12 Fun & Best Things to Do in Appleton, Wisconsin

Located north of Lake Winnebago and alongside the Fox River, Appleton, Wisconsin, is a small city with big-city tradition, leisure, and enjoyable. Appleton is part of three Wisconsin counties, together with Winnebago, Outagamie, and Calumet, and is a part of the Fox Cities metropolitan space.

This small city is house to one of many first co-ed faculties, Lawrence University, and the Hearthstone Historic House, which has unique lightbulbs from Thomas Edison. While there are many historic locations to see on this small city, there are additionally loads of alternatives for enjoyable!

Kids and adults will get pleasure from Appleton’s hands-on museums, such because the previous Paper Discovery Center, the History Museum on the Castle, and the nineteenth century Hearthstone Historic House. You also can discover loads of cultural experiences, from the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center to the Trout Museum of Art.

Of course, there are additionally loads of outside recreation alternatives with its location on the Fox River and proximity to Lake Winnebago and Little Lake Butte Des Morts. You also can hit the paths at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve for a stunning afternoon hike!

So whether or not you’re visiting as a pair, with kids in tow, or flying solo, you’ll discover one thing enjoyable to do in Appleton, Wisconsin!

Hilton Appleton Paper Valley

1. Hilton Appleton Paper Valley
Top Recommendation

The resort is located on the shores of Lake Winneconne, only a 10-minute drive from Appleton International Airport. It affords free Wi-Fi and visitor rooms with 37-inch flat-screen TVs. A 24-hour airport switch service is supplied to all friends. Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse serves prime steaks, chops and seafood for dinner every night, whereas 2 cafes and a pair of bars present quite a lot of eating choices all through the day.

Country Inn Suites by Radisson Appleton WI
2. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Appleton, WI

This resort has a 24-hour entrance desk and affords free airport transportation. The central location of the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Appleton locations friends near many companies together with Lawrence University, Outagamie Museum, the Fox River Mall, and Fox Valley Technical College. Local sights equivalent to Miller Park are additionally inside 2 miles (3 km).

DoubleTree by Hilton Appleton WI
3. DoubleTree by Hilton Appleton, WI

DoubleTree by Hilton Appleton, Wisconsin affords easy accessibility to the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley and Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. It has an indoor pool and free WiFi all through the property. The rooms provide a flat-screen TV, air con and a security deposit field. A buffet or à la carte breakfast is served every morning on the resort.


  • Most important landmark – Hearthstone Historic House Museum
  • Best park – Appleton Memorial Park
  • Best free exercise – Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve
  • Best exercise for youths – Building for Kids Children’s Museum
  • Best exercise for adults – Appleton Beer Factory
  • Best meals – Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse
  • Best nightlife – Speakeasy Ultra Lounge
  • Best all-around lodging – Hilton Appleton Paper Valley

Best & Fun Things to Do in Appleton, Wisconsin

1. Downtown Appleton

Downtown Appleton Night Lights

Address: 100 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

If you’ve by no means been to Appleton earlier than, you’ll discover that just about the entire native sights are in Downtown Appleton. With over 60 eating places and bars, 50 boutiques and eclectic outlets, 10 museums, and 15 spas, your entire household can have enjoyable right here!

The Fox Trot Trail is without doubt one of the greatest methods to discover Downtown Appleton. This self-guided tour is a two-mile loop that showcases Appleton’s paper business, historical past, and the scenic Fox River.

The path has 16 factors of curiosity, every marked by a blue fox head brand. Pick up a Fox Trot Trail map at one of many many downtown companies!

If you go to throughout the summer time months, you’ll be able to hop on the downtown trolley, which is FREE and runs each thirty minutes! Summertime can also be an ideal time of yr to go to the Downtown Appleton Farm Market, which runs each Saturday morning. However, should you go to within the fall or winter, you’ll be able to nonetheless get contemporary produce and artisan items on the Downtown Appleton Indoor Market.

