Summers don’t last long in Wisconsin. So, don’t let this summer pass you by! Here are six family-friendly destinations to consider. All you need is a reliable vehicle, a couple gallons of gas, and an adventurous spirit.
1. Bay Beach Amusement Park
Green Bay, WI
Yes, you’ve likely heard of this Green Bay classic. But, did you realize that Bay Beach was recently named one of the 25 best parks in the entire U.S. by TripAdvisor? Visit now, during the park’s 125th anniversary season, to experience newest rides, including the Falling Star, Bay Beast, Sea Dragon, and the Zippin Pippin rollercoaster. Learn more about Green Bay’s reasonably priced gem.
2. Jurustic Park
Just north of Marshfield, you’ll discover an incredible outdoor display of metal dinosaur sculptures (some actually move) created by amateur paleontologist and metalworker, Clyde Wynia. There’s even a charming Hobbit House nestled within this gorgeous setting. Get directions to Marshfield’s Jurustic Park.
3. Cana Island Lighthouse
Baileys Harbor, WI
Walk to an island! And, learn the fascinating history of a wonderful, 140-year-old lighthouse. The nearly 9-acre island is accessible by foot (sometimes a few inches deep, so put on appropriate footwear). If you have little ones, a wagon-pulling tractor will get you to the island completely dry.
A $7 admission gets you to the island. An additional $5 grants access to the top of the lighthouse (up 97 winding steps). Learn more about Baileys Harbor’s coolest lighthouse.
4. Twig’s Beverage Museum
Ahhhhh, what’s more refreshing on a hot day than a cold, locally made soda? This free museum celebrates a 66-year-old company with deep roots in the area. Watch the soda being bottled and packaged, take in a brief documentary film, and then enjoy a cold one at the soda bar. Call it “soda” or call it “pop,” you’re sure to find this quick stop in Shawano a cool experience. Need directions to Twig’s Beverage?
5. La Crosse Queen Cruise
La Crosse, WI
The “Mighty Mississippi” River is calling. Answer by enjoying a leisurely sightseeing ride on the 149-passenger authentic sternwheel paddleboat, the La Crosse Queen. Reserve your cruise on the La Crosse Queen now! Like music? Double your fun at the Great River Folk Festival, August 25-27, a family-friendly weekend of traditional food and kids’ crafts at La Crosse’s Riverside Park. Discover more about the Great River Folk Festival.
6. Children’s Museums
Green Bay and Appleton, WI
These two well-designed and executed children’s museums give toddlers so much space and exhibits to explore. Creativity is king throughout: visit a fire department, grocery store, art studio, and a treehouse. Reserve a room for a special event; awesome birthday, anyone? Both museums are community-funded, visitor-supported, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.
The Building for Kids, in Appleton, is the older of the two (opened in 1992), with interactive exhibits that teach and encourage fun. Staff is known for being especially friendly and helpful.
The Children’s Museum of Green Bay puts an emphasis on programming that stimulates curiosity and drives kids to learn. Paint a masterpiece, try a science experiment, learn different animal tracks … it’s all fun.
Explore the Badger State in a Used Car from 199ride
Before you hit the road with your family this summer, consider making your first stop at 199ride. A Nicer, Newer™, Worry-Free car awaits at one of our five Wisconsin dealerships: Green Bay, Appleton, Wausau, Antigo, and La Crosse. Check out our extensive used car inventory to find the perfect vehicle for all your Wisconsin adventures.