16649 96th Avenue Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

RESERVATIONS

Chippewa Falls

Inn on Lake Wissota will be reopening Friday, April 24, 2020!

IOLW Backyard view of Lake Wissota

IOLW Backyard view of Lake Wissota

After being closed for more than 3 weeks we are excited to be welcoming guests back to the B&B!

Spring is in the air, Inn on Lake Wissota is here to provide you a safe, socially distant Staycation!

How Inn on Lake Wissota can provide a safe Staycation during the Covid-19 Precautionary timeframe

A view of the sunset over Lake Wissota from the deck at Inn on Lake Wissota

Sunset from the deck at Inn on Lake Wissota

  • A 60ft deck allows for acceptable social distancing while watching the sunsets.
  • A new wood burning fire pit in the yard allows for a warm fire on a beautiful spring evening.
  • We will accept no more than 4 rooms for any given night.  The maximum number of people in the B&B won’t exceed 10, including Beth & Roger.
  • Complimentary room service provided, no need to come down to the dining room.

 

 

Why Stay at Inn on Lake Wissota?

1)  Impeccable Cleanliness

As many of you know, Inn on Lake Wissota is our home and not just a place of business. Roger and I have been passionate and committed innkeepers for more than 5 years and are grateful for the opportunity to serve our guests.  We have always had strict sanitizing and cleaning procedures in place.  In addition to those standard policies we have added procedures to clean and sanitize surfaces that are touched often not only by guests but by B&B staff as well. We believe our cleaning and sanitizing procedures exceed the top industry standard.

2)  Check-In/Check Out Procedures

With social-distancing now being the norm, we are offering alternative self check-in and out for those who do not want to interact with anyone.  Just let us know in advance that you would prefer a self check-in and we will be happy to send you the directions on how to use the keyless entry and where to find your room.  Check-out is easy enough, just give us a shout that you’re leaving so we know we can get in and clean the room.

3)  Other Social-Distancing  

While we have temporarily eliminated the plate of cookies in the common area and the airpot of coffee in the beverage nook, there are still treats and beverages available.  We will leave cookies in your room prior to arrival and for those who long for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning we can arrange to have a tray of coffee delivered to your room at a designated time.

There is one local restaurant that delivers to Inn on Lake Wissota and most other Chippewa Falls restaurants are offering take-out.  Each guest room has either a table or a set of tray tables for dining.  Need plates, silverware and napkins?  We can provide those on request.  There is always the option to eat on the deck or at the picnic table in the yard.

Beth is always available by cellphone if you need to be in touch without being face-to-face.

The common area features a gas fireplace, comfy seating and a breathtaking view of Lake Wissota.

The Atrium

4)  Breakfast  

Beth is a certified ServSafe Food Protection Manager and follows all of the best practices of the trade so you can be rest assured the food she prepares for you has been done so not only with love, but all necessary safety requirements and precautions.

For those who prefer the privacy of dining in their guest room, complimentary room service is available. There may be some folks who would rather  eat in our beautiful dining room overlooking Lake Wissota, we can offer staggered dining times to accommodate those guests.

5)  B&B Versus Other Lodging Types

Guests who have stayed with us at Inn on Lake Wissota find comfort  in the smaller size of our B&B as there may be less of a chance of exposure to other people. The small size is easier to ensure cleaning efficiently and completely through the day too.  There is plenty of room at the Inn, both indoors and outdoors, to rest, relax & renew.

Need a place where the whole family can stay?  Inn on Lake Wissota rents out the entire B&B to famililes and/or friends.  Give us a call for more details (715) 382-4401.

6)  Cancellation Policies

Inn on Lake Wissota has worked with all of the guests who were scheduled to stay with us during this pandemic.  For those who requested a refund, we granted those without any penalty.  For those who wanted to reschedule, but weren’t sure when that would be, we issued gift certificates.  We would like to especially thank those guests, as it really helped our small business during these uncertain financial times.

What can we do while visiting Chippewa Falls?

While indoor recreation is difficult to come by these days, there is plenty of outdoor activity and the weather is warming up.  Now is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy all mother nature has to offer.  Would you prefer to spend time indoors?  Bring your favorite book and cozy up in the common area.  We have plenty of board games to keep you occupied.

