Living Here / Quality of Life
If Oconomowoc area residents aren't hard at work, chances are they're out enjoying the area's myriad cultural and recreational activities and events. Oconomowoc's many lakes and rolling woodlands are the setting for four seasons of outdoor recreation.
For generations, summer has been an especially popular time to get out and enjoy the area's amenities. The area's rivers, lakes, and ponds make it perfect for the whole range of water activities, including swimming, water skiing, sailboarding, fishing, and boating of all types.
Summer is just as much fun on dry land. Area parks accommodate biking, hiking, camping, picnicking, and nature watching, and fields and facilities for every sport that uses a ball. For many, summer isn't summer without golf, and Oconomowoc's six golf courses offer challenges for players of all abilities.
The City of Oconomowoc's Parks and Recreation Department administers 33 parks, and sponsors activities and fitness programs for youths and adults ranging from ballroom dance to Tae Kwon Do, and organized league play in a variety of sports. The YMCA at Pabst Farms provides an array of sports programs and activities for the entire family, and provides a 115,000-square-foot facility.
Winter comes with even more reasons to play outside in the Oconomowoc area. With frozen lakes, it's time for ice fishing, figure skating, hockey games, and ice boating. The snow-covered countryside is ideal for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.
Spring & Fall
The "shoulder seasons" are also wonderful times to be outside in Oconomowoc. The fall colors bring out hikers, bikers, and Sunday drivers. Spring carpets the forest floor with flowering trillium, followed by mushroom hunters in search of delectable morels.
A year-round recreational asset in the Oconomowoc area is the Lake Country Trail, a multi-use recreational trail running from Waukesha to Oconomowoc. During spring, summer and fall, the 15-mile trail is used by bicyclists, in-line skaters, hikers and joggers. In winter, it’s open to skiers.
The Oconomowoc area is also home to a number of unique cultural venues. The Oconomowoc Arts Center (OAC) seats 755 people with luxurious comfort and consummate acoustics. The OAC offers a professional series of programming, a film series, the Cabaret dinner / show series, a comedy series and special events.
Special Events & Festivals
The community also hosts special events and festivals throughout the year. A highlight of the year is the annual Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts, one of the nation's best juried art fairs. Held the third weekend in August for more than 30 years, the event features music on three stages, food booths, children's art activities, and artwork by local and nationally-known artists.
The civic groups sponsor a number of events throughout the year, including street dances in August, a farmer's market every Saturday from May through October, and Gallery Night events in May and October. On Thursday evenings throughout the summer, the Badgerland Water Ski Show Team presents free shows on Fowler Lake. Free Moonlit Movies concerts are held throughout the summer in the community bandshell. Oconomowoc's annual parades for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, Homecoming, Halloween, and Christmas celebrate the community throughout the year.
Whenever you're in the Oconomowoc area, there's always something to do!
Lake Country NOW annual publication, Destination Oconomowoc, features more information about Oconomowoc.