The 10 Best Things to Do in Fort Atkinson, United States

November 1, 2017 Marlin Saiz

Fort Atkinson is a city in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the Rock River, a few miles upstream from Lake Koshkonong. The population was 12,368 at the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Fort Atkinson

1. Fireside Theatre

1131 Janesville Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-2406 +1 800-477-9505
Excellent
74%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 329 reviews

Fireside Theatre

The Fireside Dinner Theatre is one of the Midwest's most popular entertainment destinations and the only Actor's Equity dinner theatre in Wisconsin. The Klopcic family is proud to celebrate 50 years of hospitality in charming, historic Fort Atkinson. The Fireside Dinner Theatre, a favorite destination for couples, families and tour groups alike offers a variety of things to do. Browse the unique gift shops, enjoy award-winning cuisine, and top off the evening with one of the best professional theatre experiences Wisconsin has to offer.

Reviewed By Ron W - Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

It's hard to miss any musical at the Fireside but it always a treat to see the Christmas musicals. This year it is "Miracle on 34th street" and Kris Kringle is just awesome. Dinner as always was very good and don't miss the Red velvet cake with cinnamon ice cream.

2. Wisconsin Skydiving Center

N3407 County Road K, Jefferson, WI 53549-9604
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 37 reviews

Wisconsin Skydiving Center

Reviewed By 586sini - Helsinki

Reservation of tandem skydiving was fast, finding the place was easy, training was sufficient, atmosphere was friendly, staff was extremely knowledgeable and they really made an effort in making the experience best possible - everything was worth it! Special thanks to Bo and Jake for bringing us safely down to earth on our first anniversary.

3. Hoard Historical Museum

401 Whitewater Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-2255 +1 920-563-7769
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 33 reviews

Hoard Historical Museum

Reviewed By amyz7890 - amyz7890

Visited here during the Christmas open house. The place was busy for a special event. Visited with a sportsman who enjoyed the exhibits with taxidermied birds and history of duck hunting in the area. I most enjoyed learning about the Native American mounds.

The Christmas open house was a great time to visit with a piano player playing Christmas music, a ginger bread house competition, activities for children and cookies.

You can't beat the admission price - FREE.

4. Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre

W6423 US Hwy 18, Jefferson, WI 53549 +1 920-674-6700
Excellent
54%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 36 reviews

Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre

Reviewed By Dean B - Cambridge, Wisconsin

We took our kids (8, 5, and 2) here over the weekend (mid July, 2016) to see "The Secret Life of Pets". The show was the first of a double feature with "The BFG" playing second.

Driving up, you're greeted by a large, nostalgic neon sign. Admission is reasonable, especially for a double feature, at $9 for adults and $5 for kids over 5 (kids under $5 are free). There are no carry-ins allowed, as there is a concession stand in the middle of the lot.

We found a spot in the first row, near center and drove up onto the sloped lawn. Had we stayed in our car, the view would have been perfect. Every spot in the first 6 rows has a its own speaker than can be brought into the car. Alternately, you can tune your radio to the indicated radio station.

The lawn area in front of the first row was well taken care of, and there was an old-fashioned playground (actual metal climbing structures/monkey bars and teeter-totters made out of wood with half-tire 'cushions' to land on at the bottom, etc), which the kids (ours and everyone else's) loved playing on. The playground was closed, via an announcement about 10 minutes prior to show time and MOST of the guests left the playground at that time.

We arrived a bit after 8 pm, as there are no hard show times, just "as soon after sun down as is possible". The night we went was clear skies in mid-July, so the sun set about 8:30 pm, and they lit up the screen at about 9 pm. First up was an old Looney Tunes short, which was pretty nostalgic and cool to see. That was followed by a music video of a band playing at an outdoor drive-in, and finally by a single trailer for an upcoming movie.

We'd set up a blanket in front of our car, along with 4 of the collapsible canvas chairs and just relied on the speakers on the poles in between the cars for sound, as did most of the people around us. The sound quality was good...definitely not crystal clear like in a modern movie theater, but after a minute or so of adjustment, I didn't even notice any difference. Even thinking back about it now, I don't recall being disappointed in the sound quality or volume at all.

The picture quality was very good, as they're now using a digital projector, according to their website. Plenty of nice, even brightness, even in the darker parts of the movie.