Enjoy biking on the Old Abe trail, less than 1/2 mile from the B&B

Couple biking

  1. Biking on the Old Abe State Trail.  Bring your bikes and hit the trail located just 1/2 mile from Inn on Lake Wissota! As of March 24, 2020 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has waived all fees for the parks and trails it oversees.
  2. Hiking or biking at Lake Wissota State Park.  Located just 2 miles east of Inn on Lake Wissota.  The park has over 11 miles of trail open to off-road biking, 7 miles of horseback riding trails, swimming, boating, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, picnic areas, fishing, hunting and trapping (based on regulations, 8 miles of cross-country ski trails groomed for traditional stride and skate skiing, and 5 miles of snowmobile trails.
  3. Walking in Irvine Park & Zoo.  In 1906 William Irvine had a dream. The dream was to establish a reserve that would enhance and protect the Chippewa Valley environment. The park has grown through the years with the help of many generous residents. This park on 318 acres includes walking trails, cross country skiing with the winter months, a band shell, preserved schoolhouse and log cabin, zoo, petting zoo, bears, hyeanas, cougars, tigers, and a overlook of Glen Loch Dam.
  4. Walking or fishing in Erickson Park. A 15-acre park with 400 ft of shoreline. Amenities include a handicapped-accessible boardwalk and pier perfect for fishing, a handicapped-accessible boat launch, a bike trail, and a bridge that connects Erickson and Irvine parks.

    Erickson Park Bridge. Photo taken by Stacie Stafford Hansen

    Erickson Park Bridge. Photo taken by Stacie Stafford Hansen

  5. Fishing. Chippewa County has 449 lakes totaling 20,027 acres and ranging from 1 to 6,300 acres. Most lakes are small, unnamed pothole lakes located in the scenic moraine area in the northern part of the county. Many smaller lakes do not support a substantial fishery but offer solitude and serenity for those wanting to get away from the crowds. Chippewa County also provides 81 miles of trout fishing opportunities in 24 classified trout streams, most of which are class I trout waters. Trout populations have good to excellent reproduction, thus no trout stocking is conducted in streams.
  6. Biking or hiking at Brunet Island State Park on the Chippewa and Fisher rivers, offers more than 1,300 acres of scenic beauty, wildlife and recreational opportunities. Quiet lagoons and channels are excellent for canoeing and wildlife watching. The landscape in Chippewa County is a product of the most recent Ice Age. The rolling terrain carries a wide variety of forest types and is home to a multitude of wildlife.
  7. Hiking in Beaver Creek Reserve.  With more than 400 acres of diverse habitat including upland woods, river bottom forests, wetlands, and savannah areas, Beaver Creek Reserve is home to a multitude of flora and fauna. Our nature reserve is bordered by the Eau Claire River and two trout streams that run through the property.
  8. Hiking at Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Unit.  Situated along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Chippewa  [Location] Moraine State Recreation Area offers unspoiled beauty with kettle lakes and many glacial features. The Chippewa Moraine is one of nine units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. Hiking, snowshoeing, outpost camping, fishing and bird watching are popular activities.
  9. Hiking or biking Riverview Reserve Trail.  Paved and unpaved two mile trails that criss-cross through the Reserve and provide great viewing opportunities of the Xcel Energy Dam. This trail connects to Duncan Creek Parkway Trail and the Old Abe State Trail and is located east of Seymour Cray Blvd and south of County Highway I.
  10. Sightseeing: 9 Unique Wisconsin Foot Bridges in Eau Claire You have to see. Eau Claire, nestled in the rolling hills and valleys of the Chippewa Valley in Northwestern, WI, lies in a region known as the “Driftless Zone.”  This is an area of twisting rivers, deep gorges and large hills, which creates a setting for a beautiful Midwestern town.  Eau Claire’s downtown area forms along the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, which have been encased with parks and trails for recreational purposes.  Crossing these rivers are numerous bridges, many varying in age.  These bridges create strong connections in the community, carrying a rich history and incorporating it into a diverse future.  The entire region played host to a strong railroad economy, which led to the numerous railroad bridges in town, almost all of which still exist today.

We hope to greet you soon!

A breakfast of smoked sausage served with blueberry french toast bake. Maple syrup is being drizzled over the french toast.

