A Little Time and a Keyboard: Our Family Day Trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin

Our Family Day Trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin

Friday, September 9, 2016

The marina during our family day in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Kenosha is just a short drive from the Chicago area--only about an hour from our home in Arlington Heights. So, the city provides a nice little day trip escape making it easier to fit into your schedule. During our recent day trip, we had a very well-rounded experience but quickly noted there is a lot to experience in Kenosha. Our proximity will certainly make it easy for us to return and enjoy more that is truly Kenosa!

Fresh produce at the Kenosha Harbormarket

Saturdays are fabulous days to visit Kenosha because the Kenosha HarborMarket brings fresh, vibrant produce, delicious locally made food, live music and interesting local artisans to downtown mid-May through mid-October. Visiting in the winter months? While a bit smaller, Kenosha also has a Winter HarborMarket at the Rhode Center for the Arts. The summer market is something to behold--truly bustling through two streets in Kenosha. The gifts of the market also appear to be sprouting down other streets as well! We found some treasures to bring home--handcrafted dog magnets and wool dryer balls! I seriously have been looking for the wool dryer balls for awhile, so I am delighted!

Vibrant fresh flowers at the Kenosha Harbormarket

Part of the market rests adjacent to the marina where I spied a nice playground. If your kids have some extra energy to get out, here is the spot.

Large playground in downtown Kenosha

Walking along the market, you will probably notice the Kenosha Public Museum and The Civil War Museum. We spent nearly an hour in each museum, so plenty for the family to explore! I will go more in depth on each in future posts but both are worth a visit. The Civil War Museum really brought forth how the Midwest experienced the Civil War and houses a beautiful memorial to all of our soldiers.

One of the Civil War scenes depicted in Kenosha's Civil War Museum.
One of the Civil War scenes depicted in The Civil War Museum.
The Kenosha Public Museum provides a visual experience of Kenosha's natural history and Native American history as well as a place to appreciate the arts. Life-sized depictions of Native American life brings alive their experiences. Fossils and replicas help children observe life from long ago.

Native American life in Kenosha depicted at the Kenosha Public Museum.
Native American life in Kenosha depicted at the Kenosha Public Museum.
Kenosha contains many other attractions including the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Southport Light Station Museum, Kenosha History Center, the Durkee Mansion and more. What does this mean? We need another trip!

A sandwich at Harborside Common Grounds in Kenosha, WI.

In between our Kenosha adventures, we carved out time for lunch at Harborside Common Grounds. An adorable coffee shop with harbor views, light sandwiches, soups, tasty treats, smoothies--oh, and coffee concoctions! We did not try coffee creations on this visit--too hot--but we did enjoy sandwiches, a salted caramel brownie and a fruit smoothie. A nice spot!

Electric streetcar trolley system in Kenosha, WI.
Here comes the trolley!
How does one get around Kenosha? Well, in the downtown area you can ride the historic trolleys for a low fee. Each electric streetcar is a historic car that was used in a different city. So, a fun way to get around an a piece of history!

A walk around Harbor Park provides magnificent views of Lake Michigan, sculptures and Pierhead Lighthouse. A short walk from the Kenosha Public Museum and The Civil War Museum, the park is easy to visit during your Kenosha trip.

Cheese-A-Palooza in Kenosha, WI.
Cheese-A-Palooza Fun!
Surrounded by lake and marina views, downtown Kenosha yields an ideal spot for festivals. During our visit, a car show and Cheese-A-Palooza added extra flair to the downtown area. The buzz was amazing and enjoyable on a beautiful summer day!

Mini pies from Elsie Mae's Canning in downtown Kenosha, WI.
Fresh mini pies allow you to try various flavors!
For a treat or something to bring back home, Elsie Mae's Canning and Pies beckons for a visit. Of course, the pies are heavenly but fresh sauces, jellies and jams, drink mixes, potpies and more made in Kenosha provide a nice, fresh way to bring a piece of Kenosha back with you. Elsie Mae's is committed to using fresh products from local farms. Awesome! There is a bar of jams and jellies to try. A must visit--especially with the kiddos!

The prairie at Pringle Nature Center in Kenosha, WI.

We ended our day meandering around the prairie at Pringle Nature Center. Unfortunately, the nature center was closed by the time of our arrival. But, the walk around the prairie provided us with a little golden reverie before returning home. A peaceful walk with many birds to observe--just what we needed!

As you can see, our excursion to Kenosha provided us with a lovely family day! Follow along as I explore some of Kenosha's attractions a little more in depth. A great place to get away for a little bit! With all of the museums, even a winter trip is perfect!

A little more on:

**Thank you to Visit Kenosha for hosting our visit!


  1. Kenosha is one of our favorite spots for a day trip or overnight. So much to see and do, but also great place to just relax by the lake.

    1. There is so much to do! Great that it is so close, so we can go back!