By Brooke Caldwell, Ciera L’Huillier & Grace Prust
With winter right around the corner, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB) students are out and about in Brown County doing various winter activities. Some events are more well-known, while others are newer to the area.
There are many opportunities to get together with the community this holiday season. One popular attraction is The Polar Express Train Ride at the National Railroad Museum. The Polar Express recreates the popular children’s story and takes guests on a magical trip to the North Pole. This event is so popular that tickets went on sale in July and sold out within a day. Visitors wait at their computers for the release of these tickets each year. The experience is interactive, and guests board a real moving train. Jacqueline Frank, CEO of the museum, said, “On average, we have more than 15,000 people visit during the month of December.” There are performances involved and hot chocolate with treats. Other events hosted by the National Railroad Museum include the Festival of Trees and Holidays on the Rails.
The Green Bay Botanical Garden also has a popular event that students have attended. The WPS Garden of Lights opened at the end of November and will run until the end of December. Every year, the horticultural team and volunteers set up thousands of lights for the community to see. Spectators can view over 37 botanically themed light displays throughout the garden, and some displays make improvements each year. UWGB senior Janie Hodny currently works at the garden and stated that there is a new display set up this season called “Walking On A Dream,” which happens to be her favorite. “Visitors can enjoy stepping on rounded tiles that change colors as you walk on them,” said Hodny. She had even stated how the public calls far in advance to book their tickets for this event, which has even left them sold out for this upcoming weekend, December 15th-18th.
A video clip of employees of Green Bay Botanical Garden and their favorite Garden of Lights displays. A new display setup, “Walking On A Dream,” is featured at the end of the video.
Located in Ashwaubenon, Titletown opened in 2017 and has offered many different attractions and events since then. Hannah Meyer, Titletown Marketing and Digital Coordinator, said, “In the winter time, skating on the Hy-Vee Plaza and tubing down Ariens Hill are very popular activities and something people look forward to opening once the weather cools down.” The park tries to serve many different demographics, and a UWGB student Claire Gleason would love to see more events catered to college students in the area. Gleason has visited Titletown the last two years she has lived in Green Bay but said, “I just would love to see the community highlight the upcoming generation and give college students the opportunity to meet one another and network with each other.” She even presented the idea of a discount day for students in the area.
Over the years, Titletown has gained a lot of traction from the community. “Year-over-year, there has been an increase in attendance for both our large events and our smaller weekly programming,” said Meyer. She also confirmed that Titletown is working on incorporating events that attract all ages in the future and hopes to open up events to a wider audience. They encourage people to send in ideas on how they can better serve the community with their events. “We are always looking for new, fresh programs and events to bring to Titletown, so if you have any ideas, feel free to send them our way,” said Meyer.