Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 26, 2015

Oneida County and Middleton: sweet discoveries

One of the best things about traveling Wisconsin is finding wonderful things to eat and drink. Every community seems to have some culinary surprise ready to delight the traveler. These two Wisconsin communities each offer tasty treasures just waiting to be discovered. Here are two sweet stops for those with a sweet tooth.


Middleton is a great place to take your taste buds on a trip. This community boasts 80 restaurants, and many sweet delights.


Clasen's Pastries

Located in Middleton is Clasen’s Bakery, a family-owned European bakery with more than 300 recipes in their repertoire, from poppy-seed coffee cake to pflaumenkuchen. All of their bakery is made using time-tested recipes. In addition to breads, Danishes, kringles, strudels, cookies, cakes, tortes, petit fours and tarts, you’ll find heavenly quiches—all of it mouthwateringly good.


The Northwoods of Wisconsin has its own culinary traditions. Supper clubs hearken back to a bygone era. Hearty breakfasts are the rule. Serving a big fish fry on Friday night is pretty much mandatory for any Northwoods restaurant. Rhinelander has all that, plus some sweet temptations.

In downtown Rhinelander, you’ll find a sweet tooth’s paradise. The Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe serves up a full menu of sweet treats, including endless varieties of chocolates, many kinds of luscious fudge, colorful candy and some of the best popcorn, caramel corn and cheesy popcorn you’ll find anywhere. This little shop is “Home of the Chocolate Hodag” and it really lives up to its name.


November 25, 2015

Your guide to Wisconsin’s best holiday displays

Celebration of Lights

Where to take in holiday wonder and magic

There’s nothing like exploring Wisconsin during the holiday season. Wisconsin’s communities celebrate the season in style with special events and beautiful seasonal exhibits.

Enjoy holiday displays that provide wonder for all ages. Catch the holiday spirit in parks that are transformed into wonderlands of light and sound. Gather in a historic downtown and admire a beautiful holiday tree while listening to talented carolers. Take the kids to meet Santa Claus – tell them to bring their wish lists.

Participate in festive hands-on crafting activities or admire a well-crafted miniature magical world. Or have some fun while helping a charity that helps others throughout the year.

Most of these community holiday events will be over in just a few short weeks, so be sure to make plans now to visit these special places. Gather some friends or family and be prepared to experience the best of the holidays in Wisconsin.

Annual Tree Lighting: Middleton

Every year, people gather in historic downtown Middleton to light the community’s Christmas tree. It happens the first Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and it’s a festive way to transition between the holidays. The tree is beautiful, but people downtown enjoy more than just colorful lights. The day includes ornament making, sugar cookie decorating, a visit from Santa, a craft fair and music by area chamber singers. Many of Middleton’s downtown buildings are more than 100 years old, so it’s a beautiful and timeless setting for this fun holiday tradition.

Learn more about holiday events in Middleton.

Celebration of Lights: Oshkosh

A beautiful park along the shore of Lake Winnebago is transformed each year into a magical mile of holiday lights. The annual Celebration of Lights in Menominee Park has been a holiday tradition in Oshkosh since 2001. It’s no longer a best-kept secret, drawing more than 10,000 cars to Menominee Park. Admire a 100-foot-tall holiday tree, sculpted scenes and animated light displays. The event brings more than holiday wonder to Oshkosh. It also supports great causes. Organizers conduct a food drive which collects tons of food every year. The display will be open Nov. 24-Dec. 31.

Learn more about holiday events in Oshkosh.

Enchantment in the Park: West Bend

West Bend’s Regner Park comes alive with colored lights every holiday season. Enchantment in the Park features thousands of colored lights, enchanting holiday displays, music and performance art. The event is put on by local service groups and volunteers and it raises money for community organizations. You’ll find the park just north of downtown West Bend. The displays will be open Nov. 27-Dec. 31.

Learn more about West Bend Holiday events.

Santa’s Village: Oneida County

Some great holidays displays come in small packages. In Oneida County, you’ll find a tiny holiday display offering big-time holiday spirit. Santa’s Village in the Minocqua area is a display put on every year by the Northwoods Model Railroad Club. It takes eight volunteers about 80 hours to create a miniature snow-covered village complete with twinkling holiday trees, quaint homes and of course, lots of trains. The display is fun for kids and adults alike. The show runs from Nov. 27-Dec. 31.

Learn more about holiday events in Oneida County.


November 12, 2015

Your guide to Wisconsin’s best holiday shop spots

Holiday ShoppingHoliday shopping guide: where wrapping up your list is a present in itself

This holiday season, the gift you give should be a gift to yourself. Avoid crowded local malls or detached online shopping and treat yourself to a holiday shopping getaway. Get in your car, turn on the holiday music and head to one of Wisconsin’s beautiful shopping destinations. Shopping is supposed to be fun, and these places guarantee a good time.

You’ll find the holiday spirit is alive and well in the shops and galleries in these destinations. They offer unique and beautiful items that are unavailable elsewhere so your gifts will be personal. You’ll be able to see the merchandise before making a purchase and in some places you can even chat with the person who created the item.

As you travel between retailers you can enjoy beautiful Wisconsin countryside, admiring pines that are even more beautiful than the one you might have in your home. You’ll also find restaurants that are so tasty they are worth the trip alone.

Enjoy this shopping getaway. You can only receive a gift like this once a year.

Boulder Junction

Go Bold
Downtown Boulder Junction offers one of the most charming main streets in Wisconsin. It’s beautiful during the holiday season. Stroll the shops and galleries and see work by local artists, from hand-blown glass to pottery. Boulder Junction is a great place to visit in the winter. Silent sport enthusiasts will find miles of secluded trails to explore. And because it’s located in the Lake Superior Snowbelt, Boulder Junction gets a lot of snow. If you’re looking for a white holiday, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Boulder Junction. Learn more.


Shopping Hodag Country
Rhinelander is known for its beautiful scenery, fantastic trails and world-class fishing, but there’s another side to this Northwoods gem. Rhinelander’s vibrant downtown is a great place for holiday shopping. Discover an eclectic mix of downtown shops, including antique stores, sporting goods shops and specialty retailers. It’s a timeless, walkable downtown and the shopkeepers are warm and welcoming. All of this shopping is close to the outdoor amenities that helped put Rhinelander on the map. Learn more.

Stevens Point Area

Shopping On The Point
In Central Wisconsin, the Stevens Point area offers a great mix of specialty stores. Explore throwback gifts and vintage holiday décor in antique shops. Find local culinary items and crafts that will make your holiday table special. Enjoy great holiday concerts and arts events at the UW-Stevens Point campus. Discover seasonal brews at the four breweries that are part of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Learn more.