Just a 30 minute drive from downtown Milwaukee and perched on the shores of Lake Michigan, Port Washington is the ultimate day trip destination for families.
Here are our top ten picks for what to do with kids in Port Washington this summer:
1. 2022 Art Walk
Kick off your summer season with an Art Walk full of family-friendly fun, happening Sunday, May 29th from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m, and sponsored by Ansay & Associates.
The 2nd annual Art Walk will take place in historic downtown Port Washington, featuring regional artists, signature shops and eateries, art stations for kids, public art displays, a global art project, and the Gallery 224 Plein Air art display.
This year, families can get a taste of Latin culture with a “Festival de Arte” Latin arts area. There will be Latin music, dancing, artists, teaching Spanish songs to kids, and a chance to meet Mirabel from Encanto.
For more information, visit the event website.
2. Possibility Playground in Upper Lake Park
Located in Upper Lake Park (650 N Lake Street), Possibility Playground is a massive, fully accessible playground overlooking Lake Michigan.
Features include a castle themed play structure, a climbable pirate ship, a tot area especially for ages 5 and under, a moving walking bridge, a musical area with an alligator shaped drum, colorful art, a choo choo train structure, multiple slides and swings, and much more.
The recycled tire ground cover softens any falls, and the spacious ramps are wide enough for wheelchairs.
The playground is fenced-in with only one entrance/exit, making it easier for parents to keep track of their children.
It’s open all year round from sunrise to sunset. For more information, visit their website.
3. Ice Cream Heaven!
Port Washington is a true ice cream destination, from Chocolate Chisel’s handcrafted ice cream and chocolate treats made onsite, to Frankie’s iconic location and trendy Airstream.
Grab a cool treat and stroll through the historic downtown and marina.
The Chocolate Chisel ice cream parlor also creates fresh truffles daily, as well as turtles, sea salt caramels, chocolate dipped butter-toffee squares, pretzels, cookies, a variety of barks, and more.
Their handcrafted ice cream is even better when served in their homemade waffle cones, and they also sell by the pint so you can take some home with you.
For another fun ice cream experience, head to Frankie’s. “Frankie” is their 1969 Airstream Safari serving happy little scoops in downtown Port Washginton. They offer 11 flavors of locally-crafted Cedar Crest Ice Cream and hot, fresh mini donuts.
Frankie’s officially opens Memorial Day Weekend, open daily from 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. as weather permits.
4. Take a Trip Back in Time
Visitors can climb the 1860 Light Station in Port Washington.
For history enthusiasts, Port Washington offers an opportunity to step back in time to the 1800s. A tour through 1860 Light Station takes visitors through the living quarters of the lighthouse keepers who kept the light on and guided mariners traversing the often-treacherous waters of Lake Michigan.
Located on a bluff a short walk uphill from downtown, visitors over the age of six can climb to the lantern tower for spectacular views of the lake and countryside.
It’s open Saturday & Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.
Visitors can also stroll through historic downtown Port Washington with the self-guided Franklin Street Historic Walking Tour. Access photos and history about each stop on the tour, denoted with metal numeric inlays in the Franklin Street sidewalks.
5. Swim at Pirate’s Hollow
Cool off at Pirate’s Hollow (201 N Webster Street), Port Washington’s local water park with a drop slide, diving boards, water mushrooms, and a zero-depth entry for young children.
For open hours & more information, visit https://www.portwashingtonwi.gov/departments/parks-recreation/parks-facilities/pirates-hollow-waterpark.
6. Shop the Farmers Market
With views looking east over the Port Washington Marina, the Port Washington Farmer’s Market is one of the most picturesque in southeastern Wisconsin. If you arrive early enough, you can catch the sun rising over Lake Michigan.
The market, sponsored by Molded Dimensions, takes place on Saturdays from June 18th through October 29th, and features local farmers and makers, a full lineup of live music, and family-friendly activities including story times, music circles, nature crafts and cooking.
7. Hike the Nature Preserves
The Sauk Creek Nature Preserve (3236 Co Rd KK) is 27 acres, with a beautiful creek running north and south over limestone bedrock ledges, eventually flowing into Lake Michigan near the Port Washington Marina.
Trails connect the preserve to local neighborhoods and a bridge allows easy access to the creek. Wildlife is plentiful, and families can hike, bird watch, or fish, and pets on a leash are welcome.
Birchwood Hills Nature Preserve (1620 Parkway Drive) is another 26 acre nature preserve tucked into the city’s northeastern corner.
8. Learn about the Great Lakes at the Port Exploreum
The Port Exploreum is an interactive maritime museum in Port Washington.
The Port Exploreum is a hands-on, interactive maritime museum that allows visitors to learn about the rich local history of Port Washington and its location on the Lake Michigan. It’s open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.
9. Campout in Upper Lake Park
Sleep under the starts in Upper Lake Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Port Washington.
The Great Port Washington Campout will take place Friday, August 5 – Saturday, August 6th.
Families are invited to set up their tents, enjoy s’mores, play yard games, tie-dye, stargaze with the Northern Cross Science Foundation, enjoy a free continental breakfast, and more.
10. Settle in for Friday Night Flicks in the park (or pool!)
Summer movies are here! Friday Night Flicks, sponsored by Port Washington State Bank, are free for all to attend. There will be food trucks on site and other snacks available for purchase. Movies begin at dusk.
Here’s the 2022 schedule:
June 24 – Encanto @ Veterans Memorial Park (410 N Lake Street, Port Washington, WI 53074)
July 15 – Luca @ Pirates’ Hollow Community Waterpark (201 N Webster Street, Port Washington, WI 53074)
August 12 – Sing 2 @ Veterans Memorial Park (410 N Lake Street, Port Washington, WI 53074)
For more information about Port Washington, head to visitportwashington.com.