Oshkosh day trip fun on a budget!


If you are anything like me, you are looking for a place to take your kids for some summer outdoor fun, and you are trying to keep an eye on gas prices.

Our family loves going to Menominee Park & Zoo in Oshkosh, located on Lake Winnebago.

Pack a picnic lunch in the cooler and a water bottle for everyone before you head out in the morning.  It’s a roughly 50-minute drive down 41 from Green Bay.

The zoo opens at 9 AM, so you can get there early in the day to beat the crowds.  The zoo is free (thanks to a generous donation from a local family!) and is about 8 acres.  The zoo itself will take about an hour for younger kiddos.  There is also a little train you can ride around the park/zoo area for a small fee, when available.

Oshkosh day trip fun on a budget zoo

After you are done at the zoo, you can have your picnic lunch in the shade of one of the large trees at the edge of the lake, or visit the park.

The park was redone a couple of years ago, and the new equipment is great for kids ranging from tiny tots to towering tweens.  There is what my kids call the “Ninja Warrior” course, there is a toddler area, and there is plenty of fun to be found in between.

Oshkosh day trip fun on a budget playground

If your group is looking for a little bit of a water experience to cool off, you can dip your toes into Lake Winnebago, or even bring some sand toys from home to play with at the beach.  There are also aqua bikes, kayaks & paddle boards that are available for rent in the lagoon on the other side of the zoo.

Lake Winnebago: Oshkosh day trip

For the cost of a packed lunch, this makes for a great day with the family.  I can assure you, that my family has made many wonderful memories here, and I believe your crew will be tired before you can do everything this area has to offer.

(If you are looking for a sweet treat on the way home, stop in at Tamara’s for a cookie, cupcake, or delicious dish of ice cream!)

Looking for more daytrip ideas?  Check out Riverlife Park in Wausau, WI.