Telephone: (608) 355-9899 Check Availability

Plan Your Fall Colors Getaway Now

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.

Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival Sept. 12-14

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.

Labor Day Weekend Getaway In Baraboo

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. 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.

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw And Festival Aug. 29-30

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

Getting There

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.

Summerset Festival Of The Arts Aug. 1-3

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 Circus Celebration And Parade July 26

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.

Garden Tour, County Fairs, Full Moon July 12

If you’re unable to escape to the bluff to enjoy fireworks in solitude July 4, come the next weekend for the full moon Saturday, July 12, 2014, and many area activities.

Sauk Prairie’s River Arts will host a Garden Thyme Tour of seven of the area’s premier gardens July 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Soak in the beauty, admire the design and effort, and find inspiration for your garden. Tickets are $8.00 in advance or $10.00 that day. Purchase them online here or at the River Arts On Water Gallery at 590 Water St., Prairie du Sac.

County Fairs nearby showcase agriculture and youth 4-H and FFA exhibits, plus live music and more:

  • July 7–13: Sauk County Fair,Baraboo. Visit saukcountyfair.com for the schedule of events.
  • July 10–13:149th Lodi Agricultural Fair,Lodi. Visit www.lodiagfair.com for the schedule of events.

By the light of the full moon, enjoy concerts, big-band dancing or s’mores with the dancing fireflies by the fire on our secluded prairie terrace.

Enjoy a concert under the stars in Witwen, a rural hamlet west of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac, July 12 from 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. The Dang-Its will perform for the Witwen Concert At The Campground summer series. Inits 16th year presenting bluegrass, country blues, originals and honky-tonk gems, The Dang-Its’ off-the-beaten-track repertoire and soaring vocal harmonies connect with a wide audience. It earned the 2013 Madison Area Music AwardsCountry/Bluegrass Performer of the Year award and debuted on national television on RFD-TV network in 2013. The grounds open at 4:00 p.m., food is 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 historic tabernacle on the grounds. Learn more at www.witwenpc.com.

Next door to the Inn, Bagpipes At The Glen add to the natural beauty of Durward’s Glen, July 12 from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Bring a picnic supper or dessert and wine for this open-air concert of live music from Scotland and Ireland, including a piper, to honor the Durward family’s Scottish roots. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Learn more at www.durwardsglen.org.

The big-band sounds of The Hal Edwards Orchestra will fill Devil’s Lake State Park, five minutes west of the Inn, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. July 12 during the Big Band Dance In The Park in the Chateau dance pavilion along the north shore. Dance or enjoy listening to the 1940s music by this favorite local band. Tickets are $10.00.

Renown ornithologist Stanley Temple, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor emeritus in forest and wildlife ecology and senior fellow of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, will recount the passenger pigeon’s sobering extinction story at Devil’s Lake State Park, July 12 from 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. On the centennial of the pigeon’s extinction Temple will discuss what this bird’s misfortune can tell us about the ongoing extinction crisis and our relationship with wildlife. Meet at the north shore’s outdoor amphitheater in the Northern Lights Campground, five minutes west of the Inn. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

The Inn at Wawanissee Point is adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park and the closest bed and breakfast to Sauk Prairie.

Click here to reserve a guest room or call us at 608-355-9899. Summer weekends are nearly filled.

More Area Activities

July 10: 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: Brent Johnson.

July 10 and 14:  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 SusanA.Johansen@wiscons[email protected] with questions.

July 11, 12 and 13: 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 11: 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.

July 12: Madison County at Lodi Agricultural Fair, 700 Fair St., Lodi, Wis., 9:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. Rockin’ country tunes from a favorite area band. Details at www.lodiagfair.com.

Fireworks From Wawanissee Point

Enjoy fireworks without the crowds from the best view in Wisconsin. Join us at the Inn at Wawanissee Point overlooking the Lake Wisconsin River valley for three 2014 fireworks displays. Watch from the prairie terrace, Great Room skybox or the Teepee guest room’s private deck.

