Real Estate Information Archive


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Tour the Christmas Fantasy House this Weekend!

by Beth Jaworski

If you are not familiar with the American Cancer Society (ACS) Christmas Fantasy House, you are missing out. Each year, local designers decorate a beautiful home and transform it into a "Christmas fantasy". The public is then able to tour it for a small fee, and the proceeds go to help fight childhood cancer. 

This all began in 1993 because of Loretta Thomson. She was a dedicated ACS volunteer who loved both Christmas and children. Loretta wanted to share her Christmas collection with others, but sadly died before she saw her wish come true. For the last 19 years however, her friends and family and the ACS have worked together to make her dream a beautiful tradition, raising over 1.5 million dollars so far.

Elm Grove is home to this year's Fantasy House. To get there however, you need to go to Bluemound Plaza at 15800 W. Bluemound Road in Brookfield. There you can park and take a shuttle bus to the home. The house is open for touring this weekend, Friday 11/11 from 11 am to 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday, 11/12 and 11/13, from 10 am to 6 pm.

You will not believe your eyes as you go from one incredible room to another. The designers really do go all out and transform the house to a true wonderland. Be sure to plan on spending some extra time at the end of the tour in the lower level also. There you will find a sweet shop with lots of treats for sale, a memory tree, and a raffle sale with two rooms full of incredible gift baskets, decorated wreaths and trees, all donated and available to win.

My friends and I so enjoy touring the house every year, that this year we decided to also volunteer. Yesterday we worked the 11-2 pm shift and it was very rewarding to see the amount of people coming through. Imagine my surprise when the co-chair of the event told me that it will take 900 volunteers to run the house this year. If you enjoy touring the house this year, you may want to consider volunteering next year!

You can find out more information on the website, along with a preview of the (undecorated) house: Hope you can make it through this weekend. You will not be disappointed! 


The Milwaukee County Zoo - A Local Gem

by Beth Jaworski


Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an animal lover. I say this in the interest of full disclosure, as I could be seen as a bit biased when it comes to animals. That being said, I maintain that you do not need to be an animal lover to appreciate all the Milwaukee County Zoo has to offer.

The Zoo moved to its present location on Bluemound Road in 1958. With over 200 acres of parkland and over 320 species of animals on exhibit, it is no surprise that it is rated as one of the top zoos in the nation. One can view 2,275 different types of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles here, more than the average visitor can see in one day. Luckily they do offer season passes; only $65 for a family pass that is good for 12 months! Quite a value.

Monkey Island and the Children's Zoo are popular attractions, and no visit to the Zoo is complete without a ride on the train. What I love most about the Zoo however, is that it is open year round, and that there is always something happening. Every summer we try to make it to Zoo a la Carte, a three day festival with live music (both local and national acts). Numerous local restaurants also set up booths throughout the Zoo, so it is also a great chance to try new places and to sample new cuisines.

​Many people don't know that you can actually camp at the Zoo! They call it "Snooze at the Zoo" and you must preregister for this special experience, only offered one weekend a year. Picnic on the shores of Lake Evinrude, sing songs around a campfire, and sleep under the stars (or in your tent) listening to the animals. How cool is that?

Holiday celebrations are extra special too. "Boo at the Zoo" is this weekend, Oct. 21st & 22nd. Visit a pumpkin patch with hundreds of jack-o-lanterns carved by volunteers and try to make your way through the Haystack Maze. Or wait until next weekend, Oct. 28th & 29th, and attend in costume! There will be trick or treating Friday night from 6-9 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm. There is even a parade at 2 pm on Saturday.

Zoo Brew will be held on Oct. 27th, offering you a chance to sample beers from 18 different breweries, and Breakfast with Santa is rapidly approaching also​. Visit the Zoo's website for a calendar of current events: You will see on the calendar that there are many "Family Free" days, which always helps with the budget. Milwaukee County residents, with id, also receive $1.75 off admission every day, except Wednesdays. On Wednesdays Milwaukee County residents receive the reduced admission rate of only $8 for adults & $5.50 for children. 

​Hopefully you can see why I say the Zoo is a local gem. And if you haven't visited in a while, maybe this post will inspire you to stop by. There is always something to do and the animals are always happy to see you!


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Contact Information

Photo of Beth Jaworski Real Estate
Beth Jaworski
Shorewest Realtors
11622 W. North Avenue
Wauwatosa WI 53226
Direct: 414.844.1118
Cell: 414.520.8555
Fax: 262.782.1551

I hope that this website was able to assist in your search for a home, or in your quest for information about buying or selling a home.  Please do not hesitate to contact Beth Jaworski of Shorewest Realtors with any questions. Email is  and cell number is (414) 520-8555. Thanks!