New Year's Eve In Wisconsin: A MapQuest Guide
On New Year's Eve in Wisconsin, locals and visitors revel in the possibilities of the months to come. From ball drops to fireworks to First Night activities, every locale rings in the new year a little differently. As part of NewYearsQuest -- a MapQuest guide to the best New Year's Eve sights and sounds in the U.S. and in major cities around the world -- here are three recommended events for New Year's Eve 2011 in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin New Year's Eve Events Map
U.S. Bank Eve
U.S. Bank Eve in Madison, Wisconsin, takes revelers around the area for dancing and kid-friendly festivities from 6 to 10 p.m. The U.S. Bank Plaza in downtown Madison is New Year's Eve Central, with a Holiday Trolley, complimentary hot chocolate and a "kiddie countdown." After that, guests can wander over to the Madison Children's Museum for sing-alongs and crafts, or see a magic show and use the Olin Terrace/UW Space Place telescopes at Monona Terrace, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed community center. At Olbrich Botanical Gardens, about three miles from downtown, visitors can see the "Holiday Express: Flower and Model Train Show," and Kwanzaa presentations each hour from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets, in advance, are $5 for adults, $3 for children aged 5 to 15 and free for children 4 and younger. Family passes are also available at a discounted price.
Door County Trolley
Stay out of the way of raucous New Year's Eve partiers by taking the Dec. 31 Winter Wonderland Trolley Tour & Sleigh Ride through the "thumb" of Wisconsin, Door County. The heated trolley takes guests on a tour of the area and to a tasting at a Door County winery. Then, the sleigh ride (remember to dress warm!) heads through the winter landscape. A fireside restaurant lunch tops off the trip. Tickets for the five-hour package are $60 per person. Visitors will be well-rested for the Jan. 1 Frosty Fest in Egg Harbor, with a New Year's Day parade, Icy Fun Run and snow sculpting.
Grandad Bluff Park Fireworks
The western Wisconsin city of La Crosse, on the Mississippi River, is home to what's billed as "the oldest community-sponsored fireworks show in the nation" on New Year's Eve. Grandad Bluff Park, a well-known scenic overlook of the Mississippi Valley, has been the site of the Skyrockers show every Dec. 31 since 1929. There is a 6 p.m. display for the younger set and a midnight fireworks extravaganza to welcome the new year. Dress warm to watch the show outdoors; radio and television stations broadcast countdowns to the show.
New Year's Eve In Wisconsin: Video
Follow news coverage of the New Year's Eve fireworks at Grandad Bluff Park.
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Interested in more stories about Wisconsin? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.