John W. Iwanski / Flickr

Lake Effect contributor Stacy Tornio joins us every so often to talk about generally family-friendly adventures around the Midwest.  But by family-friendly, we generally mean activities that both kids and adults can enjoy.

But when you add grandparents or other older friends or family members to the mix, it can get a little more complicated to choose activities that work for everyone. 

Rebecca Chatfield / Flickr

If the heat has you thinking about getting out to a visit a waterfall close by, Lake Effect contributor Stacy Tornio can offer some suggestions.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that she talked about a more ambitious trip to Niagara Falls, and although Tornio says there's nothing in Wisconsin that really compares, there are still some great spots in the state.

As the French painter Paul Cezanne said, "art is a harmony that is parallel with nature."

In a new three part exhibit, The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum hopes to harmonize both art and nature. Using its indoor and outdoor spaces to reflect parts of a whole, the museum is showcasing different aspects of the work of Milwaukee-based environmental artist Roy Staab.

Jim Sorbie / Flickr

As summer approaches, you will most likely want to spend more time out in the natural environment. Many people and families take the summer to visit a national park, and this year would be the time to do it as the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Wisconsin is home to a national lakeshore, and there are some places nearby that are also part of the national park system.

Apostle Islands

Stacy Tornio

Sometimes all we need to rejuvenate our minds, bodies and spirits is a bit of fresh air. Fortunately our outdoor adventure contributor, Stacy Tornio, has created a concept that utilizes the nature that surrounds us.

l.madhavan / Flickr

As Earth Day approaches, Stacy Tornio of the Destination Nature has some suggestions for getting outside this week.  

1. Find Flowers

In early springtime, you can see daffodils, pacifica, tulips and lilacs. "Even though it's kind of bare out there, the flowers you do see are so bright and fresh and its makes you happy," says Tornio.

2. Earth Day of Service

Fotolia, nd700

If you’ve consulted a calendar lately, you know that it’s (technically) spring.  However, if you’ve looked out a window recently, you might beg to differ. But true spring will arrive in the Midwest soon with the temperatures in Wisconsin trending upward, albeit slowly.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

White Nose Syndrome is a fungal disease with the potential to wipe out vast numbers of bats in the United States.

However, not long ago, the first potentially positive piece of news came out on that front. Researchers for the first time released bats back into the wild after successfully treating them for WNS. Avery happy occasion considering the devastating effect this disease has on the world-wide population.

Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera / Flickr

While many people travel north to visit natural spaces, a hike through a state forest requires a trip no further than the north side of Milwaukee.

AnnCam, flickr

Leaves changing color and birds migrating are just two signs of fall coming. Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer advise everybody to go out into nature and watch. 

Three Bridges Park Opening July 20th

Jul 18, 2013

This summer brings the opening of a new park, one where families can explore and learn about Wisconsin’s ecology.

aaronHwarren, flickr

Why travel to faraway places when what is right here at home has so much to offer?

Jeramey Jannene/Flickr

For an urban city, Milwaukee's got a lot of nature around.

While the calendar might not say it, we tend to think of Memorial Day as the unofficial start to summer. Colleges are out, many pools have opened, summer sports seasons have started, and we are all spending more time outdoors. At least, we should be.

But as many have pointed out, a lot of us - kids in particular - don't get outside and explore as much as we used to.