25 Best Wisconsin Day Trips From Chicago (2022)

Up for a road trip? Sometimes you’ve just got to get out of the windy city and explore nearby adventures in neighboring Wisconsin.

From the top tourist attractions, to little-known hidden gems, here are some of the best day trips and weekend getaways for the whole family, all within just a few hours drive from downtown Chicago.

Pack up the car, order some cheese curds at Culver’s, and enjoy your day in Wisconsin.


1. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Wisconsin skyline.
“The Good Land” is the perfect place to spend the day, located just 90 minutes north of Chicago.

Big city or small city? It’s all relative. Wisconsin’s largest city, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, is the ideal place for a quick day trip from Chicago.

You can visit the world-class Milwaukee Art Museum, climb the North Point Lighthouse, tour the historic mansion that used the belong to the Pabst family, see the history of motorcycles unfold at the Harley-Davidson Museum, entertain the kids at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, and stroll along the Riverwalk.

Have lunch in the Milwaukee Public Market located in the Third Ward, a historic neighborhood now home to locally owned shops and restaurants.


2. Cedarburg, WI

cedarburg.org

Located just 22 miles north of Milwaukee, small-town charm is abundant in historic Cedarburg. Your first stop can be Cedar Creek Settlement with unique shops and restaurants, or check out the General Store Museum.

Just a stone’s throw away is the last covered bridge in Wisconsin. It was originally known as “Red Bridge,” and it’s located in Covered Bridge Park near the junction of Highways 60 and 143 on Covered Bridge Road. (At one time there were over 40 covered bridges in Wisconsin. Bridges used to be covered because oxen feared crossing water on an open bridge.)

Keep an eye out for Cedarburg’s family-friendly festivals throughout the year including the popular Strawberry Festival and Oktoberfest.

Pro Tip: Beautiful Cedar Creek Park has a nice playground along the river next to Cedar Creek Brewery.


3. East Troy, WI

East Troy is another small town that makes for a perfect day trip, especially for train enthusiasts.

East Troy Electric Railroad

2002 Church St., East Troy, WI 53120​​
easttroyrr.org

These historic rail cars travel a 10-mile trip through Southeast Wisconsin. Board at either the depot in East Troy or at The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago. Meander through the depot museum where kids can be a trolley motorman, discover the joy of model layouts and learn about electricity. The gift shop features a unique selection of railroad souvenirs for all ages.

East Troy Electric Railroad in East Troy Wisconsin
East Troy Railroad is a great day trip for train lovers.

For more fun, try the ice cream at the Lauber’s Old Fasioned Ice Cream Parlor next to the depot or enjoy a meal at Ivan’s on the Square in East Troy.

Paradise Springs

W374 S8640, County Rd N, Eagle, WI 53119
Website

If you have some extra time, Paradise Springs is a magical place, and you’ve never seen a more stunning freshwater spring in Wisconsin. The paths are paved, and the hike is less than a mile. There’s also an observation deck and waterfall.

It also has a rich history. It used to be a resort in the summer months for Milwaukee’s wealthiest folks. There was a horse track and shuffleboard court, and a spring water bottling plant (sold under the name “Lullaby Baby Drinking Water”).

The Springhouse was built by Louis Petit, who was dubbed the “Salt King” because he became wealthy in the salt mining business. (His grandson is August Pabst, who became a beer executive and inherited this property.)

Warning! Paradise Springs is about a 50 minute drive away from Milwaukee, and you’ll probably only spend about 30 minutes there. You can pair up your visit with a trip to Fox River Park in Waukesha, just 20 minutes away from Paradise Springs.


4. Holy Hill

1525 Carmel Rd., Hubertus, Wisconsin 53033

holyhill.com

More than 500,000 people from all over the United States and the world visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary at Holy Hill each year. You can admire the beautiful architecture of the neo-Romanesque church built in 1926, enjoy the expansive views, and even climb the scenic tower.

