If you’re still wrangling about when and where to gather for the holidays, reserve the Inn for your family for a winter solstice and holiday celebration. Winter arrives Dec. 21, 2014, and most years Mother Nature has blanketed the bluffs with snow by then.
Let us host your holiday gathering so you can relax,
and enjoy Trudy’s beautiful decorating and delightful breakfasts.
Come immerse in our peaceful snowscape to sled, snowshoe, play games and enjoy long conversations with loved ones by the fireplace at our secluded mini resort. Have dinner catered in. Or we’ll recommend a nearby restaurant. Meander all the holiday lights brightening the darkest day of the year on your drive back.
Downhill and cross-country ski next door at Devil’s Head Resort, where you can rent both kinds of skis. Use our complimentary inventory of Redfeather snowshoes to walk on snow through our 42 acres or miles of trails at the Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve and Devil’s Lake State Park, also next door.
Reserve the guest rooms here.
Or call us at 608-355-9899 so we can help you plan.
Check our Live Webcam for snow updates here or bookmark http://valleybluffview.dynalias.org:81
Dec. 19: Caroling at the Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., historic downtown Baraboo. Share your voice with friends and family as we sit around the piano and sing old carols. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Dec. 20: Oak Ridge Boys at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 3:00 p.m. Country group of four-part harmonies and toe-tapping songs. Tickets at crystalgrand.com.
Dec. 20: Winter Solstice Celebration at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s nature center, five minutes south of the Inn, to celebrate the first day of winter and shortest day of daylight of the year. Guided hike from 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., then roast marshmallows and warm around the fire. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Downtown Baraboo, Wis., sparkles every November and December when the historic square is decorated for Christmas and filled with song by strolling carolers. But it’s at its most special during the Very Merry Weekend, Dec. 12–13, 2014. Schedule a weekend for fun and holiday shopping, and enjoy live performances.
The annual Edwardian Christmas Celebration is Dec. 13, 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. This festive Christmas extravaganza encompasses two of downtown Baraboo’s historic properties, the Sauk County Historical Society’s Jacob Van Orden Mansion at 531 Fourth Ave., and America’s prettiest playhouse, the Al. Ringling Theatre at 136 Fourth Ave., built in 1904 and 1915, respectively. They remain nearly as they were originally crafted.
The mansion will be decorated for the holiday season from the Edwardian era, including 12 fresh trees uniquely dressed by local designers, businesses and volunteers. This year’s celebration theme is Christmas literature, and one room will recreate a 1930s Christmas. Enjoy live holiday music by local musicians and vocalists, horse and carriage jingle-bell rides from 2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., and the dinning room filled with holiday goodies.
The Theatre will be similarly adorned, including 25 Christmas trees. Every half hour enjoy Christmas music played on the mighty Barton organ, and every hour on the big screen Edwardian-ear Christmas shorts, most of which were produced at Thomas Edison’s studios, plus popcorn treats. Tickets $5.00 for either location or $8.00 for both. Learn more at www.saukcountyhistory.org.
Dec. 11: Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra And Chorus at the Al. Ringling Theatre as part of the Lively Arts Series, Baraboo, 7:00 p.m. Visiting performers from Madison, Wis., led by maestro Andrew Sewell, treat us with their exceptional skills as they celebrate the holidays with the classical favorite, Handel’s Messiah. Joining the WCO and Chorus are the University of Wisconsin Madrigal Singers and Festival Choir of Madison. Tickets $28.00, and more details at www.alringling.com or call 608-356-8864.
Dec. 12: A Child’s Christmas In Wales at the Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., historic downtown Baraboo. Part of the centenary tribute to Dylan Thomas, the iconic Welsh poet, with Welsh music, refreshments and reading. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Dec. 12–13: Very Merry Holiday Fair, Baraboo Arts Building, 323 Water Street, Baraboo, Friday: 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. with a Very Merry Hour 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. 60 artisans, authors and food purveyors, wine tasting by Fawn Creek Winery, dine at the show in the West Room and more. Details at www.theverymerryholidayfair.com.
Dec. 12–14: Sorry, Wrong Chimney Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, five minutes from the Inn, Friday and Saturday 6:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents a husband who moonlights as a department store Santa so he can buy his wife a fur for Christmas, but tells her he’s working late at the office. She discovers he isn’t at the office. The suspected woman, a notorious Santa burglar Kris Kreigle and his gun-toting fiancé, a confused policeman and hypnotism combine for a rollicking Christmas tale of mistaken identities and more. By Jack Sharkey and Leo W. Sears. Tickets $38.95 for dinner and show. Reserve tickets by calling 608-356-5246. More details at www.farmk.com.
Dec. 13: Historic Living Windows, Main Street, Portage, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 pm. Dozens of decorated storefront windows in vintage vignettes depicting holiday seasons of old. Hot beverages and treats on the streets will keep you warm. Call Rita Briant and Prairie Flower Beads at 608-742-5900 for more information.
Dec. 15–23: Shop Till You Drop for unique gifts in Baraboo’s beautifully decorated downtown where most businesses are offering extended hours until 7 p.m. See the historic square dressed for the holiday season and encounter strolling carolers as you shop.
Call 608-355-9899 to reserve a guest room in the decorated Inn or click here.
Avoid crowded malls and parking lots—shop for unique gifts amid the beautiful, festive downtown Baraboo, Wis., during the first weekend of December 2014. The historic square’s restored Victorian storefronts are decorated for the Christmas season. Strolling carolers enliven the atmosphere and lighten your heart.
Ride a horse-drawn wagon around the square to select your next stop on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. It’s free.
Shop For The Grandkids And Nieflings at Just Imagine Toys. This locally owned toy store is known for its eclectic array of children’s games and toys. You’ll find uncommon options that are engaging, challenging and sure to create fun, and none are mass marketed. Plus you can’t leave without a smile on your face from succumbing to the infectiously happy spirits of the owners and their staff.
Art Galleries Offer One-of-a-kind Gifts
Cornerstone Gallery at the corner of Oak and Fourth Streets in Baraboo features art and designer craft primarily by Wisconsin artists. More than 50 artists are presented providing an array of mediums, tastes and prices for stocking-stuffers to magnificent gifts. Open Tuesday, Thursday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and Wednesday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
A.R.T. Gallery by the Sauk County Art Association at the Stage III Gallery in the Al. Ringling Theatre Complex, 136 Fourth Avenue, Baraboo, presents 22 member-artists’ work. Open Wednesday–Friday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
River Arts On Water Gallery in downtown Prairie du Sac offers art by more than 30 artists; most are local. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Browse downtown Baraboo’s unique collection of locally owned shops here.
