As longtime residents we appreciate the rich natural and cultural resources of Dodge County and surrounding villages of the Rock River Watershed. We raised our family here and are happy to offer ideas for seasonal area activities for all ages including dining, shopping, or day-trips designed for your specific interests. The list was created prior to Covid and we recommend calling ahead to learn whether the businesses have special visitation requirements or may be closed due to Covid. We welcome your continued input for keeping the Area Guide current!
Two kayaks, two canoes and a paddleboat are available to explore Prairie House’s more than one half mile
of Lake Sinissippi shoreline and marshy bays where great blue heron, white pelicans,
sandhill cranes, and resident bald eagles are frequently viewed.
Oxbo Marina https://www.oxbomarine.com/ rents pontoon boats on the lake and you can enjoy refreshments on the lake at the Oxbo Marina Tiki Hut, or at the Sinissippi Lake Pub which features a deck overlooking the lake with large screen tv's for sports fans, and great fish tacos. In winter, the Lake Sinissippi winter car races https://www.sinissippiiceracing.com/ take place right in front of the pub.
Hiking trails traverse the 120 acre property and wind around the garden/orchard, prairie, woods and naturalized shoreline of Lake Sinissippi. Migrating songbirds, white pelicans, sandhill crane, nesting blue heron and bald eagles on the west bay are frequently viewed from the house (spotting scope/binoculars and nature guides provided).
The spacious backyard with panoramic views of the prairie and east bay features:
Outdoor games including volleyball, croquet, badminton, bocce ball, and corn hole (beanbag toss).
Fire pit with adirondack chairs.
The Lannon stone veranda has an outdoor dining table with umbrella & weber gas grill/grill tools.
The Cedar screened porch overlooks the east bay and is a relaxing spot to hang out and listen to the woodland birds.
Observation deck with adirondack chairs extends into the prairie and overlooks the west bay where the eagles nest and is an inviting spot for sunbathing and sky watching.
The Prairie House grounds are ideal for snow shoes and hiking. Indoors there's a felt top card table with a variety of family board games and puzzles, pool table that converts to ping pong, or kick back and relax by the natural stone fireplace with vista views of the wintry landscape. Down-hill skiing, groomed cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails, ice skating, sledding hills, and old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh rides are all within 30 miles.
Groceries & Supplies
Piggly Wiggly: closest full service grocery in Juneau (10 mi); Casey's Gas Station (5 mi) small grocery section in Hustisford; Le Roy Meats, Ace Hardware, Dollar Store and Pharmacy in Horicon (10 mi); The Natural Way in Mayville (whole foods grocery and catering by Executive Chef Earl Gesling; MJ's mjsmarketandcatering.com, Piggly Wiggly, Walgreens and Wal-Mart open 24/7 in Hartford (15 mi); Hardware stores: Mikes Hardware in Hustisford (5 mi); Hardware Hank in Horicon (10 mi); Ace Hardware in Hartford (25 mi).
Nearby Recreational Activities I
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge www.horiconmarsh.org
The Horicon Marsh Education Center features miles of hiking trails, educational activities for all ages and ‘Movies at the Marsh’. It’s the largest freshwater cattail marsh in North America and the major flyway for hundreds of migratory birds. View events calendar at “Events and Activities” on the home page at: http://www.service-life.com/sysfiles/member/index_public.cfm?memberid=481
The Annual Horicon Marsh Bird Festival 2018 Great way to enjoy the Mother’s Day weekend each May. .
Blue Heron Landing. http://horiconmarsh.com/boat-tours/ Naturalist-guided pontoon boat tours of Horicon Marsh. Rents canoes and kayaks, gift store features locally made gifts for the garden/home (10 mi).
Pike Lake State Park http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pikelake/ Sand beach with swim area/boat rental/hiking trails through this scenic division of the Kettle Moraine State Forest with groomed cross country ski trails. (25 mi).
Erin Hills Golf Course. www.erinhills.com Championship golf course and home of the 2017 U.S. Open. (20 mi).
Washington County Golf Course (23 mi) 18 holes, 4.5 star rated www.golfwcgc.com
Rock River Hills Golf Course. 18 holes on the rock river in Horicon, restaurant (7 mi.) www.rockriverhills.com
Mayville Golf Course: Established 1930's - 18 holes, restaurant and bar, http://www.mayvillegolfcourse.com/
The American Club. www.americanclubresort.com/ Kohler. (60 mi).
Wild Goose State Trail www.dodgecounty.com/wildgoose.htm (2 mi) Cycle the countryside and around Horicon Marsh.
Expedition Supply www.expeditionsupply.com (Hartford, 20 mi) Bike Rentals: “home town shop with great personal service to help you find the right ski/snowboard/bicycle".
