Enjoy Movies under the Stars!

Summer is a great time to enjoy the special treat of watching movies under the stars! I know the loungers in the movie theaters are nice, but there’s just something about being outside, kicking back, hanging with family and friends, and watching a movie! And did I mention they’re free, or at the very least only a dollar?!

Movies under the Stars

Darien ~

Head to West Park with blankets and lawn chairs for a relaxing evening watching a movie under the stars! Admission is free and the movie begins at 8:45 pm.
June 15 – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Delavan ~ 

Bring the whole family, all your friends and the neighborhood to Phoenix Park and enjoy a fun night watching a movie on a cinema-sized screen. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs for getting comfy. Feel free to bring your own snacks, or don’t worry about it and enjoy the concessions that will be available. Admission is free and the movies begin at either 9 pm or 8:30 pm (see the listing above).
June 8 – The Greatest Showman
July 20 – Ferdinand
August 3 – Coco

East Troy ~

From the beach at Booth Lake Memorial Park during the day to the movie at night! You’ll already have your blankets and lawn chairs, so it’s pretty much a no brainer than you’re staying and making a day of it. Admission is free and the movies begin 8:30 pm.
June 21 – Jumanji
June 22 – Beauty & the Beast Sing Along
July 20 – Coco
August 17 – The Lion King

Elkhorn ~

Sunset Park – even the name evokes the idyllic-ness of summertime and movies in the park under the stars! By now you should just have your blankets and lawn chairs stashed in the trunk of the car to make it that much easier to get relaxed. Admission is free and the movies begin at 9 pm.
July 20 – Coco
August 3 – Despicable Me 3
August 17 – Cars

Fontana ~ 

Here you are again at the Fontana Beach already, so I ask you – why not stick around for the movie? How often do you get to see a movie on a 16′ x 9′ inflatable screen outdoors under the stars? Not very often! Admission is $1.00, concessions will be available, and the movies begin at 8:30 pm.
June 8 – Despicable Me 3
June 22 – Paddington 2
July 6 – Jaws
July 20 – Coco
August 3 – Jumanji

Lake Geneva ~ 

Again and again it’s made so easy for you! A day at Riviera Beach and then a movie on it! Wow! Admission is free, concessions will be available and the movies begin at 8 pm.
June 6 – Finding Nemo
July 11 – The Sandlot
August 8 – Back to the Future

For other family-friendly events throughout Walworth County this summer,
be sure to visit the events page at VisitWalworthCounty.com.

Advertisements

Memorial Day Weekend in Walworth County

The snow has melted – don’t seem too surprised by that, as we had snow in mid-April, which thankfully is rare – and it’s finally beginning to feel like summer is actually going to happen. Memorial Day weekend is always the unofficial kick-off to summer, with parades and services to honor those who died in active military service, and various other activities as well. This weekend is no exception in Walworth County, so let’s get started on filling in the to-do list!

Since the earliest ceremonies following the Civil War held in small towns, people have come together on Memorial Day to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The laying of wreaths and placing of flags occurred then as it does now on this national day of remembrance. While the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., hosts an audience of over 250,000 people, it’s a little more intimate at the parades and services held in the various communities of Walworth County. Here’s a listing of communities and times for parades and services held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28:

Memorial Day 2018
The event that is a must on everyone’s to-do list for this weekend is to attend the StarLight Festival at Yerkes Observatory, Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, from 10 am – 11 pm each day! This is a free public event (with online registration suggested – go to https://starlightfestival.com/collections/tickets), that has Yerkes Observatory, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, the Astronomy Outreach Network and the WI Dept. of Tourism joining forces to bring astronomy, science and technology to students, young adults, families and the ‘scientifically curious’ together, all while celebrating the 150th birthday of the founder of Yerkes Observatory, George Ellery Hale, and the “Father of Modern Astrophysics”. I think there will even be birthday cake! StarLight Festival - YerkesStarLight Festival includes hands-on experiences in astronomy, science and technology; guided tours of the historic building for a nominal fee (discounted online through Friday, May 25 at noon, otherwise available on-site; a free open house each day, 4:30 – 7:30 pm; programs by scientists, astronomers and experts; science exhibits, demonstrations and a few surprises; star party telescope viewing on the North Lawn (8:30 – 11 pm, weather permitting); amazing space art by Carlos Hernandez; and observing with the Yerkes Observatory telescopes (nominal fee, first come/first serve with a limited amount of tickets available, 8:30 pm – midnight each night, weather permitting). The telescope is the 40-inch “Great Refractor”, the world’s largest lens-type telescope! The entire event is sure to amaze, entertain and educate those of all ages, backgrounds, interests, etc., and absolutely should not be missed!Space Art by Carlos Hernandez - Yerkes Starlight

