81 Things To Do in Downtown Appleton

Downtown Appleton is full of fun and interesting things to do. Here is a list of ideas. Share your own things to do list below in the comments.


Eat & Drink

  1. Get a New York Style bagel from Bageliscious
  2. Check out Appletons’ two breweries :  Stone Cellar Brew Pub or Appleton Beer Factory
  3. Try a coffee treat from Copper Rock
  4. Be wined & dined at Lombardi’s Steak House while soaking in a little Green Bay Packer history
  5. Try the Orchard’s soup and salad bar in the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel
  6. Try some wienerschnitzel at Old Bavarian restaurant
  7. Bite into a homemade cookie at CSI
  8. Enjoy a gyros/kabob from Josefs
  9. Try to eat an entire meal at Victoria’s Italian Cuisine
  10. Buy some Spat’s Sauce at Spats Tav on Ave. and enjoy that delicious taste at home
  11. Have a Red Devil from Jim’s Place
  12. Enjoy some wings from The Bar on The Avenue
  13. Try a new beer at Fox River House
  14. Have a martini at Deja Vu
  15. Drink wine from a mason jar at CU Saloon
  16. Enjoy a Dirty Snowball at Cleo’s Brown Beam Bar
  17. Indulge in a Luther Burger at the Mad Hatter Pub & Grill
  18. Enjoy a Bloody Mary at Bazil’s Pub recently awarded the best Absolut Vodka Bloody Mary in Wisconsin
  19. Enjoy a slice of pizza at Sal’s.  Hint:  try the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella & feta cheese pizza a customer favorite!
  20. Enjoy a Frank’s “Special” Pizza with fresh mushrooms on a Tuesday night so you can listen to Big Band music at the same time.
  21. Try the Afghan menu at Queen Bee available only on Thursdays.
  22. Enjoy an ethnic meal at one of the 14 ethnic restaurants Downtown. Choose from italian, thai, chinese, japanese, greek, Mexican or afghan.
  23. Enjoy a frosting shot from Fat Girlz’ Bakin…just 50 cents each!  Or splurge on the whole cupcake.
  24. Taste a cheese you’ve never tried before at Green Gecko Grocer & Deli. Ask for serving suggestions and surprise yourself.
  25. Try Just Act Naturals new food selections
  26. Why not try Beer Tasting at Bazil’s Pub
  27. Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day or any day you’d like the luck of the Irish with a Guinness or black & tan at McGuinness Irish Pub or Durty Leprechaun.

Shop ‘til you Drop

  1. Check the humorous card selection at Vagabond Imports or Angels Forever- Windows o Light
  2. Take in the aromas at Eco Candle Co.
  3. Get a new hair style downtown  at a variety of salons.
  4. Buy a book at Pages and Pipes.
  5. Visit 3 stores you haven’t been to yet.  Hint:  7 new stores opened in 2013.
  6. Baby Showers are a cinch when you shop at Bellybeans, Just Act Natural or Blue Moon Emporium.
  7. Ladies – splurge on a great pair of jeans at hey, daisy, Adore or J. Hawkinson Clothiers!
  8. Fancy just the right instrument to write with?  Try Anderson Pen.
  9. Looking for sheet music from classical to popular?  Heid Music has it plus a whole lot more!

Great Indoors

  1. Attend a City council meeting
  2. Enjoy an overnight stay at the Copperleaf Boutique Hotel & Spa with your own fireplace and in-room whirlpool!
  3. Get a massage …The YMCA, Massage Connection, Spa Ben Mar Nico, Shear Chaos Salon, Sunflower Spa.
  4. Take a yoga class in Empower Yoga’s heated studio.  Or try Globally Sound Yoga if you prefer a moderate temperature.
  5. Visit the Paper Discovery Center and find out more about something we all take for granted.
  6. If you have kids, visit the Building For Kids Children’s Museum and enjoy the best of exhibits from around the Midwest.
  7. Saturdays are for the Indoor Farmer’s Market
  8. Sit at Fratello’s Waterfront Restaurant or Atlas Coffee Mill enjoying a beverage and watching the river and the birds.  You may even see a few eagles!
  9. Have a new portrait of yourself taken at one of the fine photographers Downtown; Be Gallery, MC Kinnery, Rueckl & Bold Studio or Trove Photography.

