“Forward.” Wisconsin’s state motto is plain and straightforward. There’s a lot we can say about its motto, but one thing that we can all agree on is that it means progress. For travelers, the state of Wisconsin feels like an untouched beauty. With all the tourist attractions in the U.S., it’s should not be surprising that people tend to forget that there are other better places aside from Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. If you are a traveler. Wisconsin should be one of the places you should visit.
The state of Wisconsin is located in the north-central region of the U.S. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest and Illinois to the south respectively. The state itself is rather small by landmass but what that means for you as a traveler is that you can easily enjoy the entirety of the state within 2 or 3 days. If you are eyeing Wisconsin for your next trip, look no further as we’ve got the perfect guide for you.
- 1 Getting To Wisconsin
- 2 Getting Around Wisconsin
- 3 Budget For Wisconsin
- 4 Best Time To Visit Wisconsin
- 5 Wisconsin Activities for Families
- 5.1 Watch a magic show
- 5.2 Explore the Milwaukee Museum
- 5.3 Read a book at the Bookworm Gardens
- 5.4 Experience how to fly a plane
- 5.5 Learn how to farm and play
- 5.6 Learn more about the farm life
- 5.7 See various Palace Theater performances
- 5.8 Travel back in time in the Old World Wisconsin
- 5.9 Tour the National Railroad Museum
- 5.10 Watch a circus
- 5.11 Relax at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
- 5.12 Have a splash at Wisconsin waterparks
- 5.13 See classic motorcycles
- 5.14 Relax at Land O’Lakes
Getting To Wisconsin
The largest airport in Wisconsin and arguably your easiest way to the state is the General Mitchell International Airport. It is located just outside the main city of Milwaukee which is one of Wisconsin’s largest cities. It is also close to Chicago. As one of the main airports in Wisconsin, the General Mitchell International Airport holds domestic and international flights day and night. Some of the carriers it services include Air Canada, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways. Sadly, the only international destination of the airport is Toronto but you can book connecting flights instead.
While the flights are limited, the General Mitchell International Airport holds a lot of nice amenities. There are numerous restaurants within, plus, Wi-Fi internet service is available for a small fee. There are also several banking facilities near the terminal entrance. Also located at the airport is a Gallery of Flight Museum.
Another useful airport is the Dane County Airport which is located just outside Madison. The airport services major airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and United Express. For the Dane County Airport, the main route is Chicago followed by Detroit, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, and Cleveland.
Getting Around Wisconsin
If you are planning to visit the entirety of Wisconsin in a few days or so, then you are in luck as that feat is very doable. The efficient way to do so is by renting a car ahead of the trip. Whether you’re landing at the General Mitchell International Airport or the Dane County Airport, there are rental services nearby. Additionally, you can book the cars with these companies so that the vehicle is already good-to-go once you land. Just be sure to grab a map before you go so you don’t get lost on the road.
Aside from car rental services, you can also take a selection of public transportation services like taxis. For buses, there are numerous service providers such as Indian Trails, Lamers Bus Lines, Greyhound, Badger Bus and Jefferson Lines. These service the major cities in the state like Milwaukee and Madison. There are also a few trains from service providers Amtrak-Empire Builder, Amtrak-Hiawatha Service and Metra.
If you want to take the leisurely approach to getting around Wisconsin, you should probably choose to take ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft which are available in major cities too.
Budget For Wisconsin
When you are in Wisconsin, you can probably do well as the state is rather cheap depending on the city you are in. Major cities like Madison and Milwaukee will of course be more expensive than in smaller counties. Ideally, you’d want to keep a budget of at least $150 per day and this will include your transportation, accommodation, and food.
For accommodation, the major cities will cost you at least $50 per night. If you book the rooms ahead of the trip, then you’ll end up saving quite the amount. In the smaller cities, rooms can come by for at least $30 which is way cheaper. If you choose to rent a car, you’ll probably spend at least $20 a day including gas. If you are going to take public commute, that’s going to cost you more especially if you are traveling in a huge group.
You should also set aside at least $50 for your entertainment and attraction fees. These will include your ticket prices to some of the major attractions in the state of Wisconsin. If you want to take a few souvenirs, take at least $100 with you so you can have at least some extra allowance. There will be a lot of souvenirs that will catch your attention so this extra hundred dollars will be useful.
Best Time To Visit Wisconsin
If you want to get the most out of Wisconsin, then you will need to visit during the months in which there are a few visitors only. The busiest months for Wisconsin tourism is July, June and August in that order. During these months, flights and accommodation will be more expensive than usual so be sure to ready your budget. What’s great about these months though is that the weather is right between warm and cold so it is perfect for exploring the Badger State.
