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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.


College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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