Illuming Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort for the third year, the Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights ornaments a nearly mile-long drive-thru trail with more than a million lights. Leisurely drift past scenes of elves tinkering away in Santa's workshop, Rudolph bravely piloting Santa's sleigh, a life-size carousel, four enormous gingerbread houses adorned in candies, and a ranch where formerly feral stockings live happily domesticated. Cups of regular coffee or apple cider await trekkers in Santa's Coffee Shop after their radiant voyage.
Bumper, Slick, Makaia, and Diego may sound like a team of superheroes, but at Oceans of Fun, they are the names of just 4 of the 11 sea lions and seals that inhabit the center's waters. Nestled in the Milwaukee County Zoo, the educational center focuses specifically on marine animals, educating visitors on their traits, their favorite places to play, and conservation strategies. Kids can feed the seals and sea lions buckets of fresh fish or build their animal-training repertoire during interactive programs; the animals also perform in shows four times daily throughout most of the year.
An array of bottles line shelves and tables and pack boxes, filling the Wine Cellar of Wisconsin with its namesake beverage. Frequent specials are highlighted weekly, including recommendations from the staff. Additionally, evening wine tastings encourage visitors to sample and learn about various varietals. Although the store primarily carries wine, it also stocks a number of craft beers from the likes of New Glarus Brewing, Bell's Brewing, and Ale Asylum.
Hosted by Shaker's Ghost Tours, Dahmer Tours grants a spine-chilling glimpse into the life of Jeffrey Dahmer from within his hunting grounds. The guides, who are neither insensitive to the victims’ families nor approbating of Dahmer’s monstrous acts, narrate thoroughly researched information about the crimes and their historical impact over the course of a one-mile walk. The company crosschecks all their material with former members of Milwaukee's legal community and several unturned stones to ensure that every fact and trail is credible. As guests’ feet cover the very tracks that Dahmer stalked upon, guides dissect his mad world to grant access into the mind of a serial killer.
Shaker's, once a Prohibition-era brothel and speakeasy, invites daring travelers to spend a night in its sprawling and spirit-inhabited penthouse. The site of a brutal murder in 1894, the haunted penthouse boasts elegant and luxurious amenities including a private outdoor deck, jacuzzi, and wood fireplace for keeping furnaces from getting too haughty. Between portentous gusts of wind and ominous dial tones, pairs can tipple absinthe flaming bohemian cocktails for two at Shaker's Cigar Bar and Palm Garden Restaurant on the first floor of the building, also a site of regular paranormal activity.
Completed in 1892 as the private home of the Pabst family, Pabst Mansion stands as the last bastion of more than 80 mansions built for Milwaukee’s elite during a booming, bygone era. Since its construction, the estate has housed archbishops, priests, and sisters and was saved from near-demolition during the 1970s. The Flemish-Renaissance-Revival home has since been awarded a place on the National Register of Historic Places for its bounty of architectural intricacies.
Today, on-staff docents conduct a range of tours for public groups, private parties, school groups, and well-behaved rugby teams through the fortress of halls, opulent rooms, and verdant grounds, each restored to their original condition.
The Pabst Mansion’s impressive art collection includes works from the 1640s through the 1900s by artists such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gaetano Trentanove, and Eugene Joseph Verboeckhoven. The emporium of excess also features Pabst Beer Pavilion, the pavilion built for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the glass-covered conservatory where tropical plants and beer trees continue to flourish.
The mansion gift shop holds classic Pabst drinkware and memorabilia as well as antique photos, books, and former employees' original finger paintings.