Wrap Up Shopping With Performances
Dec. 5–7: Let All The Town Be Merry! Concert at the Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., historic downtown Baraboo. The Cheddar Chicks and friends perform, a six-person acappella group. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Dec. 5–7: Sorry, Wrong Chimney Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, Friday and Saturday 6:30 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents a husband who moonlights as a deparment store Santa so he can buy his wife a fur for Christmas, but tells her he’s working late at the office. She discoveres he isn’t at the office. The suspected woman, a notorious Santa burglar Kris Kreigle and his gun-toting fiancé, a confused policeman and hypnotism combine for a rollicking Christmas tale of mistaken identities and more. By Jack Sharkey and Leo W. Sears. Tickets $38.95 for dinner and show. Reserve tickets by calling 608-356-5246. More details at www.farmk.com
Sunday, Dec. 7: Madison Brass Band at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo, 2:00 p.m. 30-piece ensemble plays old and new Christmas songs in dazzling brass-band arrangements. Admission is free but donations are welcome to benefit the Theatre. Details at www.alringling.com.
Sunday, Dec. 7: Maggie Mae Christmas presentation at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre in Wisconsin Dells at 3:00 p.m. This favored country artist offers a down-home, old-fashioned show full of holiday cheer. She has packed the Al. Ringling Theatre in past years with this presentation. Tickets are available at crystalgrand.com.
Reserve your favorite guest room here or call 608-355-9899.
Give A Stay With A Gift Certificate
Give others a relaxing Wawanissee stay so they can experience the splendor as you have. Use our online, custom gift-certificate service. Click the Buy A Gift Certificate button at the bottom of our home page www.BestViewInWisconsin.com.
Freeze the Thanksgiving 2014 turkey leftovers and come shop for the holidays in Baraboo, Wis., sans crowds. The Inn at Wawanissee Point will be open for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, tweaking holiday decorations while you experience the finest gift shopping in one of the prettiest and festive, historic downtowns in southern Wisconsin. Afterward celebrate with us during our wine-and-cheese hour and enjoy an evening performance nearby.
Book your guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Nov. 28 Black Friday Shopping In Downtown Baraboo
From 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. more than 20 downtown merchants offer once-a-year sales to get you started.
Nov. 29 Shop Small Business Saturday
Downtown Baraboo is known for incubating start-up shops—Yarns At Fifth And Oak and Lillian Verrall Consignment and Gifts—so you’ll find new stores and enthusiastic merchants amid the historic downtown’s one-of-kind anchors like Just Imagine Toys, Cornerstone Gallery and Bekah Kates Kitchen, Kids & Home. Join millions across America to support small, locally owned businesses while you shop for unique holiday gifts in Baraboo.
- Victorian storefronts beautifully decorated and merchants offering warm treats.
- Saturdays: horse-drawn wagon rides around the square, Nov. 22 through Dec. 20, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Free.
- Strolling carolers serenade downtown shoppers.
Learn more about holiday shopping in downtown Baraboo in the article below and at www.downtownbaraboo.com.
Nov. 28–29: Hand crafted gifts at A Country Christmas Fourth Annual Arts & Fine Crafts Fair at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center in west Baraboo. Friday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Local artists and craftspeople with recycled and repurposed art, natural body care products, jewelry, paintings, photography, mixed media, pottery, wood crafts and more.
Fun After Shopping
Nov. 28–30: The Odd Couple (Female Version) Dinner Theatre at the Dorf Haus, 8931 Co. Rd. Y, Sauk City, times vary. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents this famous update of Neil Simon’s contemporary classic, beginning with a group of women playing Trivial Pursuit. A divorcee self-described slob offers her fuss-budget friend who’s recently separated from her husband a place to stay and their habits hilariously clash despite a visit by a pair of brothers from Barcelona. Tickets $39.00 for dinner, show and gratuity. Reserve tickets by calling 608-643-3980 or click here.
Nov. 29–30: Santa Express at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom, seven miles west of Baraboo, 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Ride restored 1900s train cars dressed for the holidays and heated by steam or coal-fired stoves. 55 minutes along the seven-mile former branch line of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. Special visit by St. Nick.
Nov. 29: Wollersheim Winery’s Vintage Christmas, Prairie du Sac, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Old-world Christmas charm envelopes you as you stroll a special holiday wine tour sprinkled with displays between the Sugarloaf and Vineyard rooms, taste Wollersheim’s wines paired with holiday recipes, shop for unique gifts and enjoy Christmas carolers performing throughout the day. Bring your camera for our staff to take your family photo at a picturesque indoor setting or outdoors by the vintage wagon. Visit www.wollersheim.com.
Nov. 30: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas By Chip Davis at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 3:00 p.m. Tickets at crystalgrand.com.
Baraboo, Wis., offers one of the most beautifully decorated historic downtown squares in southern Wisconsin for enjoyable holiday shopping. Its array of locally owned shops and galleries are sought for memorable gifts, a festive atmosphere and an escape from crowded malls.
By mid November the downtown merchants have decorated their restored Victorian storefronts for the Christmas season. They set out warm drinks and treats, offer promotions and coordinate strolling carolers who serenade through the downtown.
Find unique gifts from children’s toys and games, kitchen and home appointments, books, antiques, artwork, yarn and knitting supplies, gourmet coffees and teas, beer- and wine-making supplies, and more.
The holiday shopping season kicks off Nov. 22 with:
- Downtown Baraboo’s Christmas Open House
- Free, horse-drawn wagon rides under a warm blanket around the square to help you select your next stop. Saturdays, Nov. 22 through Dec. 20, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
- Christmas Light Parade around the square at 6:00 p.m. with glittering lighted floats, equestrian units, marching bands and novelty units. Hot beverages and snacks are sold. Afterward gather at the historic Al. Ringling Theatre where Santa will light the official Downtown Baraboo Christmas tree.
Learn more at www.downtownbaraboo.com.
Thursday, Nov. 20: Wollersheim Winery’s Ruby Nouveau Release Day, Prairie du Sac, 11:00 a.m. Join winemaker Philippe as he taps the Ruby Nouveau 2014 barrel and for a toast with Wisconsin cheese and wine. Ruby Nouveau is Wisconsin’s version of a Beaujolais Nouveau, traditionally released the third Thursday in November. Wollersheim’s is made from its estate-grown Foch grapes and Winemaker Philippe follows the traditional methods of whole berry fermentation. Visit www.wollersheim.com
Friday, Nov. 21: Sauk Prairie Holiday Light Parade, Tree Lighting & Fireworks Extravaganza, Marion Park, Sauk City, 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. The magical evening begins at the Sauk Prairie Middle School where the parade commences along Sycamore Street, Grand Avenue, First Street and concludes at Marion Park where the tree lighting event begins at 7:30 p.m. The park will be transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, local youth talent and fireworks. Refreshments for sale at Marion Park.
