Avoiding football in Green Bay is a near impossibility. Streets are named for players, signs remind visitors that it’s Packers country, even the museum has a Lego reproduction of Lambeau Field.
A long weekend there (pre-Covid) was far from football, focusing on family fun instead of the field.
The Neville Public Museum was our first stop. It has plenty to do for a morning visit. An exhibit about ice harvesting was fascinating for all ages and certainly a unique education. Prehistory of the area and local flora and fauna are similar to other midwest museums, but presented in an interactive way. Impossible to avoid, there’s an area devoted to the local NFL team complete with an original Green Bay Packers paper stock from 1923.
Bay Beach experience
The afternoon was spent at the Bay Beach Amusement Park. Owned by the City of Green Bay, the park is on the banks of the water and is cheap. Very cheap. Ride tickets are a quarter each and most rides require only one or two tickets. The most expensive ride, the roller coaster, costs a dollar. Even in the early summer the weather is chilly though. The wind from Bay Beach can be biting, so warm clothes are recommended.
The next morning I visited the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary on a whim. After walking around the area on my own I drove back to the hotel to grab my family. It was that spectacular.
Located next to the amusement park, the wildlife sanctuary is completely free. The main mission is to rescue injured and orphaned animals and return them to their wild, but in the meantime most of these animals can be seen by the public. Some are in their own exhibits while others are in the Observation Center so visitors can watch them be feed with droppers and examined by professionals.
Miles of walking trails meander past a wolf haven and a deer feeding area. It’s pretty amazing to watch your kids feed deer by hand and then walk past a group of wolves howling in symphony. The sheer quantity of animals was staggering. A zoo contains animals that will (normally) never be seen in our area. These animals are local residents though hidden to most urban dwellers.
Botanical Garden beauty
We could have spent the entire day there, but made a last stop at the Green Bay Botanical Garden for my niece’s wedding. The beautiful site was undergoing a renovation that is since complete, but didn’t detract from the beautiful location. They have activity bags to keep young children entertained, which can sometimes be a challenge while looking at plants.
The trip was so surprising that I wrote a post for RoadTripsForFamilies.com. The link is below. The stereotype that Green Bay is just a football town isn’t completely inaccurate – after all there is evidence of the team on every corner. But that’s certainly not the only reason to visit.