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Inexpensive Activities That Will Delight Your Whole Family During Winter Break

family ice skating

Finding inexpensive, engaging activities during the week between Christmas and New Years is challenging for many families. But if you will be spending the holidays Up North, there is no shortage of fun, family-friendly events to keep everyone happy and busy all week long. Here is a roundup of events taking place in communities throughout northern Wisconsin that your family will love.


December 26

Sphero Drop-In Play · Demmer Memorial Library · Three Lakes · 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What are Spheros, you ask? They’re little robots that you control using a tablet. Drop in to learn more and have fun! You might just discover a budding interest in robotics.

Open Youth Archery · YMCA of the Northwoods · Rhinelander · 1 to 3 p.m.

Youth in grades 3 through 8 are welcome to participate in this free event. All equipment is provided, but space is limited. Come give archery a try. You might find your new favorite sport! Instructors will be available to offer guidance and answer questions. For more information, call (715) 362-9622 or visit www.ymcaofthenorthwoods.org.


December 27

Free Snowshoe Day · North Lakeland Discovery Center · Manitowish Waters · 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be snowshoes available for free use on-site at North Lakeland Discovery Center on Friday, December 27. Take delight in the scenic nature trails, all dressed up in white. Snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance registration isn’t necessary; come to the Nature Nook to check them out.

Winter Family Play Day · North Lakeland Discovery Center · Manitowish Waters · 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free drop-in activities offer the whole family with a day of fun, as part of the Marvel in Manitowish Waters event. Compete in winter scavenger hunts, build snow critters, make crafts, and jingle all the way on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy grounds of North Lakeland Discovery Center. If you get cold, for $5 you can warm up with a bowl of delicious chili at the annual Chili Cook-Off from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and cast your vote for your favorite. Registration isn’t required, but it is helpful! Please register by calling (715) 543-2085.

The Polar Express · Minocqua Public Library · Minocqua · 4 to 6 p.m.

Come punch your ticket, decorate your own train car, and enjoy holiday goodies while you watch The Polar Express. You can even wear pajamas (if you’d like) and bring your own pillows and blankets. And after the movie, you’ll get to take part in the train car parade. This event is recommended for school-aged children and their families. All aboard!


December 28

Winter Arty Party · Land O’ Lakes Arts · Land O’ Lakes · 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stop by on Saturday, December 28, to create and play at LOLA. There will be paper, paint, glitter, glue and other supplies available. Artists will be available to lend a helping hand to help you make your imaginative ideas into your next masterpiece. There is no need to register for this drop-in event. The whole family is welcome. Please bring a $5 donation for each participant; this will include art supplies as well as snacks and beverages.

YA Escape Room · Demmer Memorial Library · Three Lakes · 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Teens, come to the library with a friend. Solve puzzles and brainteasers to see if you can free yourself from Demmer Memorial Library’s homemade escape room!

Candlelit Snowshoe Hike · North Lakeland Discovery Center · Manitowish Waters · 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Come to be enchanted by evening snowshoe hike on North Lakeland Discovery Center’s two-mile snowshoe trail with beautiful luminaries paving the way. You can bring your own snowshoes or rent them for $3 a pair (limited quantities available). Afterward, warm up with hot chocolate, s’mores, and a bonfire. The cost of this event is $7 per person.


December 29

Winter Demo Day · WinMan Trails · Winchester · 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Curious about what it’s like to ride a fat bike? Come and try this fun way to get out on the trails! At this event, you’ll get to try out fat bikes from local shops and ride with the WinMan Trails Crew, who will be leading group rides. If you already own a fat bike, you can still join the fun! Try different brands—including Specialized Bicycles, Cannondale, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, Trek, Surly, KHS, Giant, Salsa, NORCO, and KHS Bicycles. Ride the gorgeous Northwoods trails and enjoy delicious treats. The Texas Fire Pit and guest chefs will be serving stew and other goodies. A bonfire will be going all day, and the trails will be open for skiing, fat biking, and snowshoeing. WinMan merchandise will also be for sale during the event, and all proceeds will go toward trail building and maintenance.


December 30

Free Open Skate · Langlade County Fairgrounds Multi-Purpose Building · Antigo · 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Antigo Area Youth Hockey Association and City of Antigo Park & Rec Department offer free open skates throughout the year. Open skates are free with the donation of a canned good. There is a limited supply of skates available to use during the open skate, but they must be returned at the end of the open skate.

Usual and Unusual Pets · Rhinelander District Library · Rhinelander · 2 to 3 p.m.

Do you have an animal lover in your family? We’ve got an event for you! Kids of all ages can interact with all kinds of pets that Jennifer Marshall from Northwoods Pets will bring to the library.






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