Staff Picks: Best Ways to Warm up in Winter

We sometimes ask our staff here at the Department of Tourism to weigh in with their favorite things about living in Wisconsin. Winters in the Midwest can be quite crisp, so this month, we asked about their favorite ways to stay warm, even on the coldest days. Here’s what we found out!


One place I love to visit in the winter is Cave of the Mounds. No matter what the weather is outside, it’s always 50 degrees inside.

From the very first time I visited on a school field trip, and each visit since, I find myself looking around in awe at the natural beauty of the cave. Plus, you get to learn all about stalactites and stalagmites!

Derrick Zimmerman, Social Media Coordinator


Winter is the perfect time for a brewery tour. When the last thing you want to do is be outside, why not get together with friends or family for a drink? There is an exceptional selection of breweries in Wisconsin … and let’s face it, we have the best craft brews!

The great thing about visiting these craft breweries is that you can try a wide selection of different beers for a very small cost. The historical knowledge you’ll gain is an added bonus.

A couple of my personal favorites include Hinterland Brewery in Green Bay and Capital Brewery in Middleton, near Madison. Check them out!

Jonathan Eckelberg, Digital Content Specialist


My favorite way to escape the winter chill is by going to see a show. I love live theatre, and was so happy to find out (having recently moved to Wisconsin from Michigan) that there are great options for theatre here all across the state.

Whether you’re looking for local theatre, musicals or touring Broadway productions, there are always quality performances happening close by. There’s really a show out there for everyone, and winter is the perfect time to spend an evening inside a cozy theatre enjoying a great performance.

Most recently, I saw the Children’s Theater of Madison’s production of "A Christmas Carol" (which was wonderful!), and am looking forward to seeing "The Lion King" at the Overture Center later this spring!

Hilary Burg, Office Manager


I’ve found a way to sweat even in the dead of winter, thanks to a decade of roller derby and my new team, the Unholy Rollers! The Mad Rollin’ Dolls have been a sizzling source of sports competition and entertainment in Madison since 2004, with four home teams and three travel teams competing regularly in town and away. See us next on Feb. 20 at the Alliant Energy Center!

Not close to Madison? No problem. You’ll find more red-hot roller derby action all over Wisconsin, including in Milwaukee (which has women's and men's leagues), Appleton, Eau Claire, La Crosse and Stevens Point

Jeniece “Jen Detta” Smith, Managing Editor


I enjoy hiking, snowshoeing and/or cross-country skiing. The different seasons change the landscape of every park, making it feel as if I’m exploring someplace new each time.

In the winter, I can hike across rivers and lakes that I’d normally have to walk around, many parks and trails are less crowded and I feel as if I have the places to myself, and thick forests and underbrush become open spaces covered in snowy art formations. It’s a different kind of beauty and it warms my spirit.

Amy Bayer, Executive Staff Assistant


My favorite place to warm up in the winter is at the Milwaukee Public Market. I love the Historic Third Ward, especially during the cold months. There is such a diverse mix of little stands that it makes you forget all about snowstorm that you probably walked through to get there.

I go there with my mom a few times each winter, and we always get chicken paninis and glasses of wine for lunch. It’s a great place to sit and chat in a very un-winter-like atmosphere.

Insider Tip: There’s one kiosk where you can sample cooking oils – just don’t mistake the fruity flavors for juice and pour yourself a hefty sample!

Rachel Hershberger, Digital Content Specialist


There’s nothing better after a day of skiing than grabbing a beer and sitting by a fire. My dad and I try to get out skiing together a few times each winter, and one of our favorite parts is relaxing next to the fire pits. There is nothing quite like sitting around a fire pit at the base of the mountain, and looking back up at what you accomplished that day.

One of my favorite spots is Granite Peak Ski Area, right outside their Historic Stone Chalet. They have two wood-burning fire pits with plenty of space for people to relax and talk about the great runs they had that day.

Emily Lorenz, Web and Digital Marketing


Check out more of our staff picks for indoor and outdoor fun this winter. Did we miss your favorite way to warm up? Share it with us in a comment below!