I’ll admit it: mustering the energy to take a winter vacation can be tricky. But when it comes to experiencing Wisconsin’s winter wonderland, it is so worth it. In fact, the season is delightful when you take the initiative to really get out and explore our beautiful state. Let’s zip through a few of my favorite wintry events, starting at the top of the Badger State:
14th Annual Original Northwoods Polar Bear Plunge – St. Germain (January 4)
When it comes to raising awareness and donations for an amazing charity, we go all out in Wisconsin. Join me as I take on my very first polar plunge at the 14th Annual Original Northwoods Polar Bear Plunge. The water may be chilly but the folks here are warm-hearted.
Radar Run – St. Germain (January 31 – February 1)
Speaking of fun with a side of crazy: Discover Wisconsin proudly presents the 11th Annual St. Germain Snowmobile Radar Run on Little St. Germain Lake’s West Bay. Expect some classic sconnie shenanigans…you know, like the legendary bikini run!
Klondike Days – Eagle River (March 1 – 2)
Klondike Days draws upwards of 12,000 people from around the world and it’s pretty easy to see why. The winter festival features an 1800's voyageur rendezvous, lumberjack competition, horse and dog weight-pull, chainsaw carving competition, a Native American cultural exposition, art & craft show, food, music and the obvious: a whole lotta fun.
Merrill Ice Drag Races – Merrill (January 4 – February 8)
Watch as dragsters, muscle cars, trucks and more race one another throughout January and February. As for the track? That’d be a 1/8-mile strip of ice on glorious Lake Alexander. This is the way winter racing was meant to be!
Wausau’s WinterFest – Wausau (February 8)
Wausau boasts one of my favorite downtowns—the 400 block is always abuzz with fun events and friendly people. That explains why I had a blast at their annual Winterfest celebration. With a chili contest, snow sculpting, ice skating, horse-drawn wagon rides and art projects for the kids, you’ll love it too!
Madison Winter Festival – Madison (February 15 –16)
With the help of more than 90 truckloads of snow, the Capitol Square transforms into a winter kingdom of non-stop racing and recreation. Events include cross-country skiing, snow carving, sit skiing, sledding, tubing, hockey, curling, snowshoeing and much more.
The Heat is On! Chili Cook-Off – Evansville (March 1)
Time to put your double-fisting taste-testing skills to work: A slew of imaginative chefs will converge on my hometown to concoct some delectable chili. There are also fun activities planned for the kiddos, plus raffles and a silent auction (always a crowd-pleaser!). My favorite part though is that each paid admission receives a hand-thrown bowl by one of my favorite local artists, Matthias James.
Harley-Davidson Museum – Milwaukee (Ongoing)
Have I not convinced you that you should be spending your time outdoors in the winter? Fair enough. There happen to be a ton of great places to explore indoors, too. I urge you to head to the Harley-Davidson Museum® because this place has got it goin’ on. The museum is always roaring with impressive and unexpected exhibits like “Living Lost – Photographs by Josh Kurpius” and “Gallery Night & Day.”