Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

Winter Activities in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Feb 11, 2014 06:34PM ● Published by Julie Henning

Fond du Lac, home to 45,000 Wisconsinites hunkered down along the southern edge of the great Lake Winnebago. A lovely four-season vacation destination, Fond du Lac offers plenty of options for families looking to get out into nature but stay close to big-city amenities. Friendly, affordable, and an easy drive from nearby Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Green Bay, our family enjoyed a mini-vacation to Fond du Lac in February.

Come Back Inside

Winter weather in Wisconsin can permeate the thickest snowsuit. To combat cabin fever, consider these two ideas for burning calories and playing together in a space other than your living room.

Do-It-All Sports

A 30,000 square foot sports arena committed to providing families and youth with a wide-range of activities at a reasonable price, Do-It-All Sports was the highlight of our afternoon. Darting between roller hockey, basketball, boxing, hi ball (our new favorite trampoline game), the climbing cave, and jungle gym with foam pit, we barely noticed the video arcade.

IMG_0349

IMG_0361

Also housing an indoor soccer arena and paint ball course, its easy to see why Do-It-All Sports is popular with locals and tourists. A welcome spot to burn both calories and energy accumulated after a few hours in the car, we wish every town had a venue like this. Budget $12 for two hours at the facility or print the One Hour and Get the Second Hour Free coupon on the Coupon Page of the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau website and pay $7 for the same amount of time.

Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac

In it's new-and-improved location, the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac holds its own. Clean, colorful, and organized in a floor plan conducive to keeping tabs on multiple kids, the museum is currently located on the north side of town.

IMG_6469

With ten “Travel the World” themed exhibits geared towards tots to tweens, the new Shadow Safari room brings out the kid in mom and dad. Popular with our elementary-age kids were the pizza parlor, sound studio, transportation station, puppet theater, and constructing a miniature version of the Great Wall of China. The new location features a 10,000 square foot outdoor exhibit and Palace of Persia; highlighting the architecture and mystery of Ancient Persia at nightfall.

IMG_6462

If you are a member of the an existing Children's Museum, the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac is participates in the free-admission network of the Association of Children’s Museums. Non-members (anyone over the age of one) can enjoy hours of fun for $6/person (or check for a printable 2 for 1 admission coupon on the Coupon Page of the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

IMG_6458

Horicon Marsh International Education Center

Located just outside the city limits, the Horicon Marsh International Education Center welcomes outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and interests. In the main building, a giant atrium overlooks one corner of the 33,000 acre refuge of marsh and upland that offers protection for migratory birds.

 IMG_0431

Free and open to the public during the week and 1PM-4PM on the weekends, the educational center helps calm active minds, centering on nature and teachable moments with your entire family. Occupying one end of the main floor, the Education Center is a gift shop, interpretive area, with giant windows for bird watching or reading books in a sun beam. Kids can make arts and crafts projects to take home as a weekend souvenir. Before you leave, watch a short movie about the history of the marsh (or, heck, grab a trail map and venture out on the nature trails in show shoes―ask a center volunteer how to borrow a pair).

 IMG_0435

Eat Lunch, Don’t Forget Dessert

Staying in line with our mission to frequent locally recommended, unique, family-friendly dining venues whenever possible, Trepanier’s Backyard Grill & Bar was our itinerary for Saturday. With cars waiting in the parking lot for the 11AM lunch rush, we secured a corner booth in a backyard-themed dining room (lamp shades are bushel baskets flipped upside down and picket fences create a miniature neighborhood).

IMG_0265

Ordering from the Kids menu, our picky eaters enjoyed spaghetti marinara with garlic toast ($4.50), baked haddock ($4.50), and a corn dog ($4.25). Meals include a choice of fries or a side salad and include a drink. For dessert, amble south of town to the town of Theresa and say hello to Chef Joel at Confections for Any Occasion. Before you go, read about our experience in this story.

Where to Stay

In a one-bedroom suite at the Fond du Lac Country Inn & Suites, our family of five fit comfortably in our one night home-away-from-home. Catering to families, the Country Inn & Suites takes great pride in the little details. From warm cookies in the lobby to the Read It & Return library and the refrigerator and microwave in the room, we made sure to snap a photo of the swimming pool (kids will be kids, after all).

IMG_0261

Personally testing both pool and clover-shaped hot tub (warm water, yippee), the close proximity of the hotel to our daily activities allowed us to enjoy a quick swim twice in one day. With a fully stocked complimentary breakfast, we were also able to budget for one fewer meal (one day we will have teenagers and this will have an even bigger impact on our bank account).

Other Ideas

If you visit Fond du Lac after Lake Winnebago thaws and the flowers are in bloom, make sure and visit Lakeside Park. Over 400 acres of open space, the park features a miniature train, antique carousel, whitetail deer exhibit, and playgrounds galore. The park is free year round (special exhibits, including the popular lighthouse observation tower open April 15). A plethora of other summertime ideas are listed here.

This story was originally written (by me) and published on RoadTripsForFamilies.com.

Travel wisconsin travel winter lake winnebago fond du lac
  • Tour de Marsh

    01/21/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/22/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • WIRED Double Days

    01/22/2018
    07:00AM — 09:00PM

    WIRED Study Club is for 7th-12th grade students. READ, STUDY or DO HOMEWORK @ The Open Door Coffe...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/22/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • The Joy Hour

    01/22/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Want to make a change in your life but not sure how to make it last. Join us at The Joy Hour, wit...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/23/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Evening Meet Up

    01/23/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • David Geschke Speaker Series

    01/23/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Four part speaker series based on chapters from my upcoming book "Feed Your Angel". Those who att...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/24/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Morning Meet Up

    01/24/2018
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/24/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to its Annual Dinner and recognition of ...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/24/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • Purpose Workshop

    01/24/2018
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/25/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/25/2018
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Spend the morning meeting new friends at DreamBank! While the kids enjoy interactive story time a...


