Friday, December 30, 2016

Preview Post: Pony Playce

I kind of really wish Pony Playce existed when I was a little girl... It is a stable in Appleton that offers themed play dates with ponies.  What more is there to say??  It is by appointment only, so call ahead!

Pony Playce
N2757 Alphorn Lane ~ Appleton, WI ~(920) 931-2918
Admission: Prices start at $15

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Preview Post: Monkey Joe's

Monkey Joe's is an inflatable play center.  It looks like they have your typical slides and bounce houses.  I will say they have a pretty sweet-looking parent lounge!  They do recommend supervising your children at all times, but I am assuming if your kiddos are a bit older and able to do the run around-check in thing, it would be a nice place to chill.

Monkey Joe's
1800 N. Casaloma ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 954-5437
Admission: $5.99 for 2&under, $9.99/$10.99 per child depending on the day, Adults free

Preview Post: Xtreme Air

Xtreme Air is a trampoline and rock climbing park in Appleton.  They offer rock climbing (obviously) as well as a few different trampoline attractions.

There is a foam pit with a balance beam to joust on.  There is also a slam-dunk basketball area and a giant air bag to jump onto.  Of course, there are also lots of trampolines to do your own thing!

I find the laser maze intriguing. It looks to be a self-enclosed unit, so it must be pretty small, but I think it would be fun.

Xtreme Air
W3035 Edgewood Trail ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 903-8300
Admission: varies by age and attraction, prices start at $6/hour for toddler

Preview Post: Super Bowl Family Entertainment Center

Super Bowl in Appleton looks like a large bowling alley.  They boast some fancy, state-of-the-art scoring system.  It looks kind of fun, but I'm going to guess that bowling here is probably pretty similar to most large, modern alleys.  Has anyone been here?  Is there anything special about it?

Super Bowl Family Entertainment Center
2222 E Northland Ave ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920)739-9503
Admission: prices vary by party size and time

Monday, November 28, 2016

Preview Post: Funset Boulevard

Funset Boulevard is essentially a (mostly) indoor entertainment park in Appleton.  There are arcade games, laser tag, an indoor playground, mini-golf, bumper cars, a carousel, and a train.  It's pay as you go, but they do offer a couple of package/wristband options as well.  If you're trying to get out of the house on a yucky day, it's worth checking out.

Funset Boulevard
3916 W College Avenue ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 993-0909
Admission: train ride starts at $1.50, and it all goes up from there

Preview Post: The Fire

The Fire is a glaze-your-own pottery studio in Appleton.  They boast projects for any age, but also offer play accommodations for the youngest visitors.  They offer events, but you can also just walk in.

The Fire
230 E. College Avenue ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 882-2920
Admission: Projects start at $5

Preview Post: Sky Zone

Sky Zone is a trampoline park in Appleton.  They provide quite a few different trampoline activities, but the most family-friendly look to be open jump time and toddler time.  Toddler time gives the itty bitties a chance to have some fun without parents having to worry about them getting trampled.

Sky Zone
3169 Van Roy Road ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 351-4441
Admission: $9/half hour, $15/unlimited ***You must also buy $2 SkySock that can be reused***

Building for Kids

The Building for Kids is a children's museum in Appleton.  I remember going there when I was a kid and was so excited to take my own children there!  Of course, much of it has changed, and most of my favorites were gone, but they have been replaced with hours of fun for the new generation.

There is a giant tree house to explore...

Games to play...

Real-life equipment to try out...

And a baby/toddler area to roam freely.

There is really plenty to do to take an entire day.  They encourage you to bring a lunch, but they also give hand stamps for re-entry if you'd prefer to find lunch somewhere else.

My littles had so much fun here, and were not at all ready to go when we dragged them out the door!

Building for Kids
100 W College Avenue ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920)734-3226
Admission: $7.50/ages 1-64, $6.50/senior citizen, under 1 free

Preview Post: Escape Room

So I tend to veer toward activities I have done or could do with my own children, but I had to include this for the older set.  I have not been to the Escape Room in Appleton or Green Bay, but my husband and I did a similar variation at a different location, and it was SO MUCH FUN!  I'm glad I checked into the ages, because I cannot WAIT to take my kiddo when she's old enough.  I will say, I think there would need to be some intense prepping and careful selection of the scenario, but I think kids who are into puzzles could really get a kick out of working on a "grown-up" puzzle with their parents.

The Escape Room allows kids ages 10 & up (accompanied by an adult), but I do think it may take a fairly brave 10 year old to not get freaked out about being "locked" (not really, but it does end the game if you leave) into a room.

