Sunday, May 28, 2017

Preview Post: Telulah Park

Telulah Park in Appleton has a picnic pavilion, accessible bathrooms and playground.

Telulah Park
1300 East Newberry Street ~ Appleton, WI

Preview Post: Pierce Park

Pierce Park in Appleton has a pavilion, bathrooms and a handicapped-accessible playground.

Pierce Park
1035 West Prospect Avenue ~ Appleton, WI

Preview Post: Erb Park

Erb Park in Appleton has a pavilion, restrooms and a handicapped-accessible playground.  There is also ice skating and sledding for the winter, a wading pool in the summer.

Erb Park
1800 North Morrison Street ~ Appleton, WI

Preview Post: Appleton Memorial Park

Appleton's Memorial Park boasts restrooms and playground equipment.  There is also skating and sledding in the winter.  There is a nice picnic pavilion.

Appleton Memorial Park
1620 East Witzke Boulevard ~ Appleton, WI

Preview Post: Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin

The Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin is "Wisconsin's largest butterfly house and maze."  They also have bee, frog, toad, and turtle exhibits.  The butterflies look to be housed in a greenhouse-like structure, while the maze is shaped like a butterfly through the garden.

It looks like an enjoyable, relaxing stop.  I believe they are open seasonally.

Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin
N2550 State Hwy 47 ~ Appleton, WI ~ 920-475-0777
Admission: $6/adult, $3/child, 2 & under free

Henry Vilas Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison is a fantastic FREE zoo. 

There was a new interactive arctic exhibit that was lots of fun.  The kids could go into bear traps and an arctic exploration vehicle.

Of course, there are lots of other typical zoo exhibits too.  We had a great time!  Plus there is a really nice park right outside the gate.

Downside: very little parking

Henry Vilas Zoo
702 S. Randall Aveue ~ Madison, WI ~ (608) 266-4732
Admission: Free, carousel/train extra

Rockin' Jump

 We have been to the Madison Rockin' Jump a few times now.  Originally, we were looking for a place to take our two-year-old for his birthday that he would LOVE.  There are so many places he enjoys, so we wanted to come up with something a little bit different so it would feel more special.

We decided on a trampoline park.  There are a few in Southern Wisconsin, but the toddler jump hours at Rockin' Jump fit our schedule the best.

 Needless to say, he had a blast!

Once she heard all about it, the big kiddo felt a little left out, so for Christmas we gave them a gift certificate and took them both back.

We've had so much fun here, we've even taken friends back with us!  One of my favorite parts about Rockin' Jump is their Rockin' Tots, when the entire trampoline park is only open to children 6 & under and their supervising adults.  It's great to let them run and play without worrying about them getting trampled.  For the older crowd, they also host Tween/Teen jump time.  And, of course, there are times that are open for all ages.

The facilities have always been very clean and well-kept when we have been there.  There are nice bathrooms.  We did not take diapers in (chose to change in the car before and after), but I believe there were changing stations.

The other part I LOVE is the pricing.  Parents do not pay to supervise their kids.  That is one of my pet peeves at a lot of child-centered places - parents pay admission even though they are really only there for their children.  Not here.  Only the jumpers pay!

Some advice before you go: sign a waiver online so you don't have to wait to do it there, and save your jump socks so you don't have to buy more next time.  Also, there is a maximum number of jumpers at any given time, so if you're going at a time that might be busy, either book a spot online or get there early.

I have never been to the one in Brown Deer, but I would assume it is very similar.

Rockin' Jump
2700 Novation Parkway ~ Madison, WI ~ (608) 819-5368
9009 North Deerbrook Trail ~ Brown Deer, WI ~ (414) 522-1945
Admission: anywhere between $5-$20, depending on when you go and how long you want to be there

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Preview Post: Plamann Park

While Plamann Park in Appleton does not have a playground, they offer quite a bit in its place.  One of the park's main features is its trail system.

Another more seasonal attraction is the beach.  There is a small lake with sand beaches open for swimming in the summer.

In the summer, they also house a petting zoo with animals from area farms.

Plamann Park
1375 East Broadway Drive ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 832-4790
Admission: Free, fees for beach: free/seniors, $3/Ages 16&up, $2.50/Ages 4-15, free/under 4

Preview Post: Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve

The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve has year-round trails to explore.  They also hold many events throughout the year that sound like great family fun.

Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
4815 North Lynndale Drive ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 731-6041
Admission: Free from what I can tell, though I am sure many events have a charge

Preview Post: Wisconsin Museum of International Wildlife

The Wisconsin Wildlife Museum is a more unique museum.  It consists of many mounted animals from around the world.  Some of the mounts look like they are pretty need "action" shots.  They also have some hands-on exhibits, which would make this a whole lot more fun!

They do have quite limited hours, so be sure to check ahead.

Wisconsin Museum of International Wildlife
10 East College Avenue, Suite 222 ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 419-2721
Admission: free

Preview Post: Trout Museum of Art

The Trout Museum of Art looks like a typical small art museum.  While it is not geared toward children, it could be interesting for them, especially if you have one who is interested in art.  I think I would be most inclined to try one of their events that are more specifically for kids.  There are regular family art project days as well as performers that they bring in, called the Young Audiences series.