Outdoor Water Parks:
Horicon Aquatic Center www.horiconchamber.com/aquatic-center/
Family friendly outdoor water park with slides, shade and children’s water play area/shade umbrellas, next door to Discher Park with children's play equipment and up the street from an ice cream shop on the main street of Horicon (10 mi)
WatertownAquaticCenter www.ci.watertown.wi.us/departments/park_recreation_forestry/aquatic_center.php#.W1yF4thKhTY Large waterpark with slides, sand children's play area and volleyball pit (15 mi)
Noah’s Ark www.noahsarkwaterpark.com Premier Wisconsin Dells water park (60 mi)
Hartford Recreation Center http://ci.hartford.wi.us/Municipal_Depts/Recreation.htm
Gym/Weight Room/Exercise Classes and indoor Aquatic Center (20 mi).
TAG Center www.mayvilletagcenter.com (20 mi) Indoor water park, gym, and indoor track.
Discovery and Scenic Flights: https://www.wisconsinaviation.com/flight-school-rentals/discovery-scenic-flights in nearby Juneau Airport (10 mi) for a Birds Eye View of Wisconsin:
Little Switzerland - newly reopened in 2012 with restaurant, www.littleswitz.com located in Slinger (25 mi).
Sunburst Resort - www.skisunburst.com (50 mi,) popular with snowboarders.
Devil’s Head Resort - www.devilsheadresort.com (60 mi.).
Waterskiing: Our local waterski team, Sinissippi Ski Club has won national awards. Ski outings/lessons can be arranged upon request http://www.sinissippiwaterski.com/
Miniature Golf and Batting Cage: Loggers Park Sports Complex www.loggerspark.com/ in Richfield (45 mi).
Brisingamens Indoor Miniature Golf www.facebook.com/BrisingamensIndoorMiniatureGolf
Glow In The Dark Golf Course in Hartford (20 mi)
Indoor: Adventure Rock in Brookfield (40 mi),
Outdoor: Devil’s Lake State Park - get there via historic car ferry. Great for rock climbing and hiking, near Baraboo Circus and Museum (55mi.)
Bowling: Link to our local lanes: http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=bowling&find_loc=Dodge+County%2C+WI
Corn Maze/Petting Farm Homestead Animal Farm, well run themed corn maze and farm store with pumpkins with clues for the kids (featured Charlotte’s Web the year we went) and petting farm!
Fishing - www.stateparks.com/pike_lake.html For fishing enthusiasts carp and bullhead are caught mostly from
the Prairie House pier, and an occasional walleye, northern are caught mainly below the dam early in the
season in the nearby Village of Hustisford. Here are a couple of resources to help clarify the local fishery. http://www.lake-link.com/lakes/lake.cfm?LakeID=1144&View=Reviews
For gamefish, there are several lakes in the area such as Neosho Pond, Beaver Dam Lake www.beaverdamchamber.com, Lake La Belle, Fox Lake and Pike Lake State Park http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/pikelake/ (25 m)
Reef Point & Marina: www.reefpointresortwi.com Pike Lake marina and bar/restaurant (25 mi).
*Half Day and Full Day Game Fishing Outings at Green Lake can be arranged with a seasoned professional guide (45 mi).
Nitschke Mounds - County Park with over 40 ancient effigy mounds www.dodgecounty.com/parks.html
Other Seasonal Sports: Ice Skating (West Bend & Beaver Dam); Roller Skating (Watertown and West Bend).
Horseback Riding (Eagle).
Schauer Performing Arts Center: Our local performing arts center features world class performances, a Cabaret Series and wonderful fine arts classes for all ages www.schauercenter.org (20 mi.).
Wisconsin Automotive Museum: Gem of a museum right next door to the Schauer Center that features antique Kissels and Nash automobiles, and features an extensive Lionel Train Diorama http://wisconsinautomuseum.com/ (20 mi).
Pabst Theater: (60 mi)
Movie Theaters: Hartford (20 mi) http://schuberttheatres.com/
Menomenee Falls (35 mi) http://www.marcustheatres.com/theatre-locations/menomonee-falls-cinema-menomonee-falls
MOWA Museum of Wisconsin Art: www.wisconsinart.org Excellent regional art museum in West Bend (40 mi).
Columbus Antique Mall. www.columbusantiquemall.com (40 mi.) “Wisconsin’s Largest Antique Mall” where dealers shop for their finds, and don’t miss Julie’s Java House by the railroad tracks - featuring great local coffee and treats.
EAA AirVenture Convention www.airventure.org Experimental Aircraft Association annual air show, in Oshkosh with a fabulous EAA Museum, WI (70 mi.).
Honey Acres www.honeyacres.com Unique honey museum/gift shop.
Old World Wisconsin http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org
Stroll back in time at this outdoor folk museum where you can explore 19th century immigrant living and try your hand at old world skills like rug braiding, blacksmithing, cow milking, or carding wool.
