Fun facts about Wisconsin: Green Bay’s Frozen Tundra


Green Bay fans aren’t afraid of the cold. Here, volunteers shovel the snow out of Lambeau Field. Just one of the fun facts about Wisconsin: how the Frozen Tundra got its name. (photo: Jim Matthews/Green Bay Press-Gazette)

DealChicken loves rooting out the best daily deals in and around Green Bay, and along the way, he’s managed to unearth some things that might surprise you—from famous faces to Frozen Tundras. Go ahead and test your knowledge against everyone’s favorite yellow-bellied bird to see how your local-history know-how stacks up.

Cheeseheads flock to Lambeau Field no matter the weather to cheer on The Pack. The open dome allows both players and viewers to experience the fun of Wisconsin weather, with the coldest game day taking place in 1967. Dubbed the Ice Bowl, the Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 in the NFL title game with temps dipping to blustery -20°F. The stadium became popularly known as the Frozen Tundra.

Sure, we all know of Green Bay’s status as cheesehead central, but it is also known as the Toilet Paper Capital of the World. Green Bay didn’t win the title due to the amount used but because of producing the first ever splinter-free toilet paper in 1935, which the city still creates tons of today. Yup, that’s right. Toilet paper used to have splinters—yikes!

Located along the Fox River, Green Bay is the oldest city in Wisconsin. Jean Nicolet landed there in 1634 while looking for a new route to the Orient.

The surrounding Great Lakes are home to tons of fish responsible for a large part of local commerce. The exotic goby fish has been stirring up trouble by gobbling up the fish eggs of native varieties like lake trout and whitefish. So the town created an under water cannon to use for stunning those darn gobies long enough for the native fish to hatch and escape. Boom.

Not only does Green Bay have an underwater cannon, but an underwater hockey league. Local Green Bay residents can enjoy a rousing game of hockey while avoiding frostbite by heading to the local pool and jumping in with other underwater hockey enthusiasts.

Yes, there are tons of hockey fans in Wisconsin, but the Packers rule the roost in Green Bay. With a population hovering around 100,000 residents, Green Bay is the smallest city to host a National football team, allowing proud fans to even own a part of the team. The team has been a publicly owned, non-profit organization since the 1920s and is still going strong.

Green Bay is also known for creating some tasty treats. Kaap’s Old World Chocolates has been a mainstay on Main Street in downtown Green Bay since the early 1900s. Otto Kaap would perfect his chocolates late at night after working all day as a bank teller crafting small batches of sweet chocolates using butter and cream from local farmers. Today his dream lives on—but in a fresh and new location.

Many a famous athlete have called Green Bay home – but it’s also hatched a couple of other famous faces. A few include Tony Shalhoub, best known for his role on Monk, who attended Green Bay East High School and Joel Hodgson, creator and sometimes host of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

Just north of Green Bay in Door County is the town of Sturgeon Bay, the B&B capitol of the Midwest. Enjoy a fish boil and stroll the streets checking out the quaint stores nestled in the historic houses. There’s even a small, sandy beach perfect for a dip. But, beware! Sturgeons have been swimming around Green Bay for over 100 years with the largest ever caught in 1953, tipping the scales at 168 pounds. Watch your toes!

Green Bay is also home to the National Railroad Museum, which strives to share with visitors the wonders of the railway system. Since 1956, this popular destination for train enthusiasts of all ages has offered authentic rail rides and hobo lunches for a truly historic experience. The Lenfestey Center is also available for rental for celebrations of all kind—including weddings.

Harry Houdini pulled his biggest trick by claiming to have been born in Appleton, just a few miles outside Green Bay, when his actual birthplace was Hungary. Harry arrived to the area at the ripe old age of two and quickly began learning to unlock cabinets and raise all kinds of hullabaloo. Harry pulled tons of stunts up until his death due to a burst appendix on Halloween, October 31, 1926. The History Museum at the Castle in Appleton houses a large collection of Houdini memorabilia as well as interactive and hands on tricks.

Did you already know how the Frozen Tundra got its nickname and these other fun facts? Check out DealChicken’s round up of Central Wisconsin facts.