While those are the busiest months, the least busiest are November to January. The weather will be a lot cooler and you can expect snowfall in some parts of the state. Be sure to bring warm clothing when visiting during these months. But no matter what time of the day it is, Wisconsin will never run out of activities to offer. There’s even plenty of things to do in Wisconsin for families. In case you want to know more about the things to do in Wisconsin for families, read on.
Wisconsin Activities for Families
Wisconsin is a place that has a lot of attractions and activities that people of all ages will enjoy. That said, it is also the perfect destination for families with kids.
If you need a travel guide or some suggestions for your Wisconsin trip, you’ve come to the right place as we’ve already listed the best things to do in Wisconsin for families, especially those with younger kids. So without further ado, let’s jump into the best attractions and things to do in Wisconsin for families.
1Watch a magic show
A lot of kids are fascinated with magic tricks – even adults are still amazed by them too. However, there are not much places that let you see it live. Luckily you can watch a magic show live at Wisconsin’s Tristan Crist Magic Theatre and it’s one of the best things to do in Wisconsin for families that we highly recommend. Located in Lake Geneva, Tristan Crist Magic Theatre offers an hour-long show that is filled with magic tricks that will amaze. Sure, you can just watch such performances on TV but what makes this unique is that it lets you see the performance closer with their big screen so everyone can get a chance to see it. The theater only has 51 seats available so you might want to purchase tickets in advance before your visit.
2Explore the Milwaukee Museum
Milwaukee Museum is one of the well-loved attractions by many travelers and locals. This is because it doesn’t just have cool archeological artifacts on display but it can also talk big about its own rainforest. Inspired by the Costa Rican rainforest, you’ll surely feel a lot closer to nature one you enter here. Aside from that, it also has cool village exhibits that let you have a glimpse of what the old Milwaukee was like and other more villages. Apart from these, there are still a lot of best things to see at the Milwaukee Museum and kids will surely have a lot of fun exploring them.
3Read a book at the Bookworm Gardens
There’s probably nothing more enjoyable and educational than reading a book compared to the other things to do in Wisconsin for families. It’s a unique bonding experience where everyone can make their imagination work and learn at the same time. Luckily, you can do that at Wisconsin’s Bookworm Gardens. As its name suggests, this place has reading nooks all over. But what makes it all the more worth visiting is that it is a wireless zone where you and your family can enjoy art, music, nature, and other interactive activities, apart from reading. You have 35 acres of space to enjoy that is filled with colorful engaging displays that are also based on more than 60 popular children’s books.
4Experience how to fly a plane
Wisconsin’s EAA AirVenture Museum allows its visitors to feel what it’s like to fly a plane and it’s probably one of the best things to do in Wisconsin for families. EAA AirVenture Museum has a flight simulator where you can get a chance to feel what it’s like inside the cockpit and fly a plane. In addition to that, you can also get to see 200 historical aircrafts that will give you a glimpse of the past. EAA AirVenture Museum even has an entire hangar that’s solely dedicated to the World War II aviation. There are other interactive displays available as well that also feature the history of manpowered flight. And, of course, everything is kid-friendly so there’s nothing to worry about if your family is traveling with kids.
5Learn how to farm and play
Visiting the Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is also one of the best things to do in Wisconsin for families that we highly recommend. This is because, here, you will not just learn some things about farming but you can also get to play in the farm – all thanks to its 15-acre corn maze, which is by the way, the biggest in Wisconsin. The Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch also has wagon rides, tube slides, hay rides, and pumpkin slingshot. If you have kids with you, they too can enjoy the tractor tire playground, corn sandbox, bounce house, and so much more.
6Learn more about the farm life
If you want to learn more about farming, visiting The Farm is one of the best things to do in Wisconsin for families. Located in the Door County, this place offers the perfect experience for adults and kids alike to learn how farmers do their job. Called as “the living museum of rural America,” this place has exhibits dedicated to show every aspect of Wisconsin’s farm life. From livestock to crops, you’ll definitely get to see their work up close. Aside from the rural life experience, you can also get to learn some more history. You can also feed goat, piglets, and lambs plus see the old sugar shack, woodshed, and old cabin that were all built in the 19th century.
7See various Palace Theater performances
If you want to be fully entertained, see what’s in the Palace Theater. Here, you can get to see amazing classic Broadway hits. But don’t worry if you have kids with you. This place offers a wide variety of performances for you to see. You can even get to watch Disney stories being performed that kids will surely love. And the best part of it is that every ticket that you purchase already includes a meal or snack. The schedule of performances rotates, though. So if you’re eyeing on visiting The Palace Theater, be sure to plan your schedule ahead and check their calendar of events to see what’s on. You can check them here.
