Time spent together as a family makes for the strongest, longest lasting memories, and Wisconsin is bristling with family-fun destinations and adventures. Here’s to creating those shared moments of joy.
For the dairy-loving family, head to Thorp to be moo-ved by public art (Clark County)
Most folks have seen Holstein cattle, but have you seen a cow wearing swim trunks and a snorkel? Or one clenching a giant toothbrush in its teeth? Well, the Amazing Grazing Cows of Thorp bring the fantasy to life!
Located throughout the community, the 21 cow statues are whimsically decorated. These cows reflect the spirit and heritage of Clark County where agricultural jobs make up nearly half the county’s workforce. Tour the community to find all Amazing Grazing Cows, plus five statues of calves and six cow-shaped benches.
And a trip to Thorp wouldn’t be complete without touring Marieke Gouda and tasting the authentic and award-winning gouda. Cheesemaker Marieke Penterman grew up on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. She missed the cheese from home enough to pursue a Wisconsin cheesemaking license, training with two cheesemakers in Holland.
Now, the cheesemaker produces a variety of flavored and aged goudas. The Penterman Farm next door pumps raw milk directly into the creamery daily for true farmstead cheese. Self-guided tours are available year-round. You can stop by the on-site café to taste dishes made with gouda or browse the store for a variety of local products and food.
Fill a weekend with fun family activities in Washburn County
In Shell Lake, The Potter’s Shed is part café and part art gallery. And on Saturdays, the business encourages kids and adults to explore their creative side through art-making activities.
Decorate cups, plates, bowls and other pottery for a hands-on, memorable experience. All pieces are microwave and dishwasher safe, ensuring the art families make together will last for years to come. Your masterpiece can be shipped to you once the Potter’s Shed finishes it off in the kiln.
For a second family-friendly activity, plan your trip for November or December to ride the rails with Santa! In nearby Spooner, the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad offers Santa train rides on the weekends. This popular, two-hour train ride provides families a personal pizza, beverages and a visit to Santa’s private train car for photos. On the ride back to the station, enjoy hot chocolate and a holiday cookie.
Before leaving the area for the weekend, plan a stop at the Riverstreet Family Restaurant in Spooner for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The large menu has food to please everyone’s taste buds. And the diner-style restaurant serves up daily specials from Italian favorites to delicious specialty burgers.
Discover adventure and excitement in the Wisconsin Dells (Columbia, Sauk Counties)
Work together to solve puzzles, decipher riddles and investigate secret passageways at Wizard Quest in the Wisconsin Dells.
This interactive, fantasy-themed game is a beautifully decorated labyrinth to explore. Families can decide what quests they want to complete and help fantastical creatures along the way. It recently moved to a larger location in downtown Wisconsin Dells, meaning more space for larger-than-life quests.
After finishing your quest, check out Tom Foolerys Adventure Park in the Kalahari. It’s 100,000 square feet of excitement. Find classic rides like a Ferris wheel and carousel and more thrilling ones that flip and twirl. Play a round on the black light mini golf course, try to find your way out of the mirror maze or keep your balance on a pair of ropes courses for kids of all ages.
To fuel up for your adventures, Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. is a quintessential dining destination. Families will enjoy the large kids’ menu, piping pizzas and all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. And parents can enjoy the 12 microbrews on tap.
Start your fall getaway at TravelWisconsin.com.