Holy Hill in Hubertust, Wisconsin

The scenic tower is one of the best places to view the landscape of southeastern Wisconsin. It stretches 192 feet at its base, and has 178 stairs. The views of the Kettle Morraine area are breathtaking. It’s a great spot to take in the changing leaves in the fall, and on a clear day you can even see downtown Milwaukee.


5. Port Washington

visitportwashington.com

Port Washington is a great place for a quick family day trip. With a charming downtown area, a beautiful marina and lighthouse, family festivals throughout the year, and an impressive playground overlooking the lake, there is something everyone.

Possibility Playground in Port Washington Wisconsin

Your kids will love the giant castle-like playground called Possibility Playground. It’s a huge all-access playground set in a beautiful park overlooking Lake Michigan. You can also check out the marina, historic art deco lighthouse, and charming downtown area.

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

4970 Country Club Rd, Port Washington, WI 53074
Website

If you’re in the mood for outdoor activities while in Port Washington, Forest Beach Migratory Preserve consists of 116 acres located along Lake Michigan in the town of Belgium. Visitors will find hardwood forests, ones, grassland and prairie, migratory birds, reptiles, and lots of walking trails. Guests can hike, bird watch, fish, hunt, or cross country ski.


6. West Bend

Museum of Wisconsin Art

205 Veterans Ave, West Bend, WI 53095
mowa.org

Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI

You’ve been to the Milwaukee Art Museum, but have you been to the Museum of Wisconsin Art? Just minutes from Milwaukee, West Bend is nestled in the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine. One must-visit place is the Museum of Wisconsin Art which is dedicated solely to the art and culture of Wisconsin. It houses almost 5,000 works of contemporary and historic works of art by more than 350 artists, and spans 32,000 square feet in the downtown area along the west bend of the Milwaukee River. Expansive windows follow the curve of the river bank. Every Saturday, the museum hosts Studio Saturday for kids, featuring hands-on art projects with different creative themes.

Shalom Wildlife Zoo

1901 Shalom Dr, West Bend, WI 53090
shalomwildlife.com

Just a short drive away from downtown West Bend is Shalom Wildlife Zoo. Experience nature at its best on foot or rent a golf cart. Explore over three miles of gravel road on foot or in a golf cart and spot bison, deer, elk, wild sheep, along with wolves, cougar, bear, zebra, camel and much more in large natural environments. There are learning centers and educational signage posted along the way.

Shalom Wildlife Zoo in West Bend, Wisconsin
Rent a golf cart to drive through Shalom Wildlife Zoo.

7. Old World Wisconsin

W372 S9727 Wisconsin 67, Eagle, WI 53119
oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org

Old World Wisconsin brings 19th century history to life like no other place in the great state of Wisconsin. In fact, it’s the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the entire country. Original structures from across the region were painstakingly dismantled and reconstructed to build this 600-acre open-air museum. There are over 60 buildings to explore including a schoolhouse, church, and furnished houses.

In the Crossroad Village, visitors can learn iron-crafting techniques, watch shoemaking demonstrations, and experience what a typical church experience was like. On the farmsteads, you’ll see horses, roosters, pigs, sheep, and other livestock, and learn about old-fashioned farm machinery, tools, and agricultural techniques.

Throughout the experience, visitors will learn about food preparation and preservation techniques in a world of harsh winters. You’ll see authentic wood stoves, outdoor cooking demonstrations, and learn about holiday food traditions. You can also learn about gardening techniques and stroll through beautifully maintained heirloom gardens, filled with lavender, herbs and seasonal produce.

The best part about a visit to Old World Wisconsin is participating in hands-on activities including ice cream making, crafts, outdoor games, churning butter, domestic chores, and walking on wooden stilts. They also host vintage baseball games during the summer.


8. Kettle Moraine

For nature lovers, there’s no better day trip than to the Kettle Moraine, whose natural areas cover a large portion of southeastern Wisconsin. Here are some of the best ways to see it.

Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive

Website

Explore the beauty, variety and geology of southeast Wisconsin by driving the 115 mile Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive through six Wisconsin counties. The northern end begins near Elkhart Lake in northern Sheboygan County and the southern end begins at Whitewater Lake in southeastern Walworth County. Along the way, you can picnic, hike, swim, visit historical sites, and more. The best time to take this drive is in early October when the leaves are starting to peak. Find out all about it here.

View of autumn leaves in the Kettle Moraine in Wisconsin
The Kettle Moraine lays throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Pike Lake

3544 Kettle Moraine Road, Hartford, WI 53027
Website

The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial landforms which extends through southeast Wisconsin. The forest is named after the 522-acre, spring-fed kettle lake. Powder Hill, a large glacial kame, provides terrific views of the landscape. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, picnicking and more.

Lapham Peak – Kettle Moraine State Forest

W329 N846, County Rd C, Delafield, WI 53018
Website

The Butterfly Garden at Lapham Peak State Park is the crown jewel of this week’s Hike of the Week.

While the observation tower remains closed at this Delafield destination, there’s still plenty of wildlife to see, and lots of kid-friendly hiking options.

We recommend Plantation Path, a one-mile, blacktopped, handicapped accessible trail through a prairie and wooded area. The Butterfly Garden is located just east of this path. Check the map before you go!

An annual park sticker is required.


9. Ten Chimneys

S43 W31575 Depot Rd, Waukesha, WI 53189
tenchimneys.org

This is the perfect place to visit for kids (and adults) who love theater or history. It is the estate created by Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. You can take a tour of the unique collection they amassed during their lives, and learn about their personal and professional lives.


10. Sheboygan

Bookworm Gardens

1415 Campus Dr., Sheboygan, WI 53081
bookwormgardens.org

Bookworm Gardens is a whimsical children’s garden based completely on children’s literature. The two acre garden offers the young and young at heart the opportunity for free, unstructured play in a beautiful and secure environment. Entrance to the garden is free. Special elements of the garden include outdoor classrooms, a small amphitheater, greenhouse and outdoor creation station. Nooks and crannies for reading are plentiful, as are benches for resting and chatting.

Above and Beyond Children’s Museum

902 N 8th St #4005, Sheboygan, WI 53081
abkids.org

Enjoy almost 10,000 square feet of exhibit space on three floors and a mezzanine offer a vast interactive environment where families can discover and learn together.

Kohler Arts Center

608 New York Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53081
jmkac.org

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, 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.

Harrington Beach

531 Co Rd D, Belgium, WI 53004
Website

Harrington Beach State Park boasts more than a mile of beautiful, clean beach along Lake Michigan. Take a walking path down to the scenic limestone quarry lake. The park is also dog-friendly. For stargazing, visit the Jim and Gwen Plunkett Observatory that has a 20-inch telescope weighing over 2000 pounds. The roof of the observatory is designed to expose the full night sky. Throughout the summer and early fall, the North Cross Science Foundation holds free astronomy evenings that are open to the public.

*Restrooms, Buildings, & Structures are currently closed.

Kohler Andrae State Park

1020 Beach Park Ln, Sheboygan, WI 53081
Website

One of the last remaining nature preserves along Lake Michigan, Kohler-Andrae State Park offers miles along sandy beaches and rolling sand dunes, and through pine trees and wildlife. The Sanderling Nature Center is situated among the sand dunes right on the shore of the lake. There are interactive exhibits, nature films, picture books, and a rooftop observation deck. The Creeping Juniper Nature Trail starts and ends at the nature center and will immerse you among the sand dunes. Other short hikes include the Black River Marsh Boardwalk, just a quarter mile hike through wetland, and the Fishing Pond Trail, another quarter mile hike with a flat surface for strollers and plenty of resting spots. The one-mile Woodland Dunes Nature Trail is also stroller accessible, and it starts and ends at the playground.

*Restrooms, Buildings, & Structures are currently closed.

Lottie Cooper Shipwreck

Deland Park, Sheboygan
Website

On the evening of April 8, 1894, the wooden schooner Lottie Cooper was caught by a strong northwest wind. Crew members dropped anchor to wait until morning, but by then water had flooded the ship and before help could arrives, the ship capsized and sank. The net morning, the destroyed hull drifted onto shore, and you can visit it today in Deland Park.

