So here’s my take on things. Mother Nature has one of those ‘page-a-day’ type calendars and it’s gotten knocked off the desk by her pet iguana (doesn’t she seem like an exotic pet type of person?), leaving the last date since she tore off a page being April 1… April Fool’s Day… You see where I’m going with this? Mother Nature doesn’t know it’s NOT still April 1, ‘coz without that calendar she’s stuck on the last day she remembers it being. She doesn’t know that there’s no need for any more April Fool’s Day shenanigans, like giving us snow… or temps that are 20 degrees below normal… Can I get a #enoughalready? So here’s my solution to getting in a more positive spirit of spring is coming mood – planning for things to do in Walworth County once it’s truly arrived (even if that looks like it might not be ‘til May at this rate).
On my to-do list is walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path. Now I’m not saying I’m planning on doing the whole thing in one walk, though that would certainly be an admirable goal and feat. I’m liking the idea of a section at a time, maybe working up to a whole half at once to finish it off. Being as I might not have a partner in crime with me so that we can stash a vehicle at each end of our planned section, I love the idea that I can make previous arrangements with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line to stop and pick me up in Williams Bay or Fontana if I choose to begin my walk in Lake Geneva, or vice versa with riding the boat to Williams Bay or Fontana and walking back to Lake Geneva. What a way to get the best of both worlds!
While on the subject of the Lake Geneva Cruise Line, this is one of my many go-to suggestions for something to do when in Walworth County. I have been on several of the different types, whether it’s the U.S. Mailboat tour, the Ice Cream Social tour, the Sundowner tour , or the Black Point Estate tour, to only name a few of the options available. To be on the waters of Geneva Lake, in one of those gorgeous passenger boats, viewing the magnificent historical estates around its shores, many built between 1870 and 1920, and to learn of the history behind the creation of the lake itself as well as the people of the area, is a must.
One of the historical estates on Geneva Lake is Black Point Estate & Gardens. Black Point Estate was the summer home for Chicago business mogul, Conrad Seipp, and four generations of his descendants. It was in September 2005 that Seipp’s great-grandson, William O. Petersen, donated the 20-room house, its grounds and furnishings, to the State of Wisconsin for use as a historical site. Black Point Estate & Gardens is now part of the Wisconsin Historical Society and remains one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture, with one of the most intact collections of Victorian furnishings in the Midwest. Take a step back in time with your visit, learning of the Seipp family history, with a moment on the veranda to dream of days gone by.
One aspect of Black Point Estate & Gardens that you’ll notice and learn about, is the turret. Visitors aren’t allowed up in it, which for me would be okay, as I’m admittedly afraid of heights. On my to-do list, however, is a way to hopefully get me past that fear: Lake Geneva Canopy Tours and their zip line canopy tour. I have friends that have done it numerous times and rave about it! Their website reads “no need to fear, your first zip ride is a short one to get you warmed up”, along with the Tour Guide wowing us with fascinating facts on the local history of the area, including the ecology, biology and geology of it all. I’m guessing the Tour Guide will have to talk very loud to be heard over my screaming unless a gag is part of the equipment! Regardless of my fear, I am doing this! For a laugh, you could come with me…
I’ve a nephew that is 8 and a niece that is 3-1/2, affectionately referred to as the ‘two munchkins’, and I’m trying to do at least one thing a month with them, being as I only live an hour away from them. On the list of things to do with them is Safari Lake Geneva. Only five miles from downtown Lake Geneva, on over 800 acres of pristine wildlife habitat, is an animal adventure unlike any other in Wisconsin. The guided safari experience will bring us up close to see and interact with animals such as bison, camels, rhea, antelope, miniature zebu, and others, with there being more than 50 animals from five countries inhabiting the main reserve. The kids love going to the zoo, so I can only imagine their excitement at this! Well, okay, there’s my excitement, too, in going!
Another plan I have for the two munchkins is to take them to the Dancing Horses Theatre. From the dazzling show featuring an array of horse breeds that perform beautiful equestrian artistry, to the Animals Gardens which is home to some 16 species of exotic creatures as well as 60 hay-eating animals, to a performance by Echo, the singing bird, there is so much do here! I’d say I was going to spoil my nephew and niece with the Ultimate Experience package that includes the horse show, Animal Gardens, exotic bird show, back stage tour, train ride, bird feed stick and souvenir cup, but I’ll admit I want to spoil myself with all of it and they’re acting as my cover! Boy, it’s good to have them around to share all these cool activities with!
Loving to travel like I do, and enjoying different modes of transportation, a trip to the East Troy Railroad Museum and a ride on the electric railroad is for sure on the radar to do! Now this can be kept as an adult adventure with something like the ‘Beer Tasting Train’, or I can bring the kids along again for the ‘Pizza Train’, or not have to make the decision at all and do both! Ooh – the ‘Wisconsin Cheesemakers’ & Wine Tasting Train’! That’s definitely an adult adventure (sorry, munchkins!). I’ll make it up to the two munchkins by taking them on the ‘Christmas Train’. Whether it’s one of the themed train rides like I’ve mentioned (and there are many others to choose from), or the usual ride to the Elegant Farmer and all the fun it has to offer (can you say ‘apple pie baked in a paper bag’? And then say ‘YUM’!), this is an adventure not to be missed.
Coming up soon, and held four times each year, is the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn. The opening event of the season is Sunday, May 20, so get your calendar marked now to go! The current average number of dealers that come is over 500! They could be seasoned show dealers or grandpa’s attic full of stuff showing up in the back of a pick-up truck. You’ll find a wide range of items from furniture in the rough to refinished and ready to add to your décor, from glassware to pottery, from advertising to linens, from decoys to dolls, and things you never even knew you needed or wanted. I love going to this and putting on my refurbish / repurpose glasses with looking at something through a different set of lenses as to what it can become versus what it might be. I’m also getting good at ignoring the voices of my children in my head asking what I’m going to do with that, do I really need it, and to think about them having to decide what to do with all this stuff when I’m gone! Hahaha If you want, I can teach you how to ignore your family’s voices, too!
There is so much to do in Walworth County, any and all seasons of the year! Yet I, like everyone else, still looks forward to the start of spring, no matter how much we were enjoying the winter activities in Walworth County, so here’s to another season of fun!