Friday, Nov. 21: Corey Hart House Concert at the River Arts On Water Gallery, 590 Water St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. A vocalist with incredible range and unique styling and cathartic intensity that entrances and draws you inside the music. He’s earned Madison Area Music Association’s best male vocalist and best Folk/American album awards, and recently the Overture Risings Stars accommodation. Compared to Jeff Buckley and Ray LaMontagne. No ticket sales, but donations at the door are recommended to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Visit www.riverartsinc.org.
Friday, Nov. 21: John McCutcheon at the Al. Ringling Theatre as part of the Livey Arts Series, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. One of America’s most respected and loved folk signers and a master of a dozen different, traditional instruments. Critics and singers around the glove praise his songwriting. Tickets $28.00 at www.alringling.com or call 608-356-8864.
Nov. 21–23: The Odd Couple (Female Version) Dinner Theatre at the Dorf Haus, 8931 Co. Rd. Y, Sauk City, times vary. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents this famous update of Neil Simon’s contemporary classic, beginning with a group of women playing Trivial Pursuit. A divorcee self-described slob offers her fuss-budget friend who’s recently separated from her husband a place to stay and their habits hilariously clash despite a visit by a pair of brothers from Barcelona. Tickets $39.00 for dinner, show and gratuity. Reserve tickets by calling 608-643-3980 or click here.
Saturday, Nov. 22: Harvest Tasting At Wollersheim Winery, Prairie du Sac, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. In lieu of the regular guided tour, enjoy a special self-guided tour and tasting of the new harvest wines with Wisconsin cheeses and fall foods, with festive displays. Admission is free. Get the new 2014 Ruby Nouveau, which pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving. More information and recipes at www.wollersheim.com.
Reserve a guest room here. Or call 608-355-9899.
The Inn will be dressed for the holidays.
Southerly bird migration in Wisconsin peaks the first two weeks of November. By then the fall colors blanket hiking trails, adding more beauty and new dimensions to outdoor treks through the Baraboo Bluffs. It’s a peaceful time to rejuvenate before the chaotic holiday season.
Great Birding Near The Inn
Favored birding spots around Baraboo, Wis., besides our 42 acres of woods and prairie, are:
Nov. 7 and 8: Annual Crane Congregations at the Aldo Leopold Center, 20 minutes from the Inn. View thousands of cranes gathering along the Wisconsin River adjacent the 16,000-acre Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA). Renowned ornithologist and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus of conservation Stan Temple narrates limited-access tours behind the Leopold Shack and Farm for prime viewing. Tickets are still available, $25.00 for members and $50.00 for nonmembers, here.
11 miles of Rustic Road 49, Levee Road, abuts the Leopold-Pine Island IBA and Leopold property. There is some public land accessible, but birding along the road is good. Around 40 species pass through during migration.
1,800-acre Riverland Consevancy-Merrimac Preserve with the Ice Age Trail transecting it and connecting it to Devil’s Lake State Park. Two miles south of the Inn, you’ll find prairie, woodland and wetland habitats for birding, and little human company.
Devil’s Lake State Park, five minutes west of the Inn, and the two state natural areas contained within, Devil’s Lake Oak Forest and South Bluff/Devil’s Nose. The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology considers the Park one of Wisconsin’s top 10 birding sites. Migrations can offer excellent waves of songbirds. Read about and see area photographer Derrick Mayoleth’s lucky observation of a great blue heron, osprey and bald eagle wrestling for dominance along the shore, at www.devilslakewisconsin.com.
Mud Lake Wildlife Area south of Rio, Wis., and east of Portage, Wis., 45 scenic minutes from the Inn, offers 2,283 protected acres of upland, woodland and wetland habitats, listed among the top 50 birding locations in the state by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. It provides excellent habitat for migrating birds and an array of wildlife, and off-trail hiking.
Click here to reserve a guest room or call us at 608-355-9899.
Early November Events Around Baraboo
Oct. 31–Nov. 2: The Odd Couple (Female Version) Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m., but 4:00 p.m. Nov. 2. See full description in the article below. Tickets $38.95; reserve by calling 608-356-5246.
Nov. 1: Artist Gallery Reception at Con Amici, Baraboo’s wine bar, 125 Third St., 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Local artist Carol Cratochwill shows and discusses her whimsical work. Snacks will be served.
Nov. 1–2: Pumpkin Train at Riverside & Great Northern Railway, N115 County Road N, Wisconsin Dells, hourly rides beginning at 10:00 a.m., weather permitting. A 15-inch gauge railroad with three miles of track through canyons, rock formations and wooded areas beside the Wisconsin River, and a living museum of preserved historic engines (steam and diesel) and passenger cars built by the Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works from 1950–1980. Hand-operated turntable turns the locomotive twice during the ride. Exhibits and learning center, Museum Store and picnic area. More at www.dellstrain.com.
Nov. 3: Bavarian Smorgasbords at the Dorf Haus, 8931 Co. Rd. Y, Sauk City, 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Questions visit here or call 608-643-3980.
Nov. 6: Beaver Full Moon. Also watch the South Taurids meteor shower Nov. 4–5 from the Great Room or by the fire on the terrace. Though mostly masked by the full moon, this shower is well known for a high number of fireballs, exceptionally bright meteors.
Nov 6–9, 13–16: Scrooge: The Stingiest Man In Town at the Al. Ringling Theatre, downtown Baraboo, 7:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Presented by the Baraboo Theatre Guild. Tickets $16.00 at www.alringling.com or call 608-356-8864.
Nov 7: Dylan Thomas at the Village Booksmith, downtown Baraboo, 7:30 p.m. Celebrate the 100th birthday of the iconic Welsh poet with a special presentation and poems. Admission is free. An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Nov 8: Parfrey’s Glen Trail Trek, Merrimac, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the Parfrey’s Glen parking lot, two minutes south of the Inn, for a guided nature hike. Wear shoes that can get wet for stream crossings. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Nov. 15: West Bluff Trail Trek at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s nature center, five minutes south of the Inn, for a guided nature hike. Visit what was to be the Palisades Park, the Catskills of the Midwest, and learn why it didn’t become a resort. See the remaining signs of the cottages and 85-foot viewing tower. This can be a challenging, steep hike in places. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Nov. 15: Rick Wilcox Magic Show Featuring Animated Illusionist Ardan James at the River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Illusionists Rick and Susan Wilcox have entertained year-round since 1999 in their large Wisconsin Dells theatre with magic, comedy and exceptionally grand illusions. The spontaneous James, a ventriloquist, pantomime and illusionist, joins them for a special performance that may include audience participation and is assured to leave you engaged and entertained. Tickets $25.00 at www.riverartsinc.org.
