Racine County has fascinating architecture, local history, home-grown art, and much more! If you're looking for fun family-friendly ways to spend the day, here's a curated itinerary for you to enjoy exploring our county!
The Racine Zoo is a local treasure! Located along Lake Michigan, just north of downtown Racine, the Zoo cares for more than 100 different species of animals including more than 50 endangered species. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in numerous interactive exhibits like hand-feeding friendly birds in the aviary, walking among wallaroos and kangaroos in Walkabout Creek, and petting domestic animals from around the globe in the Barnyard Safari.
A trip to the Zoo is an opportunity to observe lions, Amur tigers, black rhinos, Andean bears, wallaroos, orangutans, emperor tamarins, penguins, meerkats, and more. Visitors may also hand-feed the Masai giraffes at the North Shore Bank Giraffe Encounter.
The 28-acre setting is packed with fun features including two playgrounds, the Zoo Choo Express train, picnic areas, and Max & Jenny's Jungle Grill. It's an easy walk for kids and seniors. The Zoo hosts many special events throughout the year including the Animal Crackers concert series, Breakfast with the Giraffes, Boo at the Zoo, and Classic Car, Truck and Bike Show. They also offer a summer camp for children that include up-close encounters with Zoo animals and hands-on learning.
6831 Big Bend Rd., Waterford
Bear Den Zoo & Petting Farm is a charming zoo with a perfect blend of local wildlife, farm favorites and exotic animals. They have a variety of animals to see, educational exhibits, and a children's play area. It is sure to be a unique experience each and every visit!
3600 N. Green Bay Rd., Caledonia
River Bend Nature Center focuses on environmental education and outdoor recreation for families. Enjoy 78 acres of undisturbed woods, wetland and nearly 4,000 feet of riverfront along the Root River. There are miles of hiking trails thread through the varied terrain, and most species of birds and animals native to southeast Wisconsin can be found on the property. Trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset year-round.
From May through October, canoes and kayaks are available for rent. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members, plus tax per boat. Most kayaks seat one person, but tandem kayaks are also available. Canoes seat three adults or two adults with two small children. Life jackets and paddles are provided. All rentals are weather permitting and are on a first come, first served basis.
5006 S. Sylvania Ave., Sturtevant
Apple Holler is a 78-acre orchard that boasts a full farm-to-table restaurant, bakery and gift shop. Their full-service restaurant features a wide selection of menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and many apple centric dishes right from the orchard. You can pick your own apples, peaches and pears, or select from a variety of already picked grab bags.
In the fall, they have fresh-pressed cider from the stands and apple cider donuts along with a field full of pumpkins as well. From hayrides to sleigh rides and a variety of barnyard animals for the kids, there is always something for everyone to enjoy year-round.
Bear Paw Beach Adventure Island at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort
8425 Hwy 38, Caledonia
Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is a popular, family-friendly campground. It offers full hook-up campsites with water, sewer and electrical for short-term and long-term stays, primitive sites for tent camping, and cabins. Guests have access to entertainment and amenities including a heated swimming pool, water park, mini-golf, bathrooms and showers, laundry facilities, gift shop, groceries/supplies, WiFi access, supervised kids programs, and family activities.
701 Main St., Racine
The Racine Heritage Museum offers something for everyone to discover! While experiencing the gracious Renaissance Revival style of this one-time Carnegie Library building, visitors learn in a family friendly atmosphere about Racine County’s pioneering settlers and immigrant groups, the county-wide Underground Railroad network, Racine's early history as a thriving Great Lakes commercial port, and discover our real Egyptian mummy. Encounter Racine County sports stars in the Sports Hall of Fame, such as Clarence Howeth "Ginger" Beaumont from Racine County who was the first at-bat in the first World Series, and visit the Archives Research Center to search for your own history. In addition, participate in a Heritage Walking Tour during summer. Experience Racine's rich industrial and architectural heritage in and around the downtown, lakefront and Root River Valley areas in this guided walking tour.
533 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington
Try to solve four hands-on brainteaser and mechanical puzzles, or see if you can figure out the giant visual puzzles in the big window. Participate in a special workshop to try 13 challenges and learn many table top tricks to amuse your friends and family. Call ahead for hours at (262) 763-3946.
112 63rd Dr., Union Grove
The Racine Astronomical Society was established in 1956 to promote interest in astronomy among amateurs and the Racine area public. The Modine Benstead Observatory was completed in 1963 and includes two domed observatories housing a 16-inch telescope (406.4 millimeters) and a 14-inch telescope (355.6 millimeters). View the heavens through their telescopes by attending one of their free public night open house events held monthly from April through October. As a non-profit organization that is volunteer run, a small donation is encouraged during your visit to help defray the yearly costs of observatory maintenance and care.