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Wisconsin Parent

5 Reasons to Take Your Family to Green Bay

Oct 08, 2015 02:04AM ● By Lissa Carlson
The fact that it's home to the Packers is reason enough for many to flock to Titletown USA, but football aside, here are some great reasons why it should be on your destination list.

1. You can only fully comprehend the impact of the Packers while in Green Bay.

So even if you don't like football, you’re still a Packers fan, we hope! Seriously, if you've ever wondered what’s the big whoop, spend a few hours in and around Lambeau Field, and you’ll be just as smitten as any true-blooded cheesehead football fan.

If your family loves history, take a Trolley Tour of the new Packers Heritage Trail, dedicated in the fall of 2013. Go back in time to the days when Indian Packing Plant first sponsored the team back in 1919. Team co-founder Curly Lambeau worked at the plant, where the workers were known as the Packers. 

See the house Curly Lambeau was born in 1898; the old City Stadium where the team played from 1925-1956; the Milwaukee Road Depot where players arrived and departed for away games; and the buildings where important contracts were signed and deals were made. You’ll even get a little of the less lustrous history of the team’s players, all from the comfort of your trolley seat.

Plan your trip during Packers training camp in July and August, and you can witness the long-standing tradition of kids lending their bikes to players for the trek from the stadium to the playing field.

2. You may get the rare opportunity to make out with a giraffe. Or try to reach speeds of 35-40 mph as you race down the zip lines at the NEW Zoo & AdventurePark, take your pick.

Every day of the year, twice daily, visitors have a chance to participate in the giraffe feeding experience, a one-on-one opportunity to get up close and personal with a giraffe. Just be careful s/he doesn’t try to kiss you!

After you’ve viewed all the animals, check out the Adventure Park, featuring a zip line, climbing wall, and the Ariel Adventure Course. While the adventure course and climbing wall are seasonal, the zip line runs year round, weather permitting.

 3. Because who knew it was home to the National Railroad Museum??

You and your kids don’t have to love trains to dig this museum. Featuring seasonal train rides and a theater presentation of the 25-minute documentary, “Last of the Giants,” it's the extensive “must-see” exhibits offering something for everyone. 

Art, toys, and indoor and outdoor train exhibits are both fun and educational. Learn how history and railroads related, including the connection between civil rights and the Pullman Porters. And did you know it was the railroads who helped propel time zones? Just ask a museum attendant for details. Top it off with a trip to the observation deck to oversee the museum grounds.

Upcoming special events include The Great Pumpkin Train on October 10 and 17 takes riders to the pumpkin patch and features entertainment, crafts, and fun family activities. Check out the Polar Express rides in November and early December.

4. If you’re not a family of foodies yet, trust us, a trip to Green Bay’s finest and you will be.

Green Bay plays host to a number of truly great restaurants, including Hinterland, the Green Bay Distillery, or the latest addition at Lambeau Field, the 1919 Kitchen & Tap (where you simply must try the cheese curds).

If you’re planning to tailgate, make a trip to Ski’s Meat Market. With four Wisconsin locations, including Oshkosh, Wausau, and Stevens Point, Green Bay is Ski’s latest home. 

The Wisconsin brats featuring cheddar and beer, or a number of other specialty brats, will be a hit at any tailgate party. The bacon-wrapped chicken breasts are also popular, with the Wisconsin recipe featuring cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss. 

You’ll find much more than meat at this specialty grocer, comprised of cheeses, deli salads, and “heat ‘n eat” entrees such as shepherd’s pie and lasagna. Bring a cooler so you can load up for the trip home!

5. Because Elvis had great taste in roller coasters.

Bay Beach Amusement Park is as much a cult classic as Elvis, and it just so happens Bay Beach plays host to the Zippin Pippin, reportedly his favorite roller coaster. Built about 100 years ago, the Zippin Pippin called Memphis home until it was relocated to Green Bay in 2010.

If roller coasters aren’t your thing or your kids are too young, no worries. Bay Beach features bumper cars, a giant slide, a ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, kiddie rides, and many other traditional carnival rides. 

Best part? They cost 25 cents to ride. No kidding!

While the Zippin Pippin is slightly more to ride, it's worth it for the thrill and views of Lake Michigan you can't get from the ground. You’ll have to wait until the park opens again in May to know if you should take our word for that, but here's a preview of the ride to share with your kids in the meantime!