The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has become a perennial destination within the area hosting hundreds of events such as Broadway touring performances, concerts, film festivals, charity events and much more. The Lawrence Academy of Music focuses on music education in the community and serves more than 1,500 students yearly. We are also home to The Trout Museum of Art, The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, The History Museum at the Castle, and many more fine performance houses and galleries. Fine arts education is also available for both adults and youth at the Valley Academy of the Arts and the Makaroff School of Ballet.
The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center has become a perennial destination within the area hosting hundreds of events such as Broadway touring performances, concerts, film festivals, charity events and much more. We are also home to The Trout Museum of Art, The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, The History Museum at the Castle, and many more fine performance houses and galleries. Fine arts education is also available for both adults and youth at the Valley Academy of the Arts and the Makaroff School of Ballet.
Take a wooden snowshoe hike at The Buboltz Nature Preserve, check out the gorgeous view from High Cliff State Park (on the Niagara Escarpment) or learn more about our area’s natural resources at Thousand Islands Environmental Center and Mosquito Hill Nature Center… If you are a nature lover you will find opportunities to observe nature in action at the many designated nature preserves and parks within our community. It seems bald eagles enjoy life in the Fox Cities as much as we do! Their numbers have grown dramatically over the past 10 or so years and now the region is a premier eagle-viewing destination with 300-400 bald eagles wintering in the area annually. The Community Garden Partnership has scattered urban horticulture throughout our region, helping some of our “space-lacking” residents grow their own fresh, healthy produce.
The Fox Cities region’s proudest traditions are reflected in our many summer festivals. Little Chute’s Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival, Kimberly’s Paperfest, Greenville’s Catfish Extravaganza and Menasha’s Seafood Fest all display some of our regions history and passions.
But perhaps, Octoberfest held in downtown Appleton, is the most popular. Octoberfest, an event of the Fox Cities Chamber, is held the last weekend in September and kicks off with a world-class car show on Friday night. On Saturday, eleven city blocks in Appleton’s downtown district are flooded with over 100,00 people coming to enjoy five live music stages, view local artist’s work, eat scrumptious foods and drink in the street with our friends and neighbors. The Appleton Old Car Show is another annual event with over 1,000 exhibitors.
Local enthusiasm towards education is reflected in the Fox Cities through the broad range of activities appealing to all ages. World renown speakers and exhibits at Lawrence University, the two week Fox Cities Book Festival featuring best-selling authors, the 100+ seat Barlow Planetarium at UW-Fox Valley, and the Building for Kids (an interactive children’s museum) are all factors that contribute to the success of our K-12, higher-ed systems along with the many activities listed above under the “Arts” Section.
The first annual Mile of Music kicked off in downtown Appleton August of 2013, including 80-100 acts, ranging from local favorites to Grammy winners, over the course of four days. Cory Chisel, an Appleton native and national recording artist, assisted with both organization and talent recruitment. A vibrant music scene can be found throughout our region with other events including Menasha’s Fox Jazz Fest and numerous other venues.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone that the Fox Cities has an abundance of fresh, locally grown crops—but the sophisticated preparations in which some of our local chefs and restaurateurs take advantage of their availability might! Some local favorites include: The Village Hearthstone in Hilbert, Cannova’s Pizzeria of Neenah, Fratello’s Bistro on the Fox River in Appleton, and Carmella’s Bistro of Grand Chute, just to name a few of the hundreds of amazing eateries in our area.
Chilton’s Wisconsin Micro-Brewers Beer Fest, sponsored by Roland’s Calumet Brewing Company of Chilton, allows attendees to sample more than 100 recipes from about 30 Wisconsin microbrewers. Stone Cellar, Appleton Beer Factory and the Fox River Brewing Company also produce some favorite local microbrews.
Each of our communities houses many unique shops, boutiques and specialty stores that showcase both local artists and world-class designers within their distinct downtown shopping districts. The largest mall in Wisconsin also calls the Fox Cities home; the Fox River Mall boasts nationwide retailers such as Macy’s, Loft, Pottery Barn, Sephora and many more.
JUST BEYOND OUR BORDERS
While the Fox Cities Region has enough events to keep any calendar full, if you want to travel another few miles you will encounter Lambeau Field, the EAA Airventure Museum and Fly-In, Country USA, whitewater rafting on the Wolf River, the Waupaca Chain of Lakes, and golf courses that have hosted PGA and/or LPGA championships.