Shaw Family Playground

2614 Pine Grove Avenue, Sheboygan
shawfamilyplayground.com

This sprawling, colorful playground in Sheboygan is the area’s first ADA accessible playground. It’s a great stop if you’re in the area.

Where to eat:

Old World Creamery

1806 Erie Avenue, Sheboygan, WI
owcreamery.com

It doesn’t get much more Wisconsin than this. Old World Creamery is a part of a fourth generation family-owned company that makes high-quality cheese, butter, and other dairy items. Their store features butter made right here in the plant, along with cheese, cheese spreads, and more.

Whispering Orchards & Cafe

W1650 County Rd MM, Cleveland, WI 53015
whisperingorchards.com

Visit this small family operated Apple Orchard and cafe where they serve homemade apple cider, and offer a free petting zoo. Cats and peacocks roam the grounds, and you’ll find baby goats, sheep and large rabbits in the caged area. In the fall, you’ll find tunnels using hay bales for the kids to play on and wander through. It is located just north of Sheboygan.


11. Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

7001 Gass Lake Rd, Manitowoc, WI 54220
farmwisconsin.org

The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center is now open on Fridays & Saturdays (check online for availability).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It’s packed with interactive, kid-friendly exhibits like a cow-milking station, butter churner, kinetic sand to learn about rainfall, a tractor simulator and more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Plus, check out the Land O’ Lakes Birthing Barn where you can actually watch a baby calf being born.


12. Kohler, WI

Kohler Design Center

101 Upper Rd, Kohler, WI 53044
Website

The Kohler Design Center is a three-level showcase of Kohler’s product design and technology throughout American history. The 36,000-square-foot space highlights Kohler products, and is sure to leave visitors inspired.


13. Elkhart Lake

elkhartlake.com

Elkhart Lake is a hidden gem turned popular weekend getaway, offering natural beauty, beaches and parks, hiking, golfing, biking, shopping, and more.


14. Fond Du Lac

Fondy Sports Park

N5820 Co Rd D, Fond du Lac, WI 54937
fondysportspark.com

Fondy Sports Park is a great destination for go-karts, mini-golf, bumper-boats, an arcade, off-road karts, batting cages, a rock climbing wall, and more.

Lakeside Park

555 N. Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI
Website

Lakeside Park is situated on Lake Winnebago (one of the country’s largest inland lakes), and it’s 400 acres of family fun. There’s a walk-up lighthouse, picnic area, playground, splash pad, zip line, petting zoo, marina, kayak and pedal-boat rentals, nostalgic miniature train rides, an antique carousel and more. During the holidays, the park glows with thousands of lights and animated displays.

Kelley Country Creamery

W5215 Co Rd B, Fond du Lac, WI 54937
kelleycountrycreamery.com

They call themselves the “best ice cream in the middle of nowhere”, but Kelley Country Creamery is actually not far off the highway. The best time to go is during Sunflower Season when you can roam through their sunflower fields.


15. Oshkosh / Appleton

EAA Aviation Museum

3000 Poberezny Rd. Oshkosh, WI 54902
Website

With a collection of more than 200 historic airplanes along with world-class galleries and displays, the EAA Aviation Museum is a year-round destination. Marvel at aviation innovations, and get “hands-on” in the interactive KidVenture Gallery for kids of all ages. Check out the annual AirVenture event every summer.

Maritime Museum

75 Maritime Dr, Manitowoc, WI 54220
wisconsinmaritime.org

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum houses an extensive photograph collection and artifacts. Kids can learn in a hands-on way about sailors, shipbuilders, and submariners who made history. Spend hours learning about the sailors, shipbuilders and submariners who made history.

Union Star Cheese Factory

7742 County Rd II, Fremont, WI 54940

unionstarcheese.com

Union Star Cheese Factory gives visitors the chance to taste fine Wisconsin cheese, see a real cheese factory in operation, and learn more about how cheese is made.

