Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Waupun, WI

  • Published 2022/08/12

Waupun is a city in Wisconsin that borders the counties of Dodge and Fond du Lac, known for its outdoor recreational activities, festivals, and thriving nightlife.

Waupun has gained fame from the sculptures of local inventor and sculptor Clarence Addison Shaler.

You can find his sculptures scattered throughout the city.

Despite being relatively small, this city doesn’t shy away from a good time, thanks to its events and celebrations.

This city also features many outdoor facilities that allow you to get back in touch with nature and escape the bustling city.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful vacation or a jolly adventure, Waupun has everything you need.

Here are the best things to do in Waupun, Wisconsin:

Learn Local History at the Waupun Heritage Museum

Exterior of Waupun Heritage Museum

Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Waupun Heritage Museum has operated inside the Waupun Carnegie Library for over 50 years.

Due to its cultural and historical significance, it has landed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Found in downtown Waupun, this museum houses several artifacts and collections, with some dating as far back as thousands of years ago.

You can explore this museum and admire the preserved treasures of Waupun’s past, along with newly built displays and exhibits on this city’s history and genealogies.

Guests can also take a self-guided tour of this facility.

Otherwise, follow a professional guide as you check out each floor of the Waupun Heritage Museum.

Each room in this museum covers a particular aspect of Waupun’s history.

For example, one room discusses the development of its industries and commerce.

Another room features the city’s contribution to the state, and even Civil War relics.

There’s so much to see and learn at Waupun Heritage Museum, so try and visit!

Unwind at Thirsty Marlins

Thirsty Marlins is a popular sports bar in the city’s heart where sports fans and partygoers drop by!

Established in 2007, Thirsty Marlins has won the top spot on the Top Ten places to visit in Waupun.

You can enjoy a light snack at the bar or have several drinks with friends.

Likewise, you can hit the dance floor and dance the night away.

They host various events on certain nights, ranging from live music and entertainment to karaoke.

This club also offers classic bar games such as darts and pools where you can challenge a friend to a game or two.

Whether you want a drink or wish to meet some friendly locals, Thirsty Marlins is the place to go.

Play a Round of Golf at the Rock Golf Club

Established in 1927, the Rock Golf Club has become the go-to golf course in Waupun with its rolling fairways, manicured rough and greens, and scenic views.

This golf course boasts 18 holes and can cater to any player, whether beginners or seasoned players.

They also offer a practice course and an indoor golf simulation that lets you choose from over 70 different courses so you can practice your aim.

Expert players can challenge themselves at the “Back Nine” course, which has 29 sand traps and other obstacles requiring precise and accurate swings.

If you’re hungry after a game, head to their bar and grill and grab a delicious meal!

The Rock Golf Club offers a high-quality golfing experience topped with splendid views.

Grab a Sweet Treat at Tom Dooley Apple Orchard

Are you looking for something sweet but don’t want to consume too much sugar?

Try grabbing a treat from Tom Dooley Apple Orchard!

This orchard and bakery grows over 20 kinds of apples and bakes their own apple treats, including pies, cookies, squares, and more!

Since 1967, Tom Dooley Apple Orchard has crafted their own recipes and modified them to perfection.

Their methods ensure nothing but heartwarming, mouthwatering baked goods.

During harvest season, their shop parades a variety of colors, from reds to greens, as they prepare to turn these fresh fruits into sweet delicacies.

In addition to homemade pastries, their shop sells fresh apples, candies, honey, jams, and other crafts.

Their line of products only continues to grow.

Grab a delicious treat at Tom Dooley Apple Orchard!

Indulge in the Outdoors at Marsh Haven Nature Center

Marsh Haven Nature Center is on the eastern end of Waupun and allows guests to immerse themselves in nature.

Established in 1984, this nature center has preserved, conserved, and celebrated nature and wildlife.

This facility offers nature activities.

Explore the walking and hiking trails, spot various wildlife, and wander the woodlands and prairie.

You can also drop by their museum.

Check out the displays and exhibits on Waupun’s natural landscape and the various species of animals that thrive in this city.

You even have the option to spend the night and go camping in their designated tents or lodging area.

Schedule your visit to Marsh Haven Nature Center and have a relaxing day outdoors!

Stop by the Annual Waupun Truck-N-Show

The Waupun Truck-N-Show is an annual event in Waupun’s Ice Arena where trucks from the United States and Canada gather.

Each truck features unique, intricate details that will mesmerize guests of all ages.

With hundreds of entries, this event is a popular competition among truckers and truck enthusiasts showing off their vehicles.

In addition to the show, you can find several vendors selling various food items and drinks which you can try.

They also feature live music and entertainment with special guests taking the stage.

Bring the kids to the family-friendly Waupun Truck-N-Show and spend quality time together!

Shop for Antique Items at Roadside Relics

Roadside Relics is home to a unique array of items for those who love one-of-a-kind purchases!

You can find this antique shop within the city’s heart and sells repurposed furniture, house decors, and more.

This antiquary has earned renown for reselling old, rusty furniture and trinkets, which guests can buy and customize themselves.

Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir, furniture to refurbish, or simple house decor, Roadside Relics has everything you need.

They also sell jewelry and accessories that can make any outfit pop.

