Do you have children, he will travel – Door County Pulse

Family Friendly Weekend Activities Options around the door

This Memorial Day weekend, 39.2 million Americans are expected to hit the road for the unofficial kickoff of summer travel. For families traveling to Door County, to enjoy a stay or entertain guests on the peninsula, there is plenty to do and see – some for the first time in two years.

Bloom Loco is back

After a two-year hiatus, the farm animal sanctuary will reopen at 4431 Plum Bottom Road in Egg Harbor on May 28.

“We’ve missed a lot of our visiting families, as well as the animals,” co-owner Linda Steiner Pachacio said. “It’s been eerily quiet the past two seasons and I didn’t feel like I was at home.” Pascasio, who owns and operates the farm with her husband Jeremy, said the absence of children’s play and laughter on the property left the biggest void during that time.

The private preserve has been a popular stop for families since it opened in 2006, allowing visitors to interact with ponies, chickens, goats and pigs, and providing young visitors with opportunities to learn through play. Even those who make Plum Loco a regular stop can expect to see some exciting changes this season, including new animal shelters, an updated parking, entrance and ticket booth.

Plum Loco, which takes its name from a combination of its location and the nickname of Pascascios, has a lot to offer Door County families and visitors. Run to Animal Acres to feed the animals and pets, or step into Play-Farm Village, which features a farm, play garden, barn, general store and other imaginative businesses in the fictional city.

“All of our features have been modified for kids,” said Pacasio. “They immerse themselves in imaginative play for hours on end.”

Families with older children can play giant lawn games of chess, checkers, and Connect Four.

The philosophy behind animal welfare is a hallmark of the business, so although the animals are the highlight of any visit, Plum Loco is not a petting zoo in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a sanctuary that provides the animal with a safe and loving home throughout its life. Each animal has a name and personal history, and many have found their way into Plum Loco in adulthood. So, you probably won’t pet and play with baby animals, but you will learn some interesting stories behind the adult and adult animals that call the Plum Loco home.

“As a farm animal sanctuary, all the animals in Plum Loco are members of the family,” said Pascasio.
Beyond the barns, guests are welcome to stroll in the spacious garden, under shaded gazebos or at one of the many picnic tables.

The return of Maeve Jacksonport

Some things are hard to let go of – notably the claim to host the unofficial kick-off of the festival season in Door County. The Maifest, sponsored by the Jacksonport Area Business Association and held in the city’s Lakeside Park, will return to its summertime setting for the 49th year May 28-29.

“We used to be the only festival early in the season,” said Rob Geithner, one of the event organizers. “We are known as the Quiet Side. We are more agricultural and don’t put in as much effort into the rest of the summer as the rest of the county.”

When Maifest began nearly half a century ago, it gave the rural community a chance to showcase its beautiful beach front and showcase its agricultural heritage. This tradition continues today with horse draws (now in its 46th year), pony digging team performances and a trick fair.

“We’re trying to reverse it [the festival] It was a few years ago,” Geithner said. “We’ll have live bands on Saturdays and Sundays, concession stands, a halfway area with kids’ rubber, and our tight art show is back with 50+ vendors.”
Although the festival won’t feature pony rides or a softball tournament this year, Geithner hopes to bring more old favorites back to future events.

“I think at one point there were 12 pubs that had softball teams,” he said, recalling the tournament his grandfather, Bob Geithner, started in the 1970s.

But the two-day festival isn’t all about farm life and family fun. Held on Memorial Day weekend, it also honors fallen veterans of America with a Memorial Day special by VFW Post 3088 following the popular Maifest review.

For Geithner and his fellow volunteers, the weekend is more than just another festival or the unofficial start of the Door County Festival season. It is about society.

“We like to show off what we have, but we’re not trying to compete with northern communities,” he said. “It gets the people of our town excited and brings the farming community together. This is especially important as the farming community has been devastated in recent years.”

Find more information, registration details and an event schedule at jacksonport.net/maifest.

Watch Jacksonport Walk Through Lake to Lake Run

Planning to visit Jacksonport for Maeve? Grab your running shoes, and join the fun at the Lake to Lake Run on Sunday, May 29. For those who aren’t quite ready to run a full or half marathon—or are training for one—it’s one of only three opportunities in the county to run a 10K.

“10km is an amazing distance because it’s less than a half marathon but it attracts a really good crowd,” said race organizer Rob Geithner. “We could expand into a bigger race, but the track was running perfectly at 10 kilometres.”

The track travels along Highway 57, on Lake Shore Road, to Lake Clark, and then back along North Cave Point Drive.
Those who prefer shorter distances, and smaller racers, can also enjoy the family-friendly two-mile option (buggies are welcome), which takes racers on a round trip along Highway 57 and Lake Shore Road.

Both races feature chip timing, and all proceeds support the Jacksonport Fire Department. Learn more and register to race at runignup.com/race/WI/Jacksonport/JacksonportMaifest.

Good time “cart”

If you want an overview of everything the county has to offer — with the added fun of camper travel — a tour with the Door County Trolley, 8030 Hwy 42 in Egg Harbor, is just the ticket.

Illustrated Landscape Tour ($24.95 for ages 16+ and $18.95 for ages 5 to 15; please, no children under 5) takes travelers on a comprehensive tour of the best sites and scenery in Door County, including stunning views From scenic bluffing peninsulas to famous sites of local legend and lore. Tickets and more details are available at doorcountytrolley.com.

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