A Tourist in My Own Hometown

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on January 11th, 2017

There’s nothing quite as compelling as holiday houseguests – especially your own adult children – to motivate all types of planning, from menus and recipes to selecting must-visit area sights.

In addition to the obvious #1 destination on my list, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, where the warm glow of Tiffany Studios lamps and windows is irresistible, there was something else I had long wanted to do: a nighttime sleigh ride.

Starwood Farm, located in Ringle, a short drive east of Wausau, offers exactly the experience I was looking for. Booking a horse-drawn sleigh ride with Starwood Farm’s Tim was easy and efficient.

On the final Thursday evening of December, dressed in warm clothes and toting blankets, thermoses filled with hot chocolate and hot cider, and marshmallows and skewers, my family and I headed to the farm.

Tim and his wife greeted us warmly, introducing us to Lucy and Mae, a team of sturdy Percherons. We piled into the sleigh, huddled under blankets, and off we went . . . “over the river and through the woods.” Big snowflakes fell gently and the night sky was filled with sparkling stars. A thirty-or-so-minute stop at a blazing bonfire was just right for marshmallow toasting, warm beverages, and photos. Memories were made amid laughter and good cheer.

Back at home, reflecting on the experience, we wondered why we hadn’t sought out a sleigh ride previously. Like so many opportunities for exploration and enjoyment in your own hometown, we don’t often make the effort. It sometimes takes visiting family or other guests to provide the incentive.

What’s on your should-do, but haven’t-yet-done list of local attractions?


If it’s a sleigh ride, check out Starwood Farm. If it’s the Woodson Art Museum, don’t miss Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light, on view through Sunday, February 26; admission is always free and the galleries are warm and toasty.

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