Stop by Roadside Relics on your next antiquing adventure and see what all the fuss is about!

Enjoy the Outdoors at Shaler Memorial Park

The grounds of Shaler Memorial Park

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Shaler Memorial Park allows you to indulge in several outdoor activities in Waupun’s city center.

This park gets its name from Clarence Addison Shaler, a resident of Waupun who created numerous sculptures found all over the city.

The main attraction here is The End of the Trail sculpture.

Shaler commissioned James Earl Fraser to create the sculpture, which you can spot near the park entrance.

End of the trail sculpture at Shaler Memorial Park

Shawn Conrad, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This sculpture has landed on the National Register of Historic Sites because it honors the Native American heritage of Waupun.

This outdoor park also allows water-based activities where you can explore the lake either on a kayak or a canoe.

You can even go fishing, catch several species, have a lovely picnic, and spend quality time at Shaler Memorial Park!

Buy Fresh Goods at the Downtown Waupun Farmers Market

There’s nothing better than going shopping in a farmer’s market on a sunny day.

Check out the Downtown Waupun Farmers Market!

Every Saturday in summer, the market sells fresh fruits and vegetables from local community members, gardens, and farmers.

This market sets up in the main parking lot of downtown Waupun, serving customers no matter the weather.

In addition to high-quality products, you can also find food stands and stalls that sell freshly baked goods, pastries, and other crafts.

Sit on the chairs and tables around the market to enjoy your al-fresco-style meal!

Meet friendly locals and take a food tour at Downtown Waupun Farmers Market.

Beat the Heat at Waupun Family Aquatic Center

Wisconsin undergoes hot humid summers, so beat the heat at Waupun Family Aquatic Center!

Visit this facility when the sun shines bright.

Beat the heat with its several swimming pools, water slides, fountains, and diving boards.

Kids can play in the kiddie pool and use the kiddie water slides, while teens can test their bravery on the diving boards.

You can even get a quick workout, swim several laps around the lap pool, sit under the water fountain, and enjoy the cold water.

Their concession stands open for light meals and snacks to keep you energized throughout your visit.

Cool off and splash away at Waupun Family Aquatic Center!

Take a Hike at Egret Trail

Egret Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Waupun, belonging to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

Only stretching a kilometer, this trail is perfect for beginners or first-time hikers since the path is relatively easy.

This attraction also draws avid birdwatchers since you can see several species of birds and fowl flying overhead.

The trail sits amid woodlands and forested areas with views of the nearby lake, providing a serene getaway.

There’s a lot to see and explore at Egret Trail, so put on comfortable shoes when you visit!

Join the ​​Volksfest German Ethnic Festival

Since 1994, the Volksfest German Ethnic Festival has become an annual tradition that celebrates the community’s diversity.

Highlighting German and other Volksfest traditions, this two-day event comprises activities for all ages.

This festival takes place at Waupun’s Tanner Park, located right at the city’s heart, every September.

Guests who join this celebration will see various German food and treats along with living music.

Many people refer to this Volksfest event as “a festival for all people,” welcoming everyone to Waupun.

Several guest bands and artists also take the stage to provide entertainment for the whole day.

Go ahead and sing and dance along!

Don’t miss the chance to join the ​​Volksfest German Ethnic Festival for some good times!

Go Bowling at Jud-son’s Bowling

Jud-son’s Bowling is in downtown Waupun and provides entertainment and fun for the whole clan!

Often referred to as “Jud’s,” this family-owned and operated business has become a staple in the community since its establishment over 60 years ago.

This entertainment center also has over 16 bowling lanes where bowlers of all skill levels are welcome.

Expert players can join a bowling league that offers fantastic prizes.

This facility also has pool tables, darts, poker machines, and more if you want to try other games.

You can get a light snack or a cold drink from the bar to keep you energized.

Challenge your companions to a friendly bowling game at Jud-son’s Bowling!

Try Indoor Golf at Snow Links

Snow Links is an indoor golfing facility in the city center that recreates real-life golfing through a simulator.

Perfect for all ages and skill levels, Snow Links uses modern technology to give you a life-like experience of the actual sport.

Enjoy the game inside the walls of their establishment for a great price.

This state-of-the-art facility offers over 90 different courses, including the famous golf courses of Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.

Their bar also serves food and snacks, including beers and pizza, to keep you full throughout the day.

Whether you’d like to improve your skill or enjoy a round of indoor golf, Snow Links is more than happy to serve you.

Explore the Waupun Park Maple Forest State Natural Area

Trees at Waupun Park Maple Forest State Natural Area

Joshua Mayer from Madison, WI, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1967, the Waupun Park Maple Forest State Natural Area is a fraction of woodland known as Wisconsin’s southern mesic forest.

This land sits almost surrounded by trees.

You can also explore several trails where you can admire the beauty of nature.

The paved trails wind through various trees in this forest, including basswood trees, red oak, white ash, and more.

You can also find a variety of flora and fauna that thrive in these forests.

There are also several campsites across this area.

Feel free to set up a tent and spend the night at Waupun Park Maple Forest State Natural Area!

Final Thoughts

Waupun offers various activities to keep you entertained throughout your visit.

This beautiful city has so much to explore, from museums to local eateries and even entertainment centers.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Waupun!

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