 
ChocolateFest - Chocolate City signPut your feet back on the ground and take them to ChocolateFest in Burlington, May 25 – 28 — your taste buds will love it! Since 1987, Burlington has been hosting a chocolate carnival celebration in Chocolate City USA, with rides, food, entertainment and, of course, tons of chocolate. You will find wall to wall fun from games, rides, entertainers, chocolate carving and great food, including chocolate samples, sweets, fair food and great chefs. If for some reason chocolate isn’t totally your thing, one why not (!), and two, no worries – there are food vendors from all over the country serving up their specialties of classic barbecue, Greek, Italian, Mexican, and a variety of sweet treats and beverages as well.

Corn cob kidWhen in Wisconsin / Walworth County, what’s more traditional than having a brat and corn? Okay, maybe having some cheese curds – with the brat and corn! The East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce will once again host their annual Corn & Brat Roast, and when I say once again, I mean it’s their 42nd annual! Held every Memorial Day weekend, so this year it’s May 25 – 28, it features sweet roasted corn, brats, hot dogs, burgers, soda and beer, as well as live entertainment to keep your toe tapping while you are eating. Also included in the weekend activities, is the Chamber’s annual East Troy Community-wide Rummage Sale. Find that treasured item you never knew you needed!

Memorial Day weekend is typically when it’s thought that if you weren’t able to get your hanging flower baskets, flowers and garden plants earlier in the month (thank you Mother Nature…), then it’s time now. There are two wonderful opportunities to get stocked up at – the Fontana Garden Club Fair at Pearce’s and Congdon Garden’s ‘Through the Garden Gate’ Sale. The Fontana Garden Club Fair, held Saturday, May 26, from 9 am – 3 pm, features perennials, shrubs and annuals from Pesche’s and Jurg’s, as well as herbs and lettuce, Kool Kontainers, homemade pies, garden treasures, a Book Boutique, garden tool sharpening (shovels and pruners) and a cash raffle. Proceeds are devoted to providing college scholarships to local students, along with supporting outdoor education curriculum and environmental programs. Image-2

Congdon Garden’s in Delavan will host their annual ‘Through the Garden Gate’ sale on Saturday, May 25, from 9 am – 3 pm, and features garden art and unique shrubs and trees for sale, plus food, books, and there will also be various garden vendors. Schedule your time appropriately to attend both events as you can never have too many plants and flowers around!

Once you’ve got the green going with the plants and flowers, how about heading out to the green for a round of golf or two? At the Grand Geneva Resort, play The Brute or the Highlands for only $89 and replay for $49, with both rounds needing to be played on the same day. Geneva National Golf has ‘Conquer Three Courses in Three Days’, so what a great opportunity to play the Palmer, Player and Trevino courses! It’s only $75 Friday through Monday or $45 after 2 pm. Don’t have to ask me twice to play that much golf! Evergreen Golf Club has their annual Memorial Day Scramble on Monday, May 28. It’s open to the public, is a 2-person team, with shotgun start at 10 am. Proceeds benefit the ‘Fisher House’ in support of military veterans in Milwaukee.

I could go on about things to do this weekend, but you need to be planning your to-do list of activities for it, and goodness knows that there is so much to do in Walworth County that one weekend isn’t enough anyway, being a 3-day weekend or not! That means you just have to come back for all the other marvelous offerings. To help with planning for later on or for whenever, go to:

VisitWalworthCounty.com

Honoring Mom this Mother’s Day

Mother's Day keep calm

Last minute notification of needing money or  having to bring a treat to school. Forgetting the permission slip at home that has to be turned in right now. Two bags of laundry brought home from college. The car broke down on the side of the road. In bed, but awake, until you hear the front door open and close. Just a few examples of things that happen as a mom. Makes you wonder why there’s only one Mother’s Day a year! With all that Walworth County has to offer for ways to make Mom feel special, there should be more than one day.
Let’s get to it, as Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13.
With the weather finally not looking like winter any more, how about getting out in nature at Camp Timber-Lee with Mom. Stay overnight Friday, May 11, and enjoy a snack, campfire, hayride and stargazing. Then on Saturday, May 12, enjoy a day that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus activities galore, like nature hikes, boating, archery, farm animals, tower climb, high ropes, animal encounter, creation experience, and a family photo shoot. Sounds like a great way to take a step back, relax and have fun hanging out with Mom.