Menominee Park & Zoo (Opens May 1)

520 Pratt Trail, Oshkosh, WI 54901
Website

The free Menominee Park Zoo is located near Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh and is home to 30-50 animals. Four permanent exhibits includes the wolf, elk, otter, and eagle exhibits.

Washington House Museum (Home of the ice cream sundae)

1622 Jefferson Street, Two Rivers, WI 54241
Website

Learn about the local history at the Washington House Museum. It was originally a hotel built in 1850, containing an original 1890’s saloon, ballroom, Victorian dollhouse and antique toy exhibit, and a replica of Ed Berner’s Ice Cream Parlor. Legend has it that Berners invented the ice cream sundae there in 1881.

London Dairy Alpaca Farm

6827 State Hwy 147, Two Rivers, WI 54241
londondairyalpacas.com

This fully operational ranch in Two Rivers offers pre-scheduled tours. (Walk-ups are not accommodated.) Visitors can interact with and feed the alpacas, take photos with them, and learn about the ranch.


16. Green Bay Area

Bay Beach Amusement Park

1313 Bay Beach Rd, Green Bay, WI 54302
Website

Bay Beach Amusement Park is a municipal amusement park in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Situated near the mouth of the Fox River on the east bank as it flows into Green Bay, the park contains a ferris wheel, bumper cars and boats, a giant slide, concessions, a roller coaster & more.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

1660 E Shore Dr, Green Bay, WI 54302
Website

Visit this beautiful 700 acre urban wildlife refuge featuring live animal exhibits, educational displays, miles of hiking/skiing trails and various wildlife viewing opportunities. It is the largest park in the Green Bay Park system and home to the second largest wildlife rehabilitation program in Wisconsin, caring for more than 4,500 orphaned and injured animals annually.

Lambeau Field

1265 Lombardi Ave, Green Bay, WI 54304
Website

Lambeau Field stadium tours allow fans to experience the Packers’ history-rich facility first-hand and see several behind-the-scenes areas. Various types of stadium tours are offered on most days. Stadium tours are accessible.

National Railroad Museum

2285 S Broadway, Green Bay, WI 54304
nationalrrmuseum.org

The National Railroad Museum is home to seven permanent exhibits featuring historic trains and train history. Visitors can take a 25 minute tour aboard a vintage train pulled by a diesel locomotive.

Green Bay Botanical Garden

2600 Larsen Rd, Green Bay, WI 54303
gbbg.org

Green Bay Botanical Garden’s is home to 47 acres of display gardens capturing northeast Wisconsin’s beautiful four seasons. There is a Veterans Garden, Rose Garden, Wellhouse, Children’s Garden, and more.


17. Jefferson / Fort Atkinson

Highway 18 Outdoor Theater

U.S. 18, Jefferson, WI 53549​​
highway18.com

Enjoy an old-fashioned drive-in movie on a 90-ft. screen at this seasonal drive-in theater. Snacks are available for purchase.

Aztalan State Park

N6200 County Rd Q, Jefferson, WI 53549
Website

Aztalan State Park is a National Historic Landmark where you can learn about an ancient village that thrived between A.D. 1000 and 1300. They built large, flat-topped mounds and a stockade that have been reconstructed in the park. Wander around and get lost in ancient history.

Steffen’s Orchards

N633 McIntyre Rd. Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
steffenscherryorchard.com

Pick your own cherries and blueberries every year at this picturesque orchard. Plus, you can use their mechanical pitter!

Fort Atkinson’s Hoard Historical Museum

401 Whitewater Ave, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
hoardmuseum.org

Discover the people and events that make up Fort Atkinson’s history through the Hoard Museum’s impressive collection of artifacts and artwork. Kid-friendly activities include elementary-level scavenger hunts and a Kids’ Korner area for playing and reading while parents and grandparents explore the Museum Gift Shop.

Visitors will also enjoy The National Dairy Shrine’s Museum, which features a multimedia show that captures the sights and sounds of dairy farming: past, present, and future. Don’t miss the family photo op with the colorful fiberglass cow in the front entryway.


