland St ~ Juneau, WI

Point Beach State Forest

I believe the main draw to Point Beach is the camping.  That's why we were there!  There are many trails to explore. 

As the name suggests, the park also hosts beachfront on Lake Michigan.  I was a bit disappointed by the beach.  I remember going to the beach each year growing up, and it was a great sandy place to play.  There is still a narrow strip of sand, but I believe a few years ago the park began an initiative to allow the dunes to return to their more natural state, so most of the beach is now covered in beach grass and native plants.  Great for environmental promotion, but not so easy to find a place to lay out beach towels!  There is also a separate dog beach for those so inclined.

Toward the north end of the park's beach is a concession stand.  Just a short walk up from that is a playground.  There is not a whole lot there: a few wooden/metal structures, some swings, and a few picnic benches.  There is also a grass ball diamond.  What there is a lot of is open space.

Point Beach State Forest
9400 Cty Hwy O ~ Two Rivers, WI ~ 920-794-7480
Admission: A state park vehicle pass is required.  Daily ($7) or Annual ($25) passes are available.  They cost slightly more for out-of-state vehicles.

Juneau City Park

 We were so impressed by this park!  It seemed huge!  The first thing my kiddo HAD to do when we got there was the super-tall old-fashioned metal slide.  Whee!
 After the slide, we hit up the metal merry-go-round, and then it was onto the first climber (yes, I said first - as in, there are more than one!).  My kiddo really enjoyed the unique tunnel and tower on this climber.

After awhile, we headed over to the other climber.  I gather that this is the older of the two.  It doesn't have quite as much to do, but it was fun to have another place to play.

Then, of course, we had to take a ride in the Jeep.  And another ride.  Over. And. Over.  Fun times :)  We drove to outer space - you should be so lucky!

There was definitely a lot to explore at this park.

There are also swings and HUGE open, grassy, mostly-shaded areas.  They have two open picnic shelters, plus picnic areas around the park.

Across the street (not sure if it was technically part of the park) are multiple ball diamonds, volleyball courts, and some horseshoe pits.

There restroom facilities were also open when we were there.

My kiddo and I were quite impressed by this park, especially in a small town like Juneau.

Juneau City Park
Lincoln Dr ~ Juneau, WI

Reeseville Fireman's Park

This is a newer park, and (in my opinion) the much nicer of the two parks in Reeseville. 

Aside from this climber, there are swings and a sandbox.

My kiddo had lots of fun on this playground.  She especially enjoyed the talk tube, where she and I could whisper to each other from different spots on the playground.

My only caution about this playground is the shredded tire ground cover.  Nice for playing on, but it does leave black marks.

There is also a cute wooden bridge that crosses a creek to the baseball diamonds.  There is a large open picnic shelter and plenty of shaded space for running around. 

There were port-a-potties near the ball diamonds.

 Fireman's Park
406 N Main St ~ Reeseville, WI

Reeseville Mini Park

This little park on the edge of the village holds a small playground, a gazebo, a couple of picnic tables and a basketball hoop. 

The Mini Park seemed a bit run down to me.  There was a pile of wood chips on the edge of the park that I am assuming are waiting to be spread around the playground.  When we were there, it was packed dirt/sand around the play equipment.  In fact, we didn't even stay to play because throughout the whole equipment area, the ground was swarming with bees.  It was a bizarre phenomenon!  All the brown on the ground in the picture are actually bees.  I have no idea what caused this or whether it was a one-time deal that we just happened to catch, but I was not interested!

There are no restrooms onsite.

If you're in the area and looking for a place to play, I highly recommend skipping the Mini Park and heading over to the Fireman's Park!

Reeseville Mini Park
Approx. 250 Jackson St ~ Reeseville, WI

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ebert's Greenhouse Village

 Okay, so this is technically a place meant to sell plants, BUT you can definitely just go to play!  It is a large place with a "kid's village." 

The kid's village has a few small kid-sized buildings that are fun to play in.  There is a little schoolhouse, which we have gone into before, but this time it was locked. 

Inside the little barn, there are farm-themed toys as well as a toy kitchen area.

My personal favorite is the adorable bunny-themed playhouse set up a bit like a dollhouse with stuffed bunnies rather than dolls.  It also has a sandbox attached outside.

There are plenty of picnic tables, and we have seen outdoor toys around on occasion when we have been there as well.  Ebert's does also run quite a few events throughout the season.

Ebert's Greenhouse Village
W1795 Fox Rd ~ Ixonia, WI ~ 920-261-5645

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hustisford Lions Park

We really enjoyed the Hustisford Lions Park.  It's a nice park right by the river.  The playground area is pretty well fenced from the river, but down the path there is open access. 

The playground had an interesting mix of the old-fashioned and the new.  Caution: the slides are all metal!  Not so leg-friendly on a hot, sunny day!  When we were there it was cool and cloudy, so we had a blast :)

 This was my kiddo's favorite play piece.  It was smaller than most, so it was easy for her to climb around on.

The playground is all sanded and has a sandbox to boot.  Along with a playground, there are tennis courts and a basketball court.  There are also lots of picnic areas and benches to watch the river.

There is a bathroom building, but I'm not sure how reliable that is.  When we were there, the women's door was locked, but the men's was open.