Blueberry French Toast bake with smoked sausage

Whether you come for some quiet time at the Inn or to explore the scenic outdoors of the Chippewa Valley, Inn on Lake Wissota is here to help you with that experience and create some Springtime 2020 memories you’ll never forget!

We hope to greet you soon as our guests!

15 year old starts his own Maple Syrup company

I can’t wait to tell you all about Will Wanish and his entrepreneurial spirit!  Will’s mom, Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, and I both belong to Polka Dot Powerhouse (Please excuse the shameless plug). Polka Dot Powerhouse is a connection company for women.  At one of our meetings Heather was sharing with the group her teenage son was starting his own company. Will wanted to start a Sugar Bush, tap maple trees and make maple syrup.  Including local products in my breakfast dishes helps me to support other area small businesses.  I just had to check this out!

Will standing next to the metal sign he made for his new company

Will standing next to the metal sign he made for his new company

First I let Heather know I would be interested in purchasing 4 quarts of the maple syrup.  Purchasing by the quart insures the syrup stays as fresh as possible until we open the next bottle.  I asked if I could come out & and take a few photos of the operation.  So, one Friday afternoon I had a couple of free hours (thanks to the Covid-19 social distancing) and headed out to Wanish Sugar Bush.  It turns out they’re located just 20 minutes from Inn on Lake Wissota, we can’t get much more local than that!

How Will got started

As I pulled into the driveway the first thing I saw was the brand new shed with a very cool metal sign hanging on the side of it welcoming me to Wanish Sugar Bush.  What the heck?  This kid has been in business for just a couple of months and he already has a new pole shed and this cool sign?!!  I couldn’t wait to meet him and find out more.  Not long after I pulled in the driveway Heather and Will came out of the house to greet me.  I have to admit, when Heather was talking about her teenage son starting his own business, I was expecting to meet a 17 or 18 year old.  This young man is just 15 years old.

Initially Will was shy. After some prodding from his folks, he warmed up and was excited to share his new business venture with me.  I asked how he became interested in starting his own sugar bush. He said he has been helping his uncle tap 200-300 trees since he was 12 years old. Most 15 year old kids would be happy to work for their uncle and earn a few bucks on the side.  It turns out Will loves to work and has a great understanding of what it takes to run a small business like a sugar bush.  Only, he didn’t start out with 300 taps. Will wanted to make as much syrup as possible.  This meant a pole shed and expensive equipment.  No wood-fired boiler for Will. He wanted a reverse osmosis system to eliminate a good portion of the water content from the sap before they boil it down.  This shortens the amount of time required to boil down the sap into syrup.

Support from Family and Friends

So how does a 15 year old finance such an operation?  With a business loan of course. I can’t imagine there are many 15 year old’s who would qualify for a business loan. Will isn’t most kids and this kid has a plan. More importantly, support from his parents.  They were able to secure a small business loan from a local non-profit who offers low-interest loans to area businesses.  This meant Will had to have a business plan put together & sit in front of that board explaining his vision, how he would generate income and how his company would benefit the Chippewa Valley.

With the help of nearby family and friends they have run over 19,000 ft of line to tap maple trees and collect syrup.  So far this season, they have processed over 15,000 gallons of sap.  They won’t collect all of that syrup themselves.  Will estimates purchasing at least 1,000 gallons from several different suppliers.  Apparently there are folks who have a hobby of collecting sap but have no interest in converting the sap to syrup.    Negotiating skills are required for this. The purchaser and the supplier need to agree on the sugar content and the quality of the sap which will determine the price paid to the supplier.   Having this extra sap available to them will be a big help this first year so they can make enough syrup to send to market.  I asked Will how much sap he could convert in one day.  He said the day prior they had boiled down 2400 gallons and were hoping to do at least 1,000 gallons the day I was there.

A bottle of Wanish Sugar Bush Maple Syrup on the table next to an Inn on Lake Wissota coffee cup and a breakfast plate of pancakes and bacon

Sometimes a traditional breakfast is the best, Pancakes and syrup with some bacon!

Will and his dad, Todd, Wanish

Will and his dad, Todd, Wanish

Will’s Ingenuity

Will took a few minutes to show me a pump motor he created so they could pump the sap through even more lines.  The pump they had purchased was quite expensive, over $4,000.00.  So, to save money he made two more pumps that streamline their operation by saving countless hours of hauling sap from the trees to the tank.  I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am by this young man. It will be fun to follow up with him in 5 years to see what else he has accomplished.  Inn on Lake Wissota is proud to offer his maple syrup.

