A Hidden Gem in Green Bay


016Some say life is full of regrets. I disagree. You can’t change the past so you might as well learn from it. So by taking any regrets and turning them into lessons it is hard to find a place I have traveled without learning a lesson. Out of my limited hat of travels, one place comes to mind, Green Bay, Wisconsin, a family vacation I will never forget.
Family vacations can be complicated and frustrating. In my few years of experience as a mom I have learned that keeping it simple is best. We recently took a wonderful trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin. After a few weeks of research and planning we had an interactive yet simple schedule to follow for our 4 day weekend.

Our first day included a fun-filled day at the National Railroad Museum where none other than Thomas the Tank Engine was visiting. This “Day Out with Thomas” was just the perfect springboard to get my 2 and 5 year old boys ready for vacation. With plenty of playing room, craft times and the highlight of the day train ride with Thomas pulling the car, it was magical. The sun was shining, the park was not too crowded and we finished off our time at the gift shop purchasing souvenirs to remember our time there.

A family dinner at a local restaurant and good nights sleep got us prepared for our tour the next day of Lambeau Field where the Green Bay Packers play in the NFL. This tour was especially for my husband but the kids and I were enthralled in the history and fun facts our attentive tour guide mentioned on our hour- long tour. Finishing off on the actual ‘frozen tundra’ topped our morning outing off with a cherry. A very memorable cherry, since they let you wait for a moment in the tunnel before heading out to the field while out of the speakers come recorded cheers of fans. This gives you a glimpse into the magical moments before a big game with thousands of people excited for your arrival. Chills creep up my arms as I think of the powerful emotions the players must go through in anticipation of the game. Once on the field, I took plenty of cheesy pictures of each family member (no pun intended if you remember we call ourselves the cheese-heads).

Taking the rest of day two to lounge in the hotel for family time and much needed relaxation was the perfect way to gear up for our third day excursion to Bay Beach. This is no ordinary beach – this is a amusement park set up by the city in 1892 with lots of carnival rides for $.25 -$.50. My parents brought me as a child to this wonderful park that can make life long memories of a wonderful time. Just like the good old days you can watch your kids on a small train ride, little boats, fire trucks or swings. The day was filled with riding all the colorful rides and not hurting our wallet in the process. Bumper cars and a small roller coaster next to the bay made us a little hungry, but with the snack shop open we soon devoured burgers and fries. Keeping with nostalgia a ride on the Ferris wheel and merry-go round allowed me to get some priceless pictures of the little ones.

Ending our trip with more family time and a leisurely dinner was perfect. Green Bay has more than just family friendly attractions. It has beautiful hills full of trees and scenery that add to the breathtaking view of the bay. I don’t think anyone would regret spending time with their family, and this trip certainly proved it for me. We found a wonderful city in our home state and made life-long memories together. No big travel hassles, since we were packed safely in our own vehicle. No lines at airports or train stations. Not even a long trip since it is just a few hours from home. The world holds wonderful sights and magical places and I found a ‘hidden gem’ right in our own backyard.

About the Author: C Elizabeth Pergande likes to travel close to home. A mom of two little ones knows it is easy to go backpacking across western Europe. Her and her husband find joy in spending time with the family and friends by visiting new places nearby.

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