Monday, September 28, 2015

Kenosha Parks in Fall

I wrote about the new Dream Playground having its grand opening October 10, and I know some of you are wondering whether the drive will be worth it.  I'm here to tell you, Kenosha is a great family destination, especially in fall.  Once you've visited, you'll be back.  It's full of fun stuff to do, both indoors and out, all year round.  And I have to mention that most of it is FREE!  I love FREE and I'm sure you do too.  Kenosha does a great job of advertising all the fun you can have.  In fact, here's the updated fall list of 101 things you can see & do for under $10 in Kenosha. Be sure to try the electric streetcar.  For only $1 you can get around the 2 mile loop and have an adventure.  Kids love it and they only pay 50 cents.

Electric Streetcar/Trolley
For fall color and lots of outdoor activities, visit Petrifying Springs Park.  This is one of the best parks I've ever visited.  It has multiple playgrounds, a river running through it, several hiking trails, a golf course, dog run, squirrel playground, a real artisan well where you can fill water jugs, owl boxes, sledding, and lots of picnic spaces.  It reminds me of our Whitnall park. There are grills available if you want to bring charcoal and plenty of picnic tables- both covered and in the open.
A river runs through Petrifying Springs Park

One of the playgrounds at Petrifying Springs Park
The lakefront is beautiful.  There is a long beach at Simmons Island Park.  Though you may not want to get in the water, it's still a nice place to go.  This park also has a playground and a historic beach house.  Just around the corner is the History Center and one of the very few cream city lighthouses in existence- Southport Light Station Museum.  It has been completely restored and features all kinds of nautical information.  The tower is open for $10.  You can visit both buildings to learn more about the area, but watch the hours as they are seasonal.
Beach at Simmons Island Park

The beach house
Cream City Brick used to build this lighthouse
You can do picturesque Harbor Park which has plenty of waterfowl, a walking/biking trail, sculptures, lighthouses to see from a distance, fishing, boats, and a playground.  During nicer weather there's a splash pad, so keep it in mind for the summer.  You'll also find two museums (Public and Civil War) and a lovely flower garden here. I went to Harborside Common Grounds to get drinks and sandwiches before we hit the parks.  It's right at the beginning of the Harbor park area.   It has outdoor patios and an interesting decor, plus it's a good stop for bathrooms if you plan to walk the park.
A whimsical giraffe is one of the many sculptures

The playground at Harbor Park
Still need a pumpkin or some apples?  You have probably passed Apple Holler many times on your way to Chicago, but few know about Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm.  It's much more than a garden stand.  They offer hay rides, pumpkin displays based on popular movies and books, a corn maze, playground, petting zoo where you can feed goats, and much more.  This place is full of photo opportunities. Check out the website attractions for hours and costs.  It's free just to look at the displays though.

Little Mermaid

Madascar

By now you've probably realized you may not have time to do it all in a day trip...so maybe you'll decide make a weekend of it.  If you do, check the Visit Kenosha website for deals.  
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