Sat., June 28:  Madison’s Rhythm And Booms from Lake Monona. We’ll provide a radio to hear the 30-minute show choreographed to three acts of music.

Sat., July 5:  Sauk Prairie’s Fire On The River

Sat., July 5:  Merrimac’s fireworks celebration (rain date July 6)

After the fireworks snuggle by the campfire in our secluded prairie with a s’mores kit while you stargaze and watch the fireflies dance.

Book a guest room today!

Call us at 608-355-9899 or click here.

More Independence Day 2014 Fun Around Baraboo

July 3:  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 3:  Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square:  Illusive Sound, 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.

July 3:  Moth Watch at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 9:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Drop in to learn why moths rule the night. See what is attracted to the moth light station and take a self-guided walk to the moth bait stations to discover what is attracted to special moth juice.

July 4, 5 and 6:  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. See details above.

July 4:  Witwen Fourth Of July Parade, Witwen, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. An old-fashioned parade with hundreds of entrants, stretching longer than the bucolic village, includes Jean Powell’s saxaphone band performing on the Concerts At The Campground float. The parade starts at the intersection of county roads E and O, passes through the tiny village of Witwen and finishes at the Witwen Park and Campground. People arrive before 8:00 a.m. to find parking along highway E. The Black Hawk and Denzer United Methodist churches sponsor their famous chicken-barbeque dinner at the Campground after the parade. Learn more at http://www.witwenpc.com/. Bring lawn chairs. A pretty, 25-minute drive from the Inn.

July 4:  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. Fridays through Aug. 29, 2014.

July 4:  Baraboo Fireworks Celebration, Baraboo High School athletic field, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m. U.W.-Baraboo/Sauk County Campus/Community Band and Singers perform at 8:00 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.

July 5:  Sauk Prairie’s Fire On The River, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m., fireworks at dusk. New location: Sauk City Riverway, behind/east of Water St. near the highway 12 bridge. Music and dance on the main stage, food court, Capital Brewery and Wollersheim beer and wine garden, Plein Air Festival and mural creation, Flavors of Sauk Prairie Food Tasting, free hot-air balloon rides and a silent auction. Learn more and see a map of the grounds here.

July 5:  Merrimac Firefighters’ Fireworks, at the Wagner property north of the village, S7116 Bluff Rd., Merrimac. Gates open at 5:00 p.m., fireworks at dusk. Rain date July 6. $3.00 per car.

July 5:  Kayaking Sauk County at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.Meet at the north shore’s north shore’s outdoor amphitheater in the Northern Lights Campground, five minutes west of the Inn. Sauk County has some great places to paddle with a canoe or kayak. Join Derrick Mayoleth, certified sea kayak coach and the first person to circumnavigate Puerto Rico by kayak, to learn the area’s hidden paddling gems.

For questions about events at Devil’s Lake State Park, call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected].

Big Band Dances At Devil’s Lake State Park June 14

Inn at Wawanissee Point guests enjoy dancing to the big-band sounds of The Hal Edwards Orchestra that enliven the historic Chateau’s dance pavilion on the north shore of Devil’s Lake State Park. These popular dances in the park begin June 14, 2014.

Kick up your heels or sit back and enjoy the 1940s music by this favorite local band from 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on these summer evenings:

June 14 and 28
July 12 and 26
Aug. 9 and 23

Tickets are $10.00 plus you’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker. Purchase a day or annual pass at the Park’s north shore entrance.

Afterward rest peacefully at the Inn at Wawanissee Point, the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park. We are five minutes from the park!

Reserve a guest room soon. Summer weekends fill fast!
Click here or call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room.