As fall bird migration nears its early November peak, the weekend of Oct. 24–26, 2014 offers many cultural activities to complement your birding getaway in the Baraboo Bluffs.
Saturday, Oct. 25, the Aldo Leopold Foundation holds its Annual Art Discovery Day at the Aldo Leopold Center, nine miles northeast of Baraboo on Levee Road, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Annually the Center invites different artists from the Midwest to conclude the Center’s season by highlighting people’s connection to the natural world, which is the foundation of their inspiration and artwork. Aldo Leopold feared the spiritual danger of people becoming disconnected from the land that sustains us with food, fiber, heat and beauty. Art by its nature, from its techniques and materials, creates a deeper understanding of and respect for the land, strengthening our connection to it. Fall’s glory and the harvest is an ideal to explore this realm.
Enjoy presentations, demonstrations and interactions with artists that will inspire you to think about your relationship with the land. Art will be for sale, so start your holiday shopping. Also browse the Center, tour Leopold’s shack and hike the interpretive trails. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.
If tickets are still available, join the Oct. 25 annual crane congregation visit with internationally renown ornithologist Stan Temple at 4:30 p.m. to see thousands of sandhill cranes staging on the Wisconsin River sand bars by the Center before their southern flight. Tickets $25.00 members, $50.00 nonmembers available here. Read more in the article below.
More Enriching Fun Around Wawanissee Point
Oct. 1–26: Soul Of The River Exhibit at the H. H. Bennett Studio, Wisconsin Dells. A collection of stunning contemporary photographs by Wisconsin Dells photographer Joseph Leute who has spent 10 years creating a Wisconsin River series in large format. Tour inventive photojournalist H. H. Bennett’s second studio and see his original work, equipment and inventions. It is believed to be the oldest operating photography studio in the United States. One of the Wisconsin State Historical Society’s 10 sites. The Studio closes for the season Oct. 26 at 4:00 p.m. Learn more here.
Oct. 24: Wilder Deitz Trio at the Village Booksmith, 7:30 p.m., historic downtown Baraboo. An exciting, young trio returns to Baraboo for an evenng of jazz standards and inventive orginials.Admission is free.An eclectic, used bookstore with used, new and rare books and more. Fellowship and refreshments. Call 608-355-1001 for more information or visit www.villagebooksmith.com.
Oct. 24–26: The Odd Couple (Female Version) Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 25, 4:00 p.m. Oct. 26. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents this famous update of Neil Simon’s contemporary classic, beginning with a group of women playing Trivial Pursuit. A divorcee self-described slob offers her fuss-budget friend who’s recently separated from her husband a place to stay and their habits hilariously clash despite a visit by a pair of brothers from Barcelona. Tickets $38.95 for dinner, show and gratuity. Reserve tickets by calling 608-356-5246. Repeats Oct. 31–Nov. 2.
Oct. 25: Annual Halloween Candlelight Hike at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Rock Elm Shelter, five minutes west of the Inn, for a one-mile torch-lit hike, then show us your costume by the campfire while roasting marshmallows, listen to songs by Campfire Kevin and more. Tasty treats will be for sale. Hosted by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park. Meet at the north shore’s Rock Elm Shelter. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Oct. 26: Good Neighbor Day at the International Crane Foundation and Aldo Leopold Foundation, Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Bring a nonperishable food item for the Baraboo Food Pantry and receive free admission. At ICF enjoy a guided tour, hike the nature trails, browse the gift shop and more. At ALF enjoy a guided public Shack tour at 1:00 p.m., and browse the Leopold Center and hike the interpretive trails.
Reserve a guest room today. Click here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Check Wisconsin’s changing fall colors here.
During the fall migration thousands of sandhill cranes gather on the sandbars and islands in the Wisconsin River along the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area (IBA). This 16,000-acre IBA is adjacent the Aldo Leopold Center, nine miles northeast of Baraboo, Wis., on Levee Road, which is Rustic Road 49. The river behind the Leopold Shack and Farm is a premier viewing location in the region for this congregation later in the migration season when more cranes visit the river before flying south. It’s only 20 minutes through the Baraboo Hills from the Inn.
The Aldo Leopold Foundation hosts crane congregation tours in the late afternoons only on weekends in late October and early November. World-renowned ornithologist Stan Temple, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus of conservation (a position Leopold once held) and a senior fellow for the Foundation, narrates these visits. It is a spectacular experience, and a treat to hear Temple speak, too.
These annual crane congregation tours are available by registration only and program dates and registration are announced first to Foundation members. Visit here at the Leopold Foundation Web site to watch for the public announcements.
- Oct. 17, 2014, 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 25, 2014, 4:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 7, 2014, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
- Nov. 8, 2014, 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Become a Foundation member for a nominal fee to support this organization’s extensive conservation work and get early access for these special viewing opportunities. Register and join at www.aldoleopold.org. Tickets are $25.00 for members and $50.00 for nonmembers. These fill fast and early!
Though much of the land in this IBA is privately owned, you’ll find excellent birding along 11 miles of Rustic Road 49 and some public land where you can explore. Bring your binoculars. As many as 40 migrating species have been surveyed here.
During October you can also see turkey vultures gather by the hundreds to glide on the thermal updrafts between the 500-foot cliffs at Devil’s Lake State Park before migrating south. Check the blog at www.devilslakewisconsin.com, the Visitor’s Guide To Devil’s Lake State Park, and its Facebook page, Skillet Creek Media, for current reports on vulture activity.
The first two weeks in November are peak bird migration. As the temperature dips, days shorten and the colorful leaves blanket the forest and prairie trails, fall hiking and birding become extra special, and often quieter as fewer people think to visit.
Book a guest room today for a birding getaway. Click here or call us at 608-355-9899.
Sometimes we have last-minute cancellations that may not be reflected on the reservations page, so call us if your desired date appears full.
Monitor the fall foliage changing by using this map. Sauk County is three counties in from the bottom left/west and three counties up from the bottom/south, northwest of Madison.
A coincidental but appropriate fall pairing is Wollersheim Winery’s 2013 Ice Wine Release and the hunter’s full moon Oct. 8, 2014, which will likely also be the first killing frost in Baraboo. Adding to the crisp air and frosty sparkles against the warm glow of fall’s colors are four night-sky viewing events. Oct. 8 will be an exciting mid-week getaway to celebrate the peak of autumn at the Inn at Wawanissee Point.
Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wis., a pretty 15-minute drive from the Inn, will celebrate the release of its 2013 Ice Wine on Oct. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wollersheim made this wine from its estate-grown grapes that froze on the vine early last winter. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride to the Ice Wine grapes growing now that will become Ice Wine 2014, nectar from the vines. Guided one-hour tours begin at 10:15 a.m. and run until 4:15 p.m. Also enjoy a plated cheesecake trio with Wollersheim wines by the glass as live harp music fills this historic winery. Details at www.wollersheim.com.
Then join us in the lounge or beside the campfire in our secluded prairie to watch the hunter’s full moon rise over the vibrant fall colors of the Lake Wisconsin Valley Oct. 8. It’s also the Second Total Lunar Eclipse of the moon and when Uranus will be closest to earth, the best time to view this blue-green planet. Snuggle by the campfire with binoculars or bring a telescope. The Draconid meteor shower caps the evening. Order a s’mores kit and some hot chocolate for this action-packed heavenly drama.
The moon will set while still completely immersed in earth’s shadow for the Second Total Lunar Eclipse, passing north of the center of the shadow, lasting about an hour. Thus we might experience a relatively bright eclipse, possibly a coppery red hue across the lower part of the moon, with a brighter upper rim contrasting it.
Astronomers note that during the total phase of the moon’s eclipse, powerful binoculars and telescopes will reveal a sixth-magnitude greenish point of light in the vicinity of the darkened moon, which will be Uranus. In a rare occurrence, the moon will hide Uranus during totality, viewed best from northern North America.
According to earthsky.org, the Draconid meteor shower is unusual among meteor showers because the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness sets, thus the Draconids are more likely to fly in the evening hours than the morning hours after midnight. Though not usually a productive shower, a handful of languid meteors an hour, some years the fiery Draco has yielded hundreds of meteors per hour. The Oct. 8 full moon will intrude on this year’s show, but try watching at nightfall and early evening on October 7 and 8. Look in the northern sky, the Draconid meteor shower’s radiant point almost coincides with the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon.
More Fall Fun
Oct. 4–13: Fermentation Fest—A Live Culture Convergence, Reedsburg, Wis. A multifaceted food and farming festival celebrating live culture in all its forms—dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut. Featuring the 50-mile Farm/Art DTour—scenic farmland punctuated with temporary art installations—with pasture performances and more. Classes and tastings about fermented food and drink, farming and the rural renaissance. Explore, learn, taste and enjoy live culture. Details at www.fermentationfest.com.
Oct. 4–5: Autumn Color Weekend Train Rides at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom. Enjoy the brilliant hues of the Baraboo River valley during a 55-minute ride from restored vintage passenger cars along the former Chicago & North Western rail line, by coach and first-class service. Oct. 4 Dinner Train, 5:30 p.m.: two to three hours as the sun sets dining in fine style with a multi-course gourmet meal by Elite Catering of Baraboo, served by uniformed staff. Also browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays. Learn more at www.mcrwy.com.
Oct. 6: Fermentation Fest’s Beer And Food Pairing 101, Branding Iron Roadhouse, 132 South Main St., Lime Ridge, Wis., 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Join Judd Cassidy, sales supervisor for General Beer Distributors, for a course on the basics of beer and food pairing. Using the three Cs of beer pairing, cut, complement and contrast, Judd introduces you to the most popular beer styles and pairs them with five delicious small plates by the Branding Iron Roadhouse, including Fearing angus beef satay and wood-fired Argentinean mussel roast. Tickets $40.00 at www.fermentationfest.com.
Oct. 9: Fermentation Fest’s All Things Beer Episode Two: Homebrew And BBQ, Branding Iron Roadhouse, 132 South Main St., Lime Ridge, Wis., 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Nothing goes better with beer than the barbeque. Join home brewer extraordinaire Jim Kinsman for a night of All Things Beer And BBQ. Enjoy a full meal of beer-braised pulled pork, beer-and-bacon beans, salad with beer vinaigrette, porter brownie bar and other beer dishes while sipping on a cold American brew. Jim will share some of his fine home brews and their secrets. Expect delicious food and an informal discussion on how to make really good beer at home. Tickets $40.00 at www.fermentationfest.com.
Fall Color Report
Monitor the fall-color change throughout Wisconsin by viewing this map at travelwisconsin.com.
Reserve a guest room before they’re gone!
Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
If the date you prefer is booked, call us, sometimes we receive last-minute cancellations.
The Inn’s secluded prairie is in peak bloom with the golden rod beginning to blaze, a sign that fall is around the corner. Sweetness brimming at apple orchards, birds flying south against an azure sky and vibrant, warm colors cloaking the Baraboo Bluffs. Do these tantalize your senses and spirit?
Reserve a guest room now for a fall getaway.
Weekend vacancies are already limited as we write this third week of August.
Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
If the date you prefer is booked, call us, sometimes we receive last-minute cancellations.
Here are some early fall highlights.
Fire Ecology At Leopold Center Sept. 19
Join a brown-bag lunch and lecture at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, nine miles northeast of Baraboo along the Wisconsin River, Sept. 19 from 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m., to learn about prescribed fires as a management tool to conserve and restore ecosystems in Wisconsin. Leopold was an early advocate of using fire. Fire ecologist Jed Meunier leads this presentation about a statewide fire-needs assessment. Admission is free. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org. Leave time to:
- Hike the 2.5 mile upland interpretive trail network through 305 acres of critical habitat for grassland birds and sandhill crane staging during migration.
- Drive Rustic Road 49, Levee Road, 11 miles adjacent the Leopold Foundation’s property and the 16,000-acre Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the River where there are as many as 40 migrating bird species and 117 breeding species. Bring your binoculars for some excellent birding.
Great Classical Pianist In Sauk Prairie Sept. 20
After hiking through the emerging fall hues and crunching on caramel apples, enjoy a rare treat to hear innovative pianist Christopher Taylor of Middleton, Wis., perform at the River Arts Center, 105 Ninth Street, Prairie du Sac, Sept. 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Taylor currently serves as Paul Collins professor of piano performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has performed globally with some of the most esteemed orchestras where his presentation style is described as an active imagination and intellect with heartfelt intensity and grace regardless of the genre or the composition’s era. The New York Times named him “a dazzingly virtuosic and thoughtful musician.” To learn more about Taylor and purchase tickets, which are $20.00, click here or call 608-643-5215.