Trout Museum of Art
Fox Cities Building for the Arts ~ 111 West College Avenue ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 733-4089
Admission: "Varies by Exhibition" (?) but at the moment it's:
                    $6/Ages 11&up, $2/Ages 5-11, Under 5 free

Preview Post: History Museum at the Castle

The History Museum at the Castle is in Appleton.  It is not a children's museum, but they do welcome children, and it looks like they try to have some family friendly, hands-on exhibits.  I am not sure how frequently their exhibits change, but at the moment, the ones I think my kiddos would most enjoy are the Houdini and toy areas.

History Museum at the Castle
330 East College Avenue ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 735-9370
Admission: $7.50/adult, $3.50/child, under 5 free OR $20/family

Wilderness Resort

We attended a family gathering at the Wilderness this spring.  The kids had blast!

The highlight, of course, was the water park.  While the Wilderness does have an outdoor water park as well, we were only able to experience the indoor in March!  It spans three large rooms.

One room is primarily a splash area.  There is a large climber as well as a small splash pad for babies and toddlers.

Another room contains the "activity" pool, VERY small lazy river, and some little water slides geared toward preschoolers.

The third room has a wave pool, a small climber area for small kiddos, and more full-sized water slides.

The Wilderness has a great variety of activities that are appropriate to span all ages.  I also really like that they measure and provide wristbands to kids based on their height so the lifeguards know at a glance which rides each child is tall enough for.  It's also an easy way to reference the rides as a parent and know which are okay for your child.

The water park has plenty of life preservers on hand, but they also allow you to use your own, which is awesome since some don't!

The disadvantage of the Wilderness is that you are supposed to be a hotel guest in order to use their water park.  However, we had some members of our party join us just for a day, and they were able to get a day pass.  I am not entirely sure how that works, but I believe a staying member had to go vouch that they were with us.

I will also say their lost and found program is not very user friendly.  The ONLY way to retrieve an item is to fill out an online form and wait until they contact you.  We did eventually get our stuff back, though.  And, yes, I realize it was our fault it was left in the first place.

All in all, if you are looking for a weekend water getaway, the Wilderness was a pretty decent one.

Wilderness Resort
511 E Adams St ~ Wisconsin Dells, WI ~ (800) 867-9453
Admission: included in room rate

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Preview Post: Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass

I was a little bit skeptical when I started looking into the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass.  I am pretty hesitant to take my crew anywhere that has "Glass" in its name (!), but as I look into it, I think the kids would be pretty intrigued.  There are lighted exhibits, and they offer classes.

Gerstrom Mahler Museum of Glass
165 North Park Ave ~ Neenah, WI ~ (920) 751-4658
Admission: Free

Preview Post: The 10th Frame

The 10th Frame is a bowling alley in Appleton.  Well, actually it is a bar with a bowling alley, but they are definitely open to all ages.  I cannot find anywhere how many lanes they have, but they boast open bowling every single day!

The 10th Frame
618 West Wisconsin Ave ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 733-1929
Admission: $6/person unlimited bowling!

Preview Post: Special Memories Zoo

Special Memories Zoo is a privately-owned zoo in Greenville.  They owners started it as a hobby and have expanded it through the years.  It seems like they have a wide array of animal species.  They have a petting zoo and a train ride.  Has anyone been to this zoo?  I have never even heard of it before now, but most of the reviews I have seen were from people very impressed!

Special Memories Zoo
W7013 Spring Road ~ Greenville, WI ~ ​(920) 757-9695
Admission: $9 ages 13&up/ $7 ages 6-12/ $5.50 ages 2-5/ under 2 free; train ride extra

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Preview Post: Revolution Raceway

Revolution Raceway is an RC vehicle track in Appleton.  They host competitions, but they also have open practice hours when anyone can go and give it a try.  They also have vehicles for rent.  The practice hours seem to be most afternoons and evenings, but I would call ahead or check online to verify.

Revolution Raceway
122 S Memorial Drive ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 955-2121
Admission: $7.50/vehicle, $2/rental

Monday, January 16, 2017

Preview Post: Paper Discovery Center

The Paper Discovery Center in Appleton looks like a great place to visit, even just because it is different from every other museum in the area.  There are hands-on exhibits, all related to paper.  I actually was there once when I was much, much younger.  All I remember is making my own paper.  I must have enjoyed it to remember it, though!

Paper Discovery Center
425 West Water Street ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 380-7491
Admission: $6/adult, $4/student

Preview Post: Hearthstone Historic House Museum

I don't know about you all, but I am a sucker for beautiful historic homes where I can pretend I used to live in my elegant gowns... Sooo Hearthstone Historic House Museum looks like a fantastic place to take the family for a little escape from reality.  It is the first home in the WORLD lit by hydroelectricity.  And I have to say, the few pictures I've seen of the inside are gorgeous!  Has anyone been here?  Worth the visit?

Hearthstone Historic House Museum
625 West Prospect ~ Appleton, WI ~ (920) 730-8204
Admission: There is a price, but it is unlisted at the moment since they are closed for the season.