Wisconsin Weekend: La Crosse Oktoberfest

Your trick-or-treat Wisconsin Weekend: Halloween, fall colors wrapping up, and plenty to do and see

We’re heading into October’s final weekend. The pumpkin patches are bustling, ghosts and goblins abound, and fall leaves are trying to hang on before the next storm knocks them off. It’s a great weekend to road trip. Check out some of our Wisconsin Weekend picks, then “Pick Some Roads and GO!!”


Coon Valley: Ghoulees in the Coulees at Norskedalen

Wisconsin Weekend: Norskedalen Ghoulees behind State Trunk Tour's Eric Paulsen

Norskedalen hosts Ghoulees in the Coulees Friday and Saturday evening, providing a fun, yet scary and haunting, experience for the whole family. Take a half-mile walk through chilling and thrilling spook stations along one of their wooded trails lined by hundreds of carved, lit pumpkins. Earlier hikes around 5-7pm, hikes are less scary (the spooky things along the trail do not try to scare you, but may offer a high-five, handshake, or wave). Conversely, 7-10:30pm, hikes are SUPER SCARY. They mean it! Chilling ghost stories designed to give you goosebumps will also be told, fortune tellers will peer into your future, and once you regain your wits enjoy a treat and hot apple cider at Bekkum Homestead. Norskedalen’s Ghoulees in the Coulees Haunted Hikes take place Friday and Saturday, with start times from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Follow County PI off Highway 162 from the north or P to PI off U.S. 14/61 from the south to get there! More…


Washburn: Zombie Days

Wisconsin Weekend: Zombie Days, Washburn

Zombie Days takes place in the Bayfield County seat of Washburn, and on the last full weekend of October, the town officially gets taken over by Zombies! Come join the fun and mayhem, because there will be plenty to see and do. Activities include a haunted house, dance, parade and various Zombie performances that range from Zombie Zumba to belly dancing. There will also be a Zombie pub crawl at night. Most of the activities will take place on Saturday. There will also be contests including pumpkin carving contests, spooky yard contest, undead tread scavenger hunt, Lions’ Club kids carnival, bike obstacle course, Library chili feed, bake-off & the zombie ball. To reach Washburn, just head up Highway 13 from U.S. 2 near Ashland. It’s a beautiful drive! More...


Belleville: UFO Day

Belleville UFO Day Beer Fest

Belleville, straddling Dane and Green Counties, is not only a pretty town but apparently a draw for UFOs. Numerous sightings were reported in and around town, particularly in the late 1980s. They celebrate these unidentified flying objects with UFO Day every year. This year, the 33rd annual UFO Day takes place on Saturday with a parade, a craft fair, a Fun Run, kids’ costume contest, games, and the Monster Costume Ball. And check out the Belleville UFO Day Beer Fest, which will feature over 20 breweries offering up over 80 craft beers to sample! Highways 69 and 92 bring you to Belleville, around the Dane-Green County line. More…


Green Bay: NEW Zoo Boo final weekend

NEW Zoo Boo

The NEW Zoo (NE Wisconsin Zoo, that’s what “NEW” stands for) northwest of Green Bay celebrates the NEW Zoo Boo during the Friday-Saturday weekends of October, and this is the last one of the year! Enjoy plenty of spooky Halloween fun, trick-or-treating, haunted hay rides, giant inflatables, and all the fun you can have regularly at the zoo are all included as part of the fun! Festivities run 3-8pm. As the NEW ZOO Boo celebrates 25 years, this weekend’s theme is “Masquerade & Carnival Weekend” with plenty of giant inflatables, children’s games, a dance party, laser light decorations around the Zoo, even costumed stilt walkers! The NEW Zoo is accessible via U.S. 41/141 just north of Green Bay; Highways 29, 32, 54, 57, and 172 are all close by. More…