Whether your purpose is to eat, drink, be taught, store, or chill out, you are able to do all of it right here! Stop on the well-known Blue Moon Emporium to see work by native artists. Then have a craft beer on the Appleton Beer Factory (perhaps a Juicy McJuiceface IPA or a Pumpkin Pie Porter), or see one of many many fascinating reveals on the native museums.

Almost all Appleton, Wisconsin, vacationer sights are downtown, so it’s simply among the best areas to go to! After a full day of sightseeing, head again to the Hilton Appleton Paper Valley, the place you’ll be able to dine at Vince Lombardi’s Steakhouse, swim on the indoor pool and luxuriate in a very good night time’s relaxation.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

2. Appleton Memorial Park

Address: 1620 E Witzke Blvd, Appleton, WI 54911

If you’re touring to Appleton with children, a visit to Appleton Memorial Park is a must-do merchandise! Located on the north facet of city, the park’s 139 acres provide leisure alternatives for nearly everybody.

In the summer time, your little ones can burn off further vitality on the playscape, kick round a soccer ball, play tennis, and even throw a line within the fishing pond. It’s additionally an ideal place to have lunch, with picnic tables and grills accessible. However, the enjoyable doesn’t finish within the winter, as that’s when locals flock to the park for the open ice skating rink and sledding hill.

Spring and summer time deliver guests to the Scheig Center Gardens at Appleton Memorial Park, with the Serenity Butterfly Garden, Native Rose Garden, and Veteran’s Memorial Garden. While the gardens are open year-round, one of the best time to see the crops and flowers is from April to September.

Rest your head on the luxurious bedding on the close by Cambria Hotel Appleton, and get up to the connoisseur coffee bar within the foyer. For a snack, get pleasure from a few of their Cheesecake Factory delights!

3. Hearthstone Historic House Museum

Address: 625 W Prospect Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

The Hearthstone Historic House Museum is without doubt one of the metropolis’s nice landmarks. This historic constructing was initially a nineteenth century house powered by a hydroelectric station. It was the primary house on the planet powered utilizing this technique designed by Thomas Edison.

The home-owner was the visionary Henry J. Rogers, who constructed the house and introduced his paper mills and electrification know-how to Wisconsin. The house, now a museum, nonetheless has the unique mild switches, Edison wiring, and electroliers. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its historic and technological significance.

Visitors will love the house’s Victorian-style structure and gorgeous interiors. But the house tells the historical past of the paper business, the Gilded Age, and Wisconsin.

Guided excursions inform the story of the historic house and its place in Wisconsin historical past, together with the historical past of the households who constructed the house and lived there for over a century. Stop on the present store earlier than you permit to buy historical past books, t-shirts, and different souvenirs.

You can purchase a ticket to the Hearthstone Historic House Museum forward of time to make planning your Appleton itinerary easy-peasy!

See Related: Best Things to Do in Baraboo, Wisconsin

4. Atlas Science Center (previously the Paper Discovery Center)

Address: 425 W Water St, Appleton, WI 54911

Formerly the Paper Discovery Center, the Atlas Science Center is a museum centered on the historical past of papermaking in Appleton. Because of the realm’s wealthy historical past within the papermaking business, the Atlas Science Center teaches kids and adults the science of creating paper utilizing interactive studying. It’s positioned within the previous Atlas Paper Mill Building in Downtown Appleton, so it’s a handy technique to spend a few hours!

While this museum is ideal for youths, it’s in all probability greatest for school-age kids, as they’ll have essentially the most enjoyable with the hands-on papermaking and different STEM-focused reveals. Permanent reveals embody the History of Paper, Tree to Tissue, History of the Atlas Mill, Fox River Locks, and Health and Hygiene.

One of the most well-liked issues to do is experiment with making handmade paper of their Paper Labs, the place you employ the pour methodology. There are additionally self-guided actions like Origami Paper Folding and Makedo Crafts.

But the actual enjoyable is the stage presentation, normally The Paper Caper. This 30-minute present is a hoot for youths, they usually be taught all about paper in a enjoyable approach.

