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Park It - Touring Kenosha Area Parks

6/23/2017 - Dana Harvey

Family-Friendly, Sports & Outdoors
Kenosha Dream Playground
Simmons Island Beach Kenosha, WI
Bandshell at Pennoyer Park Kenosha WI
Dream Playground Kenosha WI

“Park? Park?” is a thing that my toddler has just recently learned how to say. She is just enthralled with being outside, and now with summer here, we’re trying to hit up as many parks as possible. However, Kenosha is home to over 50 parks, so it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which of the parks will work best for you. Over the past month, we’ve tried visiting several of these parks so we could get a better taste of what’s out there. With so many choices, we only visited a small cross section, but hopefully this will give you some idea of the amenities available.

Nash Park is a cute park with things that little ones can do. There was a sandbox, cars to ride in, and a lot of open space for running. The “big kid” playground was right in view of the little person area. There were plenty of tables in a covered area, and restrooms close by. One of the best things about this park is that it was almost completely shaded!

Splash Pad at Tot Park in HarborPark - Kenosha, WIPerhaps the most sprawling, expansive of the parks is HarborPark. Lining the Kenosha Harbor, the area has a beautiful bike/walking path that connects to Eichelman Park to the south side. Here you’ll find fishing piers, public art, the Electric Streetcar Circulator, the Lakefront Trolley, many summertime events and festivals, and more. Tot Park, located on the south side of HarborPark, near Southport Marina, is another neighborhood park, but on a much smaller scale.  As the name implies, it is mostly for younger children. This is a very small space tucked in the corner of the marina area, but it is perfect for the little ones.  Again, you’ll find a sandbox and some grass to run around, plus the standard playground equipment including slides and areas to climb. There is a nearby splash pad area with water spouts for the family to cool off in - great for those hot days! Restrooms are in a separate area outside of the fenced park space, so plan in advance!  If the Splash Pad interests you, Roosevelt Park is another great choice. This park is located is bit more in the city center and is geared towards older (grade school aged) children. The playground area was not very shaded, but there was a lot of room to run and play!

Simmons Island Beach Kenosha WIIf you’re not familiar with Kenosha’s fantastic lakefront,all you need to know is that it is nearly 90-percent publically accessible and it is the No. 1 attraction that visitors cite after they visit the Kenosha Area. There’s no time like the present to go out and explore! Pennoyer Park and Kennedy Park are right next to each, with Simmons Island Park just a short walk or drive up the road. All three have playground equipment, but the real draw to this trio is the fantastic view of Lake Michigan! If you’re looking for a scenic drive, bike ride, or place to walk - look no further. We started on the north end at Pennoyer Park and headed south, ending at Simmons Island Park. Pennoyer Park is home to the Sesquicentennial Bandshell where FREE concerts are held many nights throughout the week. Kennedy Park is a wide open space, and houses several events each year. The park at Simmons Island is completely shaded, which was a big plus on the hot day we were there! Pennoyer and Simmons Island both have beautiful beaches – but beware that there are not lifeguards on duty! The beach areas offer mostly full sun exposure though, so plan accordingly with beach umbrellas. Bonus: Beaches are groomed daily!

Anderson Park Kenosha WIWhen you’re looking for a way to cool down in the hot summer months, you can check out Washington Park which has expected playground setup, but also has a pool complete with a water slide – and yes, lifeguards are on duty! Washington Park is also where you'll find the nation's oldest operating velodrome for bike races! You will need a pass to use the pool, but you can purchase day passes at the park. A similar setup is Anderson Park – offering a pool with a waterslide, and a bonus of a small fishing pond and a dog park! On the opposite side of Anderson Park, there is also a Skate Park for older children wishing to test their skateboard or rollerblading skills on half pipes.

Kenosha Dream Playground Kenosha WIFinally, a park that I had no idea existed until I started writing this blog! The Dream Playground at Petzke Park is, in a word, AMAZING. This park was just built in 2015 and is full of interactive things for children of all abilities and ages to enjoy. It is an adaptive park, meaning children of all abilities can play together - for example, the merry-go-round has seats for children who are in wheelchairs, but also seats with handles so smaller children can ride, too. The playground is enormous and is split into two areas, one for the 3 and under crowd and one for the bigger kids. (We spent time on both sides.) The design of the park is also very unique. Kids can play in a train, a boat, or play any of the many musical instruments that decorate the area (being a music teacher, I was very excited about this). There are bathrooms and picnic shelters near the entrance of the park. My favorite part was that all the climbing areas had safety rails - no falls! If you have a little daredevil on your hands, there are plenty of climbing walls to enjoy without all the worries! I cannot recommend this park highly enough. Another perk is that Petzke Park is very close to Lake Michigan and Downtown Kenosha, so you can be on the beach in just a few minutes! It’s no wonder this park was named one of the best parks in America this year!

No matter what your park preferences are, Kenosha’s got you covered! Head on out to the park that sounds like the best fit for you, or explore some of the other parks in the area. We’d love to hear which parks are your favorites!

Dana Harvey

Community Blogger

Born and raised in Illinois, crossed the Cheddar Curtain in 2008.  Singer, teacher, aspiring Jeopardy contestant and trivia aficionado.  Discovering new things about Kenosha every day!

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