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10 Fun Things to Do in Oshkosh, WI

Attend Country USA, embrace the winter, check out AirVenture.

By Kevin Litwin on May 19, 2018

Oshkosh things
Courtesy of Chad Horwedel under a CC 4.0 license.

Oshkosh is known as Wisconsin’s Event City, with plenty to do and see. Here are some suggestions for fun activities:

1. Eat Ethnic

The cuisine scene is alive and well in Oshkosh, where restaurants of several ethnicities are represented. Some of the independent hotspots include Bangkok Thai Cuisine, Benvenuto’s Italian Grill, Christianos Pizza, Ichiban Sushi House, Manila, Pilora’s Café and Sakura Japanese Steak House.

2. Wear Comfy Shoes

Grab your credit card and go shopping for bargains at The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh, which includes more than 50 name-brand outlet stores such as Aeropostale, Carter’s, Coach, Eddie Bauer, Jockey, Michael Kors, Nike Factory, Old Navy, Oshkosh B’gosh, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour and Yankee Candle.

3. Find Your Cowboy Boots

For five days each June, Oshkosh hosts an annual Country USA Oshkosh celebration at Ford Festival Park with entertainment from dozens of country music acts. Headliners at the June 2018 event included Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Maren Morris, Brett Eldredge and Brantley Gilbert.

4. Look Up in the Sky

For one week each summer, Oshkosh welcomes AirVenture (pictured) that draws more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts from 60 countries to Wittman Regional Airport. Numerous shows are dedicated to the past, present and future of flight.

5. Party at Night

Oshkosh is a college town, and there are several places that come alive once the sun goes down. Popular nightspots include Club 52, Dublin’s Irish Pub, Mabel Murphy’s, O’Marro’s Public House, Pete’s Garage Bar, Revs Bowl Bar & Grill, Sami’s On Main, The Bar in Oshkosh, The Strip, Twisted Roots Tavern and Witzke’s Bar.

6. Embrace Winter

Mark your calendars for late February to attend an annual University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Winter Festival, a weeklong celebration of winter that has been a part of UW Oshkosh tradition for more than 50 years. The festival always begins with an outdoor ice sculpture contest where competitors carve artworks from 300-pound blocks of ice.

7. Hoist Your Glass

A good selection of microbreweries and pub food is available to the thirsty and hungry in Oshkosh, with each place offering a festive atmosphere. They are Bare Bones Brewery, Fifth Ward Brewing Company, Fox River Brewing Company and HighHolder Brewing Company, and an Oshkosh Brewery Tour occurs every Saturday afternoon with stops at all four establishments.

8. Go Downtown

A recent downtown redevelopment plan has yielded a number of excellent attractions, events and venues, including construction of an outdoor Leach Amphitheater on the Fox River. It hosts a weekly Waterfest summer concert series as well as national touring musical acts and local community events. Also downtown is a Grand Opera House performing arts center and an annual Sawdust Days community festival in Menominee Park.

9. Root for the Herd

Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team has their development team, the Wisconsin Herd, playing its games in Oshkosh at Menominee Nation Arena. The Herd play 24 homes games during their season that runs from mid-November through mid-March.

10. See Attractive Attractions

For residents who enjoy the arts, there are plenty of places to get your culture fix. Options include the EAA Aviation Museum, Jambalaya Art Cooperative, Military Veterans Museum and Oshkosh Public Museum.

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