Are you looking for a Midwest vacation that is fun, unique, and budget-friendly? While we tend to focus on luxury here, we decided to share some Budget Friendly things to do in Wisconsin! We know that you will fall in love with this state just like we did! Home of the Green Bay Packers, and of course famous for cheese curds and fish fries, you’ll love every second in Wisconsin!
Things to do in Wisconsin
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Traveling through Wisconsin you will find so many things to do in Wisconsin that your family will love. My favorite thing about Wisconsin is that you can do so many of these things for next to nothing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time with your family.
Scattered throughout Wisconsin you will find somewhere around 20 State Parks. Although you need to pay a fee to enter these it is a small fee. You can choose between a daily fee, a weekly fee, or buy a yearly sticker (which will get you into any of the parks all year long). State parks are excellent options for those who like camping, swimming, fishing, or hiking! Pack an insulated cooler picnic basket and make it an all day adventure!
State Parks aren’t the only place you will find trails though.
Many communities have their own trails as well. Many of the best trails I have walked on are quietly hidden in and around communities. Don’t be afraid to ask around, that is how you find the best ones! These are some of the best budget-friendly things to do in Wisconsin since you learn so much about the local area in the process of getting exercise!
Many of these are okay for you to bike along as well but, some do require a “permit” in order to use your bike on them.
There are so many awesome beaches all over Wisconsin. There are many free beaches with or without lifeguards. You can also find beaches within the state parks all over the state. Don’t forget the shores of Lake Michigan are there for enjoyment! Wisconsin truly has something for everyone in your family to enjoy!
There are many places to camp all over the state as well. State parks are a popular landing place for campers but, you will also find many smaller private campgrounds all over the state as well. Along with tent and camper spots, you can also find “communities” of permanent campers in some of the campgrounds. There are even some amazing family sized tents you can use to make the experience even better.
As long as you have a State of Wisconsin fishing license (which can be purchased online) you can fish pretty much anywhere on public property. If you are just visiting you can buy a temporary license instead of a year long one. Not only is this a fun way to spend a day, but it can also cut your budget down since it includes food to cook!
While it costs money to eat, obviously, there are tons of amazing budget-friendly foodie destinations across the state. Madison has amazing locations like the downtown restaurant The Old Fashioned that is a popular hot spot for many. You can also find lower budget locations for Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Indian, German, and more across the state. Friday night fish fries are another popular budget-friendly thing to do in Wisconsin year round! If you can crave it, Wisconsin has a restaurant for it!
Floating down the river is a favorite pastime for many Wisconsinites. Taking a day in the summer and floating down the river is so relaxing! It is even better when enjoyed with a group of friends! There are several places around that state where you can get do this. One of the most popular places to go tubing in Southern Wisconsin is the Sugar River. Pack a lunch and spend the day relaxing!
This one can be easily forgotten. You will find a large variety of parks all over Wisconsin. Wisconsin has made it a point to make their parks so that each age group has a park that works for them. This means the park equipment difficulty will vary between parks. You will find that some parks are easier for toddlers and others are better for grade schoolers.
There are a handful of zoos all over the state. While a few are free like Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo, many do have an admission fee. While Wisconsin has your typical zoos you can also experience anything from a Big Cat Rescue in Rock Springs, Wisconsin to petting a white-tailed deer at the Deer Park in Wisconsin Dells.
There is a wide variety of museums all over Wisconsin, many of which are kid-friendly. You will find a good number that are not kid friendly as well. You will find anything from Circus World Museum to the Mustard Museum just to name a couple of them.
Many museums have an admission fee to get in but, there are just as many that are free, like Madison’s Museum of Contemporary Art. The admission fee varies widely between museums but, overall they are very reasonable.
The State Capitol Building is located in Madison, Wisconsin. They offer scheduled tours all year long. During this free tour, you will be taken through the capital and told about the history. The tour itself runs about 30 minutes or so. If a guided tour isn’t something you are interested in you are still welcome to tour the building on your own. You will not be able to see as much of the building this way but it is still a pretty neat thing to experience.
One of the things Wisconsin is known for is their beer (or at least beer drinkers). There are a bunch of breweries all over Wisconsin that you can tour. Some of them even have no admission fee. Some of the more popular ones are the free Miller Brewery Tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona (also free), and Sprecher Brewing Company in Glendale (this one has a small fee), and lastly: Milwaukee Brewing Company in Milwaukee (this one also has a fee). You can also head to Waunakee for amazing food at the local Lonely Girl Brewery.
There are so many things to do in Wisconsin with your family, friends, or by yourself. Many of the best things you will discover are tucked away and aren’t well known to many beyond the locals. Take time to stop and ask someone what they recommend, I am willing to bet that you will find something awesome that wouldn’t have otherwise been found.