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13 Winter Day Trip Ideas for Families

Sometimes you just have to get out of the house, even when it’s wintry and cold. Here are 11 day trip ideas to help cure your cabin fever. They are all kid-friendly and within a 1-3 hour drive of Milwaukee.

1. LAKE GENEVA CANOPY TOURS

 

 

See Lake Geneva in a whole new way, from atop a nine-line zipline course! (Kids have to weigh at least 70 lbs. to participate.)

 

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2. LAKE GENEVA ICE CASTLES

 

Check their website for weather conditions before you head out!

 

Explore majestic ice canyons, climb through ice tunnels, slide on an ice slide, walk through grand ice archways and canyons, meet snow princesses, see fire shows, and more.

 

Ice Castles is located at Riviera Beach (812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva) on the shore of Geneva Bay. Metered parking is available along the beachfront. Metered parking and parking lots are free from November 15 – February. Additional free parking is located several blocks in on smaller side streets.

 

General admission tickets are $15.95, tickets for children are $10.95, and kids three and under are free.

 

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3. LADY LIBERTY ON LAKE MENDOTA

 

 Photo by John Hart, State Journal

 

A to-scale replica of the State of Liberty has been inflated on Lake Mendota in Madison after nine years away. It’s part of the Wisconsin Union’s Winter Carnival, a forty year old tradition. Visitors can walk out and see the installation up close.

 

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4. MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART (WEST BEND)

 

A 45 minutes drive from Milwaukee, the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend is a modern museum housing only art by Wisconsin artists. 

 

Every weekend, they hold Studio Saturday, offering creative themed art activities for all ages in their studio space. Walk-ins are welcome.

 

Their current exhibit “Fore and Aft: A Vitreous View of Time” highlights three Wisconsin artists who create intricate glass sculptures.

 

Be sure to say hello to the big tall bear in the back corner of the museum. 

 

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5. SPINNING TOP & YOYO MUSEUM (BURLINGTON)

 

 

See the 2,000 item exhibition of antique & modern spinning tops, yo-yos, patches, and more. You can also view videos about spin tops and learn about the science behind spinners. Kids will have the chance to play and experiment with toy tops and spinning top games, plus enjoy a live presentation by Judith Schulz, toy top collector. You should allow three hours for your visit.

 

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6. MADISON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

100 N Hamilton St.

Madison, WI 53703

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Get ready to explore and discover fun meant especially for kids ages 0-12 at the award-winning Madison Children’s Museum. The museum contains three exhibit floors including a rooftop garden and authentic log cabin. It’s located just off of downtown Madison’s Capital Square. Download and print their Visitor Guide to help you plan your day.

 

VISIT WEBSITE

 

7. MARS CHEESE CASTLE

 

 

You know you’ve always wanted to check it out! The family-owned tourist attraction is build like large castle and is located right off of I-94. It’s home to over 700 types of cheeses, Wisconsin products, sausages, and an in-house bakery. This might be the perfect place to stop for lunch after a visit to one of the other destinations in Kenosha on our list. (See below)

 

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8. DINOSAUR DISCOVERY MUSEUM (KENOSHA) (FREE!)

 

 

 

Learn all about dinosaurs, see dinosaur skeletons in the main gallery that are casts of actual dinosaur fossil bones, and listen to the environmental and animal sounds in the exhibit gallery. Don’t miss the hands-on activities and real live laboratory in the downstairs level. Read more about our visit to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum here.

9. KENOSHA PUBLIC MUSEUM

5500 1st Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140

 

Check out this natural sciences and arts museum with exhibits featuring mammoths, world cultures, Native Americans, zoology, geology, fossils, and fine and decorative arts. The Field Station section offers hands-on activities especially for kids. Take a closer look at insects, fossils, and shells and identify the neighborhood birds.

 

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10. JELLY BELLY VISITOR CENTER (FREE!)

10100 Jelly Belly Ln., Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158

 

 

If you haven’t been to the Jelly Belly Visitor Center yet, it’s time to go. Don’t miss their free daily tours on a real mini choo-choo train. The tour includes an educational ride through the warehouse and free candy. Plus, there’s an all-new interactive area with games.

 

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11. ABOVE AND BEYOND CHILDREN’S MUSEUM (SHEBOYGAN)

 

Enjoy almost 10,000 square feet of exhibit space on four floors, including a life-size Giant Pin Screen, the USS Efroymson Ship, and a 1900’s schoolhouse. 

 

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12. KOHLER ARTS CENTER (FREE!)

608 New York Ave.

Sheboygan, WI 53081

 

The Kohler Arts Center is an art museum offering free admission, free parking, and plenty for the kids to explore. There is an art space just for kids, an outdoor garden (in the warm months), and ever-changing exhibits. 

 

One of the highlights of your visit might actually be a trip to the restrooms. Colorful tiles and whimsical designs fill the bathrooms so there’s never a dull moment.

 

VISIT WEBSITE

 

13. LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER

Streets of Woodfield
601 N. Martingale Road 
Schaumburg, IL 60173

 

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago at Streets of Woodfield, Schaumburg. Inside the Center you can let your imagination run wild as you learn top tips from our Master Model Builder, join your favorite LEGO characters in our 4D cinema experiences, pedal fast on our Technicycle Ride and find plenty of places to build amazing LEGO creations.

 

VISIT WEBSITE

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