View Full Version : Activity needed for teens in northern Wisconsin.
03-07-2011, 05:37 PM
Here's my situation. I am from northern Illinois where my parents still live. My family and I now live in central Illinois but my parents have a cabin in Northern Wisconsin (Tomahawk) and want us to visit (8 hour drive) for a week this summer. The last time we went we enjoyed lots of trees and a lake; I live in the country though so this wasn't really a change of scenery for us. My son loves to fish, so he is all set. My DD, who will be 17, is less than thrilled to be spending another week without much to do. I kind of agree; there can only be so much family time sitting around the lake before I get bored. Can anyone suggest anything fun to do up in that neck of the woods that teens and adults would enjoy? Outdoor activities are great. Thanks for any suggestions!
03-07-2011, 05:56 PM
You could look up hiking trails, go horseback riding, vist waterfalls, rent kayak or canoes for a river trip. Go to Minoqua, Rhinlander, Ashland, Bayfield and look in the small shops. Copper falls in Mellen, WI is a great place to visit, St. Peter's Dome and Morgan Falls are also very nice. Minoqua has a wildlife rebab center you can tour and Paul Bunyan restaurant. They also have a nice brew house restaurant. Bayfield is a beautiful town if you want a day trip.
Look up the various counties and cities within driving distance and go to their visitor website. CAlso look up the chequamegon nicolet national forest and state parks. If you have any questions you can pm me.
03-07-2011, 06:46 PM
Thanks for your reply. We've been to the little shops and Paul Bunyans. One can only shop and eat so much. The hikes/waterfalls sound more promising. Are there caves nearby? Rafting?
03-07-2011, 07:05 PM
No caves, but there are kayak and canoe rentals in the area and there may be some river trips nearby. http://www.wisconsinriveroutfitters.com/
There are a lot of waterfalls though the Hurley/Inronwood area has some off the beaten path (Superior Falls), Mellen has Copper Falls and Potato River Falls, and St. Peter's Dome has Morgan Falls. http://gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/potatolower.shtml
If you make it up to Bayfield you can go on sea kayak tours and they also have SCUBA Diving. The Nicolet National Forest has some nice hiking trails.
Also Minocqua has the Northwoods Wildlife Center and the Minocqua Brewing Company. Ashland has The Deepwater and Bayfield has a lot of good restaurants. http://bayfield.org/lake_superior_activities_overview.php
You also won't be too far from the UP, so you can check out things to do there. One activity that I have heard about but never done is Copper Peak http://www.copperpeak.org/Adventure.htm.
Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains is also beautiful if you are looking for a day trip.
03-14-2011, 06:10 PM
Thanks for sharing your info. Keep it coming Disers!
03-14-2011, 09:36 PM
If the boys have any interest in snowmobiling, you can check to see if the Snowmobile Museum is open the weekend you are there. Normally only open on weekends & hours are more limited in non-snow times of year. It would probably only take an hour or two but it is very interesting if they take time to read the info on all the snowmobiles. Accept donations - no admission fee. It's about 15 min east of Minocqua.
We really enjoyed the waterfall hikes above Ironwood. They are gorgeous.
Minocqua Brewing was good, but there was a smaller supper club on the water just slightly south of there (east side of road) that we enjoyed more.
03-15-2011, 01:07 AM
Right in Tomahawk: (www.gototomahawk.com)
--Flea markets/farmer's markets
--Kwahamot Bay waterskiing show (Tues/Thurs/Sat in July/August)
40 miles to Wausau, WI
--Grand Theater (Plays, musical acts, etc.)
--2 decent shopping malls
--Grand Lodge by Stoney Creek (hotel waterpark)
--Wisconsin Valley Fair (www.wisconsinvalleyfair.com) August 2nd-7th. Beach Boys, Craig Morgan, Sawyer Brown, Sick Puppies (your daughter may like them), and Styx will all be performing.
35 miles to Minocqua, WI (www.minocqua.org)
--Waterskiing shows (Sun, Wed, Fri nights all summer)
--2 mini-golf courses
--Wisconsin River Cruise Mystery Dinner Theatre (out of Hazelhurst, WI)
--The Waters of Minocqua hotel waterpark
25 miles to Rhinelander, WI (www.rhinelanderchamber.com)
--Hodag country music festival (www.hodag.com) from July 7th-10th. They have some good acts this year, including Little Big Town on Saturday, July 9th.
--Pioneer Park museums. I know your daughter might not be so interested in this, but the rest of your family might be. They have an old, completely authentic schoolhouse where actors dress up and play the part of the teachers, a logging museum with old equipment, a model train room along with vintage train passes/books/etc and train cars, and more outdoor equipment.
90 miles to Ironwood, MI (www.ironwoodmi.org)
--Copper Peak ski jump adventure ride--you can see 3 different states from this location
--Lake Superior (Black River Harbor, Little Girl's Point)
--Many waterfalls and hiking trails--there is a nice group of them near Lake Superior
(All 3 of the above are in the same 5 miles stretch, which makes for a fun day trip)
--Gogebic County Fair--August 11-14th. They have Bucky Covington performing this year.