We hope you’ll come join us some day to sample their syrup and of course our fantastic view of Lake Wissota.  Enjoy the comfort of the Inn no matter the time of year. Delight in the gourmet breakfasts we serve each morning.  Until then, stay healthy and safe!  We hope to greet you soon as one of our guests.

 

The Best Cross Country Skiing Trails in the Chippewa Valley

Couple cross country skiing in the woods. canstockphoto55798447

There are plenty of winter visitors to the Chippewa Valley who put Cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the top of the list for reasons to spend time in the area. What better way to experience the natural beauty of the region than to strap on a pair of skis or snowshoes and create your own adventure.  Although the terrain can be somewhat of a challenge to some, there are plenty of parks and recreation areas that offer groomed and ungroomed trails for your level of expertise and comfort.

Be sure to include Inn on Lake Wissota as part of your trip when passing through the Chippewa Valley.  We are a true Bed & Breakfast with 5 guest rooms.  With plenty of amenities to ensure your stay with us is unique.  This winter has brought plenty of snow and we are blessed with a winter wonderland without the bitter cold of 2019!  Find your own adventure at our Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast and book your room today!

5 Great Cross-Country Ski Trails in the Chippewa Valley

Folks from Wisconsin and surrounding states love to spend time outdoors.  Since we have long winters here in the upper Northwest portion of Wisconsin, we love to spend time with the elements, even when it’s cold.  Strapping on a pair of skis and hitting the trails is an invigorating experience, one that gets folks hooked on immersing themselves in all the beauty and magic mother nature has to provide this time of year.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Couple skiing near pine treesLowes Creek County Park

Just minutes south of Eau Claire, experience 250 acres of cross-country ski and snowshoeing bliss. The two-way trail system separates skiers from snowshoers, and has many loops and shortcuts giving you a wide selection of route variety.

Irvine Park

Just 5 miles from Inn on Lake Wissota, Irvine Park offer trails that are easy to navigate. Woods trails above the zoo area double as ski trails. Loop back down and visit the zoo afterwards. Trails also go past Glen Loch Lake.

Tower Ridge 

Tower Ridge is the largest cross-country ski trail complex in both Eau Claire County and in west central Wisconsin. It is located on Eau Claire County forestland in the town of Seymour off CTH L. It has approximately 12 miles of trail with terrain of varying degrees of difficulty offering something for all levels of skiers. The ski trails include wooded, rolling terrain, and are groomed and tracked on the highest priority basis of the four ski trails offered by the county. The recreation area includes a Chalet with flush toilets, additional pit toilets, approximately 3 km of lighted trails and a snowshoe trail adjacent to but separate from the lighted ski trails. Tower Ridge requires a winter vehicle entrance pass.

Lake Wissota State Park

Lake Wissota State Park is located just 2 miles east of Inn on Lake Wissota.  Several trail options go through woods, meadows, lowlands, marshes, and Lake Wissota’s shoreline. Scenic lake trail is also a highlight. Daily and annual state park vehicle admission passes vary in price. Located on the northeast section of Lake Wissota.

Beaver Creek Reserve

A 30 minute drive in your car and you can spend an entire afternoon in the quiet beauty of the woods. Beaver Creek Reserve has a number of wooded, groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Rental equipment is available there, as well.

Relax, Renew & Refresh at our cozy B&B!

Inn on Lake Wissota Potbelly coffee mug sitting on the breakfast table

After you’ve filled your day with outdoor winter adventures, you’ll want a beautiful, cozy place to sit back and relax.  Inn on Lake Wissota is waiting for your arrival!  Innkeepers Beth & Roger have years of experience greeting guests and helping them to relax, easing away the cares of the day.  The aroma of fresh baked cookies wafts through the air upon your arrival.  In the morning you will wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy a bountiful gourmet breakfast.  Book your next winter getaway at Inn on Lake Wissota today.  We hope to greet you soon.