Taliesin https://www.taliesinpreservation.org/ and Shakespeare at the outdoor American Players Theater in Spring Green are a lovely day trip. For dining we recommend Driftless Depot (farm to table delicacies - need to order in advance) or Freddy Valentine’s (in an old bank).
Ten Chimneys www.tenchimneys.org Wisconsin estate created by Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne open to the public as a world-class house museum.
Road America: hosts NASCAR exFinity and other road races (50 mi) Elkhart Lake, www.roadamerica.com
Edwin Brix Vineyard:
City Lights Brewery: iconic Milwaukee brewery/pub with occasional live music and brewery tours. http://citylightsbrewing.com/our-story/#about
Cold Spring Inn and Vineyard www.coldspringinn.com Wine tasting by appointment - near beautiful Holy Hill.
Cedar Creek Winery www.cedarcreekwinery.com Cedarburg (many galleries/boutiques/restaurants) (60 mi)
Vino Etc. Wine Bar www.oconomowocwinebar.com Oconomowoc has many lovely galleries/boutiques/restaurants) (30 mi)
State fairs are a wonderful way to experience local culture and cuisine such as cream puffs, funnel cakes and deep-fried maple bacon cookie dough. Our local Dodge County State Fair and Washington County State Fair are within 45 mi. and the Wisconsin State Fair is an hour away. Milwaukee Holiday Folk Fair http://folkfair.org/contact/ takes place at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds.
Farmers Markets and Local Whole Foods
and any of the local farmers markets such as Hustisford, Hartford, Horicon, West Bend.
Back to the Best organic grocery located at Siegmann family farm (15 mi), Organic Grocery on Highway 60 in Slinger (35 m), Rainbows End (15 m) family owned farm with produce/meats/honey and farm tours; Piggly Wiggly organic section in Juneau (15 mi), or County Market organic section in Hartford (25 mi). Whole Foods or Outpost Natural Foods ((60 mi),
Fall Colors: Holy Hill Carmelite Monastery www.holyhill.com (35 mi) and Pike Lake State Park Observation Tower (25 mi by car and a short hike).
Bookstores - Tribecca Cafe (15 mi) www.tribecagallerycafe.com/ in Watertown, Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books in Brookfield (60 mi),
Milwaukee/Madison and Beyond: Cultural opportunities of Milwaukee and Madison are within an hour’s drive.
Memorable day trips include:
Milwaukee Art Museum www.mam.org
Baseball at Miller Park: https://www.mlb.com/brewers/ballpark (60 mi)
Basketball at BMO Harris Bradley Center: https://www.bmoharrisbradleycenter.com/ (60 mi)
Milwaukee Public Museum https://www.mpm.edu/.
Discovery Museum overlooking Lake Michigan
Betty Brinn Children's Museum http://www.bbcmkids.org/
Milwaukee Zoo http://www.milwaukeezoo.org/
Harley Davidson Museum www.harley-davidson.com/us/en/museum.html
Waterfront Festivals like Irish Fest and Summer Fest.
State Capitol Tours - http://tours.wisconsin.gov/pub/Content.aspx?p=Capitol%20Tour
Henry Vilas Zoo (free admission - lovely strolling grounds on Lake Wingra)
Dane County Farmers Market - Capitol Square www.madfarmmkt.org (50 mi.)
State Historic Society Museum
Local Activities Especially For Kids
Website that features fun local summer recreational activities for kids: www.activekids.com
Online Visitor Guides and Chamber of Commerce links
Travel Wisconsin www.travelwisconsin.com/Local Event Calendar
Discover Dodge County www.dodgecounty.com Dodge County visitor guide
Dodge County Park information, maps, 24 hour winter trail status http://www.co.dodge.wi.us/landresources/contact/deptstaff.html
Hustisford Village Information: www.hustisford.com/
Horicon Chamber of Commerce: www.horiconchamber.com/
Hartford Chamber of Commerce: www.hartfordchamber.org/
Mayville Chamber of Commerce: www.mayvillechamber.com/
Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce: www.oconomowoc.org/
Watertown Chamber of Commerce:
Hustisford (5 mi)
Mocha Vino: https://www.facebook.com/mochavinollc/
The Mercantile - charming gift store features locally made products; closest Post Office; Mocha Vino internet cafe with excellent selection of coffees, teas, wines, desserts and ice cream! Diane's Family Diner with Friday fish fry;
Mike’s Hardware - Mike provides old-fashioned service in a restored 3rd generation hardware store for all your hardware and misc. needs;
Heaven Sent Soaps http://www.naturemade-heavenscentsoap.com/
Once in a Blue Moon (formerly Joan's Country Cookin’) - Classic country breakfast diner with old-fashioned hospitality;
Sinissippi Lake Pub https://www.facebook.com/sinissippilakepub/ - Features a full pub menu - sit at tables, the bar with widescreen tv's, or dine on the deck overlooking the lake.
