Friday, August 16, 2013

South Shore Park- my favorite Saturday park

People often ask me what park is my favorite.  It's always a tough question because there are so many parks I love and they are often for very different reasons.  I didn't grow up in Milwaukee, and there are still many parks I have yet to explore.  With every one of them that I visit, I grow more in love with this city I call home now.  We really have the best park system I have ever seen, which says a lot because I've been on 6 continents and called many places home over the years.  And they do it all on a shoestring budget.  We owe a lot to the founding fathers of this city who did the planning and purchasing many years ago.  We are still enjoying the fruits of their labor now.  But I digress....

View of the lake and the city from South Shore Park
The absolute best place to be on a Saturday morning in Milwaukee is at South Shore Park, in Bay View.  They host a farmer's market all summer into early fall from 8-12, so you can even pick up your breakfast, lunch, veggies, whatever.  People show up toting kids, wagons, cloth bags, and go away smiling with their arms full of goodness.  The place with the biggest line?  The Creperie!  You can learn more about that at the farmer's market link.  It's actually a blog with lots of photos, so you can get an idea of what goes on all season long and take a look at last season too.  It's rare to see such a large farmer's market in a park.  Like some others, this one also has music.  Bring a blanket and plant yourself in front of the performance tent for awhile.

This is a dog friendly park.  You will find lots of dogs on leashes.  They are not allowed in the children's play area or on the beach. Picnic areas are also off limits, but anywhere else is fine.  For the official rules on dogs in Milwaukee county parks, check this link.  We saw a poop bag post, so I know this is a place where dogs are welcome.  My son loves it for this reason.  The Oak Leaf Trail runs through the park, so you could take a walk in either direction.

There's a ship themed play area that includes swings and a sand pit.  Bring your swimming stuff because the beach is nice.  If you need a workout, there's a helios multigym unit right next to the tot lot. You can even pick up or drop off a book at the little free library.  If you live in the area and want to become more involved in the park, join the South Shore Park Watch.
And if you're already in the neighborhood and still need another cool place to visit, why not drop in at the Alterra/ now called Colectivo on Kinnickinnick & Lincoln.  There's a wonderful outdoor seating area that includes a small waterfall which is stocked with ducks and boats.  I underestimated how much fun this would be for my own son and didn't stuff the meter with enough coins.  We ended up making a donation to the Milwaukee county parking fund.  Don't make my mistake.  Park in the back lot if space allows, or stuff the meter to the max.  This is also the place with the bakery so you and your kids can sit and watch them at work making all the good food you enjoy at every Colectivo in the city.  This is another dog friendly place, so feel free to bring your pooch along.

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