20 Fun Things You Need To Do In Appleton, Wisconsin

20 Fun Things You Need To Do In Appleton, Wisconsin

From food to recreation to shopping, there's plenty to do in the heart of the Fox Valley.

Appleton is a great city in northeastern Wisconsin that offers many opportunities when it comes to food, recreation, and entertainment. I grew up near Appleton, so I'm familiar with the area and know it like the back of my hand. Here are some fun things to do in Appleton:

1. Go Shopping At The Fox River Mall

As the largest mall in Wisconsin, you can get some serious shopping here. You'll find department store staples like Target and Macy's, as well as Scheels, a huge sporting goods store. There's also a plethora of other stores, such as Bath & Body Works, Forever 21, and Victoria's Secret. As for food, there's a sprawling food court and a sit-down restaurant that I'll cover later in this list!

2. Enjoy A Cup Of Coffee At The Tempest Coffee Collective

This coffee shop just opened last year, but it has already built up quite a reputation because of its modern atmosphere and beautiful cups of coffee. The food is also delicious! Next time you want to check out a new coffee shop, I suggest heading here.

Check out Tempest Coffee Collective here.

3. Check Out The Views Of The Fox River

Like many cities in the area, Appleton thrives off the Fox river. There are many opportunities to catch a stunning glimpse of the river, so make sure you have your camera ready.

4. Walk Around The Lawrence University Campus

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University is a beautiful liberal arts college that is seamlessly integrated into the city's landscape. With gorgeous buildings and abundant green spaces, a stroll around this campus will grant anyone a much-needed break from the bustle of everyday life.

Check out Lawrence University here.

5. Spend The Morning At The Downtown Appleton Farmers Market

The Appleton Farmers Market is definitely a must on Saturday mornings. Taking place outside June through October, one of my favorite summer activities is sampling all the delicious food available and looking at all the great handmade products at this large farmers market.

Check out the Downtown Appleton Farmers Market here.

6. Visit The Hearthstone Historic House Museum

This might be geared more towards the younger crowd, but the Hearthstone Museum still has plenty to offer for any age. This historic house has the honor of being the first home in the world to be powered by a hydroelectric station via the Edison system. This beautiful piece of history is definitely worth checking out.

Check out the Hearthstone Historic House Museum here.

7. Get Brunch At SAP

I love going to this place! Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with gorgeous pastries that are almost too pretty to eat, this should be your destination if you are on the search for delicious, quality food.

Check out SAP Brunch, Brown Bag & Bakery here.

8. Take A Stroll On The Fox Trot Trail

This hidden gem of a trail is located in the middle of the city but acts as a great place to go on relaxing stroll. I have walked this trail alongside the river many times with family or friends just to catch up and enjoy the scenery.

Check out the Fox Trot Trail here.

9. Check Out The Local Businesses Downtown

Downtown Appleton has many unique local businesses that are definitely worth checking out. Some of my favorite spots are the Blue Moon Emporium, The Fire, and The Vintage Garden. You can easily spend a whole afternoon exploring the various shops and activities located in the downtown area.

Check out Downtown Appleton here.

10. Visit The History Museum At The Castle

I have visited this museum more times than I can count. Once again, this is a place more geared towards children, but it still offers plenty of exhibits that will be able to capture the interest of anyone. It features a permanent exhibit on Harry Houdini, which is fascinating since the legendary magician actually lived in Appleton!

Check out The History Museum at the Castle here.

11. Have Lunch At Copper Rock Coffee Company

With a large amount of food and coffee options, there is something for everyone in the warm ambiance of this space that is both open and cozy. This is definitely one of my favorite places to get coffee and a bite to eat.

Check out Copper Rock Coffee Company here.

12. Go To The Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin On A Sunny Day

If you love butterflies, this beautiful location is definitely for you and offers plenty to do on a nice summer day. Featuring a butterfly house, along with a butterfly maze and bridge out in the gardens, this is definitely a fun place to be.

Check out the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin here.

13. Buy Some Chocolate At Vande Walle's

This place smells like sugar and happiness. You can pretty much find any kind of treat that your heart desires in this place. It also has some of the most amazing chocolate bars you'll ever taste and serves ice cream.

Check out Vande Walle's Candies here.

14. Take A Picture In Front Of 'The Fire' Mural

I think it's safe to say that many people in the area are guilty of getting their picture taken in front of this Instagram-worthy mural located on The Fire art studio. There are also several other beautiful murals in the downtown area, so be sure to walk around and check them out.

15. View Some Art At The Trout Museum Of Art

The only art musuem in the city, the Trout Museum displays art by both regional artists to ones that are known around the world. If you are looking to do something different, I suggest visiting this place.

Check out The Trout Museum of Art here.

16. Explore The Bubolz Nature Preserve

Looking to head on some trails and enjoy the presence of nature? Look no further than the Bubolz nature preserve. This place is a personal favorite of mine and has a nature center, log cabin, observation tower, and several ponds and creeks to check out.

Check out the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve here.

17. Get A Great Meal At The Fox River Brewing Company

This place has some seriously awesome food. It also acts as a unique dining experience since the tables are covered in paper and they give you crayons so you can draw on the tables while you are there. Also, their Appleton is located within the Fox River Mall, making it the perfect place to get a meal after a long day of shopping.

Check out the Fox River Brewing Company here.

18. See A Timber Rattlers Baseball Game

I have definitely seen my fair share of Timber Rattlers baseball. It's always such a fun time and they sometimes have special theme nights. They also have a fireworks display after certain games.