Artsy and Entertaining

  1. Get a new tattoo from Eye Candy Ink or Colts’ Timeless Tattoos
  2. Attend an event or two at the P.A.C.:  Broadway Show, Arts Alive Series, dance, plays and concerts
  3. Get to a comedy show at Skyline Comedy Café and get ready to laugh!
  4. Play NTN trivia at Wooden Nickel
  5. Marvel at the dueling pianos at Knotted Piano Bar
  6. Play a game of pool at Sharks club
  7. Get your old photos/movies put on a CD at Murray Photo
  8. Watch a Packer show at the Clubhouse
  9. Visit the Food Who We Are and What We Eat exhibit at the History Museum At The Castle
  10. Visit the Collections exhibit at the Trout Museum of Art
  11. Wander through Coventry Glassworks & Gallery where some piece of art is sure to speak to you.  They carry everything from stained glass to painting to jewelry to sculpture and everything in between
  12. Play a game of skeeball at Fox River House and relive your younger days.
  13. Attend a wine tasting at Flanagan’s Wine Review or Green Gecko Grocer & Deli.  You are sure to learn something new.
  14. Attend a Concert. Choose a free one at Heid Music or one of the Girl Choir, Boy Choir, newVoices concerts or Fox Valley Symphony.
  15. Attend one event at Lawrence University.
  16. Choose from movies, coffee house shows, plays, dances, concerts, art shows, speakers and more.
  17. Attend one event at the Appleton Public Library.  Choose from movies, concerts, speakers, creative craft classes and more.
  18. Take an art class and unleash your creative side.  Choose from classes at The Fire, Miativity Room, the Trout Museum of Art, Paper Discovery Center, Atlas Coffee Mill, Blue Moon Emporium, Coventry Glassworks and more.
  19. Take a painting class at Jim’s Place.
  20. Make something at The Fire.  You can give it as a gift or keep it for yourself to remind yourself to create!
  21. Listen to live music.  Free or with very minimal cover charge at coffee shops and bars on the weekends.
  22. Attend an Open Mind night at Harmony Cafe .  You never know what you’ll hear, but it will make you think.
  23. Attend Jazz at the Trout!
  24. Visit the Wriston Gallery on the Lawrence University Campus
  25. Nostalgic: Ride the Zuelke Building elevator and imagine a uniformed doorman announcing each floor

Summer Fun

  1. Take a walk! you will discover something new about downtown every time!
  2. Meander through the Downtown Appleton Farm Market.  You’re sure to run into a few friends as well as satisfying your fresh, local food cravings!
  3. Jump on the Lamers Trolley
  4. Attend Art on the Town
  5. Have a picnic at Houdini Plaza during Lunchtime Live concert
  6. Play a round of golf at Reid Muni Golf Course
  7. Volunteer at a downtown event. (concerts,farm market, Mile of Music, parade etc.)
  8. Get lunch from a food truck/cart
  9. Enjoy the Beirgarden at FRH
  10. Watch the river flow from Fratello’s Waterfront or Atlas Coffee Mill
  11. Rock on at the Heid Music Summer Concerts

Did you see a great idea that’s not on this list?  Please add it to the comments below!

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There's so much to like about Downtown Appleton. Thanks to its 60+ distinctive shops ... 50+ casual, fine dining and ethnic restaurants... nearly 30 pubs, clubs and live music hot spots ... a leading performing arts center and world-class visual arts gallery ... family-friendly activities and attractions ... a variety of coffee shops and gathering places ... PLUS Northeast Wisconsin's best events, Downtown Appleton is a favorite destination for many -- and it just keeps getting better and better!

6 thoughts on “81 Things To Do in Downtown Appleton”

  1. Bold Studio doesn’t exist. It’s a Salon, Located above Be Gallery. It’s a Davines Salon and the stylists are VERY talented!

    1. Actually Downtown Appleton is fortunate enough to have BOLD Salon at 207 1/2 W. College Ave. as you described it and a photography studio called Rueckl & Bold Studio, on the corner of Morrison & Washington St.

  2. Also stop in at Top Spins and find that one if a kind vintage record and other hard to find musical items…..

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