Escape Room
2701 N. Oneida Street ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920)731-CLUE
985 Centennial Street – Green Bay, WI ~ (920)731-CLUE
Admission: $25-$30/person

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Preview Post: Chuck E Cheese's

There is a branch of the Chuck E Cheese restaurant chain in Appleton.  We haven't been to this particular one, but I'm going to guess it's very similar to the one we have?  Mascot show, game room, kids' paradise...

There's no admission fee, but the only thing you can do for free is watch the show.

Chuck E Cheese
4671 Michaels Drive ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 832-8323

Preview Post: Badger Sports Park

Badger Sports Park in Appleton bills itself as an entertainment center.  They have a pretty good selection of activities to choose from.  It looks like the older your family is, the more they will be able to participate.  A few of the attractions have age restrictions (laser tag, go karts), others are just not realistic for the littles (batting cages).

This place looks like a lot of fun for an active family.  It could definitely add up, though. There are hourly or daily passes (with some exclusions); you can also pay a la carte per activity.

Badger Sports Park
3600 E Evergreen Drive ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 830-6900

Preview Post: North Star Lanes

North Star Lanes is a bowling alley in Antigo, WI... And that's about all the info I can find about this place! If you're up there, check it out and let me know!

North Star Lanes
400 Prosser Place ~ Antigo, WI ~ (715) 627-4325

Preview Post: Raptor Education Group

The Raptor Education Group, Inc. is actually a wildlife preservation group.  They focus on getting injured birds back into the wild.  They offer tours of their facilities and other programs on a regular basis.  They don't really have a super consistent, set schedule of hours, but they have pretty frequent offerings and regular tour in the summer.  If you're interested, chances seem pretty good that you can find something to attend that works in your schedule!

Make sure you check and call ahead!

N2160 W Rollwood Road ~ Antigo, WI ~ (715) 623-2563
Price varies by event; tours are $8 per person, 5&under free

Preview Post: Mepps

Mepps is not exactly the first place I would think to take my family, but that's what this blog is all about, right??  Finding places to go when you're out of ideas!

Mepps is actually a factory in Antigo, WI.  They make fishing lures.  Unlike many factories I've checked into, this one still offers plant tours.  You can actually watch them make their products by hand!  Perfect for a family of anglers, but I imagine it's pretty interesting no matter who you are.

626 Center Street ~ Antigo, WI ~ 715-623-2382

Busy Barns Adventure Farm

This year the Wisconsin for Kids family decided to try pumpkin-ing at Busy Barns Adventure Farm.  It is located near Fort Atkinson, right on the highway.

We went the first weekend in October, and while there were a lot of people there, there was also a lot to do.  It felt busy, but not overcrowded. 

Our adventure started with the animals.  The kiddos loved the baby animals.  They got to climb right into the pen with them!

We also had fun trying many of the physical activities around the farm.

From coffee can stilts, to underground slides, the possibilities felt endless!

Busy Barns also has an obstacle course you can race.

I was a bit surprised at how well the kiddos were able to tackle some of the activities.  I would say they definitely provide fun for a broad range of age groups.  On the tricycle track, there are regular-sized trikes and over-sized.  The tractor tire play area can be climbed on or through.  The hayloft has big slides and little slides.  Busy Barns does a really nice job of making sure there is something for everyone.

The part I was less impressed with was their food selection.  There was really not anything special, and they had NO CARAMEL APPLES!!  Personally, that is my favorite part about our annual pumpkin trip.  But, honestly, if you just need a snack or a bit of lunch, you could.  We chose to leave a little earlier than we might have and eat lunch a little later than usual - we just stopped and got something in town.

While we did enjoy ourselves, it felt a little expensive.  Adults and kids all had to pay, and the QUANTITY of activities was definitely not lacking, there wasn't really anything that stood out to us as special or outstanding.  It was the first time I remembered feeling like it was really expensive to visit the pumpkin patch, even though it's in the ballpark for other similar places in the area.  Maybe if the kids were a little older, and we spent the whole day there it would have seemed better?

All said and done, I don't think it's the first place I would think of, but if someone says they're going, I wouldn't try to talk them out of it!

One other word of warning: our GPS did not drop us at the right spot!  We had to go a few extra miles on Hwy 12 to find it.

Be sure to visit their website for dates and a complete list of available activities!

Busy Barns Adventure Farm
W7675 Highway 12 ~ Fort Atkinson, WI ~ 920-691-6742
Admission: $10 per person, under 1 free; some activities cost extra

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Children's Play Gallery

We once visited the Children's Play Gallery when it was in its old location.  They have expanded!  There is so much to do there now!
The first thing you see when you walk in is a giant pirate ship.  So fun!

