Downtown Appleton's Performing Arts Center features nationally touring Broadway shows, concerts, performances by the Fox Valley Symphony, and other offerings in music, dance, theater, and literature. The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music offers everything from symphony to jazz. The "Building for Kids" Children's Museum and 11 specialty museums and historical sites are located in the area.
Numerous community festivals are held throughout the year, including Appleton's famous Octoberfest, which brings more than 150,000 people downtown to enjoy food, music, and entertainment in a spirit of community celebration.
Appleton is also known for extensive shopping, including the large Fox River Mall and surrounding area, which brings visitors from throughout Wisconsin and beyond.