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10 unique things to do outside in Wisconsin this summer


Farm pizza, adult summer camp, shipwrecks, Shakespeare in the Park, tree climbing, farmers' markets, Lake Michigan scuba diving, movies under bridges, spooky nighttime tours, 32-foot slides, kayaking. What else could you want? Seriously.
Pizza Nights on a Wisconsin Farm

A road trip and the freshest pizza you'll ever have. It's a bit of a drive from Milwaukee (4.5 hours) but AtoZ Produce and Bakery, a massive family-owned farm in Stockholm, Wisconsin, has Pizza Nights every Tuesday, 4:30pm to 8pm. Literally every pizza ingredient (down to stone-milled flour) comes from the farm. After the toppings are collected, the 'za is fired in their brick ovens. You can picnic on the farm or take your pizza to go.

If you decide to picnic, bring your own gear -- blankets, chairs, utensils, pizza bibs, soft drinks (the farm sells beer and wine). Summer is in full-swing and AtoZ has a little chart on their site that lays out the summer months. Pizza nights go until October 25, though, praise be.

June: "Summer begins. June is dramatically calmer than July. A 30-40 minute wait at peak times."
July: "Starts to feel like a county fair. Come prepared to wait an hour or two."
August: "The last hurrah of summer. Come prepared to wait an hour or two."
Adult Summer Camp

Camp Halcyon: a three-day adult summer camp equipped with cabins, tall trees and that toasty smoke-smell that lingers in your hair after you turn marshmallows over a bonfire. Based in Wautoma, Wisconsin, Camp Halcyon is the adult twist on the overnight camp you used to attend as a kid. The camp is July 7th - 10th and there are legit so many activities...canoeing, kayaking, sailing, beach volleyball, archery, disc golf, bubble soccer, BBQ bootcamp, yoga on the beach, cigars & scotch 101, beermaking presented by Northern Brewer and tons more.

Also included in your camp fee: nightly Campfire Lounge and Cocktail Bar presented by Boone & Crockett Milwaukee, three chef-prepared meals per day, an after-hours food bar, nightly s’more bar and adult beverages. There will be food available 24 hours a day. (Bless)
Wisconsin Shipwrecks & Scuba Diving in Lake Michigan

It's 1901. The Appomattox, the largest wooden bulk steamer ever constructed on the Great Lakes, is making its way to Milwaukee's shores. Loaded with coal, it hits a dense wall of fog and industrial smoke, then runs aground in a rocky bottom near Shorewood. Unable to be salvaged by rescue crews, the damaged vessel bubbles to the bottom of Lake Michigan. Today, its green skeleton lies in 17 feet of water, approximately 150 yards off Atwater Beach.

Why should you care? 'Cause you can go see the dang thing, right now.

AJ Dive Charters organizes scuba diving excursions all over the Milwaukee area for people interested in Wisconsin's many shipwrecks. The Appomattox is on their visiting list and it's perfect for first time divers or snorkelers because of the relatively swallow location.

Shakespeare in the Park

An intimate setting and the Milwaukee skyline as your backdrop -- this is a magical outdoor theater experience. Shakespeare in the Park series takes off again this summer with a performance of Julius Caesar, a comedic tragedy focusing on conflicting concepts of honor, patriotism and friendship. It will most likely be taking place at the Selig-Joseph-Folz Amphitheater again this year. Check back on their website as the summer progresses, more details to come.
Tree Climbing 

This concept is based on personal opinion and experience, but I've had some good luck finding prime tree-climbing trees already this summer. Back Bay Park is tucked in a quiet corner on the East Side. It's framed with thick vegetation and ripe with solid tree-specimens. Also, the park is perched high above the lake and from the treetops it looks like an ocean.
Dane County Farmer's Market

Takes place with our dear neighbor, Madison, WI in Capitol Square. The Dane County Farmers' Market is reported to be the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country. This means that all items are produced by the members behind the tables. There are a bunch of times and locations throughout the season, so click here to stay up to date.

The most popular gatherings are on Saturdays, which bring hundreds of interested customers each week. Saturdays in Capitol Square this summer are from 6am to 2pm.

I went during the tail-end of a Saturday last year. I can still picture the fresh beef jerky I passed up thinking, "I'll buy it later." Well, the crowd there is a mass that moves like a river. If you see some cheese curds that make your cheeks water, just stop immediately and buy them. Trust me. This farmers' market isn't a joke, people.

Bike-In Movie Series

Do you know The Swing Park under Holton Bridge? It becomes a mini movie theater at 8pm every third Friday of the month. Bike in or walk up, the Milwaukee Bike-In Movie Series features cult films and Hollywood titles for free. Sponsored by Connect 53212, the movies series invites everyone to enjoy the following screenings.

June 17: Turbo Kid
July 15: Labyrinth
August 19: Straight Outta Compton
September 16: Back to the Future
October 21: Donnie Darko

The Milwauking Dead Tour

Want a little October in your June? Hangman Tours have a zombie-like outdoor experience called The Milwauking Dead. You'll walk through Milwaukee's history at nighttime, learning about the spooky and odd deaths from City Hall suicides and hotel fires and many more. This tour is around 90 minutes and totally outside, Thursday through Saturday, 8pm.
32-Foot Slide in Fox River Park

The title is self-explanatory.

Kayaking on the Milwaukee River 

The Milwaukee Kayak Company just formed two years ago and they've got a great selection of water-based vessels for your summer enjoyment. Make a reservation and slide through the skyscrapers at your own pace. Otherwise, if you'd rather have a sense of structure, they host Moonlight Guided Paddle outings and other social daytime events.