More Music In The Park
Music will echo across Devil’s Lake at free outdoor concerts one Sunday evening each month sponsored by the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.:

  • June 29:  Graminy, a Madison band that fuses classic and grassroots traditions, from Bach to Blue grass, from Copland to Celtic and calls its style class-grass.
  • July 27:  Swing Crew, a fun, interactive, acoustic band that plays classic rock, country, pop, swing, island beat and more
  • Aug. 31: to be determined

If it rains the concert moves into the Chateau.

Learn more details and about other events at the Park at the events page of www.devilslakewisconsin.com, the Devil’s Lake State Park Visitor’s Guide.

Civil War Encampment In Sauk Prairie Father’s Day Weekend

Celebrate Father’s Day 2014 with history enthusiasts by attending the Civil War Encampment and History Weekend in Sauk City, Wis., June 14–15, 2014.

The Sauk City Historic Preservation Committee will host for the 11th year one of the largest Civil War re-enactments and encampments in Wisconsin, 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Musket fire, cannon booms and clanking metal from blacksmiths’ anvils will fill the air throughout the Sauk City Historic Park and August Derleth Park, both on Water Street in Sauk City.

Relive the 1860s clash between the North and South by watching hundreds of soldiers, cavalry, infantry and artillery during two authentic battles daily, among other activities and displays depicting civilian life, politics and economics of this period.

This year’s event honors Belle Boyd, a Confederate spy who is buried in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and the role of women in the Civil War. Saturday night enjoy an ice cream social at 7:00 p.m. and the Iron Horse Band with cannon firing at dusk. See the full schedule at www.saukcityhistory.org.

The state highway 60 bridge in Prairie du Sac will be closed for construction during this event. However, stay at the bed and breakfast closest to Sauk Prairie, the Inn at Wawanissee Point, and you can enter town via highway 78 without any trouble.

Reserve a guest room soon. Summer weekends are now filling quickly.

Call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room or click here.

June 13 is the strawberry full moon. Enjoy stargazing beside the campfire on our prairie terrace this weekend and watch the fireflies dancing.

More Fun Father’s Day Weekend

June 12:  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.

June 12:  Lawn Chair Bat Watch at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:30 p.m. Meet near the north shore boat launch by the bat condo, five minutes west of the Inn, to watch bats emerge from their houses and learn fun information about bats. Bring a lawn chair.

June 13–14:  Vintage Truck Expo, Badger Steam & Gas grounds, S3347 Sand Rd., Baraboo, daylight to dark. Annual show of trucks old, new, working and show. Hosted by the Southern Wisconsin Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society. Live music on Saturday. Admission is free. Learn more at www.badgersteamandgas.com.

June 13, 14 and 15:  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. See description above.

June 13:  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. Dine inside or outside. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Park. June 6–August 29.

June 13:  Bats And Boats at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Bring your kayak, canoe or boat to watch bats swoop and glide over the lake hunting for their dinner. Meet at the north shore boat launch, five minutes west of the Inn.

June 14:  Biking Tour Of The Leopold Memorial Reserve, Aldo Leopold Center, E13701 Levee Rd., Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Explore and learn about the 2,000-acre Reserve that is home to the National Historic Landmark Leopold Shack and Farm, the Center and a rich history of ecological research, restoration and collaboration. Bike the rustic rural roads with numerous stops. Begin with a bike maintenance and repair demonstration by Wildside Adventure Sports. Admission $20.00 ($5.00 members). Reserve and questions contact Jen Simoni at 608-355-0279 ext. 32 or [email protected]. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

June 14:  Salute To Veterans At Circus World Museum, open daily 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. for its 55th summer season. A tribute honoring all military branches, featuring patriotic-themed circus wagons, special guest speakers, vocalists and more. Veterans, spouses and their families are admitted free for the day. See the daily schedule and big top performances here.

June 14:  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.

June 14:  Stuck On The Rocks at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Meet at the north shore Chateau, five minutes west of the Inn. The Baraboo District Ambulance Service will discuss how they handle climbing emergencies at the Park and show their techniques and equipment for rope rescues.

