Wisconsin Getaway Ideas: Outer Space

That’s right. Wisconsin is the most fun place on Earth, but if that’s not enough fun for ya, we’ve got lots of extraterrestrial excitement too. Shoot for the moon at Wisconsin’s star attractions. We think they’re out of this world:

Sputnikfest

Come for the Miss Space Debris Pageant, and stay for the Arrta This World art fair. Manitowoc’s annual Sputnikfest commemorates the 1962 crash landing of a piece of Sputnik VI in the street outside the Rahr-West Art Museum with wacky activities, food, and entertainment.

Location: N. 8th St. & Park Street, Manitowoc

Date: September 7, 2013, from 11am into the evening

Admission: Free

Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum

This quirky transportation museum honors astronaut and Sparta man Donald “Deke” Slayton. Its collection includes Deke’s Mercury 7 space suit and a moon rock. Don’t miss the Sprockets and Rockets gift shop.

Location: Sparta

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-4:30pm.

Admission: $3 for adults, $1 for ages 6-15, and free for children 5 and under.

UW Space Place

The education and public outreach center of the UW-Madison Astronomy Department offers telescope workshops, guest presentations, and star gazing galore.

Location: 2300 S. Park Street, Madison

Hours: Open for scheduled events and by appointment.

Admission: All events are free and open to the public.

Pod Up North 

Enjoy the northwoods from the comfort of a flying saucer. Once featured on HGTV’s “Extreme Homes,” this Futuro pod house offers retro-futuristic fun, a galaxy of science fiction DVDs, and private access to a 60-acre lake and sandy beach.

Location: Sumach Lake, Arbor Vitae

Costs: $85/night (three night minimum), $475-$550 weekly

Observatories and Planetariums

Wisconsin’s world-class observatories and planetariums bring the stars to you:

  • Hobbs ObservatoryFall Creek
    • Public viewing every clear Saturday, May-October. Public lectures the third Saturday of every month, January-November.
  • Washburn ObservatoryMadison
    • Public viewing the first and third Wednesday evening of each month, if the sky is 75% clear.
  • Modine-Benstead ObservatoryUnion Grove
    • Open to the public one Friday evening per month, May-September.
  • Yerkes ObservatoryWilliams Bay
    • Saturday tours, 10am, 11am, and noon.
  • Barlow PlanetariumUW-Fox Valley, Menasha
    • Laser light shows year round, Tuesday-Sunday.
  • Daniel M. Soref PlanetariumUW-Eau Claire
    • 3D animations with a live tour of that night’s sky over Milwaukee. See website for showtimes.
  • L.E. Phillips PlanetariumUW-Eau Claire
    • Public shows on Tuesday evenings and children’s shows on Saturday mornings, during the school term.
  • Kovac PlanetariumMonico
    • Open daily by reservation.
  • UW-La Crosse Planetarium
    • Public programs, Saturday afternoons, October-April (except January).
  • UW-Stevens Point Planetarium
    • Open on clear evenings, Monday-Wednesday, during the school term – see website for show schedule.

You’ll find a universe of fun in Wisconsin, whether you navigate by the stars or use Travel Wisconsin’s Trip Planner to stay on course.

This entry was posted in Science and Nature Centers, Featured Activities & Attractions, Arts and Culture, Museums & Galleries