Things to Do in Beaver Dam Wisconsin
Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre
The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre (BDACT) not only provides wonderful, local, live entertainment for the community, it is also an extraordinary, local theatrical training ground for youth and adults alike. BDACT has always made excellence in theatrical production a goal, but the organization has also found a “role” for any area residents whether on or off stage. Performers, ranging from 5-year-old kindergartners to adults in their senior years, perform both in BDACT’s own theater and in the Beaver Dam High School auditorium. BDACT’s current theater is a historic church building downtown, but the organization purchased a former Catholic grade school downtown in 2014 and will be renovating the structure to accommodate two theaters, improved patron services, enhanced dressing rooms and additional prop storage.
Dodge County Historical Society
The Dodge County Historical Society’s goal is the preservation of the history of Dodge County, with an emphasis on the preservation of the history of the City of Beaver Dam. The society, which is an affiliate of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, was formed in 1938, for the preservation of articles pertaining to the pioneer days and to the early history of Beaver Dam. The organization has been located at different sites over the years but is currently housed in the former Williams Free Library building located in the heart of downtown. The museum features changing seasonal exhibits, plus the “Tribute to Veterans” permanent exhibit, permanent displays of famous native sons and daughters, including actors Brian Donlevy and Fred MacMurray, athlete Maddy Horn, authors Harlowe Hoyt and Raymond Gallun, and naturalist/explorer Delia Denning Akeley. Children love the “One Room Schoolhouse” permanent interactive exhibit for youth.
Beaver Dam Area Arts Association
One of Beaver Dam’s most successful homegrown companies, Advanced Products (now part of Burgess-Norton Manufacturing), was founded by Peter Seippel. As part of a family legacy, the Seippel home is leased to the Beaver Dam Area Arts Association (BDAAA) for use as the Seippel Homestead & Center for the Arts.
Today the BDAAA uses the property as a cultural asset for not only Beaver Dam, but also the entire Dodge County region. The center hosts changing special exhibits, and art classes and special programs monthly throughout the year. The Association’s mission, “to encourage and stimulate the promotion of the arts in Dodge County through community involvement, with focus on the visual arts” is fulfilled everyday through activities at the Seippel Center.
The BDAAA also has a year round gift shop with items any art lover would enjoy, but particularly at Christmas time when it becomes the Holiday Gift Gallery.
Annual Events in Beaver Dam Wisconsin
Beaver Dam and the surrounding area are home to a number of annual events, including:
- Chamber Annual Dinner/Business & Citizen of the Year Recognition – 4th Wednesday in January
- Cabin Fever Fest! – Last Saturday & Sunday of January
- Sportsman’s Show – Fourth Wednesday of February & September
- Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast – First Sunday in March
- Election Candidates Forums – Fourth Wednesday in March and/or 4th Wednesday of October
- Nancy’s Notions Sewing Exposition – First weekend in May
- Leadercast – Second Friday in May
- Senior Expo – Third Wednesday of May
- Race Into Summer Festival – Sunday of Memorial Day weekend
- Memorial Day Parade – Memorial Day
- Must-Skis Ski Team Shows on Beaver Dam Lake – Sunday evenings throughout the Summer
- Taste of Wisconsin – Third Saturday in June (Saturday before Father’s Day)
- Swan City Classic Car Show – Father’s Day
- Lake Days – Thursday through Sunday after Independence Day
- A Day in the Park Craft Fair – Second Sunday in July
- Corn Roast – First Thursday of August
- Dodge County Fair – Third Wednesday in August through the following Sunday
- Cache & Release! – Saturday before Labor Day weekend
- Beaver Dam Pepper Festival – Second Saturday of September
- Badger Game Tailgate Party – An Away Game for the Wisconsin Badgers
- Midwest Cream Cheese Competition – Saturday before Thanksgiving
- Wine & Cheese Tasting – Saturday before Thanksgiving
- Economic Update Luncheon – Fourth Wednesday in November
- Holiday Parade – First Saturday in December
Locals and visitors enjoy golfing, hiking, biking, swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing, waterfowl hunting and other outdoor sports throughout the spring, summer and autumn. Winter brings ice fishing, snowmobiling, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Within an hour of Beaver Dam there are at least four Wisconsin ski hills. The Beaver Dam Family Center & Ice Arena provides an ice skating facility year round, used by local youth hockey organizations, the Beaver Dam High School Hockey Team, Swan City Skaters, and for “open” skating sessions for the community, with ice skate rentals available.
The Beaver Dam Raceway (located just east of the U.S. Highway 151 and State Highway 33 interchange) provides racing enthusiasts with exciting dirt track racing action that includes sprint cars, midgets, late models and more. The track operates from May through October, hosting special racing events throughout the season. Racing is held every Saturday during the season, beginning at 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday nights during the season the track is used for Go Kart racing.
The Dodge County Fairgrounds, just east of Beaver Dam, is home to the Dodge County Fair which is held the third week of August. The Dodge County Fair was once known as the “greatest” county fair in the nation, with trainloads of people from major Midwestern cities coming to Beaver Dam each year.
Another summer pastime is the free entertainment provided by the Beaverland Must-Skis ski team, which performs just off Tahoe Park on Beaver Dam Lake most Sunday evenings and some Friday nights. Shows run from the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend to the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The Must-Skis is an award-winning, family-oriented organization that hosts local clinics, and regional tournaments and competitions. Both locals as well as visitors are invited to watch the spectacular shows during Beaver Dam’s annual Lake Days celebration each year. Children through adults of all ages are invited to participate in the Learn to Ski clinics.
Beaver Dam’s Community Activities and Services Department provides a wide range of activities for adults and youth, from preschoolers to our active seasoned citizens. Annual programs include outdoor activities in municipal parks and on school district athletic fields. Indoor activities are held in various facilities with some programs coordinated with the local YMCA. Senior Center programs include a spring Greenhouse, a year round Wood Shop including the manufacture of bird and bat houses, weekly card games and much more.
The YMCA of Dodge County offers year round athletic and recreational opportunities for the whole family. The current Y facility, which opened in September 2007, is 67,000-square-foot recreation playground. It includes an athletic center, basketball gymnasium, racquetball courts, swimming complex with an Olympic style pool and a separate water park, and recreational acreage for soccer, baseball and other outdoor sports.
Tower Lanes, the area’s only bowling facility, offers year round leagues as well as open bowling time, daily. Two quality golf courses provide golf enthusiasts with hours of recreation.
The Beaver Dam Country Club is located just north of the city on Highway 33, along Beaver Dam Lake’s eastern shore. The Par 72, 6,000-yard course was designed in the mid-1960s and offers small elevated greens, mature trees and well-placed bunkers. In addition to the beautifully landscaped 18-hole course, the Beaver Dam Country Club has facilities that include a full-service banquet hall, capable of hosting two events simultaneously. Old Hickory Golf Club is located just east of the city and the interchange of Highways 33 and 151, on Highway 33. Established in 1920, it is one of Wisconsin’s most mature and memorable golf courses. Old Hickory offers a 7,000-yard, 18-hole golf course, that also has banquet facilities, updated in 2014 for events of all types.
Beaver Dam Lake offers year-round recreational opportunities. Three of the city’s lakeside parks offer boat ramps to launch water craft of all sizes for a nominal fee. Fishing, skiing and boating are popular recreation for three seasons each year. Each autumn the lake is a popular backdrop for waterfowl hunters. In the winter, Beaver Dam Lake is home to ice shanties for ice fishing weekends and ice skating for youth and adults alike.