Top 10 Reasons to Visit Kenosha HarborMarket

6/19/2019 - Sarah Freeborn

Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October
Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October
Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October
Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October
Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October
Explore Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors mid May through mid October

Kenosha HarborMarket is back outdoors for the season, and this year’s market is one of the biggest and best yet! Set between the picturesque Kenosha Harbor and Southport Marina, there are many reasons why you should attend this weekly event - especially if you haven’t been in a few years. Here are my Top Ten reasons to check it out.

10. The Lake 
Lake Michigan is the backdrop for the HarborMarket and it adds so much beauty! Lake breezes blow through the market corridor, the sunlight glints off the surface of the water, the waves gently lapping. You can’t beat the view of the white tents against the blue of the water when you look North on 2ndAvenue from the main Market pathway. Lake Michigan definitely makes the location of the Market something special.

9. The Smells
One of the first things you’ll notice as you make your way towards the Market are the smells. As you wind your way through the vendor booths, you will be hit over and over with some of the best and most tantalizing scents. Eggrolls, popcorn, street tacos, donuts, roasted corn, and so on and so forth. Smells are free, but I recommend buying a little of everything.

8. The Food
The sheer volume of food to try is overwhelming in the best way. Oh the variety! Come hungry. You’ll find authentic empanadas, brats, hand cut French fries, fresh fish, Venezuelan Arepas, local honey, buddha bowls, artisan breads, scones, grilled ribs straight from the grill, just-squeezed lemonades, regional cheeses, and (as mentioned in #9) eggrolls, popcorn, street tacos, donuts, roast corn, and so much more! There are picnic tables around the perimeter if you prefer to sit and eat, and again enjoy the lake views while eating the variety of foods.

7. The Sounds
Dotted throughout the Market are music “stages” featuring crooners, singer songwriters, full bands, dueling banjos, and everything in between. It adds to the fun and atmosphere to hear all the different music throughout the site as you walk along happily munching on your popcorn and shopping.

6. The Community
The best way to really appreciate the Market is to talk to the vendors, to talk to the Market board and staff, to talk to the friends or family members you run into because everyone is at the Market on Saturdays, to talk to strangers as you stand in line, to talk to strangers at picnic tables, to pretty much just interact with everyone you come into contact with! I often go to the Market on my own. I live within walking distance and have spent many a Saturday learning gardening tricks from local farmers, hearing how I can substitute honey in my baking from local bakers, hearing about the process of self-publishing from local authors, finding out how to store olive oil and when to use it up before it goes bad. I wouldn’t have learned any of this without engaging with the many knowledgeable and friendly vendors. The Market isn’t just about shopping – it’s about educating people on healthy lifestyles, food culture, and community. So, do yourself a favor and come ready to make a new friend or two.

5. The Produce
You cannot have a farmers market without fresh-from-the-farm produce. And HarborMarket does NOT disappoint in this category. Whether you’re looking for fresh picked lettuce, mushrooms, garlic, asparagus thicker than your thumb, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, radishes, carrots, … or things like peaches, apples, blueberries, strawberries, and more, the regional farmers at the Market have it all. The list goes on and on! You may even find some NEW foods that you aren’t familiar with!

4. The Plants & Flowers
If you’re looking for bouquets of flowers for your table, flowering bushes for your yard, or fresh herbs for your windowsill, you will most definitely find what you need here. On top of it you can get personal advice and recommendations from the many plant and flower vendors. Most grow their plants from seeds and completely organically, and they know their plants! If you see someone walking near the Lake on a Saturday with a beautiful bouquet in their arms, you can pretty much guarantee they just came from the Market. 

3. The People Watching
HarborMarket is chock full of people from every walk of life. If you enjoy people watching, there’s no better place. Grab yourself an ice cream and a sunny spot to sit, and just watch as moms and dads, kids and grandkids, grandmas and grandpas, singles and marrieds alike all walk and roam, taste and look. There is no better place for watching the people go by. (It’s okay, we all do it!)

2. The Unique Vendors
Some vendors are at the Market every week, while others rotate in and out, or only come once or twice per season. This adds to the great variety of items you can find. It also adds to the adventure of exploring the market. A few of my favorites include tents full of bloody Mary mixes, hats, dresses, jewelry, soaps, deodorants, pet foods and treats, pickles, hot sauce, local authors, olive oil, bubbles, wooden signs, pottery, scarves, and so much more. The vendors are one of a kind and you will surely find something you never even knew you needed.

1. You Never Know What You Will See
Because there is so much variety and change from week to week, you will always find yourself surprised and delighted at the HarborMarket. Recently I went and there was an actual puppet show happening! What stood out to me about this was that there wasn’t a child to be seen, but many adults were stopped, laughing and watching the show. Suddenly we were all children again and were all talking and laughing with one another. We shared a happy moment together before going our own ways again. Early in the season you may catch a May Pole dance and later in the season you may see witches dancing in the street. You could be part of a live broadcast from the market or perhaps you’ll catch a giant bubble!

The Market is open rain or shine, so let it be the bright spot in your weekend! And that is the beauty of Kenosha HarborMarket, you never know what you’re in for when you go, but you know it will always be a good time.

Sarah Freeborn Community Blogger

Sarah Freeborn

Community Blogger

Happy. Lover of Color. Home Chef. Apartment Dweller. Lifelong Kenoshan. Plant Lover. Single Woman. Tight Knit Family. iPhone Photographer. Manages Love Kenosha and The Adventures of Sarah.