Comfy sofas, a full kitchen area, an ample back deck: the amenities of the 1984 Chris-Craft Commander sound like those in a spacious home. But the Commander is actually the 33-foot boat that U.S. Coast Guard-certified Captain Matt pilots on relaxing journeys along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Setting sail from Algoma City Marina at 6 p.m., Captain Matt whisks away upward of six passengers on leisurely 45-minute cruises to Kewaunee. Once there, his guests have 90 minutes to enjoy an indoor or outdoor feast at Port O'Call, whose menu options range from shrimp scampi to chicken wraps with parmesan peppercorn dressing. Afterward, Matt returns passengers to Algoma by 9 p.m. or their fairy godmother-enforced curfew. He invites his guests to bring their own beverages for the journey, and offers picturesque seating on his back deck or the boat's fly bridge.
Films still gasping for air from their first runs stop by to grace the screens of Fox Cinema Cafe, a second-run theater with weekend matinees and evening shows. Like a deep-fried VHS of Citizen Kane, the theater combines the best aspects of food and film with servers who deliver handmade pizzas, popcorn, snacks, and sandwiches to patrons’ tables as they watch their movie. Private rooms host birthday parties and corporate gatherings where guests can spread out to play games, unwrap presents, and reenact climactic speed-reading battles from their favorite films.
Though its staffed by a crew of student volunteers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Sailing Club at UWM has spent decades helping both the student body and community enjoy all aspects of sailing. Every year, from the end of April through late October, the group navigates Lake Michigan's waters aboard a fleet of sailboats that all either meet or surpass Coast Guard safety regulations. There are cruise boats designed for mild meandering, as well as sturdy Ynglings and Solings equipped with heavy fixed keels reinforced to maintain stability in turbulent weather or emotional break-ups. In addition to simple trips on the lake, members of the club can learn hands-on techniques from experienced sailors and participate in activities such as races, bonfires, and weekend cookouts.
At Navarino Hills, skis, snowboards, and inner tubes zoom down trails blanketed in freshly made snow. Double chairlifts and cable tows ferry visitors to the top of the slopes so they can start their run or help search for the yeti's lost contacts. After hitting the mountain, head inside the chalet to warm up with hot cocoa, coffee, or cappuccino daily or fish fries every Friday.
Class-A affiliates of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers emerge from the dewy, manicured grass every spring to compete for a Midwest League championship. Playing at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium, these swinging soldiers look to build off last year's performance, which was highlighted by pitcher Jake Odorizzi's no-hitter and the presence of five No. 1 Brewers draft picks on the roster.
Sky-blue walls and sand-colored carpets greet each family at Kids Unleashed, where slides, hula hoops, and playhouses invite young ones to explore as they hone their gross motor skills. The make-believe beach beckons stocking-dressed feet to roam its shores, where children ride rocking horses and parents surf free WiFi instead of the carpet in a nearby lounge filled with coffee, conversation, and clear views of the kids’ activities. Story time piques young children’s interest in reading, and ping-pong tables help older kids to develop enough hand-eye coordination to read a book while performing a cartwheel. Parents may depart during most of the center’s classes and camps, as the creation of art projects stimulates inventiveness in each child, and cupcake-baking demonstrates that cakes have children too. After class or playtime, the café teems with homemade, health-conscious snacks.