Wisconsin is a destination in motion. Discover the latest and greatest events, attractions and experiences across the entire state.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE VENUES & EXPERIENCES
The Yard - A repurposed container park is coming to downtown Altoona in spring 2024, nodding to the region’s railroad history. The Yard will house three eateries, a taproom and a boutique clothing store. The venue will also have a stage for visitors to enjoy live music.
Feast Around the Fox Cities - As of January 2024, locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to taste and celebrate the flavors of the Fox Cities. The event runs the entire month of January and will be facilitated through a digital passport that diners will use for restaurant check-ins at participating locations, where they can redeem special dishes, drinks and discounts.
City Fountain - Featuring 24 Wisconsin-brewed beers and exclusive seasonal flavors, City Fountain is Milwaukee’s first self-serve tap beer wall. This beer lover’s paradise is found in 3rd Street Market Hall, where visitors will find a hospitality-driven space that showcases the best of the city’s cuisine, local flavors and a wide range of entertainment options.
Commodore — A Bartolotta Restaurant - Bartolotta Restaurant Group will expand its award-winning dining portfolio with The Commodore – A Bartolotta Restaurant, a fine-dining restaurant and elevated catering venue on Nagawicka Lake near Delafield set to open February 2024. The Commodore will revitalize the historic waterfront property that was most recently the Seven Seas restaurant and once served as Hasslinger’s Pleasant View Hotel & Resort when it opened in 1905.
Lakefront Brewery - Lakefront Brewery now boasts the longest RiverWalk patio in Milwaukee thanks to its latest renovation, which upgraded the venue’s outdoor space with a mural, viewing balcony, gender-neutral bathrooms, dedicated spaces for private events and a Beer Garden under the bridge. In 2024, the brewery will be rolling out a completely gluten-free menu for its food truck, Curd Wagon.
Leinenkugel's Barrel Yard - Located in Milwaukee’s American Family Field, Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard is a new brewery, bar and restaurant featuring stunning views of the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium. The 27-foot bar offers 48 beers on tap, including on-site brews of classic and seasonal flavors from Leinenkugel’s family brewery, founded in Chippewa Falls over 150 years ago. This new concept, imagined in partnership with the Brewers, is an approachable supper club experience where guests can enjoy a variety of shareables, entrees and house specialties.
Rock & Brews - Founded by KISS’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Rock & Brews at Potawatomi Casino Hotel offers a unique dining experience for music enthusiasts. The 6,000-square-foot space offers a combination of great food and local craft beers in a family-friendly, rock-and-roll themed venue. The restaurant has a stage for live music, as well as a wall display that pays homage to Wisconsin and its rock legends.
Food + Farm Exploration Center - The Food + Farm Exploration Center is a state-of-the-art educational center that opened in November 2023 in Plover. The center offers interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages that bring modern farming to life. It features the World’s Largest Potato Masher, a real-life tractor cab simulation, a children’s museum and the latest technology in farming equipment on display.
Honey Bee Good Meadery - Gearing up for their inaugural full year of production, Honey Bee Good Meadery is at the forefront of innovation in the craft beverage scene. The Meadery broke ground after pioneering the production of mead using a unique fermenting process with locally sourced honey. Nestled within the lively Central City Market, a hub for local creators and entrepreneurs, the Meadery finds a fitting home in the Steven Point Area in 2024.
Starry Night Cat Cafe - Inspired by Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," this coffeehouse in downtown Stevens Point will pair delicious food and drinks with an adoptable cat sanctuary. The late-night café will act as a space for the community to gather and advocate for shelter cats. Guests will be able to purchase tickets online to the café’s enclosed cat sanctuary to interact with adoptable foster cats.
The Makers Row Market - Set to open by 2024, The Makers Row in West Allis is a food-centric concept featuring various local eateries, food producers and a wine bar with event space. Similar to the local-favorite Milwaukee Public Market, this concept will be comprised of two buildings conveniently located across from the vibrant Six Points neighborhood Farmer's Market.
MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS
Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts - The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts (WMQFA) will host a touring exhibition project organized by artist Jennifer Kim Sohn and intended to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis, with each stitch representing a displaced person. Cedarburg-based WMQFA is the only Midwest venue to host the exhibition. The museum will use the stunning artwork as an opportunity to connect with refugee communities in its area and as an ignition point for meaningful educational programs. The exhibit, “25 Million Stitches: One Stitch, One Refugee exhibition,” will run from March 1 to July 28, 2024.
Rahr-West Art Museum - Located in a 19th century Victorian mansion with a modern art wing added by shipbuilding industry leaders Ruth and John West, Rahr-West Art Museum provides a unique blend of history and art in Manitowoc. Recently, the museum expanded its diverse collection with the addition of "Makili," a full-size, bronze horse sculpture by renowned artist Deborah Butterfield, which will be on display in early 2024 on the newly redesigned East Lawn. The museum’s permanent collection also houses works from renowned artists, including Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol.
Wisconsin Sand Sculpting Festival - After a successful debut last year, the Wisconsin Sand Sculpting Festival is back as an annual event on Manitowoc's Red Arrow Beach, running July 19-21, 2024. The festival offers a three-day celebration of sand sculpting with professional artists, amateur competitions, live performances and food vendors, set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Michigan.
Authenticated Experiences (AX) - The tourism industry’s only immersive and interactive non-fungible token (NFT) platform was recently introduced in Milwaukee to amplify the value of the creator economy, blockchain technology and Web3. Authenticated Experiences (AX) leverages NFT art for collectors to unlock exclusive real-life experiences and prizes in a scavenger-hunt-like format.
Baird Center - The Baird Center, which will be celebrating its 105th anniversary in 2024, is undergoing a massive expansion that is expected to finish in the spring. The upgrade will double the convention center’s space, adding a rooftop ballroom and terrace with skyline views, state-of-the-art amenities and LEED-silver features.
Sculpture Milwaukee - Intended to spark community engagement and placemaking, “Nature Doesn’t Know About Us,” is on display now through fall 2024. Spanning over 5 miles throughout downtown Milwaukee, the exhibition features the works of 18 artists who blend skepticism and humor to celebrate Earth's diverse elements and the human connection to nature.
Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass - The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, a renowned art destination in Neenah, will be undergoing renovations to their gallery spaces in 2024. The museum is known for its historic and contemporary glass collections, including the world's most comprehensive collection of paperweights. The museum’s renovation will help further position Neenah as a desirable art-lovers paradise within the state.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion - Twelve years after the Virgin Mary’s apparition in Champion, the deadliest forest fire in American history ravaged northeastern Wisconsin in 1871, claiming an estimated 1,500-2,000 lives and leaving destruction in its wake. Locals fled to the consecrated land for shelter and prayer and, shortly after, were blessed with rain that spared the convent, school and chapel. After a thorough investigation, the Catholic Church recently approved The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion as the first and only Marian apparition site in the United States.
Hodag Statue Restoration - The legend of the Hodag dates back to the late 1800s, when lumberjacks working in Wisconsin’s Northwoods shared tales of the monster dwelling in the forests. Believed at first to be the reincarnated spirit of the strong oxen that once hauled logs from the woods, the Hodag is now a beloved symbol of Rhinelander. The Hodag Statue, a cherished representation of the legendary beast, will be undergoing major restoration during spring 2024 ahead of the Hodag’s Heritage Festival taking place in the summer.
John Michael Kohler Arts Center - In 2024, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sheboygan museum’s renowned Arts/Industry residency program, which has attracted over 500 artists from around the globe. Through the summer of 2024, the museum will also exhibit “Cloth as Land,” the largest Hmong textile collection in the nation. Offering workshops, residencies, symposiums, exhibitions and events, this integrated art initiative aims to connect national Hmong artists to the local community.