 

 

5 reasons to hold your team building event in Chippewa Falls

Chippewa Falls, geographically speaking, is very blessed to sit on the banks of the Chippewa River.  The river has lent itself to a rich and varied history for the city.  The city was built amidst the logging industry followed by shoe factories, a woolen mill company, banking, supercomputing, and we can’t forget to mention a world renowned brewery!  All of these business required team work and helped create a vibrant community that has stood the test of time.  Natural resources abound as well.  All of these elements come together to help you develop a team building event your group will never forget.  A team building retreat in Chippewa Falls will help your teammates connect, develop new ways to communicate which helps foster creativity and productivity.

Team building activities

Consider taking a tour

Tours can offer interesting insights to a community, how it was built, the businesses and industries that contributed to it’s growth.  The Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology tells the stories the story of important, unique, and groundbreaking innovations in industry and technology that were developed in the Chippewa Valley.

The Cook-Rutledge Museum is a truly unique 1887 restored and furnished lumber baron’s home. It is one of the finest remaining examples of High Victorian Italianate architecture in Wisconsin. Visitors to the stately, red brick home will be awed by 19th century extravagance.

The Leinenkugel’s Brewery has been brewing beer in Chippewa Falls for more than 150 years.  A tour of the brewery offers visitors a chance to sample their beer, tour the brewery and shop at the Lodge.  We recommend taking the Family Tour.  The tour is delivered by one of the Leinenkugel family members! Leinie’s fans can join Dick, John, or Matt Leinenkugel as they guide them around the brewery, sip fantastic beer, partake in cheese pairings, and take home a gift.

Outdoor activities

Hiking and walking opportunities abound in Chippewa Falls.  The Lake Wissota State Park has more than 18 miles of hiking trails.  There are two, self-guided, scenic, nature trails.  Downtown Chippewa Falls has experienced some wonderful revitalization over the past several years, but is still maintains it’s historical vibe.  The Chippewa Falls Walking Tour gives visitors a chance to take a self-guided tour of downtown Chippewa Falls and learn about our history and see beautiful, historic homes and buildings.  The Old Abe State trail is located just 1/2 mile from Inn on Lake Wissota, a 19.5-mile abandoned railroad grade connecting two State Parks, from Chippewa Falls to Cornell, Wisconsin. The trail is flat and easy going.

Community Service

A small community service project can give your team an chance to connect on another level unavailable in the workplace.  When working towards a common altruistic cause co-workers are able to get to know one another outside the workplace.  This fosters a different kind of bond than that in the office.  Community service projects offer a win-win situation for both the employees and the organization benefiting from the volunteer work.  Employees feel good for contributing to a needy organization and the non-profit is able to continue serving it’s mission.  There are plenty of non-profits in Chippewa Falls who would be grateful for whatever time you are able to give.  From packing weekend backpack meals for school kids or serving a meal at Ruby’s pantry, just to mention a couple, there’s a volunteer project in the Chippewa Falls community to fit your team building event.

Lodging at a B&B

An overnight stay at a Bed & Breakfast can extend the team building experience for your group.  Usually there is a common area large enough for a small team of 4-10 members to gather, creating a relaxed atmosphere for further bonding and communication.  The team leader has another opportunity to build on developing company objectives and goals.  Encouraging employees to give their input on how to work towards those company objectives helps increase motivation and productivity in the workplace.

A team building event booked during our off-season (November through Mid-May) gives your team an opportunity for an earlier check-in and later check-out, as most B&B’s in Wisconsin are not as busy this time of year.  The personalized service you’ll receive and beautiful breakfast will help facilitate that special experience you’re trying to provide to your team mates to show them how important they are to the team and you appreciate all they do.

We hope to greet you and your team members soon at Inn on Lake Wissota.

 

Winter Outdoor activities in Chippewa Falls

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the cold weather continues to descend upon us, and most of us are anxiously awaiting the Christmas holiday.  We all know the winter months in the north woods can be brutally cold some years.  It seems the older I get, the longer the winter seasons last, as I don’t particularly enjoy spending a whole lot of time outdoors when it is cold.  I do, however, realize the benefits of getting outdoors and getting some exercise, despite the cold weather.  I do always feel better after spending some time in the fresh air.  Whether it’s just a 15 minute walk in my neighborhood or grabbing the snowshoes and going for a walk on the Chippewa River or through Lake Wissota State Park, I never feel as if I have wasted my time when I return to the warm, cozy bed and breakfast.

