We have so many favorites downtown. During the weekends, it may be hard to find a parking spot but that’s a good thing. Whitney has at least 10 plant babies from DiG Garden Store, so many vintage goodies at Back Porch Gatherings. Beau absolutely loves the bath bombs from Water Works Bath Co., and $5 newly-released movies at Campus Cinema (the first Marcus Theater). You can check out all of the other downtown stores here.
The Ceresco Prairie is our escape in Ripon. Our chance to get our daily dose of much needed fresh air, no matter the season. It’s a great trail to run, walk, hike, and mountain bike (if you’re ambitious with numerous trails). Just a short walk from the college’s Willmore Center, Beau always points out all sorts of wildlife. If you are looking for a way to get out and relax, this is just the place to do that.
We have some local favorites that are our go-to in Ripon. Breakfast out is a must in our book, and a great stop is at Mr. & Mrs. P’s Eatery (p.s. don’t forget dessert). For a great local brew and sandwiches: Knuth Brewing Company (who now have their own Brew Hall). We love a cold pint of Blue-Eyed Blonde with a wood-fire pizza. When you are feeling Barbecue (which is every Thursday night for us) J’s BBQ is top-knotch. Chris loves to make his own nachos topped with their delicious mac & cheese, and hands down: the beef brisket with J’s sauce is a must. Don’t forget the pretzel roll and sweet potato fries!
Beau absolutely loves the pizza from Roadhouse because they have a children’s viewing area where they can watch the pizzas being made right in front of you. One of our favorite ways to spend a summer night is on the grounds of Vines & Rushes Winery. Whitney’s pick is always sweet so: a glass of “Wiskonsan” for her and Chris loves a good red: “Megnolia” (worth the splurge). On weekends there always seems to be live music happening, and you can’t go wrong with a locally-sourced ingredients and create your own wood-fire pizzas (which ours always has cheese curds on it).
Of course we are somewhat biased, but this campus holds so many special memories for us. It’s where we met, where we said our vows, and where we decided to raise our family. We love to attend sporting events down at the Willmore Center (which was just recently updated within the last year – it’s amazing), check out the theatre plays and new art installations, celebrate Homecoming with a cook-out, and so much more. Sometimes it feels as if having a college campus in a small town could be isolating, but that’s far from the truth. The college is part of the community, and the community is part of the college.
We aren’t kidding when we say there is always something going on or something to do in Ripon. Our absolute favorite is the Summer Concerts Series on the Village Green. Every Friday night there is a FREE concert happening on the lawn, so you can pull up a lawn chair, grab a cold drink from the concession stand and enjoy live entertainment to start the weekend off right.
Watch cookies fall from the sky, at Ripon’s annual Cookie Dayz is one of Beau’s absolute favorite events. For the ladies: Ripon holds a Spring and a Fall Wine Walk, which is your opportunity to do some much needed retail therapy mixed with some sweet sips. If you are ever here over the Winter, Dicken’s of a Christmas event is a must see! They block the entire downtown area off and it’s packed with visitors enjoying horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, living window displays and much more. To check out more of the Ripon downtown event listing, head over here.
Did we miss something, a favorite in Ripon? Share it below with us!
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