Art House 360 - A former elementary school built in 1917 in downtown Verona will be fully renovated by spring 2024, providing an artist ecosystem with studio and community spaces, artistic programming and low-cost arts education offerings. Art House 360 is a nonprofit aiming to introduce transformative experiences to its local community through this destination arts space. The organization will focus on empowering historically underrepresented artists by providing accessible resources and workspaces, as well as accessible robust art education programming.
Children's Imaginarium - Opened in late 2023, the Children's Imaginarium in downtown Wausau offers 10,000 square feet dedicated to professionally designed, highly interactive, hands-on exhibits. All exhibits and programming are rooted in STEM, and the Children’s Imaginarium is a place for all children and families to spend time together interacting, learning and playing.
Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort - Aptly known as the Waterpark Capital of the World, Wisconsin Dells will be home to the tallest waterslide in the nation as of summer 2024. Sitting at 145 feet tall, “The Rise of Icarus” will be unveiled at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort, along with five new waterslides, a new outdoor children’s play area with 10 slides and water play features.
HOTELS & VENUES
St. James Social - Mentioned among Conde Nast Traveler’s 23 Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2023, St. James Social is a boutique hotel, social lounge and bar in the heart of Bayfield. Following a full rehabilitation of the historic building, the property began welcoming guests in 2023 to the entirely redone space. Guests can enjoy beautifully decorated suites, a lakeview sauna, exclusive rooftop lounge access and more.
Sonnentag Complex - Slated for its grand opening in spring 2024, the Sonnentag Complex will feature a 172,000-square-foot sport site with over 5,000 seats in the main arena. The facility will include four sport courts, an indoor, artificially turfed fieldhouse and two stories of wellness and recreation facilities. The center will serve the UW-Eau Claire campus and the surrounding community.
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa - Following an extensive $30 million transformation to the resort’s accommodations, leisure spaces and food and beverage venues, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa will solidify its reputable offerings with upgraded event spaces. Slated for completion in 2024, the renovation will include elevated meeting spaces, contemporary furniture, adaptable open layouts and advanced technological capabilities. With an already extensive 62,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, the addition of 47,000 square feet will reinforce the Lake Geneva resort's status as a premier destination for corporate events, conferences and weddings. The resort will also be unveiling a new associate housing complex for up to 172 employees to address the area’s housing shortage for international students, employees on work and travel visas, university interns, managers in training and those relocating to the region.
The Saddlery Madison - March 2024 marks the opening of Madison’s newest concept in hospitality, a blend of the apartment that makes you feel at home with the flexibility of a long-term hotel stay. The Saddlery Madison will be the first ‘aparthotel’ of its kind in the city. Once a historic saddlery, the building’s well-preserved architecture and carefully curated details pay homage to its roots. Following the reimagining of the space, state-of-the-art amenities and modern technological conveniences will ensure this is a place leisure travelers, nomads and corporate residents can enjoy.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions - Currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Wisconsin Dells will be welcoming more families in 2024. The transformation will include 237 new guest rooms, renovated attractions and upgrades to Spa Kalahari.
Sundara Inn & Spa - Nestled within a pine forest in Wisconsin Dells, Sundara Inn & Spa offers an unparalleled Midwest wellness retreat with its innovative experiences and tranquil environment. Their latest addition of the "WellSystem Wave" offers a touchless 25-minute dry water treatment for stress relief. The resort aims to build on its 2023 accolades, which include recognition from Women’s Health, Town & Country, USA Today and Travel + Leisure, with new offerings and treatments throughout the year.
Ariens Nordic Center - Recently designated an official U.S. Biathlon training site, Ariens Nordic Center is known for its diverse programming, year-round outdoor recreation offerings, and top-notch biathlon and cross-country experiences. The Center boasts a 5-kilometer lighted trail network for cross-country skiing and winter fat biking, 3.5 kilometers of paved, multiuse trails, a robust snowmaking system and much more.