5. High Cliff State Park

High Cliff State Park Trail

Address: N7630 State Park Rd, Sherwood, WI 54169

High Cliff State Park is a brief twenty-minute drive from Appleton and is the one state park on Lake Winnebago. This state park encompasses over 1,000 acres and offers access to camping, boating, mountain climbing, biking, swimming, and extra.

A statue of the Winnebago Indian Chief Red Bird stands 12 toes tall on a big granite rock that overlooks the lake, as this park was as soon as sacred to Native Americans. Visitors to the park may even benefit from the historical past and geology, together with the lime kiln, quarry, and effigy mounds.

These effigy mounds have been constructed between 1,000 and 1,500 years in the past by nomadic tribes. Visitors to High Cliff State Park can see a linear mound, two buffalo-shaped, conical, and 4 panther-shaped mounds.

Want to go to the park however don’t need to camp there? Stay down the highway at Courtyard Appleton Riverfront, the place you’ll be able to sit by a snug hearth close to the Fox River after which relaxation your weary eyes in one of many resort’s snug rooms or suites.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Green Bay, Wisconsin

6. Fox River Mall

Address: 4301 W Wisconsin Ave, Appleton, WI 54913

If you’re searching for a technique to spend a number of hours whereas it’s raining or chilly, the Fox River Mall is ideal! Just a brief drive from Downtown Appleton, the Fox River Mall has virtually each retailer (and restaurant!) you may need.

Grab a coffee or boba tea from the meals court docket space, after which you’ll be able to store till you drop! Find leggings at Athleta, get your ears pierced at Claire’s, purchase the most recent Nintendo Switch recreation at SportStop, or discover some candy kicks at Vans. And while you want a break from buying, seize a pint and a few snacks at Fox River Brewing Company.

There are year-round occasions on the mall, from day by day mall strolling to Pet Nights with Santa, so verify the mall’s event calendar for the newest and biggest occasions! If you’re searching for a enjoyable technique to finish your day, end it with drinks and stay music on the Speakeasy Ultra Lounge!

7. Building for Kids Children’s Museum

Address: 100 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

Located within the metropolis middle plaza, Building for Kids is a kids’s museum designed for youths seven and beneath. This play-based museum has interactive reveals to encourage solely the youngest minds!

The two-story museum contains over 30,000 sq. toes, with a restaurant and present store. The first flooring features a jet, large rig, banking middle, STEM lab, comfort retailer, and doll hospital. Kids shall be so enamored with the hands-on play on this flooring that it is going to be laborious to encourage them to go to the second flooring!

However, the second flooring consists of some cool reveals, like a 10-foot human coronary heart, development blocks, an artwork studio, a play hearth station, a water gallery, and a science lab! Your children will undoubtedly love the Building for Kids Children’s Museum, previously referred to as the Fox Cities Children’s Museum.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Hayward, Wisconsin

8. Trout Museum of Art

Address: 111 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

The Trout Museum of Art is house to occasions, instructional packages, and reveals designed to encourage and encourage artwork lovers locally. Located in Downtown Appleton, the Trout Museum hosts Art within the Park, the SPARK! Program, the Meet Your Neighbor Exhibit Walk, and extra. Visiting the museum is a improbable technique to find out about artwork, and new reveals open every season.

The museum began within the Sixties with a imaginative and prescient from the Appleton Artists Guild to offer instructional alternatives to native artists. Their first gallery was established in 1972 because the Appleton Gallery of Art. When native residents Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout gifted their artwork assortment, the Appleton Art Center was renamed the Trout Museum of Art. The Trouts additionally gave a a million greenback endowment to guard and protect their assortment.

The beneficiant donation from the Trout household consists of over 150 artistic endeavors, from work to artifacts and sculptures, spanning over 4 centuries.

9. Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve

Address: 4815 N Lynndale Dr, Appleton, WI 54913

If you’re seeking to discover nature when you’re in Appleton, this nature protect is wonderful! With virtually 10 miles of trails, it’s a year-round attraction for strolling, mountain climbing, cross-country snowboarding, and snowshoeing!