Check out the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers here.

19. Have Ice Cream From Paradise Island

There are so many different kinds of ice cream to chose from at this tiki-themed restaurant that it's hard to pick just one. The atmosphere here is very fun and laid-back, making it the perfect place to head to if you are in the need of a pick-me-up.

Check out Paradise Island Grill & Ice Cream here.

20. Catch A Show At The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Last but not least, there is the PAC, which offers a multitude of events throughout the year. They also always run well-known stage productions. For example, this year, they are showing performances such as the "Mamma Mia!", "Wicked", "The Little Mermaid", and "The Nutcracker."

Whether you are from the Appleton area and are looking to try something new, or are planning on visting Appleton and aren't sure what to do, I hope that this list will give some insight on how to have some fun in Appleton.

Cover Image Credit: Teen Life

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The Negative Effects Of Working As A CNA

You know you are a CNA if you are undermined, understaffed, and emotionally and physically drained.

I write this not as a way to deter people from wanting to be a CNA or to demean the job, but in order to outline the negatives, since some only outline the positives. With a job comes responsibility, and it is like that in any area or field. We have the good and we also have the bad. I am in a field where not many people like their job and they don't care who knows it. Others enjoy it and make the best of it. It is like that with any career. There are always both sides.

I write this after coming home from a meeting that we have to attend every week for 13 weeks straight. These meetings are preparing us for a new unit in our building, and they offer education so that we have the knowledge to communicate and take care of our residents. I like these meetings because I enjoy learning more in my field, however, others see it as a burden and a waste of their time. There are people who will bring in workplace drama, those that will do the bare minimum, and those that just don't care and will call in when they know their shift is short.

As a Certified Nurse Assistant, you help your residents, and you try to give them the best care that you can provide. That is the number one rule. If anything, that is the golden rule in nursing. When you step in on that floor, you are expected to give your full effort in giving the residents the care they need. Meanwhile, others step in and couldn't give a damn.

What upset me the most after the meeting was that we had to talk about abuse. We had to discuss what abuse was and why we need to treat our patients with dignity, respect, and kindness. As a CNA that is my work. I was saddened that something like this occurred, and that someone would demean a resident in a way that no one should be treated.

I'm furious, upset, and confused. The people that work in this field are there because they care, and they want to help those that cannot help themselves. So, why would they do such a thing?

It made me think of all the other negatives that I encounter in my field. The lack of appreciation from other staff and the constant undermining is tough. Nurses telling you that you are not doing your job right, or management becoming picky when you cannot chart between your residents is difficult. There is always something that you are doing wrong in someone else's eyes, and there is never a thank you when you leave your shift and everyone is clean and taken care of. There is no one to pat your back other than yourself, and you have to be your own cheerleader for a place that only looks at you as the lowest of the totem pole.

There are never enough of you. I say that because there is always a demand for CNAs, and no matter how many you have in a facility, there will never be enough. You will be short one shift or another, and you will have to scramble to reach everyone to make sure they are taken care of properly.

You come home and you have to go right back to bed because you took extra shifts. You are exhausted, and yet you still come in and put all your energy into work because you think of the residents. You consider what it would be like to not have anyone to care for you. You put them before yourself.

No one tells you any negatives as you are getting trained and go through clinicals. They only tell you that you are going into a profession that will help those that cannot help themselves, and that you should be proud of your job. It is not incorrect, but it is not fully true.

You will get called names, cursed at, abused, and you will get over-worked. No one will tell you thank you, and no one will baby you through your shift. You are a CNA. You take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. You are there to help and give care. Yes, there are negatives and you will want to quit like I've wanted to do multiple times. I will admit it. You will get upset and frustrated. This is not an easy job, and it was not intended to be, but you will get through it if you keep your heart open and honest. Do your work diligently, and do what you can to make others' lives better. That is the only reward you need to overcome the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: TravelNursesSource.com

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5 Reasons I'd Rather Stay In On A Friday Night

It's okay to not want to party over the weekend.


In college, so many people look forward to the weekend all week long. And by so many people, I mean probably almost everyone. The weekend is a time to catch up on some much-needed rest, relaxation, homework, and you time. The weekend in college also means going out for a lot of people. While yes, going out can be a really good time, I also think that it's important to note that you don't have to go out if you don't want to. There are a ton of good reasons why you should stay home for the weekend instead of partying all night long. I have compiled a list of five solid reasons why staying in is so much better than going out, especially in the middle of winter.

1. My room is so much warmer than it is outside 

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Let's face it, in the dead of winter, no one wants to go outside in a mini skirt and crop top. I'll take my pillow and blanket any day over freezing outside.

2. I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour 

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After a long week of class, the last thing I want to do is stay up until 2 am partying. I would so much rather be wrapped up reading a book at 10 pm.

3. I'm always available if a friend needs saving 

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Staying home, sober, I'm always available to rescue a friend in need if they drink a little too much. This is so important to me to be keeping my friends safe and getting them back home at the end of the night.

4. It's the perfect time to binge watch Netflix 

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Staying home on a Friday night gives me uninterrupted hours of binge-watching my favorite shows. There's no better feeling than finally catching up on a new season of Netflix.

5. Self-care is more important than getting drunk 

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Staying home, relaxing, doing a face mask or even reading a book allows for much needed relaxation. No one wants to stress about their hair and makeup on a Friday after you've finished 5 days of classes.

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