Sorghum Fest Sept. 20
A colorful drive through the hills east of the Inn on Sept. 20 will take you to an annual Sorghum Fest held between Portage and Fall River, Wis. From 7:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. you can see sorghum processed from field to mill to jar, plus enjoy a farm-flea-fabulous-finds open-air market and blacksmithing demonstration, rain or shine. Sorghum is a grass, which yields a juice when crushed that is prepared into a syrup like molasses. It also yields a nutritious cereal grain, the fifth-most abundant in the world, which was cultivated in Egypt 8,000 years ago. Admission is free. The Fest is held at the Savanna Oaks Community Center, 100 Savanna Road and State Highway 16, across from the Village of Fall River. Consider heading north first to drive through the Amish settlement southwest of Dalton, Wis., (see a map here) to shop at the popular Pleasant View Bakery in the basement of a family’s home. Learn more about the Sorghum Fest here.
Sept. 23 Autumnal Equinox
Linger past the weekend for even more solitude atop the bluff and help us welcome the first day of fall, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, when we experience equal amounts of day and night. Enjoy stargazing and s’mores beside the campfire in our secluded prairie glowing in fall’s glory.
Lodi Corn Maze Open
After a scenic ride on the Merrimac Ferry, walk the 15-acre Athena’s Owl corn maze at Treinen’s Farm in Lodi, Wis. The annual corn maze on this 200-acre family farm was voted the sixth-best in the nation. The Treinen family grows memories and all ages are welcome to meander the maze, searching for clues. Escape routes are available. Cool breezes, rustling leaves and sunlight warm your cheeks and replenish your soul as you lose yourself in art carved in working farmland. On Friday and Saturday evenings the maze is open until 9:00 p.m. to experience by moonlight or flashlight. Beginning Sept. 26 take a horse-drawn wagon ride to the pumpkin patch. Learn more at www.treinenfarm.com.
Fall Color Report
Monitor the fall-color change throughout Wisconsin by viewing this map at travelwisconsin.com.
Our guests enjoy an early fall getaway at Wawanissee Point to attend the annual Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival in downtown Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Sept. 12–14, 2014. An easy 25-minute drive from the Inn, this autumn festival has a juried arts and craft fair of only original works by more than 200 artisans, an antique and collectibles flea market, Maxwell Street Days, street carnival, live entertainment and street food. On Sunday, Sept. 14, there is a 100-unit Wo Zha Wa Parade.
Like Wawanissee, the festival’s name is Ho-Chunk, the local American Indian tribe. Wo Zha Wa means to have fun. See the full schedule here.
The H. H. Bennett Studio on the main street in downtown Wisconsin Dells joins the festivities with a sidewalk sale of items marked up to 50-percent off. The studio offers curbside reserved seating for the parade under the canopy in front of the studio for $5.00. Call 608-253-3523 or e-mail [email protected] to reserve.
The Studio is one of the newest of the Wisconsin State Historical Society’s 12 historic sites, and remains open daily 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. through Oct. 26. H. H. Bennett was an inventive landscape photojournalist who first publicized the Wisconsin Dells’ natural beauty that initially attracted tourists, by the trainload in the late 1800s. The 1875 historic studio, Bennett’s second, and attached museum displays his original work, equipment and inventions. It is believed to be the oldest operating photography studio in the United States. Learn more here.
Book a guest room today. Fall weekends are nearly full.
Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
More Early Fall Fun Around Baraboo
Sept. 9, 2014 Harvest Full Moon. Snuggle by the terrace campfire in our secluded prairie with dancing fireflies and s’mores.
Sept. 12, 2014: last day of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Federal Duck Stamp Exhibit at Flyways Waterfowl Museum, Baraboo, adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park’s north shore entrance. Annual traveling exhibit of the adult finalists’ work and junior winners from each state. Hours: Monday, Wednesday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Closed Tuesday. Learn more about the museum at www.duckmuseum.com and about the exhibit here.
Sept. 12–13: Live Music On The Veranda at the Al. Ringling Mansion, 623 Broadway, downtown Baraboo, across from Little Village Café (our favorite Baraboo restaurant) , 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Tickets $5.00. Questions, call 608-448-7455. Learn more about the mansion at www.ringlingmansion.com.
Sept. 12–14: Fishwrap at the Al. Ringling Theatre, Baraboo. An original stage comedy by local journalist Ben Bromley. Shows: Sept. 12–13 at 7:00 p.m., and Sept. 14 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets $14.00 at www.alringling.com or call 608-356-8864.
Sept. 12–14: Prairie du Sac Hydroelectric Dam 100th Anniversary Celebration, Prairie du Sac. 90-minute public tour by retired and current dam employees begins and ends at the Tripp Heritage Museum at 565 Water St., in downtown Prairie du Sac. Various departure times Sept. 12: 3:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., Sept. 13–14: 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. At the Museum see River–Dam–Lake: 100 Years Of Transformation exhibit about the history of this working river. Tour capacity is limited. Tickets $5.00, includes bus transport to the dam and back. Purchase tickets here. Contact the Museum at 608-644-8444 with questions and visit www.saukprairiehistory.org.
Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, Lodi. A 15-acre corn maze (voted sixth-best in the nation) on a 200-acre family farm where they grow memories. This year’s maze is Athena’s Owl. Open Fridays through Sundays, plus special days, Aug. 30 to early November. Friday and Saturday nights open until 9:00 p.m. to work the maze by flashlight and moonlight. Horse-drawn wagon rides to its scenic pumpkin patch and more are available in October. More details at www.treinenfarm.com.
Join us Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2014, for a relaxing retreat to celebrate and bid farewell to summer.
Enjoy a quiet escape with us atop the Baraboo Bluffs:
- Read and snooze in the hammock
- Go birding along three miles of our cool, wooded trails. Warbler migration will be nearing peak.
- Watch the humming birds stock up before they head south
- See butterflies feeding on the late-summer prairie flowers
A dark night sky at this time will make stargazing great, accented by fireflies dancing around the campfire in our secluded prairie terrace.
- Order a s’mores kit!
If you haven’t seen the 2014 Circus World Museum summer performance yet under the new Big Top tent, come Labor Day weekend for the final performances when it will feature the last Equine Weekend Aug. 30–Sept. 1. See train-loading demonstrations using horse power to load circus wagons onto railroad flatcars, driving demonstrations, mini street parade and omnibus wagon rides around Circus World. The Museum is open 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. See the daily schedule here.
Step back to the fur trade Aug. 29–31 at the annual Baraboo River Rendezvous across the Baraboo River from Circus World Museum at Spirit Point on Mill Race Drive in Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. It’s a living history reenactment of the fur trade era 1760–1840 by volunteers who operate the nonprofit organization called Spirit Lake Mountain Men. Hawk and knife throws, pie baking contest, flint fire starting, trap toss, fry pan throw (women only), fishing on the river, blanket bow shoot and period food. Learn more here.
Enjoy the last summer kayak tours at Devil’s Lake State Park. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake explores for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. The tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn, with a brief introduction to kayak paddling. Space is limited and registration is encouraged. Kayak rental is $25 single, $45 double. Register by calling the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140. E-mail [email protected] with questions.
