Let's be honest...we all enjoy free things. And, free, fun things are even better yet! There are umpteen ways to enjoy Wisconsin without breaking the bank. Here’s my quick list of just a few of the state’s top destinations where admission is nil:
- Relish eclectic pieces of concrete art at Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park (Phillips)
- Hike your way to the top of gorgeous Granddad Bluff (La Crosse)
- Hop aboard the Jelly Belly Express Train at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center (Pleasant Prairie)
- Make your way to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (Green Bay)
- See the creatures and critters at Henry Vilas Zoo (Madison)
- Discover the history and geology of our planet at University of Wisconsin Geology Museum (Madison)
- Learn all about the history and culture of the Menominee Tribe by visiting the Menominee Indian Tribe Cultural & Logging Museums (Menominee)
- Head to Boerner Botanical Gardens for free admission the first Tuesday of every month (Milwaukee)
- Enjoy diverse exhibitions featuring artwork from around the world at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (Wausau)
- Check out more than 3,000 vintage tools at Wally Keller Tool Museum & Duluth Trading Store (Mount Horeb)
- Explore 9,150-acres of gently rolling sandy ridges at Sandhill State Wildlife Area (Babcock)
- See flora and fauna on 1,200 acres of northwoods at Iron River National Fish Hatchery (Iron River)
- Uncover the rugged origins of Wisconsin's First Capitol (Belmont)
- Tour the Grand River Valley Museum & Train Depot (Markesan)
- See 5,676 mustards from 70 countries at the National Mustard Museum (Middleton)
- Head to the Milwaukee Public Museum for free admission the first Thursday of every month (Milwaukee)
- Pack some wine and cheese and take in classical sounds at Concerts on the Square (Madison)
- Get an intimate glimpse of 6-foot cast iron tubs and more during a Kohler Company Factory Tour (Kohler)
- Visit Sturgeon Park during the spring and observe sturgeon spawning (Shawano)
- Kill time next time you’re at the airport and visit the Mitchell Gallery of Flight (Milwaukee)
- Check out a performance by the Kwahamot Water Ski Club (Tomahawk)
- View 3,000 items while learning about the petroleum industry at the Northwoods Petroleum Museum (Three Lakes)
- Take a stroll on the Geneva Lake Shorepath while ooh’ing and aah’ing over some of Lake Geneva’s ritziest homes (Lake Geneva)
- Take a tour of the Wisconsin State Capitol (Madison)
The opportunities are truly endless: Hike a segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, take advantage of Wisconsin's miles of coastline, venture to one of our state's gorgeous waterfalls (Read: Chasin' Waterfalls: 6 of Wisconsin's Best Falls) or visit one of Wisconsin’s many county parks and bike paths (Read: America's Bicycleland: 5x3 Must-Ride Bike Routes).
Which destinations would you like to see added to this list? Leave a comment below!
Mariah Haberman hosts the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. She hails from Evansville, where she was brought up in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of her favorite memories include Lake Michigan fishing trips with her Dad, showing sheep at the Rock County Fair and buzzing around the farm on an ATV with her little brother. Watch Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block.
Coming home to Wisconsin this fall, bringing our friend and looking for fun things to see and do.
Wisconsin Rustic Roads....beautiful drives and almost every country has one. Mom and I have "found" 46 of them this summer and have seen historical items, wildlife and rivers that are just beautiful.
There are a few FREE Kids from Wisconsin performances still on the docket for this summer:
July 15th - Washington Park Band Shell, Milwaukee
Show: 6:30 PM
August 19th - Buttermilk Park Festival
Fond du Lac hosted by the Fond du lac Symphonic Band
Show: 7:15 PM
How about some things in merrill, Wisconsin? I'm always looking for things to do with kids.
Come to picturesque Princeton, WI and come and see the Whooping Crane in it's natural habitat and watch it learn to fly - PRICELESS! Whooping Crane Festival is September 12th to help fund these wonderful creatures!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison)
Veterans Museum (Madison)
Pewits Nest (Baraboo)
Big Cat Wildlife Rescue (Baraboo)
Lincoln Park Zoo in Manitowoc
West of the Lake Gardens in Manitowoc
Neshotah Beach in Two Rivers
Washington House Two Rivers
My husband and I we need to have some time to gather on the weekend out side of crosse area but we can't fine anything around here to do this winter
Please add a map showing the location of each site . This will make for much easier reference for visitors. Thanks.
PS went to the Mustard Museum a few years back and it was great
Rock Aqua Jays put on live free water ski shows Sundays and Wednesdays over the summer rockaquajays.com