That’s right, I’m choosing Wisconsin to start this series! Wisconsin is among the top 10 states for number of based aircraft along with three other Midwest states, so I’d hardly call them flyovers as far as general aviation goes! Wisconsin is a beautiful place to fly. With four seasons and bodies of water to the North, East, and West, there’s always something to see from the air. On the northern border lies the Great Lake Superior. The entire east coast of Wisconsin sits along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the Mississippi River creates most of the state’s western border.
If you are looking for places to fly in Wisconsin that provide something fun to do, then look no further! For now I’ve skipped the beloved fly in restaurants and focused on fun activities for the family. As bonus criteria I’ve chosen only places that do not require the use of a rental car and can be enjoyed in a single day trip if you choose. Here are five fly in activities for a range of ages. *Some activities are limited due to health restrictions, but are expected to be temporary, please verify current information on the websites provided.
EAA AVIATION MUSEUM Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH)
You are likely familiar with this airport, home to EAA’s Airventure. This is also a great place to visit any other time of year for their extensive museum, and the FBO provides free shuttle service. There is a lot to see here with a collection of over 200 aircraft and 20,000 artifacts. You’ll cover aviation’s beginnings, antiques, military, space, aerobatics, and of course the history of homebuilts. They have an entire wing of hands on and sit-in exhibits for children. Kids get to climb into a half sized model of the F-22, test their helicopter hover skills, hop in a simulator, and even soar on a hang glider. Head upstairs into the mock ATC tower that actually overlooks Pioneer airport, a step back in time to the golden age of aviation. The airport is just outside the museum (open seasonally) and stop at the outdoor swings and pedal planes. The museum is free for EAA members and kids under 6, $12.50 for adults, and $9.50 for kids. Family and Military rates available as well. *Kidventure temporarily closed due to pandemic.
PACKERS HALL OF FAME & STADIUM TOURS Austin Straubel International Airport (KGRB)
If you are a sports fan in general you will enjoy this one of a kind stadium and the rich history it has to offer. This is the smallest city in the nation with a professional sports team, so it’s easily accessible. I recommend parking at Jet Air and taking an Uber/Lyft only 5 miles over to the stadium. The Green Bay Packers have been playing here since 1919, and it is the only stadium that is owned by the people. Here you will learn it’s unique story as a franchise, and more about it’s legendary coach Vince Lombardi for whom the super bowl trophy is named (and you’ll see a few of those trophies at this museum). You can, and should, add a stadium tour onto your Lambeau experience. You will get to visit a private suite high above the field, and walk through the players tunnel out onto the end zone area. A visit to the pro shop completes your visit. Adults are $15 for single choice but combination tickets are available. Children have age tiered pricing and kids under 5 are free. Click here for pricing. *Tours have temporarily excluded players tunnel and field due to pandemic, but still go into the bowl.
VERTICAL ILLUSIONS Baraboo Dells Regional Airport (KDLL)
This highly rated (and pilot owned) guided tour company offers airport pickup for your choice of zip lining, rock climbing, kayak or paddleboard experiences. The popular zip line tour takes you through the beautiful Chimney Rock Park tree tops and canyons on at least 14 different lines. They do not have a minimum age and weight for children on the zip line, focusing on comprehension abilities instead. However if your child isn’t there quite yet, they offer tandem opportunities with guide. Prices for the zip line course range from $89 to $120 per person, and take 3 hours. They also offer a variety of add on experiences so you don’t have to choose just one activity. Click here to visit their website to see the many options and pricing. You can also see real time availability in booking to help plan in advance as reservations are required. The bonus? This fly-in destination is year round. They offer snowshoe zip lining and ice climbing with gear included so you can get out and embrace winter flying and the outdoors.
VOYAGER VILLAGE Voyager Village Airport (9WN2)
This golf course has it’s very own paved 3,500 foot runway right on their 18 hole championship course. If you have kids in your family that are working on their golf skills, this is an even better fly in spot. They welcome golfers of all ages and they have a signature Par 3 course for beginners. The Par 3 course is $17 with cart, free for children 12 & under with a paid adult, and $5 for ages 13-17. The 18 hole course ranges from $41 to $46 with cart for members of the public, also free for children 12 & under and $15 for ages 13-17. Click here to see a variety of other rates. With an onsite restaurant and a beautiful flight to Northwestern Wisconsin, this is the fly-in family golf trip you’ve been looking for.
HO CHUNK GAMING CASINO Baraboo Dells Regional Airport (KDLL)
This one is obviously not the most family friendly, although they do offer the Kids Quest program that includes supervised care, as well as a kids arcade with prizes. I’ve included this because it could be a nice day or night away from those kids that I included in all the other destinations. The property is directly adjacent to the airport and they will send a shuttle to pick you up. There are over 2300 slot machines here at Wisconsin’s second largest casino. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and three card poker. With five restaurants and headline entertainment, this could be something different to do for Mom and Dad. *At the time of publishing phased covid restrictions are still in place and some offerings may be temporarily available.
There’s certainly no shortage of places to fly in the midwest, but these five Wisconsin options offer a variety of entertainment and cover all ages. I hope I’ve provided some inspiration on a new place to visit in small aircraft for your family! Are you headed to one of these destinations? Let us know down below.