So, if you feel the need to take a little break this winter and want to get away for a few days, we hope you’ll consider Chippewa Falls.  Winter in the Chippewa Valley is breathtakingly beautiful, with the snow covered rolling hills, the vast white expanse of frozen Lake Wissota, and the serenity of the meandering Chippewa River.  There are plenty of outdoor activities for you partake in some adventure and help keep those winter doldrums at bay.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing with Roger

My husband prefers to go ice-fishing. I have often stated he loved fishing long before he ever met me.  I’ll admit, I don’t understand the allure of sitting in an ice shack waiting for a fish to bite your lure.  But, he has all the gear for it and really enjoys his time on the ice. As far as ice fishing goes, the main portion of Lake Wissota doesn’t get much activity, only when there has been plenty of sub-zero temperatures and we have several feet of ice on the lake do we see ice fisherman out there.  This is due to the fact there is no open public access to the main lake during the winter months.  The majority of ice fishing takes place on Little Lake Wissota and Moon bay.  Chippewa County has several access points on both Little Lake Wissota and Moon Bay at no charge. Lake Wissota State Park also has access to Moon Bay.  There are also plenty of smaller lakes in the area that offer great fishing.

 

 

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

The Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire areas have lots of opportunities for snowshoeing.  Lake Wissota State Park has approximately 10 miles of open snowshoe trails and 8 miles of cross-country ski trails.  On January 19, 2019 be sure to come out to Lake Wissota State Park to ski, hike or snowshoe on beautiful candlelit trails. Campfires will be provided, but please bring your own provisions for hot dogs or s’more’s. Hot chocolate and hot cider will be available.

Snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer

The Chippewa Morraine State Recreation Area doesn’t groom their trails, but they are open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  They have 3 self guided trails that start at the Interpretive Center and take you past a variety of glacial features.  Tower Ridge in Eau Claire may seem challenging at first, but don’t let the mounds of snow keep you from exercising; Tower Ridge is a great place to enjoy the snow and workout, offering cross-country and snowshoe trails. There are hilly and flat groomed trails for all levels. There are about 3 kilometers of lighted trails and a warming shelter that allows for night outings, a nice precursor to a warm fire. If you don’t own a pair of snowshoes and would like to try out the sport before you make the investment, Lake Wissota State Park & Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls both rent snow shoes.

Snowmobiling

Well let’s face it, the snowmobilers are certainly at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to enjoying their sport, especially here in the north woods. In the past 4 winters that Roger & I have owned Inn on Lake Wissota we have had snowmobilers stay with us only one weekend.  There just hasn’t been enough snow over that time period for the trails to be open.

Snomobiler

But, when the trails are open, Chippewa County offers snowmobile enthusiasts over 500 miles of snowmobile trails to ride on. The variety of landscapes that the trails cover is what makes them so fun and exciting. While riding our trails check out the glacial formations, rolling hills, and the beautiful wooded forests. This trail system travels through Chippewa County and connects with many other county trails with the opportunity to travel by snowmobile statewide. The Chippewa Valley Snowmobile Organization maintain and groom the trail system and keep the trails in excellent riding condition during the snowmobile season.

 

No matter what kind of winter sports you enjoy – or if even if you prefer to just curl up by the fireplace with a good book, we hope to greet you soon as one of our guests.

 

7 Reasons to Visit Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire in December

Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire have plenty of things going on during the month of December to help you get into the holiday spirit and create some memories.Whether you like spending time outdoors in the fresh air or listening to some seasonal music or watching a play, we’ve got just the activity to inspire your yuletide cheer.

Entrance to Irvine Park Christmas Village

1. Irvine Park Christmas Village

11/22/2018 – 01/01/2019

The Chippewa Falls Christmas Village, in beautiful Irvine Park, is an impressive display of life size Christmas scenes reminiscent of the Victorian era and local historical replicas. It is set up during the holiday season along with a dazzling display of over 60,000 lights.

2. 30th Annual Bridge to Wonderland Parade

12/1/2018 6:00 pm, downtown Chippewa Falls

Join us for the Annual Bridge to Wonderland Parade and enjoy over 50 illuminated musical floats, walking units, and animal entries as they light up the winter skies. This year’s theme is A Candy Christmas.