Trek Trails Powered by OTM - Mountain bikers will find enjoyment and challenge at the new Trek Trails Powered by OTM. Eight miles of purples-built, singletrack trails were completed in fall 2023 and will be fully open to visitors of the Cable area in spring 2024. Additional miles of downhill and enduro trails are expected to be constructed and opened later in 2024.
STEVENS POINT AREA
Lake Joanis - A new 70-foot accessible fishing pier on Lake Joanis now offers deep water fishing and canoe and kayak launch access for visitors of all abilities. The 1-mile Lake Loop Trail was also recently resurfaced with crushed granite to allow for better wheelchair access, enhancing the experience for the 90,000 annual users of the trail. This new accessible pier joined five others in the Stevens Point region.
Nordic Night Sauna - The first wood-fired public sauna in Stevens Point allows locals and visitors to benefit from a communal sauna experience. Tucked into an urban oasis in downtown Stevens Point, surrounded by flower beds and flora, Nordic Night Sauna provides spaces to relax and unwind through community sessions and private events.
Standing Rocks County Park - Portage County’s largest park, Standing Rocks, will be getting major renovations to its mountain biking trails in 2024. Known for difficult single-track mountain biking trails, new sections will offer a beginner-level mountain biking experience. Visitors can also enjoy a wide variety of outdoor recreation options year-round, including fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, a 33-hole disc golf course and an expansive dog exercise area.
Wisconsin Lions Camp - Since its first camp for people with disabilities in 1957, Wisconsin Lions Camp has maintained its commitment to providing opportunities for adults and children with impairments. In 2024, the camp will introduce a brand-new 18-hole disc golf course, thoughtfully designed to cater to players with visual impairments. The camp also provides specialized accommodations and support for adults and children with a range of conditions, including intellectual disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, as well as those who have epilepsy, autism or diabetes.
Bradford Beach - Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach earned the title of “the most accessible beach in the country” after a five-year accessibility renovation project. The beach now offers an 8-feet-wide ramp and beach-accessible wheelchairs for visitors to check out free of cost. These efforts are part of a larger project, RampUp MKE, which aims to make public spaces around Milwaukee accessible.
EVENTS, FESTIVALS & HAPPENINGS
Circus World - To celebrate its 65th anniversary, Circus World will unveil a variety of special shows and exhibits in 2024. The National Historic Landmark in Baraboo shares the history of the American circus through the life and heritage of over 100 circuses that have made Wisconsin their home. This year’s new exhibits and programming includes aerialists, camels, acrobats and more. New daily human cannonball shots by one of the nation's most talented and fearless female flyers, Tina Miser, will also take place for the first time in the Circus’ history.
50th Annual American Birkebeiner - It all began in 1973, when 35 determined skiers gathered on the starting line for the American Birkebeiner. Little did they know, they were about to change everything. On February 24, 2024, the American Birkebeiner will host its 50th competition for the largest cross-country skiing marathon in North America. Jessie Diggins, Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion, will be participating in this year’s Birkie, adding an extra layer of excitement to the celebration. Since its inception, the Birkie Trail has evolved to provide year-round, healthy, active lifestyle events for thousands of adventurous spirits of all ages and abilities.
Hot Air Affair 35th Anniversary - The theme for the Hudson Hot Air Affair 35th Anniversary in February 2024 is "Rockin' with the Coldies." More than 30 balloonists from five states will travel to Hudson to share the spectacle and excitement of the sport of hot air ballooning.
Green County Cheese Days - The Guinness World Record for most people doing the polka at once is currently 802 polka dancers – a record that'll attempt to be broken in Monroe this year during the Green County Cheese Days. Known as the oldest food fest in the Midwest, Cheese Days has been taking place on the Historic Courthouse Square in downtown Monroe since 1914. Held every other year, visitors in 2024 will pay homage the official state dance with record-breaking fun and entertainment, contests and much more.