Before the movie started, we all made a trip to the concession stand. Prices were reasonable, and a large popcorn, large soda, an order of funnel cake fries, and a bag of sour patch kids only set us back about $25, which is right in line with what you'd pay at a modern theater. The service was quick and they got everything right the first time. They do have a grill, with a good number of items, but the items are made when you order, so if you want something like that, you should be prepared to wait.

All in all, it was a good experience. Our kids had a lot of fun the all enjoyed it. Both my 5 year and 8 year old daughters, who 1, rarely agree on anything, and 2, who both usually do their best to impersonate a grumpy, jaded teenager gushed about how much they liked it and asked when we could go back again.

5. Dwight Foster Public Library

209 Merchants Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-2201 +1 920-563-7790
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 20 reviews

Dwight Foster Public Library

Reviewed By BadgerBob67 - Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, United States

I confess. I am a reading addict, reading an eclectic variety of books, averaging between 70 and 90 books per year. In my lifetime, I have visited dozens of libraries, in towns from the size of Cambridge, Wisconsin, to the main library in Chicago, or the library of Congress, and many libraries in between. I firmly believe the library in Fort Atkinson, Wi is without par for a city of less than 25000. (Fort is about 12,000).
The children's library alone is worth a visit, whether it is for the Lego creations of preschoolers, or watching children play learning games when not in school, or just learning to use a computer in a safe, supervised environment. The primary feature in the children's area, however, has to be the large upside-down tree, from the roots and small carved underground animals more than 20 feet in the air, to the green "clumps" of leaves, forming shelves for books, or seats for sitting and or reading. near the crown and the floor. If you look carefully, you may spot a cardinal or other bird sitting in one of the leaf clumps. On one wall, you will spot an artistic rendition of the woods where Cristopher Robin may have played with Winnie-the-Poo. The wall is moveable, to open an activity or craft area, for organized crafts.
Take the elevator or climb the curved staircase past the exterior of a 1983 addition, and you find past permanent and temporary exhibits of the works of local artists, current and past, a friendly librarian, ready to sign you on to one of the many computers in the large space for that reason, or assist you in finding that special tome you always wanted to read. This area also includes smaller meeting rooms for groups to meet during library hours, and the fiction books. If you go left at the top of the stairs, you enter a room that has access to rest rooms, and a special room dedicated to a famous local poet. Continuing, you enter part of the earlier additions, where the non-fiction, magazines, and travel sources are located. There also, you may wish to add a piece or two the puzzle or puzzles being worked on by anyone who wishes, out of the libraries extensive collection, or read one of several current papers or magazines.
But that's not all! As you enter the building, if you turn left, you see an exhibit of local patrons at various levels, followed by an art niche, offering natural light and soon, a bronze of "Sarah", reclining and reading a book in front of "A River Runs Through It", a work by a local glass artist, illuminated by natural light. Opposite, you will find public restrooms, and beyond, large public rooms, for use by reservation both when the library is open or not. Served by a friendly and helpful staff, this is truly a wondrous place to visit, but be sure to bring the kids.

6. Dorothy Carnes County Park & Rose Lake State Natural Area

Radloff Lane, Fort Atkinson, WI +1 920-674-7260
Excellent
71%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Dorothy Carnes County Park & Rose Lake State Natural Area

Reviewed By toelle - Chicago, Illinois

This off-the-beaten-path park is home to a wildflower prairie, a forested woodland and lake and marshland. The combination of these environments creates a wonderful diversity of nature for anyone who visits.

As you enter the park there is a huge prairie of wildflowers bordering the road. The first thing you will notice...or rather hear...are the song birds. Blue birds and purple martins trill in the flowers and in the bird boxes and houses that have been placed in the field. Second to the many birds are butterflies and dragonflies.

The bird tweets continue as you hike to the forested area and down to Rose Lake, a Wisconsin state nature area. This is a shallow lake that is abundantly rich in plants, insects and frogs. Here, you will find ducks, geese and other waterfowl feeding. Signage at the observation platform tells visitors that Rose Lake is a major migratory stopover for white pelicans in Spring, a reason for me to plan another trip here to
seem them.

None of the trails that take you through these areas is difficult or long. In fact, most the the trail loops average about a half mile, the longest is a mile. So, if you are looking for a long and strenuous day hike, this is not the place. But if you are looking for a gem of a nature experience, you will not be disappointed. And, there are several bonuses to be discovered if you visit.