Bridge to Wonderland Parade

Don’t miss this beautiful winter parade and beloved Chippewa Falls tradition! Afterward, join us along with the Chippewa Falls Public Library down at Riverfront Park for campfires and s’mores, free hot chocolate, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 3. Christkindlmarkt at Lazy Monk Brewing

12/1/2018 – 12/8/2018 12:00-4:00 pm

Lazy Monk Brewing is excited to bring to the Chippewa Valley a true German Christkindlmarkt!  The first two Saturdays of December, check out this outdoor shopping market for your holiday gift giving! Vendors will include local potters, chocolate maker, handcrafted wooden gifts, handcrafted soaps, bakers and other locally made products for your buying pleasure. Delight your senses with the feel of a true European Holiday.

4. Winter After Hours

Thursdays at Pinehurst Park in Eau Claire 11/22/2018 – 02/28/2019 6:00 – 8:00 pm

It’s about that time of year again to get out and have some outdoor winter fun.

Winter After Hours at Pinehurst Park in Eau Claire

Winter After Hours at Pinehurst Park have started and will continue every Thursday night throughout January and February. Activities include sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, winter KUBB, and snow sculptures along with cross-country ski and fat-bike trails. Ice Skate and snowshoe rentals are available. If you’re feeling chilly, hang out by the fire pit, or sit in the warming house. Help yourself to the free hot chocolate and enjoy some great music!

 

5. Hold the Lutefisk! It’s Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas…

The Looney Lutherans

at the Heyde Center for the Arts 12/15 – 12/16 2018

When you want an old-fashioned Christmas, you know who to turn to — the musical, merry, menopausal members of the Looney Lutherans! These warm and witty women have created a brand new show of family-friendly comedy skits and songs to help audiences enjoy the spirit of the season, and maybe even create a new holiday tradition to boot.

Looney Lutherans

The idea for the “Looney Lutherans” was cooked up in 2006 when the founding members were appearing in the cast of the hit musical CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES at the Plymouth Playhouse in Plymouth, MN. The company has since expanded to include four additional “Loonies”, but all of these talented women have been performing for years as professional actresses, writers, singers, and improvisers. Dinner by Sweet Clarisse Catering will feature your favorite Lutheran potlucks all rolled into one! A delightful selection of entrées, Wisconsin-inspired sides and desserts. Don’t forget to leave room for the jello mold.

 

6. Annual Ugly Sweater Fun Run at Lazy Monk Brewing

in Eau Claire 12/22/2018 10:00 am

Come join us in your ugliest Christmas sweater for a fun 5k run. Good people, good fun, good cookies & prize drawings.

Eau Claire Annual Ugly Sweater Fun Run

7. Arch Allies at Loopy’s

12/22/2018 Chippewa Falls Doors open at 6:30. Show is from 8:30pm – 12:15am.

PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY AT LOOPY’S! The surrounding area has been such great fans, we can’t wait to come back.
We’re doing the whole night up just like New Year’s, with a count down, party favors and champagne to toast with at midnight!

December is one of my favorite times of the year.  We would love to greet you as one of our guests during this beautiful holiday season.

A Winter Walk through Irvine Park

Winter Scene of Duncan Creek

Duncan Creek in Irvine Park

 

This January has brought a wide variety of temperatures and not a lot of snow in the Chippewa Valley.  We took an opportunity one Sunday afternoon that offered somewhat balmy temperatures (for January, that is) to take a winter walk through Irvine Park in downtown Chippewa Falls.  A chance to get outdoors and spend time with friends could not be passed up on this particular day.  The weather had warmed to near freezing after several days of sub-zero temps, so we were all anxious to get out and about.  As transplants to the area just a few years ago, Roger & I still have plenty of exploring to do in the Chippewa Valley in order for us to get to know the area.  We were somewhat surprised when our friends suggested a winter walk in the park.  We have visited Irvine Park during the holiday season as it is lit up with over 100,000 lights and Christmas scenes displayed throughout the park.  It has turned out to be an annual holiday tradition for our family, as it is for many families in the Chippewa Valley.  Yet, we had never considered truly exploring the park after the Christmas Village closes for the season.

