All Ages

Wisconsin Weekend Getaways for Families

See recent posts by Courtney Elko

Wisconsin offers much more for families than football. The picturesque lakes, zip-lining courses, museums, famous water parks and hiking, biking and boating tours offer numerous things to do during weekend getaways in Wisconsin.

Consider our picks for Wisconsin weekend getaways when planning your next vacation.

Written by Courtney Elko



The state capitol of Wisconsin offers plenty of activities for families, especially when visiting a student at the University of Wisconsin. However, Madison is more than a college town, with many museums and bike tours the whole family will love.

The Chazen Museum of Art, Wisconsin Veterans Museum, University of Wisconsin Geology Museum or the Henry Vilas Zoo (which is free) are great fun for families on a weekend getaways in Wisconsin. The Madison Farmers Market is a great spot for families to pick up some healthy snacks while visiting. Located in Capitol Square, the market is open from mid-April through November every Saturday.

This capital city also features picturesque Lake Mendota, Madison"s largest lake, where families can go boating, fishing and sailing.

Recommended Hotel: The Edgewater


Milwaukee is a fantastic destination for families on a weekend getaway in Wisconsin, and can easily be experienced in a long weekend. Whether you visit to see a Brewers baseball game, visit the Milwaukee Art Museum or explore the Milawaukee County Zoo, you"ll find something everyone loves.

Teens will love to stroll the Riverwalk while people and boat watching, and for a cool family photo op, stop at the Bronze Fonz statue along the Riverwalk. Tell your kids about the “happy days” and Ay! take a selfie! Naturally, the Harley-Davidson Museum would be a fun spot to see after visiting with the Fonz. Whether you ride or not, kids of all ages (speaking to you dads) will love the interactive exhibits, engine room and vintage toy collections.

Teens or multi-generational families may enjoy a food tour or the craft beer scene in Milwaukee, too. Whether it"s by bus or bike, visitors can see what Milwaukee has cooking and brewing on a number of different food or beer tours. A number of breweries (Miller, Milwaukee, Brenner) offer brewery tours too.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown

Green Bay

For diehard cheese heads, the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame is a must-stop during your Green Bay getaway. Whether you are in town for a game or have been a lifelong fan, the new museum located at Lambeau Field Atrium is a great tribute to the sport and the franchise.

If you have a train lover in the family, the National Railroad Museum is a perfect place to hop aboard. It even offers a Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine a few times a year. Also the Bay Beach Amusement Park and NEW Zoo and Adventure Park are excellent things to do when visiting Green Bay on a weekend getaway in Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Botanical Garden is another beautiful spot to visit on a getaway, and the Children's Garden and Children's Corner with puzzles, games, books about bugs, frogs and plants will keep kids busy too.

Recommended Hotel: Tundra Lodge Resort Waterpark & Conference Center


For a getaway full of unique spots and museums, Appleton, located less than an hour south from Green Bay, is the place. Home of the paper industry, the Paper Discovery Center allows families to explore the world of paper with interactive activities and hands-on displays.

For a colorful and living experience, visit the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin on your day trip to Appleton and discover all sorts of butterfly species. The Building for Kids Children"s Museum is a fun and entertaining place for kids to explore, play and learn. Kids will love the interactive exhibits like the Amazing Heart, Castle Adventure and Discovery Tree, making it a great family getaway.

Recommended Hotel: WINGATE by Wyndam Appleton

Door County

Situated on a peninsula that extends into Lake Michigan, Door County is an ideal Wisconsin weekend getaway for families. Charming villages, family-owned restaurants and lots of outdoor activities make Door County unique.

Families can sail on the lake, explore any of the three state parks or visit Cana Island Lighthouse and climb up its 97 steps up a spiral staircase. Then wander around the lighthouse base and leave a stacked rock statue for future visitors to find.

Take a bike ride to Gravity Trails, where a beginner"s climbing wall and zip-lining course awaits your adventurous family. After a day of family fun, spend the evening watching a movie at the Skyway Drive-In Theatre. In your car or on a lawn chair, kids will love this rare movie experience.

Looking for a place to stay? Find Door County, WI Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Bridgeport Resort


For a beach getaway the whole family can enjoy, the lakes of Minocqua make for an ideal destination.

In the summer months, families will love to participate in or be entertained by the lake"s water sports. Home of the longest-running water ski show, kids will be in awe of the Min-Aqua Bats show that runs three days a week from mid-June through mid-August. The Scheers Lumberjack Show is also a must-see. Pole climbing, log rolling and lots of flannel will have your kids highly entertained and laughing at this outdoorsman show.

For a winter getaway to Minocqua, the Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic center offers cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails and tubing hills. The 50 miles of trails at Minocqua Winter Park are always groomed and 6,500 acres of wilderness is available for snowshoeing and exploring on a ski getaway to Minocqua.

Looking for a place to stay? Find Minocqua, WI Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Waters of Minocqua

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells has dubbed itself the “Water Park Capital of the World” and with 21 indoor and outdoor water parks within the 19-square-mile city, that title is easily defended.

Among the many water parks, which include Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari, families will also find boat tours, amusement parks and zip-lining tours.

A unique spot to visit in Dells on a getaway is the Wisconsin Deer Park, a petting zoo where kids can feed the deer. Or if you"re a family who likes to solve riddles and explore secret passageways, Wizard Quest is a great place to visit on your Dells family getaway.

Looking for a place to stay? Find Wisconsin Dells Hotels.

Recommended Hotel: Baker"s Sunset Bay

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