18. Madison Area

It’s the state capital of Wisconsin, and it’s home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, eclectic State Street, beautiful Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, and so much more.

Madison Wisconsin State Capitol State Street
View of the state capitol on Madison, Wisconsin.

Henry Vilas Zoo

702 S. Randall Ave., Madison, WI 53715
henryvilaszoo.gov

This is a 28-acre free public zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. Owned by the city of Madison, the zoo charges no admission or parking fees. It receives over 750,000 visitors annually. The zoo houses an African lion, chimpanzees, a red panda and more!

Madison Children’s Museum

100 N Hamilton St., Madison, WI 53703
madisonchildrensmuseum.org

Learn through play as you explore and discover award-winning fun designed for kids ages 0 to 12. There are three exhibit floors, including the Wildernest for littles, the ever-creative art studio, and the rooftop garden’s grand view, and each one is bursting with family-friendly activities. The museum is located downtown, on Madison’s Capitol Square.

Dane County Farmer’s Market

dcfm.org

An absolute must-visit Farmer’s Market, held around the State Capital every Saturday morning. Cheesy bread. Doughtnuts. Fresh, local produce. And so much more!

Sunflower Days at the Pope Farm Conservancy (Late July)

10333 Blackhawk Road, Middleton, WI 53562
popefarmconservancy.org

See over 500,000 sunflowers in bloom in a 9 acre sunflower field at the Pope Farm Conservancy for an gorgeous and memorable day trip with your family.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704
olbrich.org

Olbrich Botanical Gardens features 16 acres of outdoor display gardens showcasing the beauty of Midwest hardy plants in a setting of prairie style architecture.

The Bolz Conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, houses a diverse collection of tropical plants, a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds, and blooming orchids year-round.

The japanese gardens and teahouse was completed in 2015.

The Botanical Center is complete with a gift shop, horticultural library, and meeting rooms. Educational classes, programs, and events for adults and children are offered year-round.

Wisconsin State Capitol

2 East Main St, Madison, WI 53703
tours.wisconsin.gov

The best way to experience the beauty and grandeur of Wisconsin’s Capitol building is to see it for yourself. Free tours are offered daily, except on New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. Plan on spending 45-55 minutes for a tour.

Groups of 10 or more can make a reservation online or by calling (608) 266-0382. A sixth-floor museum and observation deck are also open in summer.

Little Amerricka Amusement Park

700 E Main St., Marshall, WI 53559
littleamerricka.com

Tired of Six Flag Great America? Little Amerricka is one of the most unique theme parks in the Midwest, featuring twenty-six thrill rides, attractions, and roller coasters including their classic 1950’s Wooden Roller Coaster The Meteor. The unique park features restored rides from classic amusement parks of a bygone era.

Governor Dodge State Park

Governor Dodge State Park, 4175 WI-23, Dodgeville, WI 53533
Website

One of Wisconsin’s largest parks, Governor Dodge has more than 5,000 acres of steep hills, bluffs and deep valleys, plus two lakes and a waterfall. Located in Wisconsin’s scenic Driftless Region, Governor Dodge offers camping, picnicking, hiking, canoeing, biking, hunting, fishing, off-road biking, cross-country skiing and horseback riding.

Doby Stables

4228 WI-23 Trunk, Dodgeville, WI 53533
dobystables.com

Choose between a 45-minute ride through the ranch property and a 1-hour ride through Governor Dodge State Park. Advance reservations are required. Any child riding double with an adult enjoys half-price admission.


19. Mt. Horeb Troll Stroll

Mt. Horeb, WI
Website

Did you know that Mt. Horeb is the Troll Capital of the world? Whether you’re visiting or just biking through, the trolls of Mt. Horeb are waiting to meet you and guide you on an offbeat adventure filled with numerous attractions and rich Norwegian heritage. Discover many hidden treasures, including casual cafes, gourmet restaurants, delightful bakeries, a world-class brewpub, award-winning wineries, scenic bike trails and so much more.


20. Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

Website

Visit historic sites designed by this famous architect, including Monona Terrace and the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio near Spring Green.


20. Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark

2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517
caveofthemounds.com

Visit the premier cave in the upper Midwest and the jewel box of America’s major show caves. Guided tours of this geologic wonder follow paved, lighted walkways departing regularly everyday of the year. Tours pass a stunning array of colorful crystal formations on paved lighted walkways. Visitors also enjoy our Gemstone Mine, Fossil Dig, Butterfly Gardens, Amazing Rock/Gift Shops, Hiking/Biking Trails, Snack Bar and Picnic Area. Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is located in southwest Wisconsin just 20 minutes west of Madison, off U.S. Highways 18/151.


21. House on the Rock

5754 Wisconsin 23, Spring Green, WI 53588
thehouseontherock.com

Marvel at the House On the Rock, an engineering and artistic masterpiece, and check out the eclectic, exotic and whimsical collections and displays. On your self-guided tour you will explore The Infinity Room, extending an unsupported length of 218 feet and soaring 156 above the valley floor, The World’s Largest Carousel featuring 269 handcrafted animals, 20,000 lights and 182 chandeliers, an enormous sea creature longer than the Statue of Liberty is tall, and a Japanese Garden including 14 foot quadruple waterfalls cascading into a garden pond.


22. Mt. Horeb Troll Stroll

Mt. Horeb, WI
Website

Did you know that Mt. Horeb is the Troll Capital of the world? Whether you’re visiting or just biking through, the trolls of Mt. Horeb are waiting to meet you and guide you on an offbeat adventure filled with numerous attractions and rich Norwegian heritage. Discover many hidden treasures, including casual cafes, gourmet restaurants, delightful bakeries, a world-class brewpub, award-winning wineries, scenic bike trails and so much more.


23. Wisconsin Dells

The Wisconsin Dells are America’s Waterpark Capital. Large resorts like the Great Wolf Lodge let you stay in the same place all day, or you can venture out and explore local attractions.

Devil’s Lake State Park
Website

Devil’s Lake State Park is truly one of the most beautiful state parks in all of Wisconsin. A must-visit section of the part is Parfrey’s Glen.

Dr. Evermore’s Sculpture Park

S7703 US-12, North Freedom, WI 53951
worldofdrevermor.com

Dr. Evermore’s Sculpture Park is home to the Forevertron – the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world. Built in the 1980s, it stands 50 feet tall and 120 feet wide, and weighs 300 tons.

Deer Park (Opens in May)

2183 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
wisdeerpark.com

One of the original attractions in Wisconsin Dells, this family-owned and operated park offers 40 acres of land for live deer and other animals to explore. While strolling four blocks of well-groomed trails, you can expect to see a large variety of animal species, including white-tailed deer, American elk, American bison, European fallow deer, Japanese sika deer, goats, game birds, llamas, horses, emus and lemurs.

Noah’s Ark

1410 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
noahsarkwaterpark.com

It’s perhaps the best known water park in the State of Wisconsin, and it’s a must-visit for anyone’s first time to the Wisconsin Dells.

Witches Gulch

3951 River Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Website

Witches Gulch is one of the most beautiful places in the Wisconsin Dells, and you’ve probably never seen anything like it before.

Witch's Gulch in Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells is home to the spectacular rock formation known as “Witch’s Gulch”.

Rick Wilcox Magic Theater

1670 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
rickwilcox.com

Tommy Bartlett Exploratory

560 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy N, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
tommybartlett.com


24. Racine / Kenosha Area

Mars Cheese Castle

2800 W Frontage Rd, Kenosha, WI 53144
marscheese.com

You know you’ve always wanted to check it out! Taste cheeses, bakery, sausage and more.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum

5608 10th Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140
Website

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. Read more about our visit to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum here.

America’s Action Territory Family Fun Park

12345 75th St., Kenosha WI
actionterritory.com

This family-fun haven features go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, paint ball and an arcade.

Kenosha Public Museum

5500 1st Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140
museums.kenosha.org

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.