June 15:  Mel Tillis at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 3:00 p.m. Country music legend. Tickets at crystalgrand.com.

For events at Devil’s Lake State Park call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions. Remember that you’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker sold by the day or annually as you enter the Park or online here.

Fish Fry, Kayaking And Stargazing At Devil’s Lake State Park June 6

Three favorite summer events at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis., five minutes west of the Inn, highlight the first weekend in June 2014.

Friday, June 6, 2014 the weekly Friday Night Fish Fry In The Park begins. Baraboo’s Elite Catering will prepare and serve its tasty fish and chicken with a changing array of sides every Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 6 through Aug. 29, 2014. You’ll find their outdoor kitchen in front of the historic Chateau at the Park’s north shore.

Enjoy dinner along the shore under the towering oaks or indoors in the Chateau. Tickets are $10.00 for one piece of chicken, two pieces of fish, three side dishes and bread. And a portion of the proceeds benefits the Park!

Guided Kayak Tours June 6, 7 and 8

Returning for the second year, the Park is offering 90-minute guided paddling tours of the lake to explore the lake’s fish, birds, mammals, geology and history. Before the tour the guide will spend 30 minutes gathering the group and explaining how to use a kayak.

The lake’s calm water is ideal for beginners, but any skill level is welcome on the guided tour. Bring your craft or rent a kayak at the Park, $25 for a single or $45 for double.

Space in the paddling tours is limited so you’re encouraged to register by calling the Nature Center at 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Nearly anyone, any age or ability, can paddle these lightweight, stable crafts. Learning how to get in and out, and paddling by rotating your torso are simple and quick techniques to master. Come enjoy the peaceful sensation of gliding on top of the water. It’s a captivating experience.

Tours times are June 6: 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., June 7 and 8: 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Explore The Night Sky

Friday, June 6, 8:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m., join the Madison Astronomy Society to learn about the night sky and view the moon and constellations with its telescopes. The program is informal program, so drop by anytime, at the north shore boat launch parking lot.

You’ll need a state park vehicle admission sticker. Purchase a day sticker or annual pass as you enter the north shore of Devil’s Lake State Park or online here.

For questions about Park events call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected].

Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

The Moon will pass within two degrees of the planet Mars in the evening western sky on June 7. The gibbous moon will be at magnitude -12.2 and Mars will be at magnitude -0.8. See the pair in the western sky just after sunset until about 6 hours afterward. See this event from the Inn’s prairie terrace beside the campfire, with s’mores if you like. Or use our telescope in the Great Room skybox.

Reserve a guest room before they’re gone. Summer weekends at the only bed and breakfast adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park fill early.

Click here or call us at 608-355-9899 to book your room.

More Fun June 5–8

June 5:  Baraboo’s Concerts On The Square, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., begin tonight and run Thursday nights through Aug. 28, 2014. The Swing Crew, an interactive acoustic band, performs the first concert.

June 5:  Moth Watch at Devil’s Lake Sate Park, Baraboo, 9:00 p.m. Meet at the north shore’s Nature Center, five minutes west of the Inn. Drop in to learn why moths rule the night. See what is attracted to the moth light station and take a self-guided walk to the moth bait stations to discover what is attracted to special moth juice.

June 6–7:  Annual Art That Blooms, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Portage Center For The Arts, 301 East Cook St., Portage. The Drury Gallery will be transformed into a fantasy land for flower lovers with exhibits featuring an array of art and poems by area artists and poets paired with fresh floral arrangements inspired by the artwork and created by area floral artists. Details at www.portagecenterforthearts.com.

June 7: Nash Metropolitan Show at Circus World Museum, Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. America’s first subcompact automobile, the Nash Metropolitan, were produced from 1954 to 1962. See several of these highly collectible and rare diminutive cars with a wheelbase shorter than the Volkswagen Beetle displayed. Details here.

