The seasoned trawlers at Ice Fishing Adventures oversee full-day fishing trips atop the frozen surface of Green Bay or the Fox River. During each frosty odyssey, groups of up to 10 anglers will journey out to a heated icehouse, where bait, tackle, and rods volunteer to help snag whitefish, perch, or scuba-diving snowmen. A complimentary hot lunch refuels fishermen with belly-warming bites, and the cabin's electronics guarantee outings have several amenities. Throughout the day, participants can net knowledge from guides, who demonstrate professional techniques for everything from cleaning fish to celebrating a prize-worthy catch with a triple Lutz. Although gear is included, guests must bring their own beverages, appropriate clothing, and a fishing license, which can be obtained through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Tucked along the east side of the bay, Shorewood Golf Course’s 2,792-yard, nine-hole layout challenges club-swingers with unforgiving fairways and small, breaking greens whose impressive upkeep earned the course an appearance and maintenance award in 2009. Since the first post-putt strut in 1931, the course’s oak- and hickory-lined fairways have invited players to overcome undulating terrain both scenic and demanding. The zenith of these hilly hazards is found on the 492-yard par 5 fourth hole, where golfers must overcome a dogleg right off the tee before hitting multiple shots to the green located at the end of a narrow fairway that encourages conga lines along its gradual incline. After a day out in the sun, golfers can adjourn to the course’s restaurant to munch on pizza and sandwiches or enjoy a frosty beverage.
Course at a Glance:
Nine-hole, par-35 course
Length of 2,792 yards from the farthest set of tees
Course rating of 35.9 from the farthest set of tees
Slope rating of 124 from the farthest set of tees
Five tee boxes for varying skill levels
Link to helpful course notes
Bert Earehart grew up on horse farms alongside his three brothers, learning horsemanship fundamentals by watching his father and sneaking rides on his siblings’ shoulders. He and his brothers honed their craft by working with a wide range of breeds, including morgans, arabians, and ponies.
Today, hoofs beat sharp drumrolls across 38 acres of woods and fenced pastures at Bert’s own operation, Copper Leaf Stable. Bert passes on his keen equine insight to students through lessons on the stable’s half-mile outdoor track or inside the heated indoor arena. Instruction can be geared toward riders with all skill sets and goals, from those aiming to show one day to those searching for outdoor exercise or trying not to disappoint the yearbook writers who named them Most Likely to Become a Train Robber.
The crunch of fallen leaves or packed snow telegraphs the motions of warriors hidden in the underbrush on the outdoor fields at Commando Paintball Sports. Paintballs whisper through the air, flitting out from the barrels of Tippmann FT-12 or Piranha markers. The projectiles splatter against two-story forts or hollowed-out vehicles on the three wooded fields, which stay open year-round in almost any weather. On the urban combat field, patrons take cover in any of 20 buildings, including a three-story bell tower perfect for getting a birds-eye-view of opponents. Those seeking tournament-style play compete in a hyperball field designed by expert players. Laser tag keeps clothing clean while still eliciting floods of adrenaline.
Nestled amid 47 acres, Green Bay Botanical Garden pays homage to its preservationist past by showcasing an environment rich with flora native to the Upper Midwest. The strolling-inclined will never tire of the lush layout, boasting 44 points of interest, including winding walking trails, fountains, centaur vantage points, and more. From the Schierl Wellhouse, visitors can view a remnant of the center’s ancestral orchard, as well as a manicured patchwork of herbs and annuals in eye-popping patterns.
All year round, Nelson Field Laser Tag's battle zones join forces to send warriors into simulated combat. A 150'x70' field peppered with inflatable bunkers at the Appleton location scintillates during winter months as groups of up to 16 players use the scopes on heavy-duty, military-grade laser guns to pick off opponents and point out mustard stains on a teammate's pants. Meanwhile, unfolding across outdoor combat arenas, paintball and airsoft squads dip, dash, and dive behind natural and manmade barriers. Seven woodball fields camouflage matches amid troves of trees, and on an urban combat field, shooters utilize 19 buildings and one rogue hot-dog cart as shelter. Upon striking a truce, friends can reconvene at Nelson Field's onsite sports bars.