For a little more sedate and refined, Cornerstone Shop has a Mother’s Day Tea-tasting Party on Saturday, May 12. Practice the pinkies up move while sampling a variety of teas for spring and learning about each of them! Enjoy a Lizzy James Trunk Show, with Mom getting a special goody bag if she’s one of the first 50 to purchase a Lizzy James item (or you purchase a Lizzy James item for Mom).

Mother’s Day itself, Sunday, May 13, is filled with choices of what to do! Does Mom golf? If so, get out to Hawk’s View Golf Club or Grand Geneva Resort, where Mom plays free and you then follow up the round of golf with brunch. If the golf course isn’t Mom’s thing, then how about a Bird Hike? Start the morning at Beulah Bog State Natural Area for a leisurely walk full of bird songs and sights. Test Mom’s escape skills at the Lake Geneva Clue Room where she gets in free as part of a group of 4. Mom will also get an Anderson’s chocolate treat and a flower. Celebrate other remarkable women, those of Geneva Lake, while taking a voyage with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line to Black Point Estate. The narrated tour will focus on many of the women that have lived along the shore of Geneva Lake, including a tour of Black Point Estate and learning about the women there. Added fun – mimosas will be served at Black Point Estate before returning to the ship! Another option is seeing the ultimate show-biz musical, “42nd Street”, being performed at The Fireside Theatre. With two performances on Sunday, one at 10:30 am and the other at 2:30 pm, a great meal and a great show are easy to choose. Rosewood also offers a great meal and a great show, with their ‘Legends & Love Songs’ show and brunch. There are two brunch seatings, 11:30 am and 1 pm, with the show at 2 pm.

When it comes to Mother’s Day brunches, buffets, and dinner the choices are amazing!

Crafted Americana | 9 am – 2 pm
The Ridge Hotel

Evergreen Country Club | 9 am – 2 pm
Elkhorn

The Trout House at Rushing Waters | 9 am – 2:30 pm
Palmyra

The Abbey Resort – 240° West | 9 am – 5 pm
Fontana

Old World Wisconsin | 9 am – 5 pm
Eagle

Lake Lawn Resort | 9:30 am – 4 pm
Delavan

Grand Geneva Resort | 10 am – 3 pm
Lake Geneva

The Geneva Inn | 10 am – 4 pm
Lake Geneva

Red Geranium | 10 am – 4 pm
Lake Geneva

Hawk’s View Golf Club | 10 am – 2 pm
Lake Geneva

The Hunt Club Steakhouse | 2 – 9 pm
Lake Geneva
So with all the choices given of activities and dining happening in Walworth County for Mother’s Day, there’s no excuse in being able to make it memorable for Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day hearts

May is National Bike Month – Biking in Walworth County…

national-bike-month-artwork-by-illustrator-carolyn-vibbertSo let’s see if this thought process works – the last blog was done with the idea that winter would be ending soon and what’s there to do when it does. Mother Nature must not have liked my reference to her not paying enough attention to it being April and so she gave us all this snow. Well, maybe this blog and putting the onus on it being National Bike Month in May will be enough to get things turned around with the weather. Here’s hoping, ‘coz I’m sure over the white stuff, like I’m betting all of you are, too.

As I said, May is National Bike Month. And yes, it’s still only April, but if you need to get your bike tuned up like I do, or maybe even purchase a new bike, there’s time to get it done by talking about this now. Besides, I’m hoping talking about it will help melt all the  snow we just got that much faster…

Walworth County is home to a variety of ways to get rolling on two wheels, be it mountain biking on a state trail or on some private trails accessible for a fee or road biking on scenic back roads. Let’s check out some of the options and get planning on how to celebrate National Bike Month!

First up are the State trails. Being State trails, there are requirements to meet, so let’s go over those: Each bicyclist, age 16 or older, needs a WI State Trail pass while using the trails. State Trail passes are available at self-pay stations at the trailheads, or at the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, 2375 E. Geneva St., Delavan (across from Lake Lawn Resort). WI State Park Vehicle Admission Stickers are required as applicable and are purchased at the state parks.

