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You don’t have to break the bank to be able to experience fun activities this summer with the family. Nestled in the heart of Wisconsin on the Chain O’ Lakes, Waupaca offers numerous free family-friendly things to do. 


For extra activities, plan your stay on a weekend with one of our cherished annual events such as Kite Field Day in May, Strawberry Fest in June, the Mid-Western Rodeo in July or our County Fair in August


Explore the beautiful Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes area on a budget with these free outdoor activities!



The Waupaca River Ridge Trail

Enjoy a scenic nature walk or take a family bike ride along the Waupaca River Ridge Trail. There are over 26 miles of trails to explore that connect several parks. Learn More.



Brainard’s Bridge Park

This park truly shows the natural beauty of Waupaca with several photo opportunities, a playground and a picnic area. Bring a lunch and spend the afternoon exploring 19 acres with your kids. They’ll love the islands with bridge connections. Learn More.



Turner’s Fresh Market 

Turner’s is open seasonally from May to October so you can enjoy fresh produce and flowers during your summer getaway. This market has been around in some form since the early 1960s and is rooted in Waupaca’s history. Nothing quite compares to a fresh carton of strawberries from Turner’s on a hot summer day!  Learn More.



Free Fishing Weekend

June 5 – 6, 2021 and June 4-5, 2022

Twice a year, in January and June, the state of Wisconsin waives fishing license fees for a weekend. All 2021-2022 fishing regulations apply, including bag and length limits. Load the family up and spend the day fishing and enjoying a summer weekend in Waupaca. Learn More.



Waupaca Historical Society Museum

While exploring downtown, stop by the museum to see the library, artifact collections, special exhibits and programs, and get a tour of the facilities. For more information and hours, check out their website


A summer day trip to Waupaca doesn’t have to set you back! Sprinkling in a couple of free activities can make a family vacation affordable and offer the same memorable experiences. For more ideas on how to spend your time in Waupaca, see our full list of Things to Do.

Tags: Family Friendly, Free, Outdoor Activities, Summer

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