Behind the pirate ship, there are more play areas.   There is a market, a kitchen, a veterinarian shop (think Doc McStuffins), a playhouse, and a slide - to get to & from the vet office, of course!  They also have a quieter area with books and Legos hiding back there behind the umbrella.

For the littler set, there is a closed-in play area designed just for them.  There are lots of just-right toys to climb and age-appropriate toys to play with.  It's also a nice place to let them move at their own place without worrying about protecting them from the big kids.

Moving into the back are of the Play Gallery are more themed play areas, starting with the construction center.
 There is available any tool or material a child could need to construct a fake structure:)  Plus, don't forget to dress the part!

Near the building area is an art center.  Again, this is completely closed in, so wayward wanderers don't create a mess before you catch them.

There were lots and lots of art supplies, as well as project ideas.

 Here is the science area.  Our favorite was the dinosaur scene, which has trees, grass, ponds and LOT of dinosaurs to move around.  There are magnetic letters and pattern shapes for the white board.  They also have magnifying glasses to examine bugs encased in clear blocks (ew!).  There are light-up table with building sets as well.

Upstairs, the Children's Play Gallery has an Imagination Playground (with the big blue blocks to build your own play structures).  Also housed on the top level are a lunch area and party rooms.

We found the experience to be well worth the price we paid.  Especially since they are one of the few children's museum-type places I have found where the ADULTS ARE FREE!

The whole place was very tidy and quite clean.  The employees were constantly walking through putting things away.  It also helps that there are no shoes allowed, so BRING SOCKS!  If you forget, though, they do have some to borrow!

You can carry in your own food, but they ask you only eat in the designated area.

I found The Children's Play Gallery to be a phenomenally family-friendly place.  I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

The Children's Play Gallery
126 East Wisconsin Avenue ~ Oconomowoc, WI ~ 262-354-0819
Admission: $10/1-18 years old, Adults & Under 1 Free, membership available

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Tivoli Island Natural Park

Tivoli Island Natural Park is a nice quiet place to enjoy nature.

Feed the ducks from the bridge, but be careful!  There is no railing on the bridge, so it is easy lose a kid off the side!

We enjoyed a nature walk.  Bring the bug spray!

I don't remember coming across any bathrooms.

Tivoli Island Natural Park
S Concord Avenue ~ Watertown, WI

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Riverside Park

Riverside Park is the main park in Watertown.  The prize feature is the community-built playground.

There are areas designated for different age groups, but really both of my two were very able to enjoy the whole thing.  There are slides, ramps, swings, bridges, stairs, and more!

Aside from this playground, there are paths to walk and ducks to feed.  There is also another smaller playground in a different area of the park.

There are bathrooms as well.

Riverside Park
812 Labaree Street ~ Watertown, WI

Grinwald Park

There is not much to Grinwald Park in Watertown.  It is really just a soccer park.

This is pretty much it.  If you are looking for big open grass, this is your place.  If you are looking for an hour of time where YOU don't have to entertain the kids, try somewhere else!

Grinwald Park
760 Milford Street ~ Watertown, WI

Timothy Johnson Park

Timothy Johnson Park is in Watertown.  It is a fairly generic park, but we had fun there.

It was well-visited while we were there.  It definitely wasn't overrun with children, but I get the idea that when you are there playing, chances are you will get to interact with other kids too.

Timothy Johnson has two climbers, one designed for young children, one for older.  There is also a nice covered picnic shelter with bathrooms and a bubbler! 

Timothy Johnson Park
1115 Oak Street ~ Watertown, WI

Monday, August 8, 2016

YMCA at Pabst Farm

The YMCA at Pabst Farm houses an aquatic facility that is great for young swimmers.  There is a small climber, zero depth entry, and a water slide.

The toddler/preschool crowd enjoyed themselves.  I think kids much older might be less impressed.

This is a nice place, but the price seemed a bit steep for swimming.  In all fairness, we really didn't use any of the rest of the facilities, so maybe it could have been more worth it.  I felt like there were more economical options as far as swimming goes.

YMCA at Pabst Farms
1750 East Valley Rd ~ Oconomowoc, WI ~ (262)567-7251
Admission: $8-$21/day, depending on age

Imagination Station @ Roosevelt Park

Imagination Station is a "universally accessible" playground.  They have equipment for children with all degrees of abilities, which means they also have some items you may not normally come across in playgrounds.

There is an enormous climbing structure, as well as outlying pieces of equipment.