Bonuses:
- A huge timbered shelter with picnic tables is located off the parking lot. It's a great place to picnic. However, if you walk down to Rose Lake there is an observation platform with tables and benches, and you can eat overlooking the lake.

- A significant find off one of the trails is a Native American turtle effigy mound. It is clearly marked by signage and fencing. It is well taken care of and wonderful to see.

- There's art in this park. Now through October 2016 a 3/4-mile art trail has been created and incorporated into one of the park's regular trails. Ten artists have made an Earth Art Lab, where they have mixed art with nature. A brochure is available for
interpretation.

Notes: There are maps and brochures that explain trails and significant natural elements and other park features located at a kiosk off the parking lot. There are only non-flushing toilets. The park is open all year and changes with the seasons. The trails are open for cross country skiing and snow shoeing in Winter.

7. Busy Barns Adventure Farm

W7675 US Highway 12, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-9714 +1 920-691-6742
Excellent
90%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 17 reviews

Busy Barns Adventure Farm

Busy Barns Adventure Farm happily invites you to come enjoy Acres of Adventures! Make plans to spend the day in the country as you interact with a variety of animals, play in the corn box, jump around in the hay mow, race through the obstacle course, dare to defy our 20-foot tunnel slides, take a trip on a hayride, enjoy puppet shows, animal demonstrations and much more! Our spring season welcomes baby animals born on the farm and special seasonal events. Fall ushers in harvest time with our trivia corn maze, u-pick pumpkin patch and Harvest Farmer's Market. Concessions on site are provided by the FFA Alumni Feedbag, including snacks, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, and sweet treats. Check our website for specific dates, times and special events. We look forward to seeing you this spring and fall!

Reviewed By Tom H - Watertown, Wisconsin

The owner, Mary, has paid great attention to detail at this wonderful, child-centered farmette and wedding facility. Children can spend hours petting baby pigs, holding kittens, feeding goats and just enjoying being around animals they normally don't see. Then they can run, jump, and walk on tin-can "stilts". There is easy access and egress onto Highway 18 and plenty of free parking for cars and large vehicles. The $10.00 entry fee seems steep but, as you spread it out over a several hour visit it becomes well worth the cost. Yesterday there were decorated and un-decorated squash, gourds, and pumpkins for sale. We don't have children or grandchildren and we will visit again. You should too.

8. Glacial River Bike Trail

County Line Rd and Old Hwy 26, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 +1 920-563-7781
Excellent
70%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Glacial River Bike Trail

Reviewed By florence f - fort atkinson

it is very close to my home love to ride it. very peaceful & quiet. don't have to worry about traffic.no dislikes.

9. Panther Intaglio

1236 Riverside Dr, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-1501
Excellent
37%
Good
63%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 8 reviews

Panther Intaglio

Reviewed By robcurtross - New York City, New York

The Native Americans of the Mound Culture excavated these inverted mounds perhaps for ceremonial purposes regarding water spirits. These were always pretty rare; at least nine others were destroyed and parts of the panther are also missing.

The intaglio lies across Route 106 from the Rock River; it reminded me to reflect on Chief Black Hawks words on why he and his people fought to keep out European settlers in the area:

In a speech in the year of his death (1838) he said:

"It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here today— I have eaten with my white friends. The earth is our mother— we are now on it, with the Great spirit above us; it is good. I hope we are all friends here. A few winters ago I was fighting against you. I did wrong, perhaps, but that is past—it is buried—let it be forgotten.

"Rock River was a beautiful country. I liked my towns, my cornfields and the home of my people. I fought for it. It is now yours. Keep it as we did— it will produce you good crops.

"I thank the Great Spirit that I am now friendly with my white brethren. We are here together, we have eaten together; we are friends; it is his wish and mine. I thank you for your friendship."

10. Two Rivers Bicycle and Outdoor

33 Sherman Ave W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-1836 +1 920-563-2222
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Two Rivers Bicycle and Outdoor

Reviewed By Bill W - Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

I called them with a broken chain and asked if they could squeeze me in that evening. "Come on in!". I got there and my chain was replaced and I had the new tire I also wanted within 10 minutes. I love guys that both know what they are doing and want to make a statement with their service attitude.

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