June 7–8: Equine Weekend At Circus World Museum, open daily 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. through June 13, 2014 for its 55th summer season. Featuring 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. See the daily schedule and big top performances here.

June 7: Little River Band at the Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, 8:00 p.m. Australian soft-rock band.Tickets at crystalgrand.com.

June 7–8: Taste of Wisconsin Dells, downtown Wisconsin Dells. Saturday 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Samples from more than 20 area restaurants, lively entertainment, beer tent with Wisconsin microbrews, expanded arts and craft show, classic corvette parade and a book sale. Details at www.tasteofthedells.com.

June 8: Carr Valley Cheese Cooking School: Chartcuterie, Cheese & Wine Pairing With Forequarter Restaurant and the Underground Butcher from Madison, Wis., 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn about fermented and dry-cured meats produced by a local butcher with locally raised livestock using ancient techniques now resurfacing. The pairing class will be held at Carr Valley Cheese Company’s state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen at its retail store in Sauk City, Wis., 15 minutes from the Inn. Details and tickets here.

Mid-Continent Railway Starts Daily Runs May 31

Mother’s Day weekend May 10–11, 2014, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wis., will open for weekend-only hours. Then on May 31 it begins daily operations through Sept. 1, 2014 with daily train rides at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. From 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you can browse indoor and outdoor restored, vintage railway equipment displays.

For Mother’s Day weekend, the Museum teams with Baraboo’s Elite Catering to offer beverages and hors d’oeuvres on first-class service, and the popular dinner and brunch trains prepared by chef Mike Althen.

May 10 coach and first-class service: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
May 10 dinner train: 5:30 p.m.
May 11 brunch service: 10:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
May 11 coach and caboose service: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Enjoy a 55-minute ride in a 1915 steel coach along seven miles of former Chicago & North Western Railway track through the Baraboo Bluffs, regardless of weather. Currently diesel locomotives power the train while volunteers restore the massive steam engines. All trains depart from the restored wooden depot built in 1894. Docents dress in authentic, period attire.

This outdoor living-history museum is seven miles west of Baraboo in North Freedom, a small, rural crossroads. Step back in time at this museum that recreates and preserves the short-line railroad experience of Midwestern small towns from the 1880s to 1916, railroading’s golden age.

The grounds feature the depot, the Coach Shed filled with restored wooden passenger and freight cars, and displays from the turn of the 20th century in a historically accurate, rural railroad environment. In and around the Coach Shed are 13 steam locomotives; dozens of cabooses and passenger and freight cars; and service equipment, some restored and others in process or awaiting work.

A small, dedicated group of volunteers operate the Museum and restore the trains and artifacts. The 1903 Cooper Range Coach #60, which carried school children through Michigan’s upper peninsula, received two awards for its eight-year restoration by volunteers.

Reservations are not necessary for the daily summer rides, but are recommended for special events. Visit www.mcrwy.com or call 608-522-4261 to learn more, including correct coordinates for your GPS device.

The Mid-Continent Railway Museum is 25 minutes from the Inn at Wawanissee Point.

Ride the rails and stay with us. Book your favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.

Area Events

May 30: Lawn Chair Bat Watch at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m. Meet near the north shore boat launch by the bat condo, five minutes west of the Inn, to watch bats emerge from their houses and learn fun information about bats. Bring a lawn chair. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

May 31: 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.

May 31–June 1: Portage Canal Days at the Market Square and Canal. Historic encampment and tours of the Indian Agency House and Fort Winnebago Surgeon’s Quarters, parade, downtown walking tour, live music and food. Call Sherry at 617-5409 for details.

June 1: Stroll the Sunday Market on the historic downtown square in Baraboo, Wis., every Sunday this summer through Oct. 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Antiques, vintage collectibles, art and crafts.

