Stay & Play: Labor Day activities available around the region
Labor Day was initially started in the late 1800s as a celebration of the working class. At that time, the day featured parades, festivals and speeches by politicians.
Nowadays, the holiday is more low-key, signaling the end of summer. Some people plan trips and vacations ahead of time for the three-day weekend; others may simply want to stay home and visit with family and friends.
However, if you are looking for ways to pass the time between cookouts, here is a list of suggestions for activities in the area.
The Apple River Family Campground at 345 Churchill Road in Somerset is offering a discount for the Labor Day weekend: $30 for any campsite per night. According to Chas Grillo, camp manager, the discount applies to any campsite during the Labor Day weekend.
The campground is located on the Apple River and features two swimming pools, two volleyball courts and two horseshoe pits. There are also miles of hiking/biking trails. This campground is open year-round. Visit their website or call 715-247-3600 for more information.
Float-Rite Campground at 710 Spring St. in Somerset also offers campsites and tubing as well, however Sunday, Sept. 5 is the last day it will be open for the season. Visit their website or call 715-247-3453 for reservations.
River's Edge Campground at 1820 Raleigh Road between Somerset and New Richmond, offers waterslides, tubing, mini golf, heated pool and camping. Check their website or call 715-247-3305 as some rates are best if called in advance.
Hatfield Lake in New Richmond offers RV camping on a first come, first serve basis. For more information call the New Richmond Parks Department at 715-243-0440.
Star Prairie Trout Farm at 400 Hill Ave. in Star Prairie is open weekends throughout September. After this month, it will be open by appointment until May. It is a "no license, no limit;" even the rods and reels are provided at no charge. There is a charge for bait, and it is suggested people bring their own coolers to carry the fish home. Visit their website or call 715-248-3633 for more information.
Mary Park in New Richmond is another spot for fishing, boasting its own fishing dock on the east end of the property. As this is a public park, people must bring their own fishing equipment and license.
Hatfield Lake in north New Richmond, just off Highways 64 and Highway 65, also offers another site for fishing.
Miscellaneous outside activities
For those people who would like a bit more interaction in their activities, there is the Apple Grand Prix located at 493 County Road VV in Somerset. It has go-karts and batting cages on-site. As of Aug. 28, they are only open weekends. Call 715-247-5621 for more information.
Somerset's new disc golf course at the La Grandeur Nature Area is open to the public each day at no charge. Anyone can bring frisbees or discs to play the 10-hole course that includes cleared areas as well as wooded areas.
Perhaps the kids want to take a tour of the playgrounds in the area. Pack a cooler and head to any of the three municipal playgrounds in New Richmond: Mary Park, Paperjack Park and Northside Park. There are also the public school playgrounds located (from north to south) New Richmond Middle School, Starr Elementary, Paperjack Elementary and Hillside Elementary.
Somerset has two playgrounds: Larry Forrest Memorial Park and Veterans Park. Roberts has Roberts Village Park, which also features a concrete skate park. Hammond has Village Park located behind Village Hall and a smaller playground across the street at Davis and Park streets.
For those who may want to cool off, there are local waterholes accessible to the public. The Star Prairie Town Park on County Road C has a small beach access to the Apple River. Somerset's Village Park also has a small cutout to walk among the rocks and crevices for some small-scale river exploring. New Richmond's Mary Park has a beach area opening to an unsupervised swimming area.
A brisk walk or scenic stroll may be desired, and New Richmond has 13 different trails ranging from 0.1 mile to 1.7 miles. According to the Guide to New Richmond's Trails and Parks brochure, available at the City Hall, some are paved and some are nature trails - all paved trails are handicapped accessible.
Worth mentioning is the Heritage Center at 1100 Heritage Drive in New Richmond. The flea market in the barn is held each Saturday and Sunday through October. There is also a farmers market held in the parking lot on Saturdays, and the museum itself is open all year. For more information, visit their website or call 715-246-3276.
If you desire to be indoors, there are two bowling alleys in New Richmond.
Gibby's Lanes is located at 546 W. North Shore Drive, just off of Highway 64. They have extreme bowling on the weekends - the shoes, lanes, gutters and pins glow in the dark. Visit their website or call 715-246-2695 for more information.
The New Richmond Bowling Center is located downtown at 320 Knowles Ave. Although it is closed Sunday and Monday, it is open Friday and Saturday until 2:30 a.m. Call 715-246-3359 for more information.
Of course, there is always the option of seeing a movie at the New Richmond 8 Theater at 1261 Heritage Drive. Visit their website or call 715-246-4488 for showtimes.