Okay, that’s out of the way. Now on to the fun part of the trails themselves!

  • The White River State Trail is a 19-mile trail that follows a former rail corridor as it travels by numerous bridges, scenic vistas, quaint towns, farmlands and wetlands. The trail offers a fairly level grade and smooth limestone surface. It can be accessed in Elkhorn at County Highway H, south of the Interstate 43 and US Highway 12 interchange – from Highway 12, take the County Highway NN exit west and then turn left (south) on Highway H; go about 0.6 mile south to the trailhead parking lot.
  • The Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit – Emma Carlin and John Muir Trails, with a Connector Trail between them:
    • The Emma Carlin Trail System goes through a hardwood forest with mostly hilly terrain. There are three color-coded trails ranging from 3.5 miles to 8 miles, each being a single-track mountain bike trail, and ranging from moderate to hard in difficulty. The trailhead can be reached on County Highway Z, just south of State Highway 59, between Eagle and Palmyra. Here’s a breakdown of the three loops:
      • Brown Loop, moderate, 3.5 miles: skirts in and out of pines and hardwoods, passes a kettle lowland, then after joining with the orange loops, proceeds uphill along a moraine and back downhill to the trailhead.
      • Orange Loop, moderate/hard, 6 miles: traverse the contours of the glacial geography, generally uphill to the scenic overlook where the Connector Trail (to the John Muir Trail) meets the Carlin Trails, then get ready for lots of ups and downs until meeting back with the Brown Loop to proceed uphill along a moraine and back downhill to the trailhead.
      • Green Loop, hard, 8 miles: this Loop is continuous with the Orange Loop until it splits off on the southern half of the Orange Loop, where you are now in for several difficult ups and downs as you return to the trailhead.
    • The John Muir Trail System is the most popular trail system within 100 miles. It is again a single-track mountain bike trail of rough, natural surfaces, with five different color-coded loops ranging from 1.25 miles to 12. Difficulty ranges from easy to hard/most difficult. There is also a short skills course to practice trail skills on. The trailhead can be accessed on County Highway H, north of the Town of LaGrange and US Highway 12, and south of Palmyra. Here’s a breakdown of the five loops:
      • Brown Loop, easy, 1.25 miles: mostly flat trail with some small rolling hills; two moderate uphill climbs, one fast downhill and a little rocky ending.
      • White Loop, moderate, 4.25 miles: moderate hills, some rocky trail sections; one long downhill, one fast steep downhill and one moderate uphill before reconnecting with the Brown Loop.
      • Rainy Dew Pass (purple), hard, 4.7 miles: moderate trail with a hard rocky up and down hill before reconnecting with the Blue/Green Loops.
      • Orange Loop, moderate/hard, 5.0 miles: the first half of this trail is the White Loop. Includes moderate trail with a hard, long uphill before reconnecting with the Brown Loop.
      • Green Loop, hard/more difficult, 7.0 miles: moderate trail with very rocky and sandy trail sections; many hard ups and downs, with many fast sections.
      • Blue Loop, hard/most difficult, 12.0 miles: hard trail with very rocky section, many hard uphills and several fast downhills.
      • Skills course: a very short course to practice trail skills.

There are a few private trails available for mountain biking in the area. In no particular order (other than alphabetical – hahaha ):   

  • Alpine Valley Resort, Elkhorn – This is a single-track mountain bike trail, 8.1 miles in length, ranging from intermediate to difficult. Built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, with miles of twists, turns, punchy climbs and fast descents, after an ascending, leg-burning climb to start.

Fee based: Daily pass $2 | Annual pass $20
On-your-honor box for payment, insurance waiver (do once) to be completed

Fee based: ½ day $10 | Full Day $15 | 2 days $25

Bike rentals:
Adult Bike                                        2 hours $25 | 4 hours $40 | 8 hours $65
Youth Bike (6-12 years old)          2 hours $15 | 4 hours $25 | 8 hours $45

Helmets required for all bikers. Helmets are available for rent $10

  • Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Lake Geneva – The Arbor Trails single-track mountain bike has almost 9 miles of trails offering beginner, intermediate and expert levels. The trails wind through the woods and features plenty of obstacles on the intermediate and expert level routes, which include ladder bridges, jumps, and switchbacks. The trails are unpaved and built around the trees using the natural topography creating the varying levels of difficulty.

