A window scavenger hunt has turned into a sought out display for the Stoughton community.

The Baraboo family at 131 South Page Street created a display of two large bears imitating different activities, which changes each day.

Melissa Baraboo said hundreds of people see the photos online and everyday people walk or drive by to see what the bears are doing. They even receive thank you letters in the mail, and requests for the bears’ next adventure.

Through the display, they’ve also received nearly $800 for the Stoughton Area Food Pantry.

“It’s a way for me to have a creative project for my daughter and I — and for us to keep busy and do something fun in this time of COVID-19,” she said. |

“But it is also a way to spread joy and smiles.”

Since May 4, Ida Baraboo, 11, has helped her mom work on the displays each night, creating new scenes for the next day. They’ve included lemonade stands, laundry day, spa day, pinata and even smores.

For Stoughton High School graduation on June 7, they dressed the bears in a cap and gown, and students stopped by to get pictures with the bears.

“My favorite scene was the pinata because I got to eat the candy,” Ida told the Hub.

When the family did the lemonade stand with the bears, they put out a donation jar and raised $781 that day — all donated to the pantry.

As an art major, Melissa sees this is an art display and something creative she can do with her daughter during uncertain times. She said she loves the moments when their original ideas manifest into something better.

“We have this one vision and then all of a sudden we create something different,” she said. “That creativity moment is really great. “

The family said they’ve received nothing but positive feedback about the display, and enjoy watching the intergenerational excitement surrounding it.

“I’ve had people come up to us in their 80s who have stopped their cars and walked across the street to say ‘thank you, this is so lovely, and so joyful,’” Melissa said.

The bears are her children’s favorite toys, and although it may be hard to envision now, the family does plan to stop creating the scenes in July to give the family a break.

“There will be some sadness to have to wrap it up but we want to go out on a high note,” Melissa said.

Contact Mackenzie Krumme at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.