Horses At Circus World Museum Memorial Weekend

Begin the summer season with a peaceful escape at the Inn at Wawanissee Point during Memorial Day weekend, May 23–26, 2014. Relax with us on the bluff and enjoy a special look back in time at Circus World Museum under its new big top!

The Tent Is Back

After nine years of performing in the Hippodrome because the Museum’s big-top tent had deteriorated, the Museum starts its 55th summer performance season and daily operations on May 17 under an 85-foot diameter European-style tent that belonged to The Royal Hanneford Circus. The tent provides a better space for aerial acts, which have been limited in Hippodrome.

The Museum’s executive director, Scott O’Donnell, says, “A tent is the preeminent way to experience and interpret the American circus.” A tented circus reaches into your soul and adds to the wonder and emotions of the circus performance, he added.

The Work Horses

Circus World Museum kicks off summer with a special equine weekend May 24–26 when it brings in teams of horses to demonstrate how the circus operated with them in years past. During Memorial Day weekend you’ll see train-loading demonstrations using horses to load circus wagons onto railroad flatcars, driving demonstrations, a mini street parade and omnibus wagon rides around Circus World.

The all-new Big Top Tent Show features acrobats, jaw-dropping contortionists, and circus animals and clowns. Circus World’s magical entertainer, Tristan Crist, stars in a brand new production of Theatre of Illusion. In the Hippodrome you’ll find side-splitting silliness with the new show Clowning Around With Roger.

The lively entertainment at this National Historic Landmark occurs daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through June 13, and 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. June 14 through Sept. 1, 2014.

The grounds are the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter quarters and one of Wisconsin Historical Society’s 10 historic sites. This engaging history museum also includes a large collection of authentic circus wagons, advertising posters, memorabilia from past Big Top performances and more.

Circus World is open when it’s raining since many activities are under tents or in buildings.

Learn more at circusworldbaraboo.org.

The Cookhouse Grill on the grounds offers sandwiches and circus treats. Or pack a picnic lunch and sit beside the free-flowing Baraboo River. Get your hand stamped and walk a few blocks to dine in one of many cafés in historic downtown Baraboo.

The Inn at Wawanissee Point is 10 minutes south of the Museum.

Reserve a guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899. Weekends in May are filling quickly!

Other Memorial Day Weekend Events

May 24:  Aldo Leopold Guided Shack Tours resume on Saturdays May 24–Oct. 25, 2014, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., unless a special event is scheduled, at the Aldo Leopold Center northeast of Baraboo. Guided tours are the only way to see the inside of the Leopold Shack. Self-guided tours are available any day the Center is open. Plus, the new upland trail system is open for hikers to explore any time the Leopold Center is open. Pick up a trail map before departing. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

May 24:  Frog Safari at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to hike the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds where we’ll listen for spring peepers, and chorus and wood frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

May 24:  Meteor OutburstAs earth moves through the dusty trails of the small comet P/209 Linear in the predawn hours, the unusual cosmic interaction may create a brief display of possibly dozens or up to hundreds of shooting stars per hour. While not certain, astronomers predict this could be the most intense meteor shower in more than a decade. See it best from the Inn’s secluded prairie terrace.

May 25:  Stroll the Sunday Market during its return outdoors on the historic downtown square in Baraboo, Wis., every Sunday May 25–Oct. 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Antiques, vintage collectibles, art and crafts.

Celebrate Spring And Mother’s Day In Baraboo

For nature-loving moms, celebrate spring and motherhood in Baraboo, Wis., May 9–11, 2014. You’ll find birding, frogs singing, nature hikes, train rides, and arts and crafts. Make gift plans now to treat mom to a weekend of fun and relaxation at the Inn at Wawanissee Point.

  • Collaborate with dad to surprise mom with a romantic weekend you’ve arranged for Mother’s Day.
  • Create and print a custom gift certificate here for mom to plan her getaway.
  • Bring the family for an adult retreat to celebrate with mom.

