Busy Kids Daytrip: Kenosha/Pleasant Prairie
There are so many interesting and beautiful places to explore that are just a short drive from Washington County. In our Busy Kids Daytrip series, we’ll highlight some of the fun events and activities for kids at these destinations.
Kenosha/Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin is about a 90 minute drive from Washington County and has tons of fun activities for your whole family to enjoy — from dinosaurs and trains to shopping and learning about jelly beans! There are also some unique restaurants to visit on the way. The best part? Many of the activities listed below are FREE!
Dinosaur Discovery Museum
Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday: Noon to 5 pm; Closed Mondays year round.
The Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin is the only museum to exclusively focus on the link between birds and meat-eating dinosaurs, one of the most complete known fossil records. There are more theropod, meat-eating dinosaurs in the Museum’s exhibit than in any other major museum in North America represented with 18 species represented by 25 specimens. The Carthage Institute of Paleontology is housed in the Museum, and it is dedicated to the preparation and conservation of real dinosaur fossils.
Kenosha Public Museum
Hours: Open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday Noon – 5pm
The Kenosha Public Museum, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, is a natural sciences and fine and decorative arts museum. Established in 1933, the Museum’s collections have grown to over 80,000, including 1,200 works in the fine arts collection. Exhibit programming includes mammoths, world cultures, Native Americans, zoology, geology, fossils, and fine and decorative arts.
Civil War Museum
Hours: Mon–Sat 10am–5pm | Sunday Noon-5pm
Admission: FREE (There is a fee to visit Fiery Trail Exhibit: Adults $9 | 15 & Under FREE)
This museum focuses on the Civil War from the perspective of the people of the seven states of the upper middle west: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. These seven states sent over one million men to serve in the Union army while providing much of the food and raw materials necessary for the northern states to carry on the war. Through the use of personal stories and narratives, the Museum also explores how the Civil War impacted the people on the Western home front before, during, and after the war by connecting the prewar causes to the postwar effects.
Kenosha History Center
Hours: Tue-Fri: 10am-4:30pm | Sat: 10am-4pm | Sun: 12pm-4pm
Step into Yesteryear at the Kenosha History Center. Three exhibit galleries feature a variety of items from the past that showcase companies and people who once made their homes in Kenosha. Come examine the companies who helped make Kenosha what it is today!
Hours: 1st & 3rd Saturday – Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 (April through October)
Once home to United States Senator Charles Durkee, the Durkee Mansion is a cream-brick, Italianate Victorian home. It was originally constructed with an ornate wooden wraparound porch and a widow’s walk. The second floor bedrooms and the third floor (formerly the ballroom) have fireplaces, parquet floors and louvered windows, and the entire home is furnished with period furniture and fixtures.
Uke’s Harley Davidson (Museum Inside Dealership)
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm | Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 10am-3pm
Uke’s Harley Davidson would like to invite you to visit their 3000 square foot museum filled with vintage signage, parts, and Uke’s Harley-Davidson® memorabilia dating back to 1930 when Uke first opened the dealership. You are also invited to cruise through three rooms of Harley-Davidson® and Buell motorcycles with over 30 on display.
There is a section devoted to displaying Owner Keith’s racing career, including his racing motorcycles, leathers, steel shoe and news articles written about him.
Choo Choo Charlie’s
Hours: Mon-Fri 5:30am-7pm | Sat & Sun 7am-7pm
Visit the Historic Kenosha Metra Station where model trains deliver classic American food. It’s a great place that any train-lovers will enjoy!
Hours: Sun-Thurs 10:30am-9pm | Fri-Sat 10:30am-10pm
A super fun kids-themed restaurant with a treefort inside! Enjoy burgers, custard, and some cute photo opportunities! Located in nearby Mount Pleasant.
Oversize donuts topped with everything from candy bars to bacon and even fried chicken. A fun stop for the kids – you’ve got to see it to believe it!
The Spot Drive-In
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am–3am | Fri-Sat 11am–3:30am
An old-fashioned drive-in that’s been a staple in the area since 1945! Stop by for burgers, custard, and homemade root beer, made right at the restaurant from the original family recipe.
OTHER FUN IDEAS
Electric Streetcar Rides
Hours: Sat & Sun 10:05am-5:35pm | Mon-Thurs hours vary by season
Admission: $1.00 for ages 13+ | 50 cents for ages 5 to 12 | ages 4 and younger are FREE
Beautifully restored electric streetcars travel a 2-mile loop, providing a scenic tour of the Lake Michigan shoreline, HarborPark, two historic districts, downtown business district and the METRA train station.
Mars Cheese Castle
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-7pm
A giant castle full of cheese! The Mars Cheese Castle is a tourism destination you won’t want to miss. Stop by for an unmatched selection of cheese, a bakery, fresh deli, full service kitchen and even a tavern.
Jelly Belly Factory Tours
Hours: Daily 9am-4pm
The Jelly Belly Visitor Center features full-throttle fun on the FREE Jelly Belly Express Train Tour. The Visitor Center is designed so visitors can take a tour of our warehouse (really, it’s fun!) and taste the magic of the original gourmet Jelly Belly jelly bean. The 25-30 minute train ride makes stops at a variety of Stations with large screen video monitors showing the company’s century of candy making and how we make candy corn, jelly beans, gummies and more.
Kenosha Dream Playground
As Kenosha’s first fully accessible playground, the Dream Playground at Petzke Park is a one-of-a-kind 15,000 square foot space for children of all abilities to play side-by-side. Visitors of all ages come to play, dream and be inspired!
Bristol Renaissance Faire
Hours: Open July – September | Sat – Sun 10am – 7pm
Admission: Adult $25.95 | Child ages 5-12 $11.50 | 4 and younger are FREE!
Open weekends in summer, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is a step back in time — complete with 16th Century games, rides, arts, crafts, food, music and one-of-a-kind encounters with a spectacular cast of characters. 30 acres of activities and entertainment, with open-air stages featuring Swordfighters, Minstrels and Jesters and more!
Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am – 9pm | Sun 10am – 7pm
Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets is a premium outlet mall that offers extraordinary savings of 25%-65% off everyday. There are over 90 stores at this outdoor center, with brands your whole family will love!
Hours & Admission vary by season
Each fall, thousands of families and friends make their way out to Apple Holler to enjoy the fall festivities including apple, pear and pumpkin picking, hayrides and many exciting outdoor attractions in the Family Farm Park, but fall isn’t the only time folks enjoy coming out to have a great time “down on the farm”. There is a year-round cafe on site and a full calendar of activities for your family to enjoy.
Have something else that’s fun to do in Kenosha and Pleasant Prairie? Let us know in the comments below!