Summer Fun in Downtown Appleton with Kids

What can you do with your kids in downtown this summer? Here are some great ideas!

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  • Kids love The Building For Kids Children’s Museum on rainy summer days or when they have just had a little too much sunshine and need a break!
  • The Summer Reading Program at the Appleton Public Library offers something for pre-schoolers, grade schoolers, and even middle schoolers.
  • Buy a Valley Transit Freedom pass and let the bus chauffeur your kids.  Go to and click on the Valley Transit link on the bottom of the page.
  • Enjoy open studio hours, concert drop-ins, classes and camps at Miativity Room and unleash your creative side.
  • Spread a blanket on the ground and have a picnic at Houdini Plaza during a Lunchtime Live concert every Thursday 11:30am-1pm.
  • Check out the Kids Market  and special activities in Houdini Plaza on the third Saturday of the month during the Farm Market 8am-12:30pm.
  • Go crazy at Crazy Sweet’s Jelly Belly display where you can get 24 different flavors of jelly beans.
  • Mile of Music’s Mile 2 will feature even more free, hands-on music making activities and workshops for ALL festival-goers Aug. 7-10!
  • Enjoy an outdoor movie in Houdini Plaza as part of the “Summer of Suess”   July 23 — How the Grinch Stole Christmas (26 min),  August 20 — The Lorax (86 min), and August 13 — Horton Hears a Who (86 min)
  • The playground at Jones Park offers fun during the Heid Music Summer Concerts on July 31 and August 28.   (Hint:  Bring a blanket for them to lie on after they have burned off energy on the playground.)
  • Chalk On The Town offers special kids’ activities in Houdini Plaza on July 18 from 2-5pm including sidewalk chalk, story time and face painting.
  • Kids age 12 & under can march in costume, decorate bikes or wagons–anything non-motorized in the 6th Annual Downtown Appleton Children’s Parade on July 23 at 6pm.  Register for free by July 15 at the Building For Kids’ website.
  • The Paper Discovery Center offers exciting kids’ activities all summer long providing a fun way to learn!


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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!

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