Hustisford Lions Park
Ann St ~ Hustisford, WI

Friday, July 11, 2014

Watertown Bowl

Watertown Bowl 18 was a fun stop for a rainy morning!  We did a large family outing with all the cousins when we had some out-of-state visitors, and it was perfect!

As the name implies, there are 18 lanes.  We went mid-morning, mid-week, and there were plenty of lanes available, but we were definitely not the only ones there.  I was shocked they had bitty shoes to fit my kiddo and 6# balls she could carry, but they do not have any of the bowling ramps.  At least there are bumpers!  They were also very patient about retrieving the balls that didn't quite make it down the lane to the pins.

It is a fairly standard bowling alley.  The scoring is all computerized.  It is nicely kept and clean.  They also run some great open bowling specials.

There is another location as well: Watertown Bowl North.

Watertown Bowl
102 W. Cady St ~ Watertown, WI ~ 920-261-1796
Admission: Varies - under $5 per person per game, but cheaper if you play your cards right.  We bowled for just over $2 each (including shoes) on the daily special.

Clark Park

 This park is a lot of fun!  There is a small climber for the young folk and a larger climber for the more adventurous players.
 I've never even seen a walk-up "slide" before!  There are lots of activities on both climbers to keep kids occupied.
I was surprised how busy it was!  When I found it, it felt kind of like a hidden gem, but by 10:30, there was no doubt it has been well-discovered!

Clark Park also has swings, a sandbox, picnic benches, and a ball diamond.  There is a shelter with bathrooms.

Clark Park
225 Clark St ~ Watertown, WI

Watertown Aquatic Center

This is a great community pool!  The best part is that there is something for every age group.  There is a zero-depth entry with fountains, waterslides for tots, and a mushroom fountain.  For the older set, they have a large twisty waterslide and a quick drop one into the deep end.  There is also a diving board.  During rest times (or when you just need a break from the water), the kids can play in the sanded playground.  It holds a climber and some sand features.  Word of warning: it does get hot in the sun!

My very favorite part of the Watertown Aquatic Center is the colored lines along the bottom of the pool.  I'm assuming they are some sort of lifeguard watch sectioning tool, but they are so effective for, "you can only go up to the ________ line!"  Even my kiddo, who didn't venture too far out on her own, seemed relieved when I suggested she only lobster-walked to the green line (after multiple mouthfuls of water at points beyond that).

There are a couple of downfalls to the pool.  They don't allow carry-ins - they have a snack bar or will give you a stamp to return if you want to leave the pool to eat your own food.  We walked to a picnic bench at the adjoining park.

My biggest complaint is that there are no floatation devices allowed.  I'm sure that is not unique to this facility, but I cannot quite figure out the intention.  My kiddo is fresh off of swimming lessons and is so proud of herself being able to "swim" with her floatie on.  They even provided them for practice at the indoor pool lessons, which are also overseen by the Parks Department!  Oh well.  Officially the rules state that no pool toys are allowed.  However, I did see many people playing with toys, and I have seen plenty of buckets and such there before, but the family who tried to put floatation devices on their kids were stopped.  Glad they tried it before I did! :)

Watertown Aquatic Center
1009 Perry St ~ Watertown, WI ~ 920-262-8085
Admission: $3 per person older than one year

Lewis Park

This is a nice little park nestled on the Rock River in Watertown.  There is a nice little walking trail through the park, a fountain, and some picnic benches, but as far as I can tell, the main draw is the ducks.

 There is a port-a-potty onsite.

Fannie Lewis Park
415 N Water St ~ Watertown, WI

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Menominee Park and Zoo

 Menominee Park is a large park in Oshkosh.  There are ball diamonds, a beach, a large community-constructed wooden playground, and a zoo!

There is also a walking path through the park.  There is a small "amusement" area with a car ride and carousel.  It also hosts a small train that runs through the park.  Paddle boats are available for rent.  Most of the park is free (including the zoo), but it does cost to ride the rides.  While most of these are only open seasonally, there is definitely a plethora of activities to keep the whole family busy!

Babygirl on the carousel
Menominee Park
520 Pratt Trail ~ Oshkosh, WI ~ 920-236-5082

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lowell Fireman's Park

This is a park in the small village of Lowell.  What you see is what you get!  There is a small basketball court, a jungle gym, and a set of 3 swings.  There is a ball diamond, and there is a huge open area, which would be great if you are looking to play a game of tag or practice for a sport.  There is no open restroom.

Park Street ~ Lowell, WI

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Country Treasures

This actually reminds me of your old-fashioned general store.  There is a little bit of everything - Amish goods, thrift items, concrete statuary - but my tot and I went to check out the petting zoo.  It turns out the petting zoo is only officially open on the weekends, but you can go any time the store is open to walk around and look at the animals.  My kiddo got a kick out of the concrete ones almost as much as the live :)

Country Treasures
N3469 State Rd 26 ~ Clyman, WI ~ 920-696-3100

Clyman Fireman's Park

This is a quiet park in the small village of Clyman.  There is a well-kept ball diamond and a playground with swings, climber, and a merry-go-round.  There is also a large shaded area with posts for a volleyball net and a covered picnic area.  There is no open restroom except for during events.

 Park St. ~ Clyman, WI