My toddler's favorite part was the area modeled after a train.  My preschooler had a blast running through the structure and zooming down the slides.

The kiddos loved this playground!  I think they easily could have stayed for hours, though we got rained out:)  There was so much to explore!

There were bathroom facilities.

Imagination Station
110 E Forest St ~ Oconomowoc, WI

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Spring Valley mini park

My kiddo and I stumbled upon a mini park at the edge of Spring Valley on our way home from Minnesota.  I have searched and searched, but I cannot find any indication of what this place actually was.  My best conjecture is a rest stop on a trail?  There was a a gravel patch that we parked on.

We just needed to stretch our legs, so pulled off when I saw there was one swing.  There is no other play equipment, but there is a covered picnic table.  Our fun, though, was the creek! There was really not a particularly good way to get in, but it was cool and shallow, and we had a lot of fun splashing around.

Not a place to spend a day, but kind of a fun pit stop!

Park Drive ~ Spring Valley, WI

Schaller Park

Schaller Park is a riverfront park in Watertown.  It was slightly hard to find unless you know it's there.  There is no parking to speak of, but it is definitely peaceful.  It reminded me of a giant, fancy backyard.

The park has a climber and swings.  There is also a lot of waterfront (read: goose poop).  We had a nice little snack picnic, and then about a half hour of play was enough.

There is a port-a-potty.

Schaller Park
1200 Riverview Lane ~ Watertown, WI

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Preview Post: It's All Good Farm

It's All Good Farm is a farm stand and petting zoo just outside of Antigo.  It sounds like they have all your standard petting zoo animals, as well as opportunities to feed some of them.  They have pony rides and supposedly COW rides!  Plus, they have some really cool events; I am so disappointed I can't get to their Super ZOO Splash Weekend.  They are setting up pools and slip'n'slides!

If you are in the area, be sure to check them out.

It's All Good Farm
2 miles North of Fleet Farm (seriously, that's the only address they'll give!) ~ Antigo, WI ~ 715-701-0713
Admission: $2/over 6, $4/family, extra for rides

Preview Post: Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center

The Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center is the community pool in Antigo.  It is an indoor facility with a zero-depth entry pool and a water slide.  It looks like there are splash features as well.  I would definitely try this place out, rain or shine!

Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center
111 Western Avenue ~ Antigo, WI ~ 715-627-0497
Admission: $3/student, $5/adult, $11/family

Deer Trail Park

Deer Trail Park in Watertown is a neighborhood park in the middle of a subdivision.

 There are two play sets (one larger, one smaller), along with a couple of more unique features, such as this ball maze.

It definitely was entertaining for my little guy, but this park struck me as a lot of fun for older kids.  There were quite a few different climbing apparatuses.

This park also has a very ample lawn area.

If you're lucky enough to be there on the right day, you may even get the bonus entertainment of watching a TRUCK come and pump out the port-a-potty!  Highlight of the trip for my toddler:)

Obviously, there is a port-a-potty onsite.

Deer Trail Park
603 Deer Trail ~ Watertown, WI

Rock River Gymnastics Center

Rock River Gymnastics Center offers lots of gymnastics lesson, but they also hold regular open gyms when anyone can go play.  Both of my kiddos love to go run and jump!

It is actually inside a warehouse.

They built a platform where the trampolines are.

Rock River also has certain open gyms times just for young children.  There can play without getting trampled!

Here's my little tyke getting ready to run & "jump" (aka "fall") into the foam pit.  He loved having run of the place!

Rock River Gymnastics Center
1202 Wakoka St ~ Watertown, WI ~ 920-390-4562
Admission: $5-$9 depending on membership & age

Glacier Rock Farms

Glacier Rock Farms is a petting zoo outside of Lebanon.

There were lots of animals to pet - you could feed some of them too!

The farm has a separate area for small animals.  When we were there, they also had some ducklings that the kids could try holding.

They also had some extra activities (for an extra price).  We went on a hay ride, and my kiddo was pretty thrilled to use her own money to ride the pony.

You can also pan for gems and try milking a cow.

Glacier Rock Farms also frequently holds events on the weekend.  We went for Mother's Day, so they had a craft for the kids.

There are port-a-potties.

Glacier Rock Farms
N1255 Hoard Rd ~ Lebanon, WI ~ 920-273-0612

Friday, May 13, 2016

Preview Post: Third Ward Park

Third Ward Park in Antigo has a small climber and lots of space.  They flood it for skating in the winter.  I don't see any sort of shelter or much for shade trees.

There is a seasonal port-a-potty.

