Metro Milwaukee Guide

The go-to guide for activities in the greater Milwaukee area


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Getting Behind the Art in Racine

I like art. Dali’s droopy clocks, Escher’s endless staircases, that dot picture of all those people on an old-timey day at the beach… I really, truly like art. That being said, I would rather be about 100 places other than in an art museum discussing the intricacies of every little brush stroke and mysterious Mona Lisa smile. It’s safe to say that although I like art, I don’t really enjoy looking at it (for too long). Lynch me if you must, art critics. What I’m most interested in is the process. The final product is beautiful, but the path to get there is the most exciting.

Yep. There she is.

Yep. There she is.

Lucky for us, we were able to get out to Racine on April 13 for their annual gET bEHIND the aRTS event. The folks over at Real Racine really know how to get me going, because this is an entire event devoted to the creation and evolution of a piece of art or performance. We had 24 locations to choose from throughout Kenosha and Racine that were teeming with people, art, snacks, and fun.

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Finding Fresh Food in Wintry Weather

The polar vortex may have passed (or has it?!), but we’re still under a blitzkrieg of snow and negative wind chills. I often find, when speaking to people about the Midwest during winter, there’s a misunderstanding that when our gardens and farms are covered in snow, we have no access to fresh food. But fear not, intrepid travelers. Fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables are abundant­­–if you know where to look.

Lake Michigan breakwater in the winter. Via Wikimedia by Benn Newman.

Lake Michigan breakwater in the winter. Via Wikimedia by Benn Newman.

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Winter at Apple Holler

Okay, okay, I know it’s winter time and it’s all snowy outside and all that garbage, but I can’t stop thinking about Apple Holler in Racine County. Not because I miss apple picking season (although I do – I’ll get back to that later), but because of the goats. That’s right, GOATS. Goats are quite possibly one of the best animals on the planet. Don’t believe me? Have you SEEN this video?

That’s some serious amazing goaty goodness. Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that goats are awesome. And Apple Holler has some you can feed. And they have a goat bridge so they can goat walk over to a goat food pulley system and… and then I fall apart from cuteness. Alas, the goats don’t seem to be out during the winter time. But you know what is? REINDEER. (These people, I swear. They just have a direct line into my big sappy heart.) Which brings me to the point of this post: Apple Holler rules in winter, too!

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The goat watches over us all.

My family normally hikes up our typical Midwestern flannel sleeves (I’m lying, only me and my mom wear flannel shirts, sometimes) in September or October and hauls it to the Holler so we can grab an apple stash. Apple Holler has 74 acres of orchard and 30 varieties of apples. You can also take a hayride, watch pig races, shop in their bakery and store, watch some dinner theater, eat some delightful food in their restaurant, go through the corn maze… you get the idea. Last year we brought home something like 130 apples. We always spread them all out on the dining room table and divvy them up to go to our respective homes and morph into pies, applesauce, cakes, and all that delicious nonsense. It’s something of a family tradition. So when we decided to go Hollering in winter this year, I was a little trepidatious.

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How do you like THESE apples?

I was hoping the cold and snow would calm the crowds a little bit. It didn’t. Which is good, I think, because the owners are super nice and will chat with you like an old friend if you get them talking. We waded through the crowd to our table. Now, one of my favorite things about Apple Holler is the weekend breakfast buffet, and it did not disappoint. Cheesy hashbrown casserole, pancakes, eggs, apple walnut French toast, bacon, cinnamon apples, and then some. The regular breakfast menu is equally as good. Have you ever seen a salmon gorgonzola omelet? I hadn’t, until my brother ordered it. And I stole a bite. And it was delicious. The waitstaff offers hot, homemade apple cider to everyone. There’s really not much better than hot apple cider on a cold day. Well, except for going outside and taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Which we didn’t have time to do, but still. We spent the time after our meal browsing the gift shop, bakery, and store. We visited with the reindeer outside and threw a couple snowballs. Then we headed home with bellies full of excellent food (and a to-go container of the cheesy hashbrown casserole. MAN I love that stuff).

Plan your visit:
Address: 5006 S. Sylvania Avenue, Sturtevant
Phone: 262-884-7100
Website: appleholler.com
Parking: Regular lot, overflow lot, and ample street parking available along the frontage road.