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Sneetches on Beaches: A Guide to Beaches for Parents

7/6/2018 - Denise Bernacki

Family-Friendly, Lake Michigan, Sports & Outdoors
Both Lake Michigan and Inland lakes offer wonderful family splash time in the Kenosha Area
Both Lake Michigan and Inland lakes offer wonderful family splash time in the Kenosha Area
Both Lake Michigan and Inland lakes offer wonderful family splash time in the Kenosha Area
Both Lake Michigan and Inland lakes offer wonderful family splash time in the Kenosha Area

Beach season is finally upon us, which is good because my three-year-old son, Dominic, couldn’t wait any longer to put on his Minion swim shorts! I have never been to the Kenosha Area beaches, since we just moved here in September, and Dom has never been to a beach at all.  He wasn’t quite sure what to expect so we turned to one of his favorite books by Dr. Seuss to help us along…The Sneetches. Not familiar with the Sneetches? Well they are yellow creatures that live on the beaches. Some have stars on their bellies and others do not. The stars are really small, and while you wouldn’t think they would matter at all, they do. So now that I had Dom convinced that there would be Sneetches on the beaches, we hopped in my “Fix-It-Up Chappie”  (as the Dr. Seuss story goes….) to visit seven beaches and rate them with a star system, much like Sylvester McMonkey McBean did with the Sneetches.  The more stars, the better they are.

The first 5 beaches are on Lake Michigan and FREE!  Start on the north side of Kenosha at Alford Park and make your way down to Southport Park at the south end, and do your very own beach tour in one day like we did! Here we go… Sneetches on Beaches!

  1. Alford Park 
    If you like BIG rocks like Dom does, this will be your heaven! 5 stars for rocks. He could have stood there throwing rocks into the lake all day. If you are looking for sand, 0 stars - no sandcastles here. There’s evidence of Sneetches having bonfires and possibly having a frankfurter roast or a marshmallow toast at nighttime in the rocks. During the day, the rock-lined views are breathtaking and the water is so clear.  Wonderful place to sit and clear your mind. But if we were going to find Sneetches, we were going to need to find a beach with sand.
  2. Pennoyer Park
    As we drove up to this BIG beach, what do we see? SAND! Dominic is so happy, jumping up and down as he runs through, what seems to be, miles of sand to the water. He is such a natural that he dipped his feet right in the water and didn’t even need to warm up to it. He is still in rock heaven though - lots of rocks and pebbles. We will give this one 3 stars for the sand/rock ratio. You could definitely do some nice rock throwing here though - and swimming on the south end of the beach area, too! This is also a nice, quiet and relaxing beach. As Dom played on the shore, I set up our picnic breakfast. We snacked on strawberries and scanned the perimeter for Sneetches but we didn’t spot any!
  3. Simmons Island Park
    Is it an island? Well, not quite. It used to be. Is Simmons sandy?  YES! 5 stars! Does Simmons have Sneetches? Maybe. This is what you think of when you imagine the perfect beach… lots of people sunbathing, playing in the water, and having a fun time. There are still rocks, but mostly as a structural guide for the beach. This beach has great sandcastle sand! Once again Dom found himself playing in the water and we even stepped in a bit – Lake Michigan is always cool due to it’s size, but very refreshing on warm days! If you don’t already own some water shoes, definitely get some if you plan on getting in the water – our Midwestern lakes aren’t quite the same as Caribbean waters with soft sand at the bottom. After having our picnic lunch and getting a glimpse of a Sneetch (we think), into my “Fix-It-Up Chappie” we went.
  4. Eichelman Park
    This beach is a hidden gem. Nestled in by green grass, benches, and bike riders, the clear blue water sits and beckons you to stick your feet in. How can you resist? Again, quiet and relaxing, pull up a chair or a beach towel and lose yourself in the water, so to speak. Don’t really lose yourself! If you are water-savvy, take a swim! I would give this beach 4 stars because it’s not as sandy as Simmons Island but it definitely isn’t as rocky - which is nice for me, but not so much for Dominic. I would say that this is your average beach. Is there such a thing? Yep, in Kenosha it is!
  5. Southport Park
    What a unique place. 5 stars on this one, but for different reasons. Since my first time coming here, I’ve been back a couple more times - I love it. It’s my favorite of the Lake Michigan beaches in Kenosha. It has it all. There are rock formations to sit on and small rocks to throw. The immense beach house, which is available for rental events, guards the beach. I could sit and stare at it all day, thinking about the history of the building and some Southport Sneetches hiding inside! I think it would be a cool place to take pictures after a wedding, or a spot for Dom’s fourth birthday. When we have friends come from out of town, we bring them here as part of a sight-seeing tour. This beach encompasses everything the Kenosha beaches are about… rocks and sand, and a bit of history, too.  There is even a playground on the premises to break up the beach scene for your little ones if needed. 

From Alford to Southport, what a great beach day!  

The next two beaches are in Kenosha County, west of I-94. We did these two beaches in one day as well. There is a small $5 fee per car for Kenosha County residents and $10 for non-residents to enter these beach areas, but the benefit is that there are lifeguard on duty.  

  1. Silver Lake
    If you read my Parks Promenade blog post, you saw that we visited this park before, but for the playground. This time we are visiting for the beach! You will be happy to know that there is a playground at the beach, too! So many trees, such clear water, plenty of sand, some little rocks, picnic tables, and a shelter equipped with restrooms – perfect for families. It’s a pretty, green drive on the way there, too - a twisty, windy, tree lined road brings you to what seems to be a secret beach. Shhh… maybe the Sneetches are secretly hiding here! They may have been peeking through the trees while Dom swung on the swings and looked out onto the lake.  It lacks the waves of Lake Michigan, but has its own peaceful charm. This 4 star space has tons of room for playing and running, picnicking and swimming.  
  2. Old Settlers Park
    Our last stop on our beach tour was Old Settlers Park. This one is a bit smaller than the others but is very serene offering picnic tables to sit and enjoy the outdoors, as well as a couple of playgrounds to let the kiddos run off some energy. I would give this beach 3 stars because of the size, keeping mind that it is a nice, quick getaway if you wanted to venture west. It’s a great option for easy access if you don’t have time for a full beach day. 

Seven beaches to visit in the Kenosha Area in a “Fix-It-Up Chappie” isn’t too shabby, I must say. It’s wonderful to know that the beaches are so close to us and that they are either free or budget-friendly to visit. And even though Dominic was disappointed that we didn’t spot any Sneetches, he learned that he loved the beaches, and so did I!  Just like some Sneetches have stars on their bellies and others have none upon thars, no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. Forget about the stars because no beach is better or best – they are all great and have their own special qualities and amenities. See for yourself…go, experience, and enjoy the beaches and decide which ones are your favorite.  And who knows, while you meander along the peaceful beaches, maybe you’ll find yourself thinking of Sneetches.

 

Reminder: the Lake Michigan beaches do not have life guard on duty. Use caution when swimming in a Great Lake. 

Community Blog Team 2018

Denise Bernacki

Community Blogger

Brand new Kenosha resident – just relocated here Fall 2017 from NW Indiana. Touring Kenosha for the first time along with my husband and 3-year-old son.

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