8Travel back in time in the Old World Wisconsin
Traveling back in time is also one of the coolest things to do in Wisconsin for families. You won’t get inside a time traveling machine though, as Wisconsin has already recreated a mini place where you can get a glimpse of what life was like at the end of the 19th century. If you’ll head to Eagle, Wisconsin, you will find an exhibit that includes a recreation of an 1880 farming village that’s complete with fields, general store, livestock, and even a local blacksmith. Through these, you and your family can get to take a peek and immerse yourself on the daily lives of Wisconsin’ former settlers.
9Tour the National Railroad Museum
Speaking of history, here’s another attraction that you need to see: The National Railroad Museum. Located in Green Bay, this place boasts of its huge collection of locomotives and railroad artifacts and photographs. The national Railroad Museum is also dedicated to the United States’ railroad history. Thus, it’s a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the United States’ history. What’s even better is that it has a railroad that encircles its territory and you can get to board it too. However, you can only do it during the summer season. So if you want to experience it, might as well time your visit. Also, there are different tours being offered. There are guided and self-guided tours for adults and there are also hands-on tours for kids. It’s a perfect destination for people of all ages.
10Watch a circus
The circus will always have a space in the hearts of kids and kids at heart. And if you want to see it live, lucky for you as Wisconsin has Circus world where you and your family can get to witness some jaw-dropping circus performances. In addition to that, the Circus World has an interactive circus where kids can get to perform too. There is also musical comedy acts plus music and animal-related activities as well. The Circus World also has exhibits that feature an old Ringling circus structure, circus wagons, and classic circus posters. If you want to check their schedule or find out more, you can check their website here.
11Relax at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Spending a day in Olbrich Botanical Gardens is one of the best things to do not just in Madison but in the whole Wisconsin as well. This is because this place offers the most relaxing experience as you’ll be surrounded with trees, flowers, and other plants. It also has a long reflective pool surrounded by limestone terraces. What makes it even more worth talking about is its Thai pavilion that is one of the few buildings of its kind outside Asia. And besides, you won’t have to pay anything as the admission is free so why not take a chance and spend even half a day here to relax away from the hustle and bustle in the city?
12Have a splash at Wisconsin waterparks
Nothing spells fun better than waterparks. It’s probably one of the top places for families even with kids. And luckily, there’s no shortage of such attraction in Wisconsin and going to the state’s waterparks is definitely a must-add in your list of things to do in Wisconsin for families. Wisconsin Dells alone has plenty of waterparks waiting to be explored. One of which is Noah’s Ark Waterpark that offers 70-acres of area that’s dedicated to bring you and your family both relaxation and thrills with its pools and waterslides. Chula Vista Resort is also worth talking about with its own golf course, vast dining options, and spa center, aside from its indoor and outdoor waterparks. Wilderness Resort also has its go-karts to talk big of. Kalahari Resorts Dells has a 24-lane bowling alley and its own cinema to boast of too. There’s still a lot of waterparks in Wisconsin that you need to try out and all of them are perfect destinations for families seeking the most fun travel experience, especially for summer.
13See classic motorcycles
Visiting Wisconsin’s Harley-Davidson Museum is also one of the most recommended things to do in Wisconsin for families. With over 450 classic motorcycles on display, teardrop tanks, and exhibits that tell the story of the places and people behind these cool machines, people of all ages will surely have a lot of fun. And if you can’t get enough of these classic motorcycles, visiting a Harley-themed restaurant nearby is also one of the recommendable activities too. If you’re planning to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum, time your visit to coincide with the museum’s events, especially the busy “bike nights” where you can get to meet fans and owners alike who admire and showcase their collection as well.
14Relax at Land O’Lakes
If you want to relax or do recreational activities with your family, heading to the Land O’ Lakes is what we recommend. Tucked between Eagle River, Rhinelander, and Boulder Junction, in Wisconsin’s northern part, this place can talk big of its more than 200 unspoiled lakes of different sizes – which is why it’s also a popular destination for many water sports enthusiasts. Camping and backpacking are also available. You can also explore the abundant flora and fauna that it offers. You can canoe, kayak, fish, hike, swim, and birdwatch. You can even get a glimpse of white-tailed eagles. And if you visit during winter, it’s also a great place for skiing and snowshoeing.
Wisconsin is one of the many places in the world that has a lot to offer and each of them will give you different and memorable travel experience. It’s definitely a must add to your target places for vacation.
Have you tried these attractions before? How was your trip? Tell us in the comments below.