School is about to begin and you have one last chance to take the family on a summer road trip. Why not head to Mount Horeb and check out these can’t-miss family friendly adventures!
Make a reservation at the GrandStay Hotel & Suites, Mount Horeb-Madison, which features an indoor pool and hot tub and a Grand Start Breakfast to get you up and movingin the morning. Ask about their Troll Hunting Kit, and begin your troll hunting adventure by saying hello to Tormund, the GrandStay Troll.
Don’t miss Sjolinds Chocolate Factory across the street from the hotel. Their quiche is to die for and they make their own bean-to-bar chocolate. From hot cocoa to dark chocolate truffles, they have something delicious for everyone in the family.
On your way out of town, stop at the first roundabout on Lillehammer Lane and Springdale Street. There you will discover Trollhøvel, one of our newest troll additions. Also referred to as “Troll Mountain,” this living sculpture is a troll face coming out of the side of a hill. There is a parking area so you can stop and snap some pictures.
Head to Cave of the Mounds and buy your tickets for a cave tour. Bring a sweater – the cave is a nippy 50 degrees all year round. The kids can pan for gold and purchase souveniers at the gift shop. Walk the grounds and enjoy the late summer blooms in their native gardens.
You’re just down the road from Blue Mound State Park, where you can find hiking trails and climb up towers overlook rolling hills, all the way to the Iowa border. But if you want to explore like a local, check out the county park next door: Brigham County Park. This little park has a paved walking path and a playground, and one of the most breathtaking views of Driftless Wisconsin you’ll ever see.
There are lots of options for lunch back in Mount Horeb. Ready to try something outlandish? How about rainbow grilled cheese at Icki Sticki? Sunn Cafe and Brix Cider offer great local farm-to-table options and they each have great outdoor seating. Wherever you eat, make sure you sit outside and soak up those last vestiges of summer.
After lunch, head across the street to the Driftless Historium. This little museum is jam-packed with incredible historic artifacts from Mount Horeb and Greater Southwest Wisconsin. Pick up some trolls of your own or other quirky trinkets in their gift shop.
So what’s with this troll-obsession, anyway? Stop by the Mount Horeb Welcome Center, pick up a Troll Map, and find out why Mount Horeb is the Troll Capital of the World. Then head out to find all 36 trolls that live in Mount Horeb, protecting our jewels and welcoming our travelers.
Along the way, stop in and buy some vintage and bulk candy at Sugar Troll, and taste some gelato while you’re at it. Eat dinner at Skål Public House or drive down the road to Hi Point Steakhouse for that traditional Wisconsin Supper Club feel. Local microbrewery Grumpy Troll Brew Pub brews their own beer, yes, but locals know to ask for the locally brewed root beer. After a full day of troll hunting and gastronomic delights, burn some calories back at the hotel pool before easing into a great night’s sleep.
Still have energy to burn? There are some great kid-friendly activities just a short drive from your Mount Horeb Basecamp. House on the Rock is just a short 35-minute drive to Spring Green. People come from all over to tour House on the Rock. From a 200-foot tall sea creature and 200 model ship display to the world’s largest indoor carousel and exotic Japanese Gardens, you will be blown away by the sheer scale of this place. Book your tickets online and head north out of Mount Horeb on Highway 78.
On your way, you will pass through a small town called Black Earth. The Black Earth Children’s Museum is a great little children’s museum, ideal for ages birth-7. There are exhibits celebrating science and nature, activities for all ages, a stage and musical instruments, and other rotating exhibits. Carve out some time to enjoy this museum before heading over to House on the Rock in Spring Green.
Madison is just a 30-minute drive in the other direction. If you come on a weekend, check out the Madison Farmer’s Market, or if your kids like the Black Earth Children’s Museum, they will love the Madison Children’s Museum.
We can’t wait to welcome your family to Mount Horeb. Make sure to check all of these businesses hours and latest COVID-19 restrictions before you hit the road. There are no mask-mandates as of the time of writing this post, but just to be sure, you can check Public Health Dane County & Madison’s website for updates. See you soon!