Fee based: Day pass $10 | Annual pass $40 | Annual Family Pass $75

For the more subdued and leisurely road bike rider, like myself, there is the Sharon Cycling Series. This series of routes was created to invite bicyclists to the area for the scenic riding available. The center hub of the five routes is in the picture-perfect downtown of Sharon, with a cloverleaf of routes going out to area towns. Riding through the countryside, you’ll pass farms & fields, rural churches, and just be able to lose yourself in the quiet peace of the ride. Loops range from 11 miles (the Classic Sharon Road Race Route) to 23 miles (Fontana loop), and include 18 miles (Darien loop), 22 miles (Clinton loop) and 16 miles (Capron IL loop). All together they make 90 miles of well-marked roads, with each route designated with Bike Route signs or color-coded arrows at each corner. Most of the roads have a traffic count of less than 10 cars per hour. Each community has an ice cream shop, so what better way to refresh after a ride!

Another road bike option would be to bike the Rustic Roads of the area. Walworth County is home to six Rustic Roads.

Rustic Road 11 mapRustic Road 11 (R 11) is a 10.3 miles, gently winding route, that provides excellent views of glacial Kettle Moraine topography. It passes through large wooded areas of oak, maple and hickory, with glimpses of a game farm and scenic agricultural land. East of Lake Geneva, R 11 includes South Road, Steel Road, Spring Valley Road and Knob Hill Road between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 11 adjoins Rustic Roads 12 and 36, so you get a 3-for-1!

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 12 map Rustic Road 12 (R 12) is a 5.7 miles route that at various points offers panoramic views of lush green hills and valleys. The sharply curving route passes outstanding Kettle Moraine formations, pine and spruce plantations, a tamarack swamp, and several ponds. R 12 crosses the White River and runs through the community of Lyons with its several quaint churches. The route includes Back Road, Sheridan Springs Road, Spring Valley Road, and Church Street, between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 12 adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 36 for added driving and viewing pleasure.

Rustic Road 29 may only be 2.7 miles in length, but it’s located in a countryside of natural beauty, passing through an area of natural vegetation and wildlife, bounded in some places by split rail fencing. Another perspective is to think of it as the back yards of the gorgeous lake homes, whose front yards you’ve seen from Geneva Lake, hopefully while taking one of the boat cruises offered by Lake Geneva Cruise Line!Rustic Road 29 map

Rustic Road 36 (R 36) includes Cranberry Road and Berndt Road, east from Wisconsin Highway 50, and adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 12. At 3.6 miles, this narrow, hilly route got its name from from early settlers who harvested cranberries from nearby marshes. The route winds through Wisconsin farmland, glacial marshes and knobs, featuring a wide variety of trees and shrubs.Rustic Road 36 map

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 85 map

Rustic Road 85 (R 85) is 2.5 miles and includes portions of Potter Road and Kearney Road, forming a loop off of County DD. The route runs adjacent to winding Sugar Creek while on Potter Road, as both pass through Nature Conservancy forests and wetlands. The steeply glaciated uplands of Kearney Road includes a mix of farmlands and pine woodlots.

 

 

 

The newest addition to the Rustic Road family in Walworth County is Rustic Road 120 (R 120). Locals know it as Peck Station Road, with this 2 mile stretch being between County Highways A and ES, just west of Alpine Valley Music Theatre, and east of WI Highway 12. Peck Station Road, named after a Western Union Railroad stop, is agricultural in character and quite colorful in the fall. The former inn still exists as a private home. At the east side of its intersection with County A is the Troy Wildlife Area,  offering many recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, cross country skiing and hiking.Map of Rustic Road 120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Should you need to rent a bike, there a couple of options in the area.

  • Backyard Bikes & Ski Shop, LaGrange – Bicycle make / model varies based on preference, with rental rates ranging from $25/day to $65/day, and reduced rates are offered if reserve online. Don’t forget to ask about the various road routes available to bike in the area, ranging from 12 miles to 60 miles.
  • Pedal & Cup, Springfield

    Adult Bike           Hourly $7 | ½ day (4 hours) $21 | Full day (7 hours) $35
    Child Bike            Hourly $5 | ½ day (4 hours) $15 | Full day (7 hours) $25
    Tandem Bike      Hourly $10 | ½ day (4 hours) $30 | Full day (7 hours) $50

 

National-Bike-Month
However and wherever you choose to get on two wheels
in Walworth County, you’re sure to find an adventure!
For other fun things to do, go to VisitWalworthCounty.com

Celebrate Earth Day!

earthday_pic-1492103885I’m not sure that planting seeds or trees, or even outside clean-up (other than of the snow…) is going to be happening much this Earth Day weekend, but there are still ways to celebrate it in Walworth County.

