Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Two Cudamani dancers © UCLA Center for International Performances

Elaborate costumes worn by Cudamani performers signify Balinese tradition and culture.
© UCLA Center for International Performances

October 2012

Wisconsin Traveler

Fall in love with Wisconsin foods and festivals.

Amanda Laurenzi

Great food and family fun is plentiful in October and November. As fall sets in and starts to chill our bones, our stomachs rumble with anticipation for some of our favorite winter foods featured in festivals hosted throughout the state. Take some time with your family to travel before the snow comes and traps you in your house for the season!

Join the 33rd Annual Cranberry Fest on October 6-7 to celebrate the Cranberry Harvest with arts and craft shows, a tour of the marsh and winery, an antique market, a farmers market and much more. It's fun for the whole family at Vilas County Fairgrounds, Eagle River. Admission is free.

Don't let the colder weather bring you down – take a mental vacation to Bali with a physical trip to Wausau for the Cudamani performance being held at the Grand Theater on Artsblock on October 11. Through dance and enchanting music, the performance group will tell tales of gods, heroes and other traditions of the Balinese culture. For ticket information visit The Grand.

Fall is the perfect time to sit outside and star gaze with the family, a special someone or in solitude. Learn about the cosmos through Starsplitters' Astronomy Program at Wyalusing State Park in Prairie du Chien October 13 and 27. Sessions start at 8:30 p.m. at the observatory.

They've been on the Late Show, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, HBO's Young Comedians, various commercials and have done over 2,500 live performances – they're The Gizmo Guys! And now they're coming to Sheboygan to perform their juggling skills and rich comedy at the Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts on October 20. Come see Allan Jacobs and Barret Felker for a one-of-a-kind show you won't want to miss! Check out their video at The Gizmo Guys.

Halloween only comes once a year, but it isn't always conveniently placed on a Friday or Saturday night. If you want to take a night to celebrate Halloween with a good old traditional scare, pay a visit to Red Ridge Ranch anytime this month! Friday and Saturday nights feature a haunted corn maze, along with the activities featured every day: painting and designing pumpkin faces, tractor/horse drawn rides, a hay maze, a petting zoo and guided trail rides. For more information about the stable, call (608) 847-2273.

At the Exposition Center in West Allis the weekend of November 10 and 11, come to America's largest operating model railroad show for Trainfest 2012. Kids can race trains on a bone-shaped track, join in on face painting, crafts and coloring and a circus train ride. Sixty fantastically detailed railroads will attract your attention as they display running trains.

Head up to River Falls on November 23 to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus as they spend a day at the annual River Dazzle Extravaganza with reindeer, camels and llamas. Sales will be held throughout the day on Main Street, as well as the 6th annual chili cook-off and free hayrides around town. The day will end with the lighting of the trees and the River Dazzle Parade.

Enjoy a day at the London Dairy Alpaca Ranch Open House November 23-25 in Two Rivers to shop at the gift store for exotic alpaca scarves, mittens, gloves and more. Then visit the animals with the whole family. Visit London Dairy Alpacas for more information.

After a week of recuperating from an oversized Thanksgiving feast, gear up for a chocolate overload at the Rotary Gardens in Janesville for the Taste of Chocolate Event on November 30. Start the evening by sharing some cocktails with friends followed by a meal. Then brace yourself for the chocolate overload. The event ends with an elegant Lighting of the Holiday Light Show throughout the gardens, with live musical entertainment. The event runs 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Visit Rotary Botanical Gardens for more information.

Amanda Laurenzi is an editorial staffer for Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.