(Closed) Schlitz Audubon Nature Center? (Calling all Wisco Bees!)

posted 8 years ago in Wisconsin
Post # 4
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I never went so far as to get pricing information from them because I didn’t want to have to deal with the hassle of renting everything.  They only provide the space then you have to rent all tables, chairs, dinnerware… all that good stuff.  That’s all probably easily arranged through your caterer, but will drive up the price.  Their website says to contact Julia [email protected] to get more information and that they’ll send an information packet out right away.  It can’t hurt to just email them and find out if it’s anywhere near your budget. 

Post # 6
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I was looking at doing a tented reception at the lakefront at one point, so I got a quote from the caterer about renting all the tables, chairs, stemware, plates, silverware, and linens.  Yeaaaaa… that idea was quickly nixed after I got that estimate.  The quote was for 150 people and the totals came out to about $600 for tables and chairs, $870 for all the plates, glasses, silverware, and another $650 for all the linens.  There was also a $250 delivery and set-up fee.  There wasn’t room for another $2000 in our budget, so we went with a place that already had these things available for us.  These prices will vary by caterer, however… I’m not sure who the Nature Center contracts with though.

Post # 8
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I really wanted something different than your typical hotel ballroom reception.  We looked at tons of places… or rather, I had my parents look at tons of places I found on the internet, since we live in Texas right now.  We finally ended up at Old World Wisconsin.  They have a huge octagonal barn where we’ll have our reception and big open lawn area where we’ll have our ceremony.  Plus we should be able to get lots of cool pictures with the museum buildings.  It’s not for everyone… It’s definately not a super fancy place… but I think the elegant decorations I’m planning will be a nice contrast to the more rustic building. 

Other cool places we looked at were the Lakefront Brewery (they were already all booked for this summer when we got engaged last May, but this was my first choice… so sad), Silver Spring country club has an awesome rooftop pation but it was going to be too small, The Polish Center of Wisconsin has a beautiful new building, and we also looked at the South Shore Pavilion which is part of the Milwaukee parks system (I think they had tables and chairs to use here but it would have been a lot of rental stuff again and my Mom thought it smelled… it was pretty though) 

Post # 10
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d try contacting lakefront brewery, I think their reception room is technically called Palm Garden, since you’re getting married in October, it may be less busy.  It can’t hurt to check.  They were pretty reasonably priced, but I think they had a higher minimum for a Saturday night, so depending on how many people you were planning to invite that may or may not be a problem. 

The menu on Old World Wisconsin’s website is old too… They just recently contracted with a caterer who has a much better menu and seems to be a bit more put together than their previous system.  You have to remember they’re a museum, so weddings aren’t their primary business and it seems sometimes they still have some kinks to work out.  But the contact there, Bob, seems to be a pretty nice guy.  The pics below are of the barn loft and the standing in front of the barn doors looking back on the lawn area where we’ll have our ceremony… just cuz everyone loves some pictures, hehe.

Post # 12
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Can I just say how happy I am that there is a Schlitz park? I spent many good times in college with Schlitz. THIS is why I love visiting family in Wisconsin.

Post # 14
1 posts
  • Wedding: February 2012

@ToasterCat:  enjoy!





Outdoor Pavilion

May – October Only

Pavilion Ceremony (choose 4 hours between 9am and 3pm) 9am – 3pm $800 $900

Pavilion Ceremony & Reception 9am – 3pm $1,200 $1,300


Monday – Friday daytime rental (hours vary) $650 $650

Second Floor Conference Room

Full Day 9am – 5pm $500 $500

Half Day 1/2 day $300 $300


9am – 5pm $50/hr $50/hr


Cupola, Hearth Room, Veranda

(does not include Great Hall or Auditorium)

Monday – Thursday (non-holiday) evening rental 6pm – 10pm $800 $800

Cupola, Hearth Room, Veranda, Auditorium

(does not include Great Hall)

Monday – Thursday (non-holiday) evening rental 6pm – 10pm $1,000 $1,000

Great Hall, Hearth Room, Cupola, Veranda, Auditorium

Monday – Thursday (non-holiday) evening rental 6pm – 10pm $1,200 $1,200

Great Hall, Hearth Room, Veranda

*Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Holiday full evening rental May – October $2,700 $2,900

November – April $2,200 $2,400

Great Hall, Hearth Room, Veranda and one of the following:

Auditorium OR Pavilion

*Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Holiday full evening rental May – October $3,000 $3,200

Pavilion only available May – October

November – April $2,200 $2,400

Great Hall, Hearth Room, Veranda, Auditorium and Pavilion

*Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Holiday full evening rental May – October $3,200 $3,400

Pavilion only available May – October

November – April N/A N/A


Monday – Thursday (non-holiday) evening rental

Available only as part of full evening rental on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings

$500 $500

Second Floor Conference Room

Monday – Thursday evening rental 5:30pm – 10pm $350 $350


$250 evening minimum 5:30pm – 10pm $100/hr $100/hr

*Full evening rentals include:

• Second floor Bride’s Room with full-length mirror and fireplace

• Main kitchen, auditorium kitchen, and staging area for use by your caterer.

