Green Bay: Recreation
The recently expanded, 25,000 square-foot Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame was moved to the Lambeau Field atrium as part of the newly renovated stadium project. One of Green Bay's most popular attractions, the museum has trophies, memorabilia, and mementos of the Green Bay Packers, including the Vince Lombardi collection and displays on the club's league championships and Super Bowl victories; tours of Lambeau Field are also available. The 40-acre Heritage Hill State Historical Park features furnished historical buildings grouped according to four heritage themes: pioneer, small town, military, and agricultural. Among them are a 1762 fur trader's cabin, a reproduction of Wisconsin's first courthouse, Wisconsin's oldest standing house, Fort Howard buildings dating from the 1830s, and a Belgian farmhouse.
Hazelwood, a home built by Morgan L. Martin, president of the second Wisconsin Constitutional Convention, dates from 1837 and contains the table on which Wisconsin's constitution was drafted. The National Railroad Museum is a locomotive museum that exhibits locomotives and cars from the steam and diesel eras, including "Big Boy," one of the world's largest locomotives. Special attractions are U.S. Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower's World War II staff train and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's traveling car. Other popular attractions are Oneida Bingo and the NEW Zoo, a life science institute that seeks to enhance visitors' understanding of animal life and its relationship to ecological systems.
Many visitors to Green Bay like to take a side trip to Door County, 90 minutes north; it offers miles of shoreline, state parts, and lighthouses, and is home to many artists and craftspersons.
Arts and Culture
The Green Bay Symphony performs a six-concert season at the new Edward W. Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Both classic and modern plays, ballet, musical events, and nationally touring musical acts are featured at the beautifully-restored Meyer Theater, a 1,000-seat member of the League of Historic American Theaters. The Civic Music Association sponsors visiting artists. St. Norbert College hosts a performing Arts Series and college theater productions, and the Weidner Center also hosts a variety of entertainments, including ballet performances and Broadway musicals. Concerts and ice shows take place at the Resch Center and Brown County Veterans Memorial Complex.
Brown County's Neville Public Museum houses six galleries of art, natural history, and science exhibits; the "On the Edge of the Inland Sea" exhibit traces 13,000 years of northeast Wisconsin history. The Oneida Nation Museum captures the history of the Oneida Utopian community's life after it moved from New York to Wisconsin.
Festivals and Holidays
Artstreet is Green Bay's annual celebration of the performing and visual arts, held in the downtown district. Other annual celebrations include Arti Gras, Bayfest, Celebrate Americafest, the Oneida Indian Pow Wow, Brown County Fair, the Wet Whistle Wine Festival and Ethnic Festival in September, the Terror on the Fox Haunted House and Train Ride in October, and the Holiday Parade.
Sports for the Spectator
The Green Bay Packers, the oldest modern professional football team, enjoy one of the most heralded histories in professional sports; the team plays in the National Football Conference of the National Football League. They compete at home at Lambeau Field against perennial rivals—the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Minnesota Vikings. Playing in by far the smallest city in the entire NFL, the Packers are the local passion and enjoy a national following; despite the town's size, Packers games are always sold out. In fact, football Sundays in the autumn in Green Bay are treated as community holidays, with tailgate parties, bratwurst on the grill, plenty of beer drinking, and of course, the game. In college athletics, St. Norbert College provides small-college football and baseball in nearby DePere. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay supports a successful soccer program and competes in Division I basketball, making the NCAA basketball tournament, and even winning one game in 2005. The national champion Green Bay Gamblers play in the Junior A U.S. Hockey League.
Sports for the Participant
The Green Bay parks and recreation department oversees numerous city parks large and small, including the Bay Beach Amusement Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, the Metro Boat Launch at the mouth of the Fox River, the SK8 Park for skateboarders and inline skaters, and the Triangle Recreation Area. The department also sponsors sports leagues for all age groups. Facilities include courts for indoor tennis and racquetball, indoor and outdoor public swimming pools, ice skating and hockey rinks, outdoor tennis courts, ski and toboggan hills, and cross-country ski trails. Soccer and rugby teams compete in leagues. Several more boating facilities are available along Green Bay. Green Bay, Fox River, and Lake Michigan provide fishermen with pike, bass, salmon, trout, muskie, and panfish. Hunters can obtain licenses to bag duck, deer, and small game. Children enjoy rides and other activities at Bay Beach Amusement Park. Across the street from the amusement park at Wildlife Sanctuary, a 700-acre urban wildlife refuge, visitors can observe native fauna and hike the nature trails.
Shopping and Dining
The Green Bay area is the regional shopping center for northeastern Wisconsin. Shoppers may choose from among three major shopping malls with nearly 200 stores, minimalls, and craft stores. There are quaint shopping districts with unique shops in the Historic Broadway District of Green Bay on Broadway, and on Main Street in nearby DePere. The Flying Pig gallery and greenspace in Algoma is a local attraction. Of unique interest is the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame Store, offering Packer treasures, at the Lambeau Field Atrium.
Green Bay's more than 100 restaurants offer options ranging from gourmet cuisine to ethnic menus, sports bars, and casual dining establishments, and the options continue to expand. A more recent addition to the menu, diners can enjoy a sunset dinner boat that cruises the Green Bay waterways. Patrick's on the Bay offers beautiful waterside views and what many consider to be the best dining in the area.
Visitor Information: Green Bay Area Visitor and Convention Bureau, 1901 S. Oneida St., PO Box 10596, Green Bay, WI 54307; telephone (920)494-9507; toll-free (888)867-3342; email email@example.com
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