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Favorite Winter Staycation Ideas Near Milwaukee: Wimmer Staff Picks

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Milwaukee Living

The British poet, Edith Sitwell, wrote, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home.”

We couldn’t agree more…and thus, the winter staycation was born!

We asked Wimmer Team Members in our New Berlin communities to share their favorite winter staycation ideas near MKE, and this is what they said…

Jennifer B. – Property Manager, Deer Creek

Jennifer’s ideal winter staycation is the perfect balance of exercise, shopping, eating, and drinking! She’s got this thing down! In the morning she recommends a visit to the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market at the Deer District. Shop the large assortment of interesting vendors to your heart’s content. Follow up your shopping trip with a little fun at The Rock Snowpark in Franklin, where you can ski, snowboard, or snow tube. If you go after dark, you can even “Glow Tube,” which is tubing during a light show!

Now for food and libations…head to Walker’s Point. Stop at the Zocalo Food Truck Park, Milwaukee’s first and only food truck park! And if you plan ahead, you can rent a heated greenhouse for dining! Imagine the fun you’ll have – everyone in your group can choose a different food truck and then gather around a table to compare the cuisine. The last stop on Jennifer’s perfect day is Great Lakes Distillery, also in Walker’s Point and the first distillery to open in Wisconsin since prohibition (I’d say it’s about time)! At Great Lakes, you’ll enjoy high-quality spirits sourced, fermented, and distilled right here in Wisconsin. Cheers to the perfect winter staycation!

The Rock Snowpark: open daily; glow tubing Friday and Saturday nights 9:15-11 pm.

Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market: winter Saturday mornings from 8-11:30 am.

Zocalo Food Truck Park: (hours vary)

Great Lakes Distillery: (hours vary)

Matt S. – Property Manager, Woodridge & Alpine Court

Matt has two great recommendations for a staycation in the Milwaukee area that will leave your cheeks with a healthy glow and your sweet tooth satisfied. Start with a hike along the Ice Age Trail. There are many places to join the trail west of Milwaukee, but two, in particular, are very convenient to I-94. Try parking off Highway 83 in Naga-Waukee Park in Delafield (just north of I-94) and joining the trail, heading either north towards Hartland or west and then south towards Delafield and Dousman. Another great place to join the Ice Age Trail is at Lapham Peak State Park off Highway C just south of I-94. You would need to pay the state park day fee (if you don’t have an annual pass), but there are maps available in the park ranger station and restrooms at each parking lot.

After a refreshing hike, you deserve a visit to The Gingerbread House in Muskego. If you’re up for a scenic drive, go south on Highway 83, then pop on to I-43 east to the Moorland Road exit, and south to College Avenue in Muskego. Whether you want a latte or a made-from-scratch pastry, or brunch, lunch, pizza, or fish fry, there is something for every palate at any time of day. And don’t forget to visit their wine bar – after all, you just hiked – you should replenish the grape food group!

Ice Age Trail: (hiker resources, including the mobile app)

The Gingerbread House: (hours vary)

Chloe M. – Assistant Property Manager, Woodridge & Alpine Court

Staycations don’t require airline tickets, hotel rooms, or even cars! Growing up, Chloe and her family shared an annual staycation tradition right at home. Each year this much-anticipated day started by building a huge pillow and blanket fort. Once the fort was complete, the party began. There was always hot cocoa and candy, among other treats, as well as a movie marathon fueled by popcorn. At the end of the day, the exhausted children would sleep in the fort.

This idea is great for adults too! After building your fort, make a meal of appetizers. Consider setting out a tray of small glasses for a wine or beer tasting. Check out the link below for a ready-made wine tasting kit and virtual tasting experience. After your movie marathon, finish up with a simple, but decedent dessert like brownie hot fudge sundaes.

Tips for Building a Blanket Fort

At Home Virtual Wine Tasting Kit

Ian Bohnak – Property Manager, The Sanctuary & Wimmer Family Partnership

Although Ian and his family love visiting Florida in the winter, sometimes a staycation is in order. For those occasions, Ian recommends three classic Milwaukee-area favorites: The Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, and Springs Water Park at the Ingleside Hotel (formerly Country Springs).

The Milwaukee Public Museum has been around since the late 19th century and has an incredible collection that will please visitors of all interests. Virtually visit every continent, including a Costa Rican rainforest, a European village, and ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Learn about dinosaurs and butterflies. And closer to home, take a stroll down The Streets of Old Milwaukee. The museum is also home to a planetarium and a dome theater, where movies wrap around you for a fully immersive experience.

Discovery World is a children’s science museum with hands-on exhibits focused on technology and freshwater sciences. The incredible aquarium wraps around visitors, so they feel like they’re within an ocean, an Amazon river, an African lake, or one of the Great Lakes. Discovery World is appropriately located along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Check the website before you go, because the museum is open 5 days a week.

Springs indoor water park at The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee is a great place to relax after a day at the museums, or really any day at all! Have fun on the tube and body slides or relax in the lazy river or indoor/outdoor hot tub.

Milwaukee Public Museum

Discovery World 

Springs Water Park

“When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.”

~ Unknown

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