• Two wood-burning fireplaces on the first floor.

• Manager on-duty for your entire event.

Rental rates subject to change without notice.





We thank you for your interest in hosting an event at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (SANC).

In order to familiarize you with our rental policies, please review the following list of frequently asked questions. Being informed of these policies and adhering to them will help ensure that your event is enjoyable and successful, while allowing us to fulfill our primary commitment of serving our members and visitors.

How do I reserve a date?

Please contact Julia Kathan, our Rental Coordinator, at 414-352-2880, ext. 141, or by e-mail at [email protected].

Once your date is confirmed, a rental contract will be sent to you. Return the signed contract with a 50% deposit by the due date on the contract. Please note the deposit is non-refundable.

The balance of the rental fee is due 8 weeks prior to your event. If you cancel during the final 8 weeks before your event, no refunds will be issued.

Please note the following:

1. If you book within a shorter time frame, the payment schedule can be adjusted.

2. No changes may be made to the rental contract. The contract will become null and void if there are unauthorized changes.

3. SANC reserves the right to refuse a rental request if it is deemed to be in conflict with the mission or polices of the Center. In addition, the Center reserves the right to waive or modify stated policies.

4. The Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is a smoke-free environment. This includes the buildings, pavilion, and grounds.

5. Our building is green and environmentally friendly. As such, it uses a minimal amount of energy. With this is mind, please realize that weather conditions, as well as the number of guests, will limit the building’s cooling capacity during the warmer months of the year.

What are the building rental hours, set-up, and take down requirements?

SANC is a nature sanctuary. The building and grounds are open to our members and other visitors seven days a week until 5:00pm, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The trails also close at 5:00pm.


The following event schedule must be observed for evening events. Evening event guests will not be permitted in the main building before the times indicated for each day:

Evening Event Rentals:

Monday through Friday

4:00pm – Set-up in the Great Hall begins (Event Staff Only)

5:30pm – The Auditorium and Veranda are available for guests.

6:00pm – The Great Hall and Hearth Room are available for guests.

Saturday and Sunday

3:30pm – Set-up in the Great Hall begins (Event Staff Only)

5:00pm – The Auditorium and Veranda are available for guests.

5:30pm – The Great Hall and Hearth Room are available for guests.

Guests must leave the building and be off the grounds by 10:00pm for Sunday – Thursday events and by 11:00pm for Friday and Saturday events.

Catering preparations in the loading dock and kitchen areas may start at 12:00pm noon on the day of your event for any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday rentals. Catering staff are not permitted on other areas of the building until the set-up times listed above.

Photographers may arrive at 1:00pm. All other vendors must arrive at 3:30pm or later.

Please note the following additional items:

1. Cakes for evening weddings may not arrive before 4:00pm. The Center does not have refrigeration or freezer capacity to accommodate cakes.

2. The Auditorium may not be used for food service for evening vents.

3. Conference room rentals have the use of the mezzanine for food service or quiet business break-out sessions.

4. Conference room may only be reserved for adult guests or attendees – no children are permitted.

5. Items may not be dropped off the day before your event.

6. All remaining items must be picked up by 12:00pm noon the day after your event.


Who can I use to cater my event?

Your caterer must be chosen from the enclosed list. All events must be catered and staffed throughout the event. The following rules also apply:

The renter may not bring in food or beverages.

No cash bar or “drink tickets” are permitted. Alcohol may not be sold at any event. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased by insured caterers and served by licensed and insured caterers or licensed and insured professional bartending services.



What about equipment rentals and deliveries?

Canopies – Events with Distinction (414-760-0770) is the only equipment rental company used by SANC. You may not bring in your own rental equipment or furniture. Your caterer must plan any rental needs with Canopies. All rental furniture and equipment set-up and take-down will be handled by Canopies.

