Stoughton, Wisconsin, is a magical city just 15 miles outside of Madison that Grasshopper Goods is lucky to call home. With a population of just over 13,000 and a tight-knit community vibe since 1847, Stoughton is home to artsy boutiques, small-goods shops, and delectable restaurants throughout its Arts and Entertainment District. It’s also known as the birthplace of the coffee break and community TV.
Once folks visit Stoughton, they are eager to come back. And, good news—there are plenty of fun-filled Stoughton events to add to your calendar for your next return trip.
This week, Grasshopper Goods will be celebrating the rich heritage of Stoughton at the Syttende Mai Festival, with three days of live music, parades, family activities, and more to honor Stoughton’s Norwegian roots and coincide with Norway’s annual Constitution Day. From May 14 through 16, you can experience all Stoughton has to offer here.
In honor of this celebration, we’ve curated a list of Stoughton must-sees, whether you’re being introduced to this wonderful city for the very first time or you’re a Stoughton regular. And the best part? All of these amazing stops are within one block of each other.
If you’ll be in town this weekend, don’t miss our Stoughton walking tour on the Grasshopper Goods Instagram. We can’t wait to show you around!
Gifts + Goods
Dune Gift and Home
Dune Gift and Home and Grasshopper Goods go way back together. Before we had a brick-and-mortar store, Dune Gift and Home was one of our truck’s first jewelry partners, offering the beloved brand Cire. Today, this unique gift store focuses on clean beauty as well as vintage home goods. Their space is super inviting, and the store team could not be sweeter.
Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts
Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts is the go-to spot for all your crafting needs. With a vast array of yarns and spinning and felting fibers, the shop offers the perfect supplies for your next project. Shop owners Peter, Ingrid, and Laura are all artists themselves, so they’re able to help you find just what you need. Spry Whimsy’s wool and spinning fiber collection has always been magical to me, as I grew up spending so much time on the family farm where we raised sheep. This place takes me back to that beautiful time in my life.
Did someone say chocolate? Yahara Chocolate, founded by chocolatier extraordinaire Brook Johnson, is a purveyor of the finest chocolate varieties around, with more than 250 single-origin chocolate bars for you to pick from. Their selection is one of the largest in the entire country! From grab-and-go chocolates to curated collections, Yahara Chocolate is a Main Street mainstay.
When we set up shop in Stoughton, the Studio 184 team surprised us with a beautiful Grasshopper Goods painted bench, and we've never felt so welcomed. Studio 184’s tagline is “creatively restored interiors,” and through a unique and fun-filled process, the shop helps folks rework their furnishings, from vanities to kitchen cabinets, using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. Founders Cindy and Barry Gazso are designers and artists, and the entire staff are creative problem-solvers with amazing ideas to spruce up your home.
Itty Bitty Bookstore
Our favorite new addition to Stoughton’s downtown is Itty Bitty Bookstore, a charming bookshop that exemplifies our values of diversity and inclusion. The shop is designed to be a place where we can be our authentic selves and see all of us represented, too. With works by diverse authors and the representation of marginalized communities throughout texts, Itty Bitty Bookstore develops a curated collection and shares a featured book every month. Owned by our amazing friend Dominique, Itty Bitty Bookstore is a place to explore our differences, together.
Gemini Games is a place to explore your hobbies or find an entirely new one, with an extensive collection of games for you to try and buy. Here, you’ll spot up-and-comers and expert gamers playing a round in the game lounge, making it a fun space where folks want to hang out for a while.
Food + Drink
Stoughton isn’t known as the birthplace of the coffee break for nothing. We like to stay caffeinated, and Wildwood Cafe is a special place in our hearts that’s always one of our first stops in the morning. Pair your coffee drink of choice with delicious breakfast options, like the Buttermilk Biscuit, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake, or Blueberry Lemon Scone.
Viking Brew Pub
Bookend your Norwegian heritage experience at Syttende Mai with a Nordic beer. Viking Brew Pub was once home to the Stoughton State Bank in the 1800s, then the Stationery House for three decades. Now Stoughton’s first brew pub, Viking Brew Pub came to be from a father-in-law and son-in-law pair who sampled craft beers on their travels together. The menu features Nordic-style and other unique beers, while the food menu is comprised of Sconnie classics like cheese curds and jumbo soft pretzels.
Wendigo is a delicious restaurant fit for foodies and families alike. Try the Poutine, Fried Tomato Po’Boy, or Little Bit of Mac & Cheese to experience the hype. Or, visit for their creative cocktails, like the Gingered Mojito and Honey Cranberry Smash, which you can order to-go, too.
Mershon's Cider is a delectable cider tasting room in the heart of Stoughton. Founder Joseph Baird experimented with creating a new version of cider, with the addition of wildflower honey to create a cross between a cider and a mead, otherwise known as a “cyser.” The cidery emphasizes the freshest, most natural ingredients in their ciders, with fresh juice, fruits, and honey and no synthetic sugars.
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