Travel with Kids

Top Things to Do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin – Weekend Getaway Ideas

(Update 2020) Are you looking for a quick day trip or fun weekend getaway in Wisconsin? Look no further than Lake Geneva, Wisconsin only a short drive from Chicago & Milwaukee. You’ll find a cute downtown, beautiful lake and surrounding area with tons of things to do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. There really is something for everyone. Get inspired for your Lake Geneva Weekend Getaway and plan your fun family vacation. 

Need a fun weekend getaway? Head to Lake Geneva Wisconsin with kids? Here are the Top 5 Things to do to make it the best family vacation ever! #lakegenevawisconsin, #familytrip, #weekendgetaway

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Top Things to Do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Big Foot Beach State Park 

This is a great, smaller state park located just a mile south of downtown Lake Geneva. Big Foot Beach State Park has easy walking trails that the whole family can do. The trails are flat and are made of dirt and grass so if you are using a stroller, I would suggest using a jogging stroller. It’s fun because part of your hike is through the woods and the other part is the prairie. 

You will receive a map and there is colored signage along the way so you don’t get lost. You will also find near the entrance a playground, BBQ pits, and bathrooms. We found several families who just came to have a picnic in the park by the playground. The park offers the convenience of camping if you’re looking for somewhere to stay other than a hotel.  This is a great stop for an hour or two before you head into town or bring a picnic and stay all day.

Address: 1550 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Geneva, WI

Hiking trails in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Hike through the woods.
Hiking through the prarie in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Hike through the prairie.







Geneva Lake Museum of History

Geneva Lake Museum

This cute museum located at the edge of downtown offers your family a walk through the history of the area. When you step inside, you are greeted by a display of the Potawatomi Indian Tribe and then are whisked through the history of Lake Geneva with a recreation of Main Street.  

Along a brick-paved street, your kids can wander through a pioneer home, general store, a law office, a stagecoach, and much more. You really get a feel for what life was like over 100 years ago.

What I love about Geneva Lake Museum is your kids are actually immersed in history by walking through the stores and not just looking in glass displays. It holds their attention as they wander through the museum learning how people use to live in this small community.  

Tip: I often find deals on Groupon for this museum

Address: 255 Mill St. Lake Geneva, WI

Downtown Lake Geneva

Downtown Lake Geneva WI. Best Things to Do
Downtown Lake Geneva, WI

Downtown Lake Geneva has several streets of shops and restaurants to explore. The shops’ range of clothing and furniture stores to touristy t-shirt shops.

The Downtown sits right on the lakefront which makes for a pretty stroll. Stop and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants such as the family-friendly Popeye’s Restaurant. Get our Guide to the Best Restaurants in Lake Geneva WI to see where to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner while your there.  

We also love to pick up Ice cream at Scoops Ice Cream & Deli. You feel like you are in an old-time ice cream parlor with 40 flavors to choose from. We usually take our ice cream across the street to sit by the lake and watch the boats.

If you come in the warmer months, there is a beach that you can go to for a fee. The city also has several events that are fun throughout the year so make sure to check their calendar of events before you go.

Lake Geneva Scenic Boat Tours

Lake view of Riviera Docks in Lake Geneva
Riviera Docks in Downtown Lake Geneva

This is a fun way to explore the lake and all the amazing homes without renting a boat yourself. As you ride around the lake, the Captain will point out the homes and tell you about the history of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The kids can enjoy watching the boats go by and walking around the big ship. The dock is located at Riviera Docks right in downtown. The cruise ship company is Gage Lake Geneva Cruise Line.  

Related Article – Top 10 Things to Do in Door County Wisconsin with Kids

Lake Geneva Shore Path

Lake Geneva Shore Path a beautiful hike around Lake Geneva WI
Lake Geneva Shore Path

I love the Lake Geneva Shore walking path that extends for 26 miles around the lake. The whole walk takes about 8 to 10 hours but we just break it up and walk as long as we think the kids can make it.

The path is located right along the lake and has beautiful views that let you take a closer look at the amazing homes. Each homeowner along the lake must maintain the part of the path in front of their home.  The path varies from dirt to stone to paved based on the owner’s preference. Often the path is uneven and does not work well for strollers or bikes.

I would suggest starting at the Library located just north of the Riviera Docks. Then follow the sidewalk north around the lake to the entrance of the path. There are also public bathrooms near this entrance. Just remember when you start off, however far you walk you will have to walk back. Enjoy

Safari Lake Geneva

Fun Things to do in Lake Geneva. Families will love the Safari in Lake Geneva with over 50 animals from 5 countries in this conservation ranch just 5 miles from Downtown Lake Geneva.
Safari Lake Geneva

Just a short 5 miles from downtown Lake Geneva you’ll find the Safari Lake Geneva. Located on 800 acres of pristine wildlife habitat. Visitors will climb aboard their safari wagons and take a one hour guided tour through their conservation-focused ranch. On the tour, you’ll see over 50 animals from 5 different countries. 

This ended up being one of our family’s favorite things to do in Lake Geneva. The staff is very knowledgeable and passionate about the animals, they are rescuing answering guests’ questions along the way. This made it a great trip for all ages from kids to seniors. We really learned a lot on this trip. 

The really cool part is the animals will come right up to the safari wagon to eat so you get a close-up view. Visitors can also purchase feed for the animals for a small fee and they will eat right out of your cup. It’s pretty thrilling for the kids. 

Get more information on our Safari Lake Geneva Review

Tip: We found a deal for the Safari on Groupon

Address: W1612 Litchfield Rd. Lake Geneva, WI

Where to Stay in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva has a huge variety of places to stay while visiting. There are large resorts like The Grand Geneva and The Abby. If you are bringing kids you might enjoy Timber Ridge Lodge Waterpark. You’ll also find tons of smaller local hotels and big chains like Fairfield Inn. 

Find the right hotel for your family on our favorite hotel website for great deals

More Fun Wisconsin Destinations

There is so much to do in Wisconsin with your family. Get inspired by more Wisconsin Destinations.

I hope this list of things to do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin will help your family plan a great weekend getaway. If you find other memorable places to visit please share in the comments. We can all learn together. Don’t forget to check out the Best Restaurants in Lake Geneva WI too.

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Fun Things to Do in Lake Geneva WI for a Weekend Getaway. Enjoy strolling the cute downtown, delicious restaurants and walking the lake shore path. Then take a scenic boat ride or head to the beach or local state park. Kids will love the local Wildlife safari. A perfect family getaway or Weekend retreat. #lakegenevawi #wisconsin #familyvacation #weekendgetaway

Best Things to do in Lake Geneva with Kids. A fun weekend getaway for the whole family from strolling downtown, beaches, hikes a cool safari and more. Find out what you can't miss and plan a great family vacation. #lakegeneva #lakegenevawi #weekendgetaway #wisconsingetaway


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