The previously mentioned snowmobile museum is in St. Germain, WI.
Can you tell I've lived in the area for awhile? :) If you want any more info on anything, just send me a PM and I'd be happy to help.
03-15-2011, 02:17 AM
This is what we do for fun on the weekends, and everyone loves it.
Your very own Outdoor Drive-In movie theater.:thumbsup2
I don't know if you have a video projector or not but you can pick them up fairly cheap or rent one at a rental place or look on Craigs list, ebay.
You will need a few things. 1 video projector with a speaker, if no speaker than a pair of computer speakers will do. Just make sure you have a RCA adapter so you can plug the speakers into the DVD player.
1 dvd player
1 large white bed sheet.
Long power cord with a power strip, some duct tape to tape the screen (bed sheet) to the side of the cabin. RCA cord, to hook the projector up to the DVD player, Picnic table to set your gear up on.
Start to setup right before dusk. Hook it up as you would any TV setup.
**One warning tho** if there are other campers / people near by you will have a party on your hands and you will be the talk of the town the next day.:banana:
03-15-2011, 05:46 AM
A lot of great ideas already posted.
Timm's Hill is the highest point in the state of WI and is only ~20 miles west of Tomahawk. There is an observation tower and you can see for miles. There are other trails for hiking as well.
The paintball idea is a good one. Google "zinger's paintball tomahawk"
Also, I believe there are a lot of ATV trails around Tomahawk, and you could probably rent ATVs by contacting the ATV dealers in the area.
Do your kids like to golf? Tomahawk has a golf course (Inshalla), and some of the smaller towns also have municipal courses (Prentice for example).
03-15-2011, 08:54 AM
Didn't know there were so many from WI on this board. ;-)
In addition to what has been said.
We have a Fred Smith Concrete park (can google it ) that is very interesting to see.
Also can call up to Woodruff area -Timber bay dive shop and see if she can get scuba lessons that week. There is not really to much to see up here. But the point is she will be a certified scuba diver. And can use that cert card in other places and really see stuff :goodvibes
03-15-2011, 09:41 AM
How about Geocaching? idk what cities are nearby and it might take a little research but, it is free and fun to do. Here is a link for geocaching in Wisconsin, didn't see Tomahawk listed, but other sites might have. Or someone here might know of some caches hidden there.
Also, can she take a friend?
03-15-2011, 09:55 AM
Depending on the week you are planning there is a huge airshow in Oshkosh WI. It is the last week of July (24-31). It runs the whole week. Tons of stuff to do there besides just watch the afternoon airshow. Approximatly 10,000 planes that you can walk right up to and look at, some of them you can sit in, thousands of exhibitors, and alot of hands on activities if you are willing, there is even a seaplane base you can go and see. The afternoon airshow is second to none. It is the place that all of the aerobatic performers go to show off their latest stunts. They are not paid and do it all on a volunteer basis. They even do an evening airshow with pyrotechnics, I think it is on the last Saturday this year. The website for the airshow is www.airventure.org. If you go, bring good walking shoes as the place is huge.
03-15-2011, 09:57 AM
How about Geocaching?
03-15-2011, 10:48 AM
Depending on when you are going, there are county fairs throughout the summer. Merrill (Lincoln Co) is in July and Wausau (Marathon Co) is early August. The northern WI fairs are usually cheap to get into, sometimes free. Check them out at:
03-15-2011, 04:04 PM
Actually there are a lot of geocaches in the area.
03-15-2011, 04:21 PM
Depending on the week you are planning there is a huge airshow in Oshkosh WI. It is the last week of July (24-31). It runs the whole week. Tons of stuff to do there besides just watch the afternoon airshow. Approximatly 10,000 planes that you can walk right up to and look at, some of them you can sit in, thousands of exhibitors, and alot of hands on activities if you are willing, there is even a seaplane base you can go and see. The afternoon airshow is second to none. It is the place that all of the aerobatic performers go to show off their latest stunts. They are not paid and do it all on a volunteer basis. They even do an evening airshow with pyrotechnics, I think it is on the last Saturday this year. The website for the airshow is www.airventure.org (http://www.airventure.org). If you go, bring good walking shoes as the place is huge.
Oshkosh (and EAA ) is at least three hours south of Tomahawk, so you'd be halfway home. :)
It's also really expensive if you're going with more than a few people! LOL
03-15-2011, 04:41 PM
There's a fun flea market in St. Germain; I think it is on Monday mornings. We go with a whole range of ages, from 8 years old to 55 years old (including several teenage girls). And, everyone tends to enjoy it.
03-16-2011, 03:54 PM
Actually there are a lot of geocaches in the area.
I see that.:blush:.but when I plugged in the zip code for Tomahawk the other day none of these showed up:confused3
Glad to see that's not the case,though.:)
03-19-2011, 07:11 PM
Thanks for all of your wonderful input everyone!
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