Aug. 27 and 28: 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Aug. 29–31: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1: 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
More Labor Day Weekend Fun Around Wawanissee Point
- Aug. 28: Chick Chat: Preparing For Release, International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, 12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Visit with ICF aviculturist about how the ICF raises whooping cranes to release in the wild. Details here.
- Aug. 28: The last Downtown Baraboo Concert On The Square, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Swifkick performs.
- Aug. 29: The last Friday Night Fish Fry at Devil’s Lake State Park, 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the north shore chateau. Eat inside or outside. $10.00, a portion of the proceeds benefit the Park.
- Aug. 29–30: 40th Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw And Festival, Marion Park, Prairie du Sac, Wis. Scroll down to our article below and learn more at www.wiscowchip.com.
- Aug. 30: A Night Out With The Jimmys at the Baraboo Arts Banquet & Convention Center, 323 Water St., Baraboo, dinner at 6:00 p.m., dancing 8:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m. A special evening of high-spirited jazz and blues, dinner and dancing to benefit the restoration at the Al. Ringling Theatre. Early-bird Tickets $30.00 for dinner, soft blues with Tully and Gary, performance by the Jimmys and dancing. Night-owl Tickets: $15.00 performance by the Jimmys and dancing. Tickets at Con Amici Wine Bar, 126 Third St. in Baraboo, 608-355-9463, and at the Theatre at 608-356-8864 or www.alringling.com.
- Aug. 30: Universe In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Friends Shelter, five minutes west of the Inn. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Rain location is the Nature Center. Call 608-437-5711 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
- Aug. 31: Music In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. A free concert by along the north shore sponsored by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park. Performing: No Name String Band, music with a broad understanding of traditional Appalachian old-time music with original acoustic compositions, from fiddle-led, foot-stomping barn dances to slower, introspective classical-bluegrass numbers.
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park.
Book a guest room today, click here! Or call us at 608-355-9899.
Sauk Prairie will host the 40th Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw And Festival during Labor Day weekend, Aug. 29 and 30, 2014, at Marion Park in Prairie du Sac, Wis. See how far you can throw Wisconsin’s unofficial state muffin, the cow chip, or watch as young and old try to beat the 248-foot record. Team throws for four individuals are new this year. Besides throwing dried poop patties, the festival features:
- Tournament Of Chips Parade, Aug. 30, 12:00 p.m., featuring Cowabunga, the Trojan cow
- Fine arts and crafts, more than 125 exhibits, Aug. 30, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
- Yoga demonstration, Aug. 30, 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Musical performances beginning Friday evening, Aug. 29, through Saturday evening, including Maggie May, the Oak Street Ramblers, Tropixplosion and more. See the full schedule here.
- Food court featuring chicken dinner Friday night only, cream puffs, pork chops on a stick, hot beef and pork sandwiches, walking tacos, loaded baked potatoes, gyros, deep-fried Oreos and more, rootbeer floats, pie and ice cream, ice cream sundaes, funnel cakes and more
- Beer garden
The Inn at Wawanissee Point is the closest bed and breakfast to Sauk City and Prairie du Sac, a pretty and easy 15-minute drive along highway 78, which becomes Water Street in Prairie du Sac along the Wisconsin River. Just beyond (south of) downtown Prairie du Sac turn right on Grand Avenue. Marion Park is at the intersection of First Street.
Learn more about the Throw And Festival at www.wiscowchip.com.
Reserve your favorite guest room by clicking here or calling us at 608-355-9899.
There is a utilitarian history behind the light-hearted tradition of throwing chips. Native Americans who inhabited the prairies of the Great Plains and European pioneers who settled there found little timber for fuel and shelter. They learned the odorless dried chips of American Bison dung, also called buffalo chips, burned clean and hot, providing fuel for cooking and warmth for their homes. They would gather the chips in the fall to store for winter.
The University of Wisconsin-Baraboo-Sauk County hosts its fourth-annual Summerset Festival Of The Arts Aug. 1–3, 2014, at the campus at 1006 Connie Road, overlooking the city of Baraboo and Devil’s Lake State Park. All ages and interests are welcome to enjoy and participate in this fun arts party. It’s an interdisciplinary arts and science celebration of interactive, expressive and creative art experiences designed to immerse and engage artists, scientists and visitors.
You’ll encounter live music and performances, and workshops, screenings, demonstrations and exhibits encompassing visual art, theatre, dance, film, a fashion show, literature and creative writing. Discover and celebrate your creativity sparked by experiencing the array of art forms shared here.
Music At The Fest
- Friday, Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.: a concert by Sexy Ester featuring award-winning vocalist Lyndsay Evans who performs like old-time music divas.
- Saturday night, Aug. 2 at a time yet to be determined: The Big Payback performs. It’s a hard-hitting funk, rock and R&B group with a horn section and soulful vocals, and has earned three Madison Area Music Awards and was the 2011 Isthmus Band-To-Band champion. Some of its musicians play with other groups, such as the local favorite Harmonious Wail.
- Sunday afternoon, Aug. 3: Justin Roberts and the Not Ready For Naptime Players, a two-time Grammy nominee for children’s music.
- Sunday evening, Aug. 3: the U.W.-Baraboo-Sauk County Jazz/Blues/Rock Bands with special guests closes the event.
Food At The Fest
Besides food and a bar offered throughout the event, consider:
- Saturday, Aug. 2, 6:00 p.m.: Club Havana: Prohibition Party, a special-event meal that sells out each year, purchase tickets by July 10. Entertainment by Michelle Maria. Tickets $30.00, which includes Festival admission.
- Sunday, Aug. 3: Mad-Hatters brunch with live music. Purchase tickets by July 25.
Learn more about Summerset Festival Of The Arts on its Facebook page and the U.W.’s Web site here. Purchase tickets here. A weekend pass is $10.00, daily admission is $5.00. Saturday 9:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Call Bridget Morrey-Seals at 608-355-5278 with questions.
Book a guest room today!
Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
Other Events Around The Inn:
July 31: Chick Chat: Raising Wild Whooping Cranes Part 2, International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, 12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Visit with ICF aviculturist about how the ICF raises whooping cranes to release in the wild. Find more here.
July 31: Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Thursday nights through Aug. 28, 2014. Rain site is the Al. Ringling Theatre. Performing tonight: Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra.
Aug. 1, 2 and 3: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Aug. 1: Friday Night Fish Fry at Devil’s Lake State Park, 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m., at the north shore Chateau by Baraboo’s Elite Catering. $10 per person for two pieces of fish, one piece of chicken, three side dishes and bread. Dine inside or outside. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Park. June 6–August 29.