At the Inn mom can:

  • stroll our garden paths in bloom
  • relax on the terrace to soak in sun overlooking the southern prairie
  • watch colorful migrating birds return to our feeders like indigo buntings, scarlet tanagers, Baltimore orioles, humming birds and more
  • hike our private wooded and prairie trails
  • celebrate at evening wine and cheese before dinner at a nearby restaurant
  • savor Trudy’s gourmet breakfast served overlooking the expansive valley

Splurge for pampering services at Baraboo’s day spa 10 minutes from here, Spa Serenity.

Open for the season by then are the Aldo Leopold Center, International Crane Foundation, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum and the H. H. Bennett Studio. The Baraboo and Sauk Prairie Farmers’ Markets will be open with bedding plants, new-crop maple syrup, early produce and more.

Reserve mom’s favorite guest room here or call us at 608-355-9899.

Events To Enjoy

May 9:  Rising Stars at the River Arts On Water Gallery, Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Sauk Prairie High School choir director brings his brightest students for an unforgettable house concert in which he performs. No advance ticket sales, donations are appreciated to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more here.

May 10–11:  Mother’s Day Brunch And Dinner Trains at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, North Freedom. May 10 coach and first-class service at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m., and dinner train at 5:30 p.m. May 11 brunch service at 10:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., and coach and caboose service at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Reservations and details at www.mcrwy.com.

May 10:  Birding The Leopold Memorial Reserve, Aldo Leopold Center, E13701 Levee Rd., Baraboo, 7:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Experience the ornithological diversity of the Reserve, learn to identify birds by sound and develop an understanding of bird habitat relationships. Begin with an outdoor listening session; then work in the classroom. Instructor Yoyi Steele, Wis. DNR and Wisconsin Important Bird Area coordinator. Admission $25.00 ($20.00 members). For reservations and questions contact Jen Simoni at 608-355-0279 ext. 32 or [email protected].  Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

May 10:  Annual Faire On The Square in downtown Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., more than 150 arts and crafts vendors, farmers’ market, Eat Street food court, live music and more. Visit www.downtownbaraboo.com for details.

May 10:  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.

May 10:  Frog Safari at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to hike the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds where we’ll listen for spring peepers, and chorus and wood frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight and wear shoes that can get muddy. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

May 11:  Mother’s Day at International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. 15 minutes north of the Inn. Moms receive free admission. Guided tours and nature hikes. View all 15 crane species, or grab your binoculars to enjoy birding on the nature trails winding through restored prairie, wetland and oak savanna ecosystems. Visit www.savingcranes.org for more information.

Sandhill Cranes Return To Baraboo Bluffs

Monday, March 17, 2014, the pair of sandhill cranes that nest in the marsh between Tower and Bluff Roads across from Wawanissee Point returned from their winter vacation. They called and circled overhead throughout the morning, echoing atop the east end of the Baraboo Range.

We at the Inn at Wawanissee Point consider the crane’s return as spring’s arrival and the beginning of the spring bird migration.

Today, the first day of spring, the red-winged blackbirds added to the welcomed spring chorus and robins appeared despite snow covering half of the ground yet. A good-sized flock of cedar waxwings has been feeding in the neighborhood again this week (it first appeared at the end of Feburary), an unusual occurrence here. It’s time to schedule a spring birding vacation!

The Baraboo Hill’s contiguous, mixed hardwood forest—one of the largest in the Midwest—is designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society. It hosts 135 breeding bird species, some of which are important at-risk populations like the cerulean, worm-eating and hooded warblers.

Birding By Car

If you don’t feel like hiking squishy trails in the spring for up-close bird watching, you can bird by car. Closest to the Inn, drive along Steinke Basin near Devil’s Lake State Park’s north shore, South Shore Road through the Park’s south end, and Roznos Meadow and the Merrimac Preserve along Marsh Road and State Highway 113.