  • Mom's Unite Active Play Meet Up

    01/25/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Books & Beer with author Kristin Oakley

    01/25/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us as we talk with author Kristin Oakley about her novel "Carpe Diem, Illinois" and her writ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/26/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • BDACT: With One Voice

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM

    Many Voices share Their Words about the Impact of Opioids on Dodge County Citizens. A partner pro...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/21/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/22/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • WIRED Double Days

    01/22/2018
    07:00AM — 09:00PM

    WIRED Study Club is for 7th-12th grade students. READ, STUDY or DO HOMEWORK @ The Open Door Coffe...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/22/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • The Joy Hour

    01/22/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Want to make a change in your life but not sure how to make it last. Join us at The Joy Hour, wit...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/23/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Evening Meet Up

    01/23/2018
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • David Geschke Speaker Series

    01/23/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Four part speaker series based on chapters from my upcoming book "Feed Your Angel". Those who att...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/24/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Morning Meet Up

    01/24/2018
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Annual Dinner

    01/24/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce cordially invites you to its Annual Dinner and recognition of ...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/24/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • Purpose Workshop

    01/24/2018
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/25/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • FAMILY EVENT: Morning Play Date

    01/25/2018
    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    Spend the morning meeting new friends at DreamBank! While the kids enjoy interactive story time a...


  • Mom's Unite Active Play Meet Up

    01/25/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Books & Beer with author Kristin Oakley

    01/25/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us as we talk with author Kristin Oakley about her novel "Carpe Diem, Illinois" and her writ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/26/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • BDACT: With One Voice

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM

    Many Voices share Their Words about the Impact of Opioids on Dodge County Citizens. A partner pro...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/27/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Start the New Year by promoting healthy habits for the whole family! Join staff from Happy Bambin...


  • Mine for gemstones and explore a lead mine inside the Museum! Join us for a tasting of yummy past...


  • BDACT: With One Voice

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM

    Many Voices share Their Words about the Impact of Opioids on Dodge County Citizens. A partner pro...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/28/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/29/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • WIRED Double Days

    01/29/2018
    07:00AM — 09:00PM

    WIRED Study Club is for 7th-12th grade students. READ, STUDY or DO HOMEWORK @ The Open Door Coffe...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/29/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/30/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • David Geschke Speaker Series

    01/30/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Four part speaker series based on chapters from my upcoming book "Feed Your Angel". Those who att...


  • Tour de Marsh

    01/31/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Krafty Kids

    01/31/2018
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    Drop off your 4 year old or older child/children for a craft time while you play Volleyball for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/01/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/02/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Always a Bride - Never a Bridesmaid

    02/02/2018
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Inspired by Isaiah 54... Jennifer Thoreson will be putting on a wedding...for each of YOU. Come d...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/03/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Saturday Science at Discovery

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Learn how math & science shape athletic performance at this free event held on the first Saturday...


  • Story Saturday

    02/03/2018
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    The first Saturday of each month is Story Saturday at the Wisconsin Historical Museum! The FREE p...


  • Guys On Ice

    02/03/2018
    02:00PM — 09:00PM

    Wisconsin’s popular “Guys on Ice” musical featuring singing and dancing ice fisherman visits Beav...


  • "I am F.A.T." with author Jaia Davis

    02/03/2018
    02:30PM — 03:30PM

    Name calling hurts and bullying is painful. Local 10-year-old author Jaia Davis was inspired to w...


  • WHEN: Saturday, February 3, 2018 5:00 pm Social Hour 6:00 pm Dinner 6:45 pm Meeting WHERE...


  • Young Adult Game Night

    02/03/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Introducing Young Adult Game Night! Looking for something to do on Saturday nights? Join us EVERY...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/04/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Purpose Workshop

    02/04/2018
    10:30AM — 12:30PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/05/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • WIRED Double Days

    02/05/2018
    07:00AM — 09:00PM

    WIRED Study Club is for 7th-12th grade students. READ, STUDY or DO HOMEWORK @ The Open Door Coffe...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/06/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • David Geschke Speaker Series

    02/06/2018
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Four part speaker series based on chapters from my upcoming book "Feed Your Angel". Those who att...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/07/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Senior Movie Matinee

    02/07/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Introducing something new for our WISER friends (60 yrs +)! Every 1st Wednesday of every month, w...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/08/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/09/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Have a Heart for Charity

    02/09/2018
    04:00PM — 07:30PM

    Please join us as we offer local artisans selling their wares to help fight sex trafficking. Sho...


  • The vocal group SPOTLIGHTS is back for their sophomore performance. This time they focus on song...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/10/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Ventriloquist Darci Lynne

    02/10/2018
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    On Saturday, February 10th Ventriloquist Darci Lynne brings her breathtaking, one of kind, family...


  • The vocal group SPOTLIGHTS is back for their sophomore performance. This time they focus on song...


  • Tour de Marsh

    02/11/2018
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • The vocal group SPOTLIGHTS is back for their sophomore performance. This time they focus on song...



Special Thanks to These Relaunch Partners


Woodman's Markets - Employee Owned
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau