Guide to the top Oshkosh attractions and activities, including family-friendly and romantic things to do in Oshkosh, WI
Despite the fact that it’s a relatively small city, there are many fun things to do in Oshkosh, WI.
The city offers so many attractions and activities that can appeal to different types of travelers, making it one of the best cities to visit in the state of Wisconsin.
From having a day out to Lake Winnebago, to attending one of the world’s largest aviation gatherings at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, there are various things to do in Oshkosh for everyone.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or an outdoorsy traveler, there’s something in Oshkosh for you!
In this post, I’m going to create a list of the top things to do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
So, check out these Oshkosh attractions and activities to figure out the best things to do in Oshkosh, WI, for you!
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Overview: Top 3 Things to do in Oshkosh, WI
- Hiking on the Wiowash State Trail
- Outdoor activities on Fox River
- Going out on Lake Winnebago
1. Escape from Escape Oshkosh
Escape rooms offer a unique challenge that can be both mentally and physically engaging, making it a great activity especially if you travel in a group.
Escape Oshkosh is one of the best escape rooms in Wisconsin, and it’s also one of the most fun activities in Oshkosh!
Escape Oshkosh is open from Wednesday to Sunday, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for things to do in Oshkosh this weekend – or any weekend.
You can choose a few game options for the escape room, from The Lost Cabin to Secrets of the Shamrock.
Each game is suitable for visitors of all ages, but keep in mind that some games may have the maximum number of players!
2. Go out on Lake Winnebago
As the largest lake in Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago offers so many fun things to do in Oshkosh, WI.
From swimming to bird watching, having a day out to Lake Winnebago is one of the attractions in Oshkosh you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city!
Lake Winnebago, which is one of the best lakes in Wisconsin, is a great place to visit all year round.
In the summer, it’s a great place for fishing or boating as you can also rent a pontoon or speedboat to explore the lake area.
It’s also one of the most popular winter getaways in Wisconsin as the lake freezes over in the winter, and ice fishing becomes popular during this time of the year.
So if you’re looking for fun or romantic things to do in Wisconsin in winter, head to Lake Winnebago!
3. Take photos at the Asylum Point Lighthouse
As one of the most Instagrammable and best lighthouses of Wisconsin, a visit to the Asylum Point Lighthouse is one of the best things to do in Oshkosh, WI.
The lighthouse is located in Asylum Point Park, not too far from Lake Winnebago, making it one of the most notable landmarks and attractions in Oshkosh.
While you can’t get inside the lighthouse, Asylum Point Park has an excellent spot for a picnic with the wooden bridge that connects you to the lighthouse.
It also offers a scenic view of Lake Winnebago, making it one of the most romantic things to do in Oshkosh.
4. Attend the annual EAA AirVenture Fly-In Convention
From all of the Oshkosh events to attend in the city, the annual EAA AirVenture Fly-In Convention is a must-visit, especially if you’re an aviation enthusiast.
Organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association, EAA Airventure Oshkosh attracts more than 500,000 visitors from around the globe annually.
The event offers so many fun things to do in Oshkosh, as it features a wide range of activities, from interactive games and activities for kids to aerobatic air shows!
The event is typically held for a week on the last week of July every year, so you can book a ticket to attend one of the most popular events in Oshkosh, WI.
After visiting the convention, you can also make a short trip to the EAA Aviation Museum not too far from the venue to learn about aviation history and see numerous aircraft on display!
5. Go vintage shopping and support the local business at the Oshkosh Farmers Market
Shopping at local businesses is a great way to explore Oshkosh at its finest.
In addition, Oshkosh Farmers Market is also one of the best things to do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on the weekend.
The farmers market is held every Saturday in Oshkosh downtown, although they typically move the operation to Menominee Nation Arena in winter.
During weekdays, you can also hunt antique and vintage stuff in Oshkosh, as it’s a great place to visit if you’re into vintage boutiques.
The Original Mall of Antiques is one of the best attractions in Oshkosh if you’re into vintage items.
You can get anything here from vintage coins to checking out their flea market to splurge on other antique items!
6. Hike on the Wiowash State Trail
When you’re in Oshkosh, WI, things to do around the area will lean toward outdoor activities, as there are some of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin nearby.
One of the best trails around Oshkosh is Wiowash State Trail, a 22-mile recreational trail between Oshkosh and Hortonville, Wisconsin.
This is also one of the best mountain bike trails in Wisconsin for those who prefer flatter terrain.
While Wiowash State Trail offers various fun outdoor activities in Wisconsin, it also offers beautiful scenery through the views of farmland, forests, and rivers.
For those looking for the best places to enjoy romantic getaways in Wisconsin, the trail also offers some of the most romantic things to do in Oshkosh.