Baxter’s Hollow State Natural Area, seven miles west of U.S. Highway 12, is another spot where you can view birds by car or on foot, along Stone Pocket Road. Drive further west into central Sauk County to meander Rustic Roads Orchard, Schara and Ruff to see more birds. For more birding-by-car ideas near the Inn, see the late Harold Kruse’s article at The Nature Conservancy’s Web site, and download his birding map.

The Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area along the Wisconsin River nine miles northeast of Baraboo offers another ecosystem in which to see many migrating bird species while driving Levee Road, another Rustic Road.

Crane Foundation, Aldo Leopold Center Open Mid April

April 15 the International Crane Foundation will open for the season. It’s 15 minutes north of the Inn. Take a guided tour of the world’s 15 species of cranes that reside there and hike through the Foundation’s restored prairie to spot spring arrivals. Visit www.savingcranes.org for more information.

The Aldo Leopold Center nine miles northeast of Baraboo, Wis., also opens for the season by mid April, operating Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Besides visiting the educational and interpretive facility, farm and Leopold shack, you can hike the new 2.5-mile upland interpretive trail network through 305 acres of critical habitat for grassland birds and sandhill crane staging during migration. Learn more at www.aldoleopold.org.

If you spot waterfowl you can’t identify, drop by the Flyways Waterfowl Museum at the north entrance to Devil’s Lake State Park. You’ll find more than 60 mounts of species that migrate through the Mississippi River flyway. The Museum is currently open Thursdays through Sundays. Find the hours and learn more at www.duckmuseum.com.

Click here to reserve your favorite guest room today! Or call us at 608-355-9899.

More Area Fun

Saturdays, March 22–May 6:  Wings & Water Public Reception, River Arts Center in the Sauk Prairie High School, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.  A national juried exhibition of 2D, 3D and mixed-media. Juror Martha Glowack selected 61 pieces to display from hundreds of submissions. Tonight she will announce the Best of Show award. Exhibit admission is free and artwork is for sale.  Exhibit open for viewing school days 8:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., and Saturdays 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. beginning March 22, both until May 6. Details at www.riverartsinc.org.

April 25:  Shari Sarazin performs at the River Arts On Water Gallery, 509 Water St., Prairie du Sac, 7:00 p.m. Celtic harp music with inspiring vocals featuring ancient Celtic melodies, contemporary ballads and her originals that evoke a range of emotions. 40 years of experience and an abundant repertoire ensure a memorable and moving evening. Donations at the door are recommended to benefit the River Arts Inc. programming. Learn more here.

April 25–27:  Death And Taxes Dinner Theatre at the Farm Kitchen, S5718 Hwy 123, Baraboo, 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m. RAVE (Rogues And Vagabonds Entertainment) of Baraboo presents an original, politically incorrect comedy murder-mystery by Bruce Bradley about an independent U.S. Senate candidate whose dreams turn to nightmares when his cronies and enemies unexpectedly attend his gala fund-raiser to reveal secrets and skeletons that put more than his campaign in jeopardy. Tickets $35.00, reserve by calling 608-356-5246.

April 26:  Frog Safari at Devil’s Lake State Park, Baraboo, 8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Meet at the Steinke Basin parking lot, five minutes west of the Inn, to hike the Johnson Moraine Trail to the park’s kettle ponds where we’ll listen for spring peepers, and chorus and wood frogs, plus other night sounds. Bring a flashlight. Call 608-356-8301 ext. 140 or e-mail [email protected] with questions.

April 27:  Encore!! Art 6: Reuse, Recycle, Rethink at U.W. Baraboo/Sauk County Campus gymnasium, 1006 Connie Rd., Baraboo, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. An art event by the Sauk County Art Association for artists to create art of discarded and unwanted materials. Admission for the public is free; artists have an entry fee. Held in conjunction with the Sauk County Earth Day Celebration. Learn more at www.wi-scaa.org or by sending a note to [email protected].

Trail Background