Aug. 2: Merrimac Community Festival, Merrimac Memorial Park, 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Arts and crafts, live music 3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., food and chicken barbeque, horseshoe pitching, and watch ski demonstrations and show. Details at www.villageofmerrimac.org.
Aug. 2: Pink Floyd Laser Spectacularat the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 8:00 p.m. The world’s longest touring laser show and longest touring theatre show celebrating the 40th anniversary of Dark Side Of The Moon featuring its music and from Pink Floyd’s The Wall by lasers. 3-D glasses included with ticket purchase. Tickets at crystalgrand.com.
Aug. 2: Universe In The Park, Mirror Lake Sate Park, Lake Delton, 8:45 p.m. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Slide show presentation, discussion and a large telescope for viewing the night sky. Call 608-254-2333 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
Baraboo and Circus World Museum will host the second-annual Downtown Circus Celebration and Big Top Parade on Saturday, July 26, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The historic downtown square will be become a circus extravaganza, this year honoring the 130th anniversary of the first Ringling Brothers Circus performance in Baraboo, Wis., in May 1884. It is part of a four-day circus celebration.
Saturday’s Downtown Celebration Includes:
- 7:30 a.m. farmers’ market
- 10:00 a.m. circus wagons; art, crafts and antique fair; summer foods by local restaurants and vendors; downtown shops and galleries open for shopping; and more!
- 12:00 p.m. Wild Rumpus Circus & Aerial Act Show
- 1:15 p.m. Tim Tegge’s plate-spinning attempt to break a Guinness World Record
- 2:00 p.m. Second-annual Big Top Parade
- 3:30 p.m. Rascal Theory performs with the Mazomanie Movement Arts teaching aspiring performers to juggle, walk a tight wire, maneuver a German wheel and learn aerial acrobatics
Big Top Parade Is Back
A number of years ago shrinking budgets and new railroad regulations ended the Circus World Museum’s annual circus wagon train from Baraboo to Milwaukee, Wis., and the subsequent big-city parade. The Museum will present a Big Top Parade that winds through Baraboo’s downtown at 2:00 p.m., July 26, lasting about an hour. Actor, singer and The Dukes of Hazzard star Tom Wopat, originally from Lodi, Wis., serves as the 2014 grand marshal. The parade includes more than 75 units including 14 antique wood-carved circus wagons (most will be Ringling wagons), clowns, bands, Wild West Show re-enactors, horses, elephants, other animals, homemade floats and more.
Saturday’s Celebration Continues At Circus World Museum:
- 5:00 p.m. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress Of Rough Riders of the World. A 90-minute wild-and-wooly re-enactment featuring cowboys and cowgirls, Texas Longhorns, a Civil War cannon, an honest-to-goodness Gatlin Gun demonstration, trick riding, roping and shooting. Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and a host of other Western characters will bring the Old West to life. A thrilling stagecoach hold-up and the territorial bank robbery! Will Buffalo Bill save the day? The show repeats Sunday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m.
- 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. My Life in The Basement. Circus performer John Kennedy Kane presents a comedic one-man biographical show about his life in and around the circus. Tickets $15.00 at the Museum or at www.circusworldbaraboo.org.
Four Days Of Circus Celebration
- July 24, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.: Professor Gerald Stich’s Original Baraboo Circus Band and Circus World Museum Ringmaster David SaLoutos kick off the four-day Circus Celebration and Big Top Parade during Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square on the courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo. Bring lawn chairs.
- July 25, 7:00 p.m.: Tom Wopat performs the Al. Ringling Theatre. This Tony-nominated actor and singer shares his far-ranging interpretive skills that include country-tinged and big-band hybrid sounds plus originals. Tickets $28.00 at www.alringling.com or call 608-356-8864.
- July 25, 8:00 p.m. and dusk: Movies On The Square: A Circus Life, courthouse lawn in downtown Baraboo. A 90-minute documentary of Chappy Fox, the late and long-time director of Circus World Museum who helped save the historic treasure. Preshow entertainment begins at 8:00 p.m. Bring a blanket for front-row seating or lawn chairs. Admission is free. More details at www.downtownbaraboo.com.
- July 27, 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.: Sunday Car Show, downtown Baraboo. Alongside the Sunday Market from 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. featuring an array of antiques, art and live music along Oak Street, enjoy hot rods, muscle cars, trucks and classic and antique cars on Third Avenue, including a replica of the General Lee from the 1980s television show The Dukes of Hazzard.
- July 27, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Breakfast With The Ringlings at the Al. Ringling Mansion, 623 Broadway St., Baraboo. Meet the palatial 1905 home’s owners, legendary circus showman Al. Ringling and his wife, Lou. Learn more at www.ringlingmansion.com or call 608-448-7455.
- July 27, 2:00 p.m.: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress Of Rough Riders of the World.
Find more details about the celebration at www.bigtoparade.com.
Baraboo’s Circus History
In 1884, five Ringling brothers founded the Ringling Bros. Circus in Baraboo and made its winter quarters along the bank of the Baraboo River for 34 years, through 1918. The original location, which locals called Ringlingville, is now a National Historic Landmark and home to Circus World Museum. This living history museum, one of ten historic sites that the Wisconsin Historical Society operates, is open year-round. Learn more about Circus World’s history here.
Reserve a guest room today!
Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.
More Fun Around The Inn
- July 24 and 28: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. A guided paddle of Devil’s Lake to explore for birds, fish, mammals, geology and history. Tour begins at the park’s north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn. Space is limited and prior registration is encouraged. Kayak rental $25 single, $45 double. To register call the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
- July 24: Universe In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 9:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s outdoor amphitheater in the Northern Lights Campground, five minutes west of the Inn. Explore the night sky with University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomers. Rain location is the Nature Center. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.
- July 25, 26 and 27: Kayak Tour at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Details are above.
- July 26: Witwen Concert At The Campground, 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., County Road E, Witwen, nine miles west of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac. 1st Brigade Band performs, an award-winning group that performs throughout the country including at National Historic Sites. Learn more about the band at www.1stbrigadeband.org. Grounds open at 4:00 p.m., food for sale at 4:30 p.m. and you are welcome to bring a picnic supper. Bring lawn chairs. If raining the concert is held in the tabernacle on the grounds. Visit www.witwenpc.com.
- July 26: Big Band Dance In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park’s north shore Chateau, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Dance to the big-band sounds of The Hal Edwards Orchestra in Wisconsin’s most romantic dance pavilion. Tickets: $10.00.
- July 27: Music In The Park at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. A free concert along the north shore sponsored by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park. Performing: Swing Crew, a fun, interactive, acoustic band that plays classic rock, country, pop, swing, island beat and more.