Things to Do in Minocqua, Wi

Annual events bring the fun to Minocqua during any season

Minocqua is full of annual events, from snowmobile racing to beef festivals, and Independence Day celebrations to Colorama, the celebration of fall foliage. No matter what time of year you choose to visit the area, there’s sure to be something special going on.

Independence Day in Minocqua is full of family fun. The day begins with a kiddie parade before the main parade, which is followed by the Lakeland Community Concert Band at Torpy Park. And after a performance by the Min-Aqua Bats water ski team, the fireworks begin. Free shuttles run in and out of downtown all day.

Beef-a-Rama is a Minocqua tradition almost 50 years old that has brought nearly 500,000 visitors to the area over the years. It is a fun-filled celebration complete with a 5K run, roast cook-offs, games, costumes, live music, a craft show, and delicious local fare to complement the ever-present beef. Each year an entire ton of beef is served to over 12,000 people during the Beef-a-Rama celebration.

Other annual events include the Northwoods Hymn Festival, the Lakeland Loppet ski races, Ingla Lami Women’s Day at Minocqua Winter Park, the Festival of Flowers, Festival Aurora Borealis, Lake Tomahawk Annual Fall Harvest Festival, Pumpkin Tree Festival, Fall Family Festival, and the Lake Tomahawk Lioness Fall Festival.

There are also numerous craft shows, races and parades to mark various holidays throughout the year.

The Spring Arts and Craft Show is held in June and features more than 120 interesting and unique arts and craft exhibitors, fun live music, great food and drink. The show takes place at Torpy Park in downtown Minocqua. The Fall Colors Craft Show takes place in September and is also held in downtown Minocqua. There’s also the After Loon Delight Craft Show, ‘Tis the Season Craft Show, and the Lions Club Craft Show.

There’s no shortage of exciting annual events, festivals and celebrations in the Minocqua area.

You'll never be at a loss for kid's activities

Kids love the north woods. There’s so much to see and explore, and never a shortage of things to do. In addition to swimming, hiking, biking, winter sports, water activities, and just hanging out with friends and family, there are also numerous organized kids’ activities offered by local businesses.

Minocqua is a popular destination for summer camp and is home to Camp Agawak for girls, the YMCA Camp Nawakwa for groups and families, and others. There are so many festivals throughout the year that offer special activities that kids love, from sundae bars to fireworks, to dressing as a pioneer, face-painting, arts and crafts, and much more. And don’t forget about all the concerts, dances, and parades that take place in the Lakeland area.

There’s also horseback riding, mini-golf, the Junkyard Pub and Eatery, natural history programs and activities, storytelling, magicians, craft classes, Martin’s Fantasy Island, the Circle M Corral Family Fun Park, a movie theater and more.

The Campanile Center for the Arts offers a variety of programs for kids, including art classes, a children’s chorus, private music instruction, and seasonal activities like the children’s summer theatre. The Minocqua Public Library also offers a number of children’s programs and activities throughout the year.

Don’t miss the Northwoods Children's Museum and Discovery Store. This museum is a hands-on interactive play museum that has 22 exhibits including a giant bubble station, medical center, dress-up area, camping exhibit, fishing pond and river system, and art center. Kids love this museum and it’s open year-round.

The Wildwood Wildlife Park is the only zoo in the north woods. Wildwood is home to over 500 animals and birds including wolf, black bear, elk, bobcat, buffalo, deer, mountain lion, tiger, wallaby, coatimundi, emu, ring-tailed lemur, African spurred tortoise, eagle, birds of the world, and much more!

Minocqua is rich with art & culture

You might be surprise at the number of artistic and cultural events and activities that take place in the Lakeland area of Minocqua, Woodruff and Arbor Vitate.

Check out live performances and arts classes at the Campanile Center for the Arts. See live theatre and concert series with the Lakeland Performing Arts Association. Attend theatre productions put on by Northern Lights Playhouse. See summer music concerts at Torpy Park. Take traditional Ojibwe craft classes at the George W. Brown Jr. Museum and Cultural Center. And don’t miss Summer Traditional Native American pow wows held at Indian Bowl on Long Interlaken Lake.

The Campanile Center for the Arts is a new all-inclusive arts center that offers performances and classes. Located in the former St. Patrick’s Church and rectory, on the corner of Flambeau and West Milwaukee Streets in downtown Minocqua, it is at the center of a growing regional arts community.