First, here’s a brief overview of Earth Day: The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was displeased that an issue as important as our environment wasn’t addressed in politics or in the media. It was after the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara CA that Nelson organized a nationwide demonstration against pollution and the deterioration of the environment. Approximately 20 million Americans joined in support of a healthier and more sustainable actions towards the environment. One outcome of this demonstration was that in December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, what is today the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. Earth Day is now a global celebration that extends in some cases to Earth Week, a full seven days of events focusing on green living.

Now, here is what’s happening in the area to celebrate Earth Day:

Gateway Technical College, Elkhorn – Celebrate Earth Day
Sat., April 21 | 10 am – 12 pmGTC - Celebrate Earth Day 2018

Join Gateway Technical College for a community celebration of our planet at their Elkhorn Campus (Corner of Hwy H & East Centralia)! This free, family-friendly event features: Earth Day scavenger hunt, children’s activities, petting zoo, door prizes & giveaways, plant sale, workshops & demonstrations, refreshments, recycling center, Earth-friendly crafts, Kohl’s Wild Theater and more. You can find full event details at www.gtc.edu/earthday.

Volunteer clean-up of the White River Trail will take place from 8:30 – 10:30 am. Guests can park in the southeast parking lot at the Gateway Technical College campus and walk to the trail. Gloves and bags will be provided.

Lake Geneva Country Meats, Lake Geneva – Earth Day Wine Tasting
Sat., April 21 | 11 am – 2 pm LG Country Meats - Earth Day Wine Tasting

If you’re curious about organic, and sustainable wines, this is a great opportunity to try some for free. Jenna will be sampling of organic / sustainable wines from around the world! We’ll have 4 selections that you can try for free, and then take home a bottle of your favorite to enjoy on Sunday – Earth Day!

Delavan Lake Store, Delavan – Celebrate Earth Day 
Sun., April 22 | 11 am – 2 pm Delavan Lake Store - Celebrate Earth Day cropped

Join us as we host a “Celebrate Earth Day” event! We are excited to welcome several different local businesses who have great eco-friendly ideas to share, and you’ll have the opportunity to walk away with some fun freebies, like free seeds for the kids to plant and free eco-friendly coffee, and lots of helpful information. Don’t forget to register for the free Get Clean product drawing and get a free scoop of ice cream.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy – Buds & Bees
Sat., April 21 | 4 – 6 pm Michael Fields - Earth Day Buds & Bees

Michael Fields & The Hive Taproom present ‘Buds & Bees’ in honor of Earth Day. Join Andrea Clemens of Lovelight Flowers on a guided tour of Michael Fields, with mead and honey kombucha samples for the first 50 people signed up online. Note: 4 pm pour, 4:15 pm tour. Suggested donation:  $10
RSVP online with this link: Buds & Bees registration


Northleaf Winery, Milton – “Earth Day Ride” Paint & Sip

Sun., April 22 | 2 – 4 pm Northleaf Winery - Earth Day Ride

In celebration of Earth Day, come sip a little and paint a little, with “Earth Day Ride”. Have fun, relax, make a memory and art! Please arrive 15 minutes early to get settled in.

Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park, Lake Geneva – Work-Play Earth Day 
Sat., May 5 | 9 – 11 am Big Foot Beach State Park - work-play-Earth Day
Originally scheduled for April 21, but due to the weather has been rescheduled for May 5. Come out and celebrate, belatedly but always relevant, Earth Day by volunteering in the park. Call 262.248.2528 for details.
Kettle Moraine Land Trust – Books, Birds & Butterflies
Sat., May 5 | 10 am – 1 pm Kettle Moraine Land Trust - Earth Day

Visit Kettle Moraine Land Trust at your local library to learn about Earth Day and the native plants you can use to help pollinators and beautify your home. Librarians will have a collection of Earth Day and conservation-related books, and a limited number of free native plants and seed packets will be available, plus advise about native plantings that attract birds and pollinators.

