Scoop up the kids and head to the Kenosha Area for a fun-filled, family-friendly overnight getaway!
Climb aboard the Jelly Belly Express train inside Jelly Belly Visitor Center for a trip through the candy company’s sweet history to explore what goes into the magical process of creating Jelly Belly jelly beans. Then shop for treats and souvenirs in the huge candy store. The tour is free, takes approximately 35 minutes, and each passenger receives a free sample of Jelly Belly beans at its conclusion.
Take a scenic ride along Lake Michigan and through Downtown Kenosha on an authentic Electric Streetcar. From your seat, view a miniature Statue of Liberty replica, a Christopher Columbus statue, two lighthouses, and much more! The streetcar stops at three museums: Kenosha Public Museum, Dinosaur Discovery Museum, and the Civil War Museum. The ride lasts approximately 15 minutes round trip and costs just 50 cents for ages 12 and under and $1 for ages 13 and up. An all day pass costs $2.50.
Enjoy mammoth fun at the free Kenosha Public Museum. See the largest and most complete woolly mammoth ever found in North America! The Hebior mammoth was found on a farm right here in Kenosha County! Also see the Schaeffer mammoth bones, which were found here too! Tool marks on the bones reveal humans lived in the Americas earlier than what was believed. Don’t miss the detailed Four Seasons Native America Village - and plan to spend some time at the Field Station, where hands-on activities allow all ages to explore the arts and sciences. The Museum’s Ice Age hallway, fine and decorative arts collection, and special exhibits can also be enjoyed here.
Discover untold American Civil War stories through exploration of individual and regional Upper Midwest contributions at the Civil War Museum. Older kids especially will appreciate the history presented here. Seen through the eyes of soldiers, nurses, spouses, children, slaves and others who lived it, the main exhibit gallery: “The Fiery Trial” spans the home front, railroad and waterways to the battlefront and back home again.
Visit the free Kenosha History Center to see what life was like in Kenosha’s early days (the city was known as Southport then). Kenosha’s manufacturing history is also explored. If you visit on the weekend between mid-May and October, delve into maritime history at the free Southport Light Station Museum and climb the 1866 Southport Lighthouse (must be 8 or older to climb; there is a fee).
You’ll find classic toys for boys and girls of all ages at Heim’s Downtown Toy Store. Plan to spend awhile in this fun shop! Stop next door at Scoops! Ice Cream or, a few blocks away, visit Sandy’s Popper for a delicious snack. Scoops! offers plenty of vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free ice cream options, not to mention chocolates and nostalgic candy. In addition to fresh gourmet popcorn products and its own nostalgic candy, Sandy’s Popper serves Wisconsin-made, hand-scooped, parlor-grade ice cream.
Visit Stan and more meat-eating dinosaurs at the free Dinosaur Discovery Museum. Here, you discover the link between meat-eating dinosaurs and birds. Be sure to visit the lower level of the museum for children’s craft activities! On this level, you can also look through the windows of the Carthage College Institute of Paleontology, and view actual dinosaur fossil bones of Little Clint, a juvenile T-rex, un-earthed in Montana.
Swim or skate your way to fun at RecPlex, the largest municipal recreation facility in the nation. An indoor waterpark, ice arena, athletic fieldhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center, and more await you. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy here! In the summer, rent a pedal boat, canoe, kayak, sailboat or bass boat to enjoy outside RecPlex, on Lake Andrea.
Many dining options exist, including casual, family-friendly restaurants. Dine in your vehicle 50’s style at Big Star Drive-In (March-August) while car hope serve up their famous cheeseburgers and root beer floats. Trolley Dogs has its own trolley running above you in the shop as you enjoy Chicago style hot dogs, corn dogs, Italian Beef, the Trolley Dog (a hot dog and tamale on the same bun), and more! At Culver’s of Pleasant Prairie, you can top your casual meal off with the custard Flavor of the Day. Tacos el Rey and Boat House Pub & Eatery are also family-friendly options in Kenosha.