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Feel free to bring the kids in tow next time you book a trip to Northwoods Wisconsin. The area boasts plenty of family-friendly activities, and here we’ve rounded up the five best things to do:
1. Head to Sayner/St. Germain. The Corner Store in Sayner serves scoops of ice cream so generous the cones can barely contain them. Located at the trailhead of the Sayner/St. Germain bike trail, kids can cycle off the sugar rush before riding horses or go-carts at Elmer’s Fun Park, mingling with deer and llama at Weber’s Wildlife Bar and Animal Park, or catching a twice-weekly water ski show on Plum Lake.
2. Explore Minocqua Winter Park. A 6,500-acre winter playground, Winter Park makes Minocqua a year-round destination. Kids love the 600-foot snow-tubing slope, and adults love the handle-tow lift that pulls them all back up again. There’s also ice skating on Chip Wulff Memorial Pond, 45 miles of cross country ski trails and two dedicated snowshoe loops through ponds, swamps, rivers and islands.
3. Attend the American Birkebeiner. Located 20 miles north of Hayward in Cable, Wisconsin, the roughly 55-mile Birkie Trail system is best known for its signature event, the American Birkebeiner. Every February 10,000 cross-country skiers compete in the largest cross country ski marathon in North America, and scores more turn out to cheer them all on.
4. Go see a Fred Scheer’s lumberjack show. Located in Woodruff and Hayward and as seen on ESPN, world champion log rollers and lumberjacks compete and perform in this “Olympics of the forest.” At once funny and thrilling, the one-hour shows target kids with contests and comedy, and still manage to sneak in some education about Northern Wisconsin’s substantial logging history.
5. Make your way to the World Championship Snowmobile Derby. Eagle River is the Snowmobile Capitol of the World, with 600 snowmobile clubs and 500 miles of groomed trails. Every January 30,000 spectators flock to the Eagle River Derby racetrack to watch 1,400 contestants zoom, chase, jump and slice around the oval track, a sort of NASCAR on ice.