Milwaukee Family Reunions
The iconic winged roof of the Milwaukee Art Museum spreads over the Quadracci Pavilion, a gallery with a retractable sun screen that opens and closes depending on the weather. The architecture itself, which makes the museum Milwaukee’s most visibly exciting cultural attraction, is reason enough to visit. It has a collection of over 20,000 pieces in more than 40 galleries spanning from antiquity to the present. Highlights include works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Wisconsin native Georgia O’Keeffe. Quench your family’s thirst for historical knowledge at the Milwaukee Public Museum, which houses three floors of natural and human history exhibits. Stroll past life-size dinosaur models, examine mummies up close or learn about the rainforest in a massive ecosystem diorama.
Milwaukee County Zoo, arranged into five continental sections, features about 2,500 animals from 300 different species. Train tours of the zoo are available. Other good family attractions include Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin and Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, both of which offer hands-on exhibits and activities that appeal to children. Celebrate more than 100 years of motorcycle history at the Harley-Davidson Museum; explore the advances in motorcycle creation in the Design Lab and sit on actual motorcycles in the Experience Gallery. Test your luck in a high stakes bingo game or on one of the 3,100 slot machines at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. Take your family to dinner and a show at the casino’s Northern Lights Theater, where stars such as Jay Leno and Willie Nelson have performed.
Adults attending Milwaukee family reunions enjoy its breweries. Whether you simply acknowledge this fact by attending a baseball game at Miller Park, where the Milwaukee Brewers play and the beer flows as if it is brewed there, or embrace the heritage by taking a Miller or Lakefront brewery tour, is up to you. Both are exciting options that will appeal to the entire family.
Take your kids about 45 minutes south to Six Flags Great America, where visitors can enjoy Hurricane Harbor waterpark, two children’s areas and nine themed sections that make up the Gurnee, Illinois amusement park. Visitors can frolic in a 500,000-gallon wave pool and plummet down Raging Bull’s 203-foot drop in the same day.
Door County Family Reunions
Consider Door County for your next family reunion. With plenty of water access, inland forests and small towns, this Lake Michigan vacation haven has all the elements necessary for a fulfilling family gathering.
Peninsula State Park is the largest and most popular wilderness tract in Door County. More than 3,500 acres of forests, coastline and an 18-hole championship golf course make up the park. Newport State Park features 11 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 30 miles of trails. Both parks, with hiking, fishing, biking, skiing and boating options, will satisfy your family’s adventure impulse.
Door County has many family-friendly recreational activities. Golf is huge in Door County. From advanced courses for experienced golfers, to par 3 options and golf lessons for novices or children, your family will enjoy one of the 11 golf courses. Water-skiing, kayaking, parasailing and tubing are all popular activities. Don’t forget your fishing poles because an abundance of northern pike, walleye and trout populate Door County’s flat-rock shores and lake bottoms.
The outdoors may draw you to Door County, but make sure to explore its many towns. Walk around the delightful small town of Egg Harbor or peruse the various shops and boutiques in Sturgeon Bay. Fish boils are a unique dining experience. Gather around a massive pot of saltwater hung over a blazing fire and feast on succulent whitefish steaks. Check out Door County’s fantastic reunion planning page on their website. With step-by-step tips and suggestions, your family reunion will seem to plan itself.
Wisconsin Dells Family Reunions
Wisconsin Dells has no skyscrapers, but it still has a skyline. The fun parks’ twisting plastic chutes and metal tracks are visible from a great distance. Prepare to meet resistance from your children upon leaving if you choose the Wisconsin Dells as your family reunion destination.
As the waterpark capital of the world, Wisconsin Dells prides itself on catering to families. Young children will splash about in kid’s play zones, teens will zoom down free-fall waterslides and adults can float down lazy rivers or take refuge at spas.
Noah’s Ark Waterpark is billed as America’s largest waterpark. Fifty-one slides, two rivers, two wave pools and four children’s areas will keep family members busy. The newest addition to the park, Quadzilla, is a four-lane racing slide that weaves and braids between itself before opening up near the bottom so riders can watch their rival racers shoot past at speeds over 20 mph. The African-themed Kalahari Resort boasts the biggest indoor waterpark in Wisconsin. It features the Master Blaster, an uphill, rollercoaster-like waterslide, and FlowRider, an indoor surf pool that pumps 500,000 gallons of water below your board to create five-foot waves. Other waterpark resorts include The Wilderness and Great Wolf Lodge.
Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park is a colossal attraction with indoor and outdoor amusement and water parks. Thirty-seven water slides, six rollercoasters and eight go-kart rides make up thrilling lands such as Zeus’s Playground and Medusa’s Indoor Water Park.
If you need a break from gravity-defying waterslides, take a tour with Original Wisconsin Ducks or Dells Army Ducks. Riding in amphibious army vehicles, you are guided through Lower Dells Glacier Park and exposed to glacier-carved rocks. The water-skiing performers at the Tommy Bartlett Show will mesmerize you with their acrobatic human pyramids and daring jumps. Feeling lucky? Ho-Chunk Gaming in Baraboo provides 24-hour gambling. Wisconsin Dells family reunions find that the CVB provides excellent reunion planning options and aid on their website.
Madison Family Reunions
Located on a narrow isthmus between five lakes, Madison offers more attractions than its size implies. As the state capital and home to the University of Wisconsin, this center of culture is an ideal family reunion destination.
Visit the Henry Vilas Zoo, which has over 700 animals on its 30-acre premises. The Tropical Rainforest Aviary showcases many species of South American birds and marine life. The Herpetarium and Discovery Center is the zoo’s educational facility; home to many reptiles, it contains a hands-on learning center with microscopes and magnifying glasses so visitors can examine animal skins and bodies more closely. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a 16-acre oasis on the shores of Lake Monona. A 50-foot-high conservatory features exotic rainforest plants; a waterfall, free-flying birds, bamboo arbors and palm trees cause visitors to forget they’re in Wisconsin. Both the zoo and the gardens are free (except for the conservatory, which costs $1.00).
Spend some time at the University of Wisconsin campus. Wisconsin Veterans Museum is dedicated to American soldiers who served from the Civil War to the present. Highlights include the Spanish American War exhibit and dioramas depicting jungle warfare. Chazen Museum of Art showcases works from 2300 B.C. Contemporary American and European art is also featured. Both museums are free. The University of Wisconsin is a Big Ten school with competitive athletics. Get tickets to a Badgers football or basketball game, or catch one of the many other sporting events occurring year round.
As it is set between five lakes, there are various recreational activities such as fishing, boating, hiking and golfing available on the outskirts of the city. Head to the town of Blue Mounds to discover why Cave of the Mounds is a national natural landmark. Experience the theatrically lit stalactites and stalagmites on the one-hour guided tour of the cave. Rock gardens, hiking trails, a gemstone mine and a fossil dig are on the grounds.