Dillman’s Creative Arts Foundation was formed in 1978 and offers more than 40 internationally known instructors teaching courses in watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, photography, personal growth and more in state-of-the-art lakeside studios.

The Lakeland Performing Arts Association offers concert series of live performances, including theatre, music and dance. Wild Women of the North and a Few Good Men is a store filled with fine art made in the area by local artists, including jewelry, fabric arts, wood work, paintings and note cards.

The Spring Arts and Craft Show is held in June and features more than 120 interesting and unique arts and craft exhibitors, fun live music, great food and drink. The show takes place at Torpy Park in downtown Minocqua. The Fall Colors Craft Show takes place in September and is also held in downtown Minocqua. There’s also the After Loon Delight Craft Show, ‘Tis the Season Craft Show, and the Lions Club Craft Show.

Area museums include the Minocqua Museum, the Dr. Kate Newcomb Museum, Vilas County Historical Museum, the George W. Brown Jr. Ojibwe Museum, Wa-Swa-Goning (re-created Ojibwe Indian Village), and the Snowmobile Hall of Fame & Museum.

Sip some local wine while enjoying this beautiful town

Fruit wine is a native Wisconsin product and is typically made from raspberries, blueberries and cranberries which are abundant in the area. Fruit wines are especially suited to mixing with club soda for a wine cooler effect, or for enjoying on local vanilla ice cream as a dessert. There are two nearby wineries that specialize in fruit and other wines that you’ll want to visit while you’re in the Minocqua area.

Brigadoon Winery in nearby Tripoli began with a small vineyard and apple orchard which resulted in the production of homemade jams and wine jelly. Brigadoon has expanded its vineyard to thirteen winemaking varieties and offers red, white, fruit and dessert wines. Tours are available twice daily or by appointment, and free wine tasting is available year-round.

An Open House is held each Memorial Day weekend and a Christmas Wreath Giveaway takes place October through December every year. The Brigadoon Winery Gift shop offers locally crafted items including 100% beeswax candles and honey, maple syrup, pottery, crystal glassware, gift baskets & boxes, homemade jam, wine jelly and much more.

Three Lakes Winery, located in the town of Three Lakes, is nestled against the Nicolet National Forest and surrounded by the world's largest chain of inland lakes. It is the home of Wisconsin's Original Cranberry Wine, made by the McCain family since 1972. Cranberry wine accounts for nearly 50% of the company's production, and several cranberry blends such as cranberry-raspberry, cranberry-apple, and cranberry-rhubarb, are also good sellers. The winery offers blackberry, red raspberry, strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, rhubarb, granny smith apple, apricot, wild plum, Italian plum, kiwifruit and elderberry and blueberry wines.

Free wine tastings are offered every day year-round, and tours are offered from mid-May to mid-October daily. Three Lakes Winery also offers custom gift baskets, which can be packaged and shipped directly from the winery. The retail shop is located in a turn-of-the-century train depot and you'll find many unique gourmet food and gift items.

Soak up the great outdoors

There’s so much to see and do in the Minocqua area no matter what you’re in the mood for. Looking for a peaceful day in the shade? Check out Torpy or Brandy Park. Interested in local history and culture? Visit the Dr. Kate Newcomb Museum or the George W. Brown Jr. Museum and Cultural Center. And if you like the idea of a factory tour, check out Hillestad Pharmaceuticals which makes dietary supplements and offers tours of the facility.

You won’t want to miss the Min-Aqua Water Ski Team if you’re in the area during the summer months. This is the oldest water ski team in the country and you’ll get to see them perform amazing feats on water skis.

If you like winter sports, you’ll want to visit the Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center. It is one of the top cross-country ski areas in the nation with over 75 kilometers of groomed trails. You might also want to visit the Snowmobile Museum and Hall of Fame.

There’s also the Wildwood Wildlife Park and Zoo, the Northwoods Children’s Museum, and the Northwoods Wildlife Center.

For a truly unique north woods experience, check out Scheer's Lumberjack Shows in nearby Woodruff. These entertaining, educational adventures into the past feature world champion Lumberjacks, as seen on television. This is fun for the whole family. And for even more family fun, don’t miss the Waters of Minocqua, offering a year-round indoor water park.