The only set-up provided by SANC staff will be the placement of our own furniture and equipment. SANC’s staff does not place tablecloths, centerpieces, etc. We will provide a Manager who will supervise the use of the building, adjust the lighting, heating, cooling, tend fireplaces, maintain bathrooms, and answer questions during the event. Auditorium chairs must remain in the Auditorium at all times – they cannot be used elsewhere.

Please note: All equipment rentals and deliveries must enter the building through the loading dock doors at the west end of the building.


Are my guests permitted on the Center’s grounds?

Guests have the same access as all visitors to our nature center. In observation of the Center’s hours of operation, guests are not permitted to use the hiking trails, observation tower, or access the lakefront after 5:00pm. In addition, no pets are allowed on the Center grounds and no swimming or wading is permitted at any time.

Are there any outdoor locations that I can rent?

Yes, we have the following areas available to rent:


This is a roofed structure that is available for a variety of functions, including weddings, family, or corporate receptions. The pavilion roof covers approximately 80 people and the lawn adjoining the pavilion accommodates up to 225 people. All events that include food or beverages must be catered. As indicated previously, caterers must be chosen from our approved caterers list. Chairs, tables, and tents must be rented from Canopies. Chairs and tables rented for the ceremony may not be moved to the main building for the reception. Amplified music is not permitted at the pavilion during daytime rental events. The pavilion is only available May through October.


Many of our package rental options include the use of our outdoor veranda. This is a covered porch area located on the east end of the building. The veranda is easily accessible from the Great Hall and from the entrance of our building. This is an ideal location for wedding ceremonies or for an outdoor area during your reception. 4

How do you handle wedding rehearsals?

For weddings in the Great Hall, Auditorium or Veranda, all rehearsals will be scheduled for you by your rental coordinator during one of the following times: Thursday 4:00–5:00pm, Friday 3:00–4:00pm, or Saturday 2:00–3:00pm. Amplified or loud music is not permitted during the rehearsal.

Pavilion wedding ceremony rehearsal times will be scheduled by the Rental Coordinator and will be dependent on other scheduled events at those locations.

What are my options for decorations or floral arrangements?

All decorations must be approved in advance by the Rental Coordinator. The attachment of items directly to a surface is not permitted, however, Velco straps may be used. The use of confetti is restricted to real flower petals (no complete/whole flowers). The use of bio-degradable Ecofetti (http://www.ecoparti.com) is permitted. For all daytime ceremonies, the flower petals must be picked up at the end of the ceremony as a courtesy to rentals occurring later that day.

SANC does not permit the throwing of flower petals or anything else during indoor ceremonies.

Floral arrangements must be fresh or silk. Dried flowers or dried vegetation is not permitted.

Strings of small electric lights may be attached to the iron railings in the cupola area. Nothing may be entwined with the lights.

Candles are permitted as long as they are in an enclosed container (hurricane, votive, canning jars or floating in water). We do not allow “pre-poured” votive candles; please use votive candles that are separate from their glass holder. Candles are not permitted in the bathrooms or in the 2

nd floor conference room.

Please do not plan to assemble, arrange, or store flowers at the Center. Unfortunately, we do not have the space or refrigeration available for assembly and storage of floral arrangements.

I would like to have music at my event. What are my options?

Music at our outdoor locations must be kept to a modest sound level in consideration of adjacent neighbors. The use of audio/visual equipment must be arranged in advance with the Rental Coordinator and there may be additional fees involved.

Band “sounds checks” are not permitted before 4:30pm. Smoke machines are not permitted. The music must end no later than 9:45pm on weeknights and 10:45pm on weekends. SANC staff reserves the right to terminate music upon receipt of a complaint from neighbors or the Bayside Police Department.


Is there anything else that I need to know?

To ensure that all rental policies are followed, you (or your local representative) must visit the Center at least one month in advance of your event date to tour the facilities and make final arrangements. Please contact the Rental Coordinator to arrange an appointment.

The renter assumes liability for damages to the building, exhibits or property by guests, musicians, and florists.


You must be a member to rent . . .


_____ Individual $50

_____ Individual + 2 $65

_____ Family $60

_____ Family + 2 $75


_____ Owl $100 – $249

_____ Falcon $250 – $499

_____ Other

Your contribution is tax-deductible within

IRS rules and renewable on an annual basis.



Only the person named on the

membership card receives member benefits.

Individual + 2:

Individual membership plus

two additional guests allowed with no

additional fee.


Parents, dependent children or


Family + 2:

Family membership plus two

additional guests allowed with no additional fees





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