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A Kenosha family getaway

Southport Lighthouse Museum
Southport Lighthouse Museum
Photo by Dee Schwerin

A vacation is all about fun, adventure, relaxation and experiencing a new destination. To ensure that one has the best of everything it is important to choose a place that offers all of this more for families.

Kenosha, Wisconsin is one such vacation destination that can make a summer vacation remarkable. With the innumerable activities going on and over a 100 different activities for under $10 making it a great family destination.

What works best in favor of Kenosha is the fact that there is something for everyone to do. The entire family will find activities that will entice the old and young alike. Making this an ideal location for a quick family weekend getaway or a full summer vacation. Below are just some of the great highlights Kenosha has to offer.

Jelly Belly Visitor Center
Enter the world of jelly beans at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Pleasant Prairie, WI where everyone can learn about Jelly Belly jelly bean on the train tour through warehouse. Visitors learn about the birth of the Jelly Belly bean and how it became the company it is today. Some great highlights on the tour are the dresses designed and made using jelly beans as well as several jelly bean works of art that look very much like the famous people they represent. Make sure you don’t forget to get your free bag of jelly beans upon exiting the train, also be sure to check out their sample bar for a taste of everything Jelly Belly. While at the visitors center take time to shop for all your Jelly Belly needs.

Like every other historic town in the country, Kenosha has its own share of museums and historical places that are open for people to visit. While there definitely visit the Kenosha History Center, Kemper Center, Durkee Mansion, Kenosha Public Museum, Southport Light Station Museum and the Civil War Museum. There is so much to see and learn from these places it allows one to become one with history.

Southport Lighthouse Station Museum
Like many cities that are located on beautiful Lake Michigan, Kenosha required a lighthouse and lighthouse keeper during the 19th century before the age of automation. Today the lighthouse still stands and a testament of years gone by and visitors can tour the beautiful grounds, museum and lighthouse May through October. Visitors 8 years and old are invited to climb the 72 steps to the top to get an amazing view of Lake Michigan and on very clear days are able to see the City of Chicago. While visiting the lighthouse take the time to visit the keepers house. Inside one can find the history of Southport’s 19th century harbor, replicated living quarters and information about local shipwrecks and preservations.

Dinosaur Discovery Museums
Now who wouldn’t like to peep in to the lives of dinosaurs? Old and young alike can witness the largest collections of meat-eating theropods through the discovery dinosaurs while learning about the world of Paleontology. Whether it is the T-Rex, Theropods, Gallimimus or the Ceratosaurus, everyone can now witness the relation between these meat eating animals to some of today's modern day birds.

Civil War Museum
Witness the making of history at the Civil War Museum and be a part of the divide between the people in the state of Illinois during the Civil War (before and after). This experience will definitely get you in touch with the Civil war and showcase the support and sacrifice made by more than 250,000 local soldiers to shore up for the federal cause. This museum also features a new permanent exhibit a movie called Seeing the Elephant in the Fiery Trial Exhibit. This is one of only a few museums in the country that offer a 360 H-D experience to the visitor. The short movie called Seeing the Elephant, which is a term that soldiers used to indicated they had seen battle. This short film gives visitors a small glimpse at the Elephant through personal accounts of the war.

Trails and Parks
Kenosha has some the most beautiful walking paths and trails around. It is a places where visitors can relax and truly become one with nature. One can choose to cycle the path at the Pike Bike Trail, relax by the Lake Michigan shoreline at the Harbor Park, hike through more than 4.2 miles of walking trails or indulge in fishing at the KD Park. If the family dog is along take the dog for a walk or play in the Carlisle Family Dog Park. Each of these trails and parks have something new and unique to offer to every family. Also there are many great places along the shore to see the sunrise over the lake for a truly amazing sunrise experience.

Shopping and Dinning
How can it be a vacation without indulging in some much needed retail therapy. So while in Kenosha wander through the many antique, ethnic products, arts and crafts stores. If the creatives juices are flowing make a stop into Alpaca Art and paint pottery to take home a beautiful hand painted piece made by each member of the family. This is a great activity to do with kids or adults as is a great way to spend quality family time and create a lasting memory. Whatever your heart desires, you can find it in Kenosha. For those who are driven by food, one can dig into some of the most exquisite food from around the County. Offering a variety of dining options there is sure to be something for everyone. If a date night or girlfriends dining experience is more in line be sure to stop into Sazzy B's for an amazing evening of food and fun. They offer a wonderful selection foods to alight anyone's tastes buds. While there choose from a wonderful selections of cocktails many of them created or recreated on-site.

Fishing and Boating
Have some fun times with the family on a charter boat or paddle board on Lake Michigan. There are several options for fishing, water sports, boating or other water activities on Lake Michigan or the two dozen inland lakes in the County. One must visit area is the Alford Park Beach for fishing and beach picnics.

Kenosha County one of the best weekend getaway destinations for singles, families, girlfriends and couples. If one is looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, just come over to Kenosha and forget all your worries. When looking for the best of science, history, food, culture, and shopping, but also a small town feel visit Kenosha, WI.

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