Third Ward Park
1120 Second Ave ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Railway Activity Park

Railway Activity Park in Antigo looks like a really fun place to visit in the winter.  They have a sledding hill and ice rink.  There's also a skate park.  I cannot seem to find much about what they have to offer in the summertime (except a grassy hill, haha).

They have a seasonal port-a-potty.

Railway Activity Park
1011 First Ave ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Saratoga Park

Saratoga Park in Antigo looks like a pretty nice park.  It seems to be focused on athletic fields, but there is a climber as well.  There is a restroom, but it is only supposed to be opened seasonally.  They have a large picnic shelter as well.

Saratoga Park
1235 Nantasket St ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Robin's Roost Park

Well, Robin's Roost is technically listed as a "micro park" in Antigo.  It is really just a green space with a couple of shaded benches, but I guess if you are downtown and need to take a rest, it is a place to let go of the kids' hands for a few minutes.

Robin's Roost Park
641 Superior Street ~ Antigo, WI

Hunter Oaks Park

If you are looking for a step into suburbia, this is it!  Hunter Oaks is a very nice, well-kept park in Watertown.  It is a green space in the middle of a subdivision.  There are two large climbers, a walking/biking path, and lots of grass.

This park has some nice, unique features as well, such as this adaptive seat swing.
When my kiddo and I were there, there were some neighborhood kids who had biked there to play.  Families were in and out.  It really did have a nice neighborhood feel, and there was plenty to keep my four year old entertained.

Be warned, though: there are no bathrooms!!

Hunter Oaks Park (also known on Google Maps as Arlington Park)
600 Arlington Way ~ Watertown, WI

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Preview Post: Peaceful Valley Park

Peaceful Valley Park in Antigo has a big, wooden, community-built playground.  It looks beautiful!  They have a sand box in summer and an ice rink in winter.  I think if I had to pick one park to visit in Antigo, Peaceful Valley Park might be it! 

Peaceful Valley Park
420 Field Street ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: North Clermont Park

North Clermont Park in Astigo is mostly a playground.  I don't see any climbers, but it looks like they have the updated classics: swings, slide, merry-go-round.  There is also a basketball hoop.

North Clermont Park
725 Ackley Street ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Mendlik Park

Mendlik Park in Antigo doesn't look like their very best park, but there is at least stuff to do.  There is a small playground for the kids as well as basketball.  They have some green space as well.

Mendlik Park
1439 Clermont Street ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Kingsbury Park

Kingsbury Park in Antigo is called a "mini park" for good reason.  It really just looks like a small courtyard.  There doesn't seem to be anything except one tree, one bench, and a patch of grass.  I guess if you're walking downtown, the kids can walk across a piece of grass instead of the sidewalk?  Doesn't seem worth look for, though!

Kingsbury Park
707 Fifth Avenue ~ Antigo, WI

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Preview Post: Hudson Street Park

Hudson Street Park in Antigo is on the lake.  It looks to be very picturesque.  It's not huge, but there is playground with nice picnic facilities.  It seems like a pretty nice place.

Hudson Street Park
728 Hudson Street ~ Antigo, WI

Preview Post: Antigo Lake Park

Antigo Lake Park looks like a great place to spend an afternoon.  It has a nice playground and restrooms available.  There are picnic facilities as well.

Antigo Lake Park
425 Third Avenue ~ Antigo, WI

Belleville Community Park

Should you happen to be dragged accompanied to Belleville by your significant other who has to visit the Duluth Trading Outlet and should you need something to do while aforementioned significant other browses aforementioned outlet, you may be wondering what exactly there is to DO in Belleville.  The answer is: not a ton.

However, there is a pretty little park!  Community Park is on Lake Belle View with a beautiful causeway walking path. 

There is also a small playground.  Important note: it's right next to the water, and there is NO fence or barrier.

There are buildings with bathrooms, but they were all locked when we were here.  There was a port-a-potty.

Community Park
39 N River Street ~ Belleville, WI

Mustard Museum

The Mustard Museum in Middleton is one like no other.  It's not huge, but it's worth the stop.

(Photo credits to Jason Hensler)

The actual museum is on the lower level.  I believe they have every kind of mustard ever made.

There is also some kitschy memorabilia, as every good museum should have!

But the real fun of this museum is upstairs.  You can sample any mustard they sell - which is a ton!  They have lots of different kinds open around the store with pretzels set out to grab.  You can ask for anything you see, though!  It was fantastic!

Mustard Museum
7477 Hubbard Avenue ~ Middleton, WI ~ (800) 438-6878