Okay, campers, rise and shine! Put on your booties because it’s cooold out there. That’s right, it’s Groundhog Day! A magnificent holiday where we look to the largest species of ground squirrel to predict our future. Celebrating the midway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, we turn to the mystical majesty of nature as a harbinger of things to come between now and the official start of spring. And while Punxsutawney hogs most of the attention every year, Milwaukee's celebrating a little bit differently this year. In lieu of a fine, furry marmot psychic, the Milwaukee County Zoo will turn to a species of flightless birds to tell us whether to expect an early spring or hunker down for six more weeks of winter. Waddle you think they'll do?

That's right, we will turn to our friends, the mighty Humboldt penguins, in what has been dubbed the first annual Penguin Prediction. With the tragic passing of the zoo's beloved Gordy the groundhog, we will discover the accuracy of a pair of soothsaying penguins at 9 a.m. on February 2.

So today, we celebrate our furry foreseer, our four-legged fortune teller, our marmot oracle, the groundhog...or penguin anyway. To mark the occasion, we’re going hog wild! No matter the outcome, an early spring or six more weeks of winter, we’ve planned a day of groundhog-inspired activities. That’s right woodchuck chuckers, it’s Groundhog Dayyyyyy!

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Off to see the groundhog? Think it’ll be an early spring? Greet the day at Kadish Park. With one of the best views of downtown Milwaukee, catch the sunrise as it lights up Milwaukee on a crisp mid-winter morning and know that today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. It’s finally Groundhog Day.

Bring your festive energy to Café at the Pfister for a breakfast of sunny-side-up eggs, of course. Fuel up for the big day with all your morning favorites in the beautiful, sun-dappled café for a calm, relaxing breakfast before the rest of the day’s excitement.

Milwaukee County Zoo – Humboldt Penguins

Well, it’s Groundhog Day...again! It’s Groundhog time! Check the Milwaukee County Zoo's social media accounts to watch as the Humboldt penguins make their predictions. Will Milwaukee be treated to an early spring or six more weeks of winter? Only time...and penguins can tell.

 Shop Local

Whether you’re looking forward to the warmth of an early spring or bracing for six more weeks of winter, nothing celebrates the unpredictable duality of nature expressed by the penguins' prognostications quite like the balance of a black and white cookie. Stop by the Milwaukee Public Market for a tasty treat at C. Adam’s Bakery. Wash it down with a warm cup of coffee just a few steps away at Anodyne Coffee. Featuring a small squirrel on each bag of coffee, we can pretend it’s a subtle nod to a certain large ground squirrel meteorologist.

See your shadow as well as that of the Allen-Bradley Clocktower at Clockshadow Creamery in Walker’s Point. While Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks and whistle pigs, do not squeak, they whistle, and that’s pretty darn close. In truth, the sound that reverberates from the curved beaks of our feathered friends, the penguins, may be closer to the squeak of a fresh curd. Pick some and squeak away today.

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At the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, also known as the Three Domes, you don't have to wait for the penguin's prediction to come true. Experience the lush colors of spring in the Floral Show Dome, the arid climate of the Desert Dome and the warm humidity of the Tropical Dome. Each dome features a beautiful array of plant species indigenous to their climates. At the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, spring is just a visit away.

Or get outside and embrace the forecast of an extended winter like the flightless forecasters themselves at Sunburst Winter Snow Park. With 40+ tubing shoots and a 90-foot drop, experience the thrill of flying down the quarter-mile run at the world’s largest tubing hill. If skiing or snowboarding is more your speed, hit the slopes on the hill’s ten trails.

Take in the waning moments of Groundhog Day as the sun sets on yet another whimsical meteorological holiday at Lakeshore State Park or the adjacent Veterans Park. With picturesque views of downtown and Lake Michigan, take in the beauty as the city is cast in brilliant hues as the sun dips below the western horizon.

Bryants Interior Seating

Commemorate Groundhog Day with a drink in the spirit of the occasion at Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. Claiming to be the birthplace of the Pink Squirrel, Bryant’s has been serving expertly crafted drinks for over 75 years. Order the famed beverage or a tequila sunrise to mark the occasion. No matter what you order, tip your cap to the flightless mystics by making sure your beverage has plenty of ice.

Looking to extend your Groundhog Day festivities into the weekend? Visit the Manfred Olson Planetarium on the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus and marvel in wonderment of a natural winter phenomenon: the Northern Lights. With shows on February 3, 10 and 17, explore the wonders of the cosmos with an indoor stargazing session of the night’s sky.

As we conclude yet another celebration, we tip our cap to our furry fortune-teller, our four-legged oracle, our soothsaying penguins. No matter if you’re eagerly awaiting the green growth of spring or looking to take advantage of the winter weather, we can all appreciate the magnificent eccentricities of a large squirrel...er...medium penguin...predicting the weather. Happy Groundhog Day, everyone, and let the countdown to next year officially begin!