Here you can enjoy taking a walk for the sunset or staying at a bed and breakfast along the way to enjoy a cozy and intimate stay with your loved one near Oshkosh, WI.
7. Visit Menominee Park and Zoo
If you run out of stuff to do in Oshkosh, visiting Menominee Park and Zoo can be your last resort, which can still be rewarding.
Visiting Menominee Park is free, so you can have a picnic and bring your own meals there if you’re looking for an alternative thing to do in Oshkosh on a budget.
The 100-acre park also has a playground area for children, which is a great alternative if you plan to travel to Oshkosh with your family.
If you want to visit the zoo, there’s a small entrance fee that allows you to see various animals in the summer.
Although classed as a zoo, many of the animals can be interacted with like at a petting zoo (though not all), and there are some fun animals here – like llamas!
8. See a performance at the Grand Opera House
The Grand Opera House is one of the greatest landmarks in Oshkosh, as the building has been beautifully restored since it was built in 1883.
While you can enjoy the historical architecture, seeing a live performance at The Grand should also be put on your list of top Oshkosh things to do.
Situated in the heart of Oshkosh downtown, The Grand Opera House hosts various Oshkosh activities, concerts, and seasonal events.
You can check the performance schedule at The Grand from time to time, as they hose various performances, including bingo and trivia to add on the list of things to do in Oshkosh, WI!
Not too far from The Grand Opera House building, you can also stroll around the Opera House square to learn about the county’s history and beyond!
9. Enjoy outdoor activities on Fox River
If you consider yourself outdoorsy, the good news is that you’ll never run out of outdoor activities on the list of things to do in Oshkosh, WI.
The Fox River is one of the must-visit places in Oshkosh, especially if you love nature and history.
The Fox River has an important role in Oshkosh’s history to this date, as it has served as the region’s transportation and industrial hub for centuries.
The river also offers beautiful scenery, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride while enjoying nature at its finest.
If you’re into water activities like canoeing or kayaking, the Fox River is the best place to unleash your need for adrenaline.
Kayaking is easily one of my favorite things to do Oshkosh, WI has to offer to fellow outdoor enthusiasts like me!
You can rent equipment or bring your own to explore the river while enjoying various outdoor activities around the area.
If you are visiting during fall in Wisconsin, you’ll get some fantastic views of the beautiful fall colors in Wisconsin from the water.
10. Visit the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center
Military and veterans have become an integral element in the history of the United States, so don’t miss visiting the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center to add to your activities in Oshkosh.
This is one of the best things to do Oshkosh, Wisconsin offers for military enthusiasts visiting the area.
Founded in 2001, the Military Veterans Museum and Education Center feature various exhibits that showcase memorabilia from various historical events, from World War I to Vietnam War.
The museum has a mission to educate the public about the contributions of military veterans while also honoring them for their service.
If you happen to visit Oshkosh on Veterans or Memorial Day, you can also stop by the museum to attend the ceremonies.
The Military Veterans Museum and Education Center host special events and ceremonies for these holidays. Don’t miss these on the list of top things to do in Oshkosh, WI!
With so many amazing things to do in Oshkosh, you’ll never run out of things to do in Wisconsin, no matter what type of traveler you are.
Oshkosh is a vibrant city with a rich history, and there are plenty of activities in Oshkosh that cater to visitors of all ages with various interests.
Add Oshkosh to the list of places to visit on your Wisconsin road trips, and experience how you can enjoy the city’s historical side while also enjoying nature at its finest!
Short FAQs About Things to do in Oshkosh, WI
Where is Oshkosh?
Oshkosh is located in east-central Wisconsin and is situated between both Lake Winnebago and Lake Butte Des Morts with Fox River running through the middle.
What is Oshkosh famous for?
Oshkosh Wisconsin originally became well known because of the clothing company OshKosh B’Gosh. Today it is also well known for the EAA AirVenture Fly-In Convention and the Asylum Point Lighthouse.
What are the best things to do in Oshkosh, WI for families?
There are many great outdoor activities to enjoy as a family such as hiking, kayaking, or swimming. Kids will also love Menominee Park and Zoo, the annual airshow at the EAA AirVenture Fly-In Convention and trying out an escape room!
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll snap tons of photos and I love to take my GoPro in order to shoot even in extreme situations.
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals when traveling to warm countries. Consider trying some of these eco-friendly vegan hiking boots.
- Sunscreen is key! I always take with me my eco-friendly sunscreen by Thinksport.
- I always carry a light rain jacket, just in case. Pack smart with these organic cotton clothing companies.
- Be environmentally friendly and get one of these awesome backpacks made from recycled materials.
- Get in the mindset with these amazing wilderness survival books.
- Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel is protected against all odds with HeyMondo.