Free Fun For Everyone!

8/17/2018 - Meredyth Wenta

Eichelman Park Beach
family visiting Dinosaur Discovery Museum
kids playing at Kenosha Dream Playground at Petzke Park
free train tour at Jelly Belly Visitor Center
Petrifying Springs Park, biking
Drawing Room (Main Parlor) at Durkee Mansion at Kemper Center

From artwork to the outdoors, there’s plenty to do in Kenosha without even opening your wallet. The city’s rich history and beautiful natural landscape provide plenty of FREE opportunities to experience Kenosha and have fun. 

If you’re looking for something outdoorsy, you will want to enjoy Kenosha’a Lake Michigan view and our other nature areas. Nearly 90% of the Lake Michigan shoreline in Kenosha is publicly accessible and the county parks offer hundreds of acres of beautiful natural landscapes with rivers, trails, and more. 

The Chiwaukee Prairie is a 482-acre is a designated wetland of international importance (a.k.a. Kenosha’s own ecological treasure). Here you can hike, bird watch, or simply enjoy the surroundings. I’ve also been told that the Chiwaukee Prairie is the perfect place for good nature photography! Check out a recent post from my fellow Community Blogger, Kate Field, on this subject!

Eichelman Park and Beach offers 11-acres of park space with plenty of sandy beach It features a playground for kids, walking/biking trails, and of course, lovely shady spots to enjoy the view! Bring a blanket or some beach chairs to enjoy a relaxing day near the water, or take a swim – this section of beach is semi-protected by a breakwater wall. There are even public grills (just bring your own charcoal and food!) making it a great place for a picnic!

Petrifying Springs Park is Kenosha County’s oldest park and occupies 350 acres of land. With several playgrounds, biking and hiking trails, spots to watch birds and other wild animals, geocaching locations, and a natural spring, there are more than a few things to occupy any level of nature lover at no cost. This a great place to enjoy fresh air. 

If you’re looking for something historicalthere are more than a few options. From dinosaurs and mammoths to historic homes with Victorian charm, more than a few stories come to life in the Kenosha Area. 

If you enjoyed the Ice Age movies, then the Wisconsin Story main exhibit at the Kenosha Public Museum will be right up your ally. The highlight of the exhibit are two mammoths that were excavated in Kenosha County! Established in 1933, the Kenosha Public Museum has a collection of over 80,000 historical pieces, ranging from fine arts to fossils. 

Located in a renovated 1908 Beaux Arts historic landmark, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum is the only museum that focuses on the link between modern birds and meat-eating dinosaurs! On display are life-scale replicas of the Tyrannosaurus rex, Ceratosaurus, and many more. Children will love the museum, as they can wear feathered vests and pretend to hatch from dinosaur eggs, put on goggles and excavate fossils, and don lab coats while looking through microscopes! 

One of Kenosha’s most unique historical landmarks, Durkee Mansion. This restored Victorian mansion from the 1860s was owned by Charles Durkee - an influential pioneer, businessman, patron of the arts, and Wisconsin’s Civil War-era Senator. Located on the lakefront, Durkee Mansion features beautifully decorated rooms, parquet floors, louvered windows, and the largest suspension stairway in the state!

If you’re looking for something the entire family can enjoy, there are plenty of attractions that offer family fun for FREE, too. Believe it or not, train tours, adventure parks, and more can be found to enjoy affordable fun.

Located on 2ndAvenue in Downtown Kenosha, the Kenosha HarborMarket is always bustling during the summer months. Each week 150+ vendors feature their fresh produce, prepared foods and beverages, baked goods, and all media of arts and crafts for browsing and shopping guests. Walking around the Market provides great exercise, and the free smells (and often samples!) are always a plus. Additionally, the HarborMarket has three music areas with live entertainment each weekend and a bubble vendor showing off giant bubbles for kids to chase! 

Petzke Park is a 15-acre park that features a 15,000-square-foot play area for children (and adults) of all abilities. The Dream Playground is an adventure park to say the least. It was built in 2015, with the intention of welcoming all visitors to play, dream, and be inspired. The playground is surrounded by a smooth, safe, rubber surface and features a wheelchair-accessible swing, monkey bars, whimsical musical instruments, and much more! 

Take a sweet tour of the Jelly Belly Visitor Center! The center features a new museum-like experience with interactive exhibits and games. Bean Blitz is a virtual reality game that lets visitors become goalies, blocking giant digital jelly beans from getting in their net. Smell Stations allow guests to guess Jelly Belly flavors based on their scent (apparently, it’s a lot harder than you’d think!). A train tour takes riders around a warehouse with video screens that share Jelly Belly production techniques and fun facts, and concludes at the huge candy store where there is a sample bar to test any flavors you want.

No matter what your interests are, Kenosha is a great destination offering plenty of affordable fun. More often than you might realize, there is FREE fun to be enjoyed. Be sure to check out the Fun 101 list for 101 Things to See & Do for $10 and Under – the list is published twice a year to keep things fresh! So next time you’re looking for a lot of fun without spending a lot of money, plan a visit to Kenosha, WI!  

Community Blog Team 2018

Meredyth Wenta

Community Blogger

Two decades of growing, learning and exploring in Kenosha under my belt. Carthage College graduate who is looking forward to sharing a young professional’s take on Kenosha Fun.