Prairie du Chien: Villa Louis After Dark

Villa Louis After Dark, Prairie du Chien

Picture this on the Saturday evening before Halloween: the sun sets west over the Mississippi River while the long shadows of autumn cross the lawns of Villa Louis, conjuring spirits of the 19th century. Where Villa Louis sits, on St. Feriole Island, plenty of spooky tales await. And on Saturday, Villa Louis After Dark will let you explore this history and get some spooky tales (and treats) just ahead of Halloween as you explore the grounds in this lamplight tour. Costumed interpreters will hand out treats and spin spooky tales across the 26-acre site. The Villa Louis Visitor Center, easily identifiable since it sits on stilts, is where the tours begin and end. You can also enjoy a bonfire and S’mores (really, what’s a better fall treat than those??) This lamplight tour beckons visitors into close encounters with historic figures of long ago. Villa Louis After Dark begins at 6pm on Saturday and runs until 9pm. Tours will run continuously. U.S. 18 and Highways 27, 35, and 60 bring you to Prairie du Chien! More…



Racine: Lantern Festival at the Racine Zoo

Racine Lantern Festival at the Zoo

The Lantern Festival at the Racine Zoo is a spectacular nighttime event, covering the zoo with incredible works of art! From tigers, lions, pandas, exotic flora, and a colossal dragon, Racine Zoo will be transformed into a world of illumination with custom-made lanterns. To top it off, an array of food and drink options will make the Lantern Festival a truly unforgettable event. The Racine Zoo Lantern Festival covers more than just this Wisconsin Weekend: it runs 80 select nights through December 31, 2019! Hit Highways 11, 20, 32, or 38 to get into Racine; you’ll find the zoo just off Highway 32 right by Lake Michigan, just north of North Beach and Racine’s downtown. More…


Bayfield: Fall Brew Weekend

Fall Brew Weekend in Bayfield

Need a reason to hit Bayfield this weekend? Perfect! The Fall Brew Weekend is happening at the Old Rittenhouse Inn in Bayfield Friday & Saturday. The Old Rittenhouse Inn partners with South Shore Brewery to present a weekend of great regional beer and pub fare with a gourmet flair. Over the weekend you can celebrate the joy of fresh micro-brewed beers and delicious food. The schedule includes a beer tasting with appetizer buffet on Friday, an afternoon brewery tour and tasting on Saturday, and a 6-course dinner on Saturday night with craft brews selected to match each dish. Just follow Highway 13 north from U.S. 2 at Ashland or east from U.S. 2/53 east from Superior. More…


Hales Corners: China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens final weekend

China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens hosts “China Lights: Panda Mania” and the Chinese Lantern Festival for the final weekend this year, through Sunday! China Lights brings stunning illuminated sculptures to select venues around the world. Now, it floats into Milwaukee for an after-sundown celebration of Asian life and culture. The 9-acre Gardens transform into a magical paradise of enchanting illuminated displays. Dragons, glowing pagodas and iridescent pinwheels add color, vibrancy, and excitement. Check out a backstage tour of the lanterns and participate in the nightly parade. Or simply enjoy wandering through the thrilling spectacle, which includes live performances of music, juggling and other arts. Enjoy a variety of Asian and Western cuisine from numerous local vendors, celebrate Asian culture with entertainment and live performances and a bustling marketplace. The entertainment continues through Sunday, 5:30pm-10pm. Admission includes a link to the official festival tour mobile guide, which will provide fascinating insight about the wonders all around you as you stroll with your cell phone. Parking is free for China Lights; simply follow the signs along 92nd Street – one mile east of U.S. 45/Highway 100 – to find the lots. More…


Check out the latest State Trunk Tour Podcasts on the Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail and the Blues history in Ozaukee County!
State Trunk Tour founder Eric Paulsen got to talk with Jason Ring of the Manitowoc CVB about the new Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail that offers pathways for exploring everything from farms and cheese factories to breweries, bakeries, wineries, and distilleries in and around the Manitowoc and Two Rivers area, as well as with Kris Raymond of the Paramount Music Association, about the amazing and little-known history of early Blues and Jazz records being made in Grafton and Port Washington – recordings that helped shape music ever since. Check them both out below:


More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out on this Wisconsin Weekend. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!