If drinking beer, bowling and eating custard sounds like the quintessential way to explore Brew City, Badger Bus Tours has the experience for you.
"Laverne & Shirley's Milwaukee" is a half-day tour based on the popular sitcom from the '70s and '80s featuring beloved goofballs and BFFs, Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney. The tour is led by Kris Hoff as Laverne and Donna Wilke as Shirley.
"Once we're in character, you can't get us out of character," says Hoff. "The more people we interact with, the more we get into it and the more fun the tour becomes."
The tour, which departs from a variety of different locations in Milwaukee and Madison, makes it first stop at Lakefront Brewery for a tour (Laverne and Shirley worked in the fabled Milwaukee brewery, Shotz Brewery). Beer, hot pretzels, and a "Schlemeil, Schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated" sing-a-long are included.
The tour bus also stops to visit the Bronze Fonz (natch), drives by City Hall (which is in the opening credits of the TV show) and then stops at Koz's Mini Bowl for a mini bowling competition and a Pepsi-and-milk sampling. (Pepsi and milk is Laverne's favorite beverage.)
"It sounds disgusting, but it's actually delicious, like a watered-down milkshake," says Hoff.
The final leg of the tour includes a visit to Leon's Custard for a frozen treat. All participants receive little prizes along the way, including miniature Boo-Boo Kitty stuffed animals, Shirley's most prized possession in the show.
"By the end of the tour, everyone says it was the most fun they've had on a tour," says Hoff. "Life is so serious and people really want something humorous."
Badger Bus Tours gives more than 2,000 themed tours a year. Upcoming "Laverne and Shirley's Milwaukee" tours take place March 8, July 11 and July 18. The cost is $69 per person. Go here for more information.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.