Aram Public Library, Delavan
East Troy Lions Public Library, East Troy
Matheson Memorial Library, Elkhorn
Irvin L. Young Public Library, Whitewater

‘We have only one earth, so we need to take care of her’ 
Belief held by Gaylord Nelson and wisely held by many more around the world today. Please help do your part, no matter how big or how small that might be,
in taking care of our Earth.

 

 

 

Yes, winter will end… Here’s what to do when it does!

desk calendar - maxineSo 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).

Geneva Lake Shore PathOn 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. LG Canopy Tours - zip lineI 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…

Safari Lake GenevaI’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.

 

Elkhorn Flea MarketComing 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!

four seasons
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!

To help with the planning of the fun and adventures,
go to VisitWalworthCounty.com!

Let’s Get Hippity Hoppin’ for Easter!

The first day of spring was yesterday, March 20, and though I’ve seen the first robin (the traditional first sign of spring) and heard the first Harley (my personal favorite first sign of spring), I’ve not seen a rabbit yet. Good thing Easter is right around the corner! Now this year Easter is April 1, which is also April Fools’ Day. In our house I’m thinking of the April Fools’ Day prank as being that the Easter Bunny didn’t come this year… I can just picture the look on my kids’ faces at the thought of not searching for their basket and then the plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, the peanut butter-filled eggs, the chocolate bunny, etc. Now before you call me a mean mom in doing this – my kids are all over 20 years of age and live on their own, so you’d think they were beyond doing the Easter basket and candy hunt thing! NOT! Of course I then need to be careful of what prank they’ll pull on me, ‘coz we love April Fools’ Day and pulling pranks on each other!

stuffed bunny with eggs

 

Okay – back to Easter in Walworth County! This time of year comes with Easter egg hunts, fun Easter activities, and Easter brunches (as well as breakfasts and dinners). Let’s get planning the strategy for making the most of all that’s happening!

 

Easter egg hunts are at the top of the list of activities – come on, think candy! There are at least a half-dozen (hahaha – an egg reference!) happening this weekend on Saturday, March 24, then another half-dozen or more happening Easter weekend, both Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1. Check out the listing below.

Easter Egg Hunts Graphics1

If you think you’re too old for Easter egg hunts, first, reference back to the ages of my kids at the beginning of this blog, and second, let me tell you what Staller Estate Winery has going on for adults! Yes, I said WINERY! On March 31, from 11 am – 6 pm, Staller Estate Winery has their adult Easter egg hunt, called ‘Easter Dusting‘. Search for an egg (limit one per person, and you must be 21 years or older) and then trade it in for a prize. Prizes vary from discounts, wine and chocolate flights, to bottles of wine. This beats out candy in my book! The ‘dusting’ aspect has to do with some eggs being easy to find, others maybe not so easy and you’ll be ‘dusting’ the floor or a back corner of a shelf in search of your egg. Either way, with the prize options being wine-related, I’m in!

Bunny trainClimb aboard the East Troy Electric Railroad’s Bunny Train either March 24, March 25, or March 31, for some family fun! Enjoy face painting (8 am – 3 pm) and coloring at the depot while checking in and getting your scavenger hunt cards. Board the Bunny Train and take a ride to the Elegant Farmer. During the ride there will be many things to look out the windows for to mark off on your scavenger hunt cards. Once you arrive at the Elegant Farmer, you’ll be able to hold baby chicks, pet bunnies shown by local 4-H students, and even get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! All children (ticket holders) will receive a stuffed bunny on the return trip and there are jelly beans for all! Reservations are recommended – you can order tickets online for the Bunny Train or call 262.642.3263.

Now for the food, and not just candy (and wine), to fill up on! Easter brings dining out options of breakfasts, brunches, and dinners, as well as ‘Easter Dinner to Go‘ from Lake Lawn Resort – just pre-order by no later than Monday, March 26 (call 262.725.9155) and pick it up Sunday, April 1. Get things rolling this Saturday, March 24, with a Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, and then check out more options Easter weekend, with things happening both on Saturday, March 31, and of course on Easter Sunday. You’d think there was a problem with being so much food, but I don’t see it that way – you just gotta pace yourself and wear elastic waistband pants or a long shirt to cover zippered pants being open a bit…!

Easter Brunches Graphic1

And there it is – Easter in Walworth County! Get hoppin’!

eggs with bunny ears and header