Trips to Switzerland are likely just pipe dreams in today's
economy, but a trip to New Glarus, Wis., for its annual Heidi
Festival can feel a little bit like hanging out in the Alps.
The Heidi Festival/Taste of New Glarus
features food and entertainment with a decidedly Swiss feel.
The highlight of the weekend is the
"Heidi" play. The story of Heidi, her gruff grandfather and their
life in the Alps will be presented throughout the weekend and
includes real animals, so each performance is a little different.
"There are actual live goats and kittens on the stage," says Susie
Weiss, administrator of the New Glarus Chamber of Commerce. "It's
hilarious-sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they don't." The
play is performed indoors at New Glarus High School.
For the Taste of New Glarus, local
shops and restaurants offer plenty of Swiss food, from Swiss
potatoes to meat fondue. But while it has some Swiss flavor, it's
not all Swiss, so everybody should be able to find something to
eat, Weiss says.
Kids will enjoy the wagon rides to the
Swiss Historical Village Museum and the Chalet of Golden Fleece.
The outdoor museum, a living history museum with original
buildings, is geared specifically toward families. The wagon rides
are free; the museums charge a nominal admission fee.
New Glarus is about two hours from
downtown Chicago, so a visit there could be a long day trip or a
weekend adventure. New Glarus Woods State Park is nearby for
camping, or there are bed and breakfasts in the area.
And though the fest draws plenty of
visitors, it's easy to navigate with young children in a stroller,
Heidi Festival/Taste of New
New Glarus, Wis.
The "Heidi" play will be performed at
7:30 p.m. June 26, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. June 27 and 1:30 p.m. June
28. Admission is $8, $6 for kids 11 and under.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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