LEGOLAND Florida Amusement Park
January 27, 2014 – 11:39 am | No Comment

The mother of three elementary-age kids all who are “into” LEGO and LEGO Friends, we recently visited the LEGOLAND Florida amusement park in Winter Haven, Florida.
LEGOLAND® Florida is a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to …

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Home » Destinations, Our Trips, US

Eat, Play, Stay in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Submitted by on March 4, 2012 – 10:58 am3 Comments
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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.

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.

Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac

Scaled to fit the smaller size of the city, don’t let the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac fool you. Clean, colorful, and organized in a floor plan conducive to keeping tabs on multiple kids, the museum is currently located near downtown and with easy walking distance of shopping, parks, restaurants, and the public library.

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.

Horicon Marsh International Education Center

A nearby “four season” destination, 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, families can .

Free and open to the general public, families can nature watch, browse the gift shop and interpretive areas, and relax while kids make art projects or read a book or two. Weather (and gear) permitting, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, biking, fishing, and auto tours are other ways to enjoy a trip to the area.

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).

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.

Home Sweet Hotel

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).

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).

Before you plan a trip to Fond du Lac, I’ve shared more information—including a few ways to pinch your pennies—in the Travel Mom Julie column at MadisonMamas.com.

3 Comments »

  • Tom says:

    You forgot to mention for Horicon Marsh that it is divided with Northern 2/3 being the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, where a majority of the visitors visit because they have more trails, an Auto Tour, floating boardwalk, interiors roads open for vehicles as wells hiking and biking. Horicon NWR also has a great visitor center with a amazing gift shop. Horicon NWR is in Fond du Lac County and Dodge County, where the Horicon International Education Center at the Horicon State Wildlife Area is located on the southern 1/3 of the marsh and is entirely in Dodge County.

  • Thanks Tom,

    Thanks for adding an explanation around the remaining 2/3 of the marsh. We visited the Marsh Haven Nature Center (re-opened in April) this past weekend and took a walk on the floating boardwalk. Writing a story explaining the different marsh management, the three different visitor centers, and offering up some more travel ideas (i.e., End of the Trail candy shop in Waupun) is on my to do list. In the mean time, check out more ideas on my two different smart phone apps: http://www.madisonloveskids.com or the Kid Friendly Madison Facebook page (www.facebook.com/KidFriendlyMadison).

    Have a good one,

    Julie

  • [...] to the region with flowers in full bloom (read about our winter adventures in Fond du Lac in this story), our weekend destination was Oshkosh. Dubbed Wisconsin’s “event city,” [...]

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