The pure playscape is a success for youths, with a standard swing set combined with pure supplies designed to stir the creativeness. With loads of picnic tables close by, households can get pleasure from a chunk to eat whereas letting their younger ones run wild. You may even see frogs, turtles, and butterflies right here, however pack bug spray for mosquitoes, as they are often pesky in the summertime.

There is not any entrance payment which makes this park even higher, though you’ll be able to donate cash at one of many donation containers across the park. Whatever time of yr you go to this park, you’ll be able to get pleasure from exploring nature!

See Related: Best Things to Do in Tomah, Wisconsin

10. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium

Address: 2400 N Casaloma Dr, Appleton, WI 54913

If you need to cheer on an area sports activities workforce, head to Fox Cities Stadium for a Minor League Baseball recreation! The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are a Minor League Baseball workforce and the High-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are named for the timber rattlesnake frequent in elements of Wisconsin, and their mascot is Fang, a (you guessed it!) timber rattler. Fang is coupled with a second mascot named Whiffer, who has a inexperienced face and arms with bluish fur.

You can all the time buy single-game tickets to the Timber Rattlers, however there are additionally occasions on the stadium. For instance, you may have the ability to catch a stay present, circus, or symphony orchestra or take part in a enjoyable run!

11. The History Museum on the Castle

History Museum at the Castle
Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Address: 330 E College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

If you need to find out about Appleton’s historical past, you will need to put the History Museum on the Castle in your to-do checklist! This native historical past museum has all the things from reveals on Harry Houdini to native Appleton historical past. In 2018, the History Museum on the Castle acquired the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is the very best honor a museum or library can obtain within the United States.

Those also can take part in one of many museum’s many alternative tour packages, together with their Get Up & Go History Tours, Step-On Bus Tours, and historic strolling excursions the place you be taught in regards to the space with a educated information. Conveniently positioned in Downtown Appleton, the History Museum at the Castle is a superb place to spend an hour or two.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Minocqua, Wisconsin

12. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Building
Keith Homan /

Address: 400 W College Ave, Appleton, WI 54911

If you need tradition and leisure in your Appleton expertise, add the Performing Arts Center to your itinerary! Located in Downtown Appleton, this venue is house to the Fox Valley Symphony and basic Broadway reveals.

This intimate venue guarantees good seating regardless of which seat you reserve, because the furthest seat from the stage is simply 100 toes away. This makes for a improbable and intimate expertise it doesn’t matter what present you propose to see!

If you propose on driving, you’ll be able to park on the Green Ramp, the closest parking space. You also can valet park on the Performing Arts Center, whereas accessible parking is accessible on the streets close by. Keep a watch on their upcoming shows and events to see if something piques your curiosity.


What is one of the best factor to do with children in Appleton, Wisconsin?

If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love Appleton Memorial Park, whether or not it’s within the warmth of the summer time or the coldest winter day. For extra outside enjoyable, children will love the paths on the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, the place they’ll splash within the creeks and discover nature. Younger children (7 and beneath) will love the interactive reveals at Building for Kids and the Atlas Science Center (Paper Discovery Center).

What are some issues to do in Appleton, Wisconsin, when it’s raining?

There are loads of enjoyable issues to do in Appleton, Wisconsin if it’s raining! Visit the Performing Arts Center and catch certainly one of their basic Broadway musicals, attempt one of many many scrumptious beers at Appleton Beer Factory, or be taught in regards to the Fox River Valley’s historical past on the History Museum on the Castle.

What are one of the best vacationer sights in Appleton, Wisconsin?

Most of the town’s vacationer sights are in Downtown Appleton alongside College Avenue. The self-guided tour of the Fox Trot Trail will provide you with an perception into Appleton’s historical past, strolling by way of the campus of Lawrence University will make you admire greater studying, and watching the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play ball will provide you with a way of native delight.

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