Oxbo Marine: www.facebook.com/OxBoMarine/ Outdoor pub and music venue overlooking Lake Sinissippi - pull your boat up and enjoy snacks and dance to bands featured on Sundays throughout the summer.
Horicon (15 mi) www.horiconchamber.com/2033/custom/36758
Horicon Aquatic Center is a family-friendly water park up the street from the ice cream shop and next door to Discher park playground.
Blue Heron Landing https://horiconmarsh.com/ features naturalist guided pontoon tours of the marsh and a gift shop;
Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center https://www.horiconmarsh.org/ features miles of hiking trails with spectacular wildlife viewing, Exploratorium for kids, naturalist talks and walks, and a gift shop.
Leroy’s Meats www.leroymeats.com features a wonderful selection of meats, fish, cheeses, assorted grocery items, and ready-made entrees.
Hartford (20 mi)
Perc Place - Artistic wifi cafe (even the bathrooms are a work of art) and restaurant with fabulous home-cooked cuisine that serves breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Scoop DeVille - old-fashioned soda shop with home made ice cream, old time candy, local farm products.
Mine Shaft with family dining, karaoke bar, and 'the largest state of the art game room in the Midwest'.
Fox and Hounds- sister restaurant to Mine Shaft with a romantic flare nestled in the hills near Holy Hill
Kates Kloset - Features women’s clothing and accessories with elegance and flare owned and operated by a talented textile artist who does commissioned work;
Faith and Giggles across the street features inspirational gifts and cards for all ages,
Schauer Arts and Activities Center with world class performers/performing arts classes.
Wisconsin Automotive Museum showcasing transportation history of classic vintage autos - features the Kissel manufactured in Hartford, Nash, and 100 cars from around the world and an impressive vintage Lionel Train Diorama!
Holy Hill Monastery: Inspiring landmark situated on the highest point in the surrounding counties in the rolling hills of Erin. Don't miss the fabulous views from the bell tower on a clear day!
Hartford Movie Theatre, Hartford Recreation Center, Creative License (paint your own greenware).
Oconomowoc: (30 mi) Lake LaBelle with sand beach, art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, Vino Etc. Wine tasting bar, and The Depot restaurant.
Mayville Country Club - golf and dine with beautiful views of the countryside.
The Natural Way - health food store and vegan restaurant, farm to table cuisine.
Watertown: Mullens Dairy Bar http://www.watertownhistory.org/articles/Mullens.htm old fashioned ice cream shoppe; boutiques; Watertown Aquatic Center; TriBecca Cafe and Books;
West Bend: (40) West Bend Regional Art Museum, Timmers on Big Cedar Lake (great Sunday Brunch), Cafe Sourette (features locally sourced food); 'The Norbert: upbeat small plate tapas, craft cocktails and occasional live music; About Thyme has a fine assortment of gifts and kitchen supplies; Ninja Japanese Steak House (skilled chefs grill the food at your table in an entertaining style).
Theresa: Widmer Cheese factory tours www.widmerscheese.com (25 mi).
Joel’s Confections - local made confections/chocolates & soda shop in Theresa: http://www.confectionsbyjoel.com
Beaver Dam: Annual Beaver Dam Chili Pepper Festival (celebrating the heirloom Beaver Dam chili pepper); antique stores and YMCA,
Leroys Meats in Horicon has a great variety of fresh and dried meats, frozen entrees, local cheeses, smoked salmon, and a small grocery. They do a great job with catering specializing in barbecue.
The Natural Way: Farm to Table Restaurant and Catering in Mayville: https://www.facebook.com/The-Natural-Way-Mayville-WI-531650123528380/ Earl Gesling, Executive Chef
M & J’s Market: http://www.mjsmarketandcatering.com (20 mi) M & J's caters many local events and has a deli counter.
Zilli’s Catering: www.zillihospitalitygroup.com catering in the Milwaukee metro area.
Perc Place: fabulous homemade desserts/lunch/dinner/soups in downtown Hartford (20 mi)
Angie B’s Subs
Party Equipment and Supplies
Equipment Rentals Inc. in Hartford (20 mi) http://www.eqrents.com/
Doug’s Jeweler - Over 35 years of quality customer service in downtown Hartford (20 mi)
B’s Bouquets: https://www.bsbouquets.com/ Family business/local grower with beautiful wholesale flowers at bargain prices.
Vibrant sunflowers, gladiolas, fragrant lillies, snapdragons, zinnias and dried flowers sold separately or arranged into bouquets at a bargain price. You can visit her farm in Slinger or buy fresh bouquets at the Saturday Hartford farmer’s market.
Wedding Photography - allisonwilliamsphoto.com Masterful wedding photographer who specializes in classic/modern documentary wedding photography.