Kenosha Dream Playground

Petzke Park (2820 14th Avenue)
Website

The Dream Playground Project Founders partnered with the Kenosha Achievement Center to raise funds for a fully accessible playground at Petzke Park. The 15,000- square-foot Dream Playground opened in October of 2015 as the City’s first fully accessible playground. More than 3,000 volunteers worked to raise, support, and construct this amazing playground.

Brightonwoods Orchard (Treehouse currently closed)

1072 288th Ave., Burlington, WI 53105
brightonwoodsorchard.com

Brightonwoods Orchard in Burlington, Wisconsin
Brightonwoods Orchard is located in Burlington, WI.

This family run orchard features over 200 apple varieties, seeded and seedless grapes, quince and pears. There is no admission fee. They are not a pick your own orchard, but visitors are free to roam through the orchard and woods trail, and visit the two-story treehouse!

Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum

533 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington, WI 53105
Website

This quirky museum / shop gets mixed reviews. It houses a 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 definitely call before your visit, and plan to spend a couple of hours there.

Racine Zoo

2131 N Main St, Racine, WI 53402
racinezoo.org

North Beach

100 Kewaunee St., Racine, WI 53402
cityofracine.org/NorthBeach

Apple Holler

5006 S Sylvania Ave, Sturtevant, WI 53177
appleholler.com

Bristol Renaissance Faire

12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, WI 53142
renfaire.com

Richard Bong State Recreation Area

26313 Burlington Rd, Kansasville, WI 53139
Website

When you first arrive, stop by the Molinaro Visitor Center to check out the live animals, hands-on exhibits and displays, and a solarium with butterflies, play areas, and beautiful views. There are usually nature programs going on throughout the year. From the visitor center, you can hike a .7 mile-long nature trail that is stroller friendly. It runs through prairie and grasslands, and there’s a boardwalk that overlooks Wolf Lake.

Fun Fact: The Richard Bong State Recreation Area used to be a jet fighter base. It’s named after Major Richard I. Bong, a Wisconsinite who was America’s leading air ace during World War II. Plans were underway to pour a 12,500 foot runway for the air base, but it was abandoned three days before it was scheduled to happen. A group of locals decided to protect the natural area, and the rest is history.

*Restrooms, Buildings, & Structures are currently closed.


25. Lake Geneva Area

Lake Geneva
Charming Lake Geneva is a short drive from downtown Chicago.

Stroll through the historic and charming shops and restaurants, hear live music, walk along the Lake Geneva Shore Path, and relax on the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva.

Black Point Estate & Gardens

The only way to access this historic estate is via a 45 minute boat ride. From there you can explore the Victorian mansion, gardens and scenic property.

Dan Patch Stables

7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Website

Dan Patch Stables is located at the entrance of the Grand Geneva, and offers pony rides, a free petting farm and trail rides. Trail rides are available 7 days a week by reservation. Trail guides and gentle horses will allow you to see the beauty of nature in a whole new way.

Animal Gardens Petting Zoo (Opens May 1)

5065 WI-50, Delavan, WI 53115

Website

Visit this 40-acre venue which serves as home to The Dancing Horses Theater and Echo the talking and singing parrot, most noted for his recent appearances on America’s Got Talent. You’ll find 16 species of exotic animals and over 60 hay-eating animals. Visit the interactive Baby Animal Barn where you can pet, hold and feed exotic and farm animal babies. Then, roam or ride the manicured trails. Visit the deer park where you can hand-feed the deer. Venture to the Indian Village, the interactive petting zoo, and the pond, where you can enjoy a boat ride and paddle with the swans.

Big Foot Beach State Park

1452 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Website

This 271-acre park on the shore of Geneva Lake is within driving distance to downtown Lake Geneva and offers wooded campsites, a sand beach that’s rather close to the highway, 6.5 miles of hiking trails, and picnic areas.

Lake Geneva Canopy Tour

N3232 Co Rd H, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

lakegenevaadventures.com

 


We hope you enjoyed this curated list of the best road trips from Chicago to Wisconsin. If we’re missing something, let us know by emailing hello@mkewithkids.com

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