On such a beautiful January afternoon we were not surprised to find the park filled with plenty of other visitors.  Families with young children who were having all kinds of fun sledding, or just running around expending pent up energy!  Young couples enjoying some quality time for just the two of them, and, of course, us older folks just happy enough to have something different to do and get some exercise in the process.

 

Naturally formed ice sculpture

Naturally formed ice sculpture in Beer Cave at Irvine Park

Even though the park was busy, there was plenty of parking available.  We parked on Bear Den Road then headed out for our winter walk.  I was pleased to find the roads within the park had been plowed, which made walking easy.  Our first stop was the Beer Cave.  This is actually a registered Wisconsin Historical Marker.  It was originally put to use by the Schmitmayer Brewing Company.  The cave was a great place to keep the beer cold, even in the summer.  There is a shaft towards the back of the cave that goes to the street above, this is where the beer was lowered into the cave.  On this cold January afternoon there was a beautiful naturally formed ice sculpture from the water dripping onto the cave floor.

 

Further exploration brought us to a bridge which spans Duncan Creek.  What a beautiful sight this was.  The beauty and wonder that mother nature has to offer in the winter is nothing less than spectacular.

Bridge over Duncan Creek

Bridge over Duncan Creek at Irvine Park

It took my breath away for the serenity of it.  The quiet sounds of the rushing water, the stark contrasts of the white snow and ice against the blackness of the water.  What is it about water that is so mesmerizing?  If find myself instantly relaxing any time I am near a body of water.

 

Once we crossed the creek we found ourselves at the Bison exhibit.  Irvine Park is extremely fortunate to have a couple of white bison, and we were even more fortunate to see one of them that afternoon.  They certainly are impressive animals.  Their thick fur coats have them well prepared for the winter cold.  Then down the road further we found the bear den followed by the cougar den.  In the aviary we saw a variety of owls.  While the welcome center wasn’t open, we did marvel at the new center which opened the summer of 2016.  The park will be adding features to the welcome center this year.  We walked past the duck pond and on to wolf drive.  Here we saw some stunning frozen waterfalls on the sides of the limestone walls in the park.

Once we had our fill of fresh air and exercise we headed to the Leinie Lodge, which is just across the street from Irvine Park.  Leinie’s is a great place to get out of the cold and sip a few seasonal samplers by their huge fireplace and spend time with friends.

Leinie’s Lodge Fireplace

After a 2-mile walk in the park and a few beers, we were getting hungry.  There’s a new place in Chippewa Falls called the Blue Marble Pub.  In July of 2017 Heather Marble opened the Prohibition-themed pub which specializes in wood fired pizzas.  Their grinders, which are subs baked in the wood fired oven, are also popular among the patrons.  A short walk from Leinie’s Lodge, stop in for a bite to eat or grab a glass of beer or wine.

wood fired pizza

Pizza made in the wood-fired pizza oven at the Blue Marble in downtown Chippewa Falls.

So, all in all, it was a great afternoon and evening spent in downtown Chippewa Falls, even if it was January.  Sometimes the hardest part about getting out and about on a winter weekend is getting out of your chair and putting on your coat and gloves.  I’m so glad we seized the opportunity for a winter walk, and I hope you will do the same soon.  Don’t forget, there’s always something to do in the Chippewa Valley and Inn on Lake Wissota is happy to host you while you’re here.  We hope to greet you as one of our guests sometime soon!

5 ways to enjoy Chippewa Falls in February and March

 

 As a relatively recent transplant to Chippewa Falls, my husband and I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of activities in the community.  But, when I take a couple of seconds to really think about that, we shouldn’t be.  We purchased Pleasant View Bed & Breakfast in 2014 because of the location, not only is the B&B located on Lake Wissota, but the Chippewa River runs right through the heart of Chippewa Falls.  The water provides for the usual outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, fishing, skiing and swimming.  More importantly, Chippewa Falls has a dynamic business community that is engaged in community service, both locally and internationally.  It is those business leaders that are involved in the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, etc., which have a significant impact on the community.  You will find some examples of those philanthropic events in the list below.  Chippewa Falls also has a great Center for the Arts which is always providing wonderful entertainment for all ages.  Remember, we all work hard, we need to take care of ourselves and be sure to have some fun so we can relax, rest and rejuvenate. This allows us to be fully engaged in all we do, not only for our spouses and family but also at work.

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