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