15 Things to do with your kids this summer for $15 or less!

15 things graphic 2

It’s summertime, and the kids are out of school.  Are you prepared for another summer? Never fear – we’ve got your back!  The following list is great activities for the whole family, for less than $15 per person.  This is just a sampling of things to do in the area though, so check back frequently for new ideas or visit our website!

*NOTE: This post was written in 2013, and some prices may have changed. Please contact the business directly for updated prices.*

  1. Visit the Animal Gardens in Delavan.  Admission gets you into the baby animals barn, outdoor petting zoo, and the exotic bird show!  This beautiful park is home to 16 species of exotic animals and over 60 hay-eating animals.
    Cost: $10 per person (children under 2 are free!) Animal Gardens - Bird Show
  2. Tour Watson’s Wild West Museum in Elkhorn.  This unique museum is like stepping back to the wild wild west – kids can “pan for gold,” saddle up the bar for a cold sarsaparilla (root beer), and listen to old tales of time gone by!
    Cost: $5+tax for adults, $3.75+tax for kids 4-10 years old Watsons Wild West
  3. Visit one of our great area orchards for seasonal fruit picking (Apple Barn Orchard, Quednow’s Orchard, The Elegant Farmer, or Royal Oak Farm Orchard). Click any of the links for fruit picking dates and other information.  Some even have hay rides or other kids activities!
    Cost: varies depending on fruit and amount picked AppleBarnStrawberry1
  4. Step into the past with Geneva Lake Museum.  Walk the brick streets of yesteryear and explore old-fashioned stores plus a fire engine house.  Who knew history could be so fun?!  Great rainy day activity!
    Cost: $7 for adults, children 11 and under FREE Geneva-Lake-Museum
  5. Splash around at Whitewater Aquatic & Fitness Center.  Admission gets you into the entire facility, including the aquatic center (which includes an interactive water playground, pool, four-story waterslide, and a lazy river).
    Cost: $6 per person per day, children under 2 free
    UPDATE (2015): $7/resident, $8/non-resident
  6. Take a ride on the East Troy Electric Railroad.  Your kids will LOVE boarding the old-fashioned electric train and learning about this thrilling form of transportation.  You can board at the depot in East Troy, or at The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago.
    Cost: $12.50 for adults (12 and up), $8 for children (3-11), children under 3 free East Troy Electric Railroad
  7. Explore Old World Wisconsin – return to Wisconsin of the late 19th century, when waves of immigrants came to America’s heartland in search of a better life. From historic farming and gardening to live farm animals and hands-on activities, your family will leave tired, happy, and more knowledgeable about our interesting past!
    Cost: $9 for children 5-17, $16 for adults – or $43 for a family rate (admission for 2 adults and 2 children)
    UPDATE (2015): $10 for children 5-17, $19 for adults – or $50 for a family rate (admission for 2 adults and all children under 17)DSC_0054
  8. Take to new heights with the high ropes course at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours.  Open Friday-Sunday, this challenging course is fun (and safe!) for the whole family.
    Cost: $15 per person per hour
    UPDATE (2015): $45/personLake Geneva Canopy Tours - High Ropes Course
  9. Rent a bike at Pedal & Cup, located on the White River State Trail.  This trail is an easy trail for any level of biking experience.  Grab a bike and hit the trails today!  Lunch and refreshments available here as well.
    Cost: $7/hour for adults, $5/hour for children. Biking
  10. Tour Yerkes Observatory (Saturdays only).  Programs begin at 10am, 11am, and noon and takes about 45 minutes.  The tour talks about the history of Yerkes, the research done there before leading them into the 90-foot dome where you can view the famous 40-inch refractor – the world’s biggest lens-type telescope!  For groups of 15 or more, please call ahead.
    Cost: no charge, donations of $5 per person are greatly appreciated. Exterior 1 South
  11. Bowl the day (or night) away at Delavan Lanes.  Friday night features cosmic bowling after 9pm until close, or you can visit on Tuesday nights (6pm-close) for “Bowl for a Buck Night.”
    Cost:  $2.50 per game + shoe rental during open bowling, or $1 per game + shoe rental on Tuesday nights; $5 for Friday night cosmic bowling.
    UPDATE (2015): $1 Bowling on Tuesday nights.delavanlanes
  12. Soak up the sun at the local beaches.  Summer is a time for swimming, fishing, and building sandcastles & memories.  There are plenty of great beaches in the area!
    Cost: Lake Geneva Beach: $7 for adults, $3 for kids 7-12. Fontana Beach: $7 for adults (12+), $3 for kids 6-11. Williams Bay Beach: $7 for adults, $4 for kids. Delavan Community Park: $25 per car – pass good for the entire season. Whitewater Lake Beach: $7 vehicle day pass, $25 vehicle annual pass 2188305629_788d880f77_o
  13. Fish the plentiful streams & ponds at Rushing Waters Fishery. Open year-round, this is a great place for kids to learn how to fish – and it’s educational.  You can bring out a grill or pack a lunch.  You rent a pole & get bait from their storefront (bringing your own equipment is not allowed), and get fishing right away.  With no entrance fee or fishing license required, this is a great budget-friendly day!
    Cost: $2/pole (On Wednesdays, pole rental is free!), $2.50/dozen worms, $5.50/lb of live fish, $1 per fish dressed (cleaned) or $1.50 per fish filleted.
    UPDATE (2015): $8.75/lb. Price includes poles/bait, cleaning, icingfarm pictures 016
  14. Watch the amazing performers on Lauderdale Aqua Skiers on Lauderdale Lakes.  The ski team performs on Saturday evenings starting at 5:30pm; check their website for a full show schedule.
    Cost: free to the publiclauderdale lakes aqua skiers
  15. Enjoy a movie under the stars at Movies in the Park in Delavan or with Big Foot Recreation District.  *2013* movie dates for Phoenix Park Bandshell are as follows – June 21 (Madagascar 3), July 12 (Escape from Planet Earth), July 19 (Wreck it Ralph), August 2 (The Avengers), August 16 (Oz the Great and Powerful).  *2013* movie dates for Big Foot Recreation District are as follows – June 21 (Despicable Me) at Goodland Park, Sharon, June 22 (Oz the Great and Powerful) at Fontana Beach.
    Cost: free to the public
    UPDATE (2015): The Fontana/Sharon movies are $1/person. Click HERE for the 2015 movies & dates.phoenixparkbandshellnight


What other activities does your family enjoy doing in Walworth County?  Comment below & let us know your ideas!  And – check back next week for more things to do this summer!


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