Fun Family Trips · Travel with Kids

Top 5 Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

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Are you looking for a quick day trip or fun weekend getaway for a family vacation close to Chicago? Look no further than Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The Lake Geneva area offers great things to do for the whole family. You will find activities that everyone will love. I have compiled a list of my Top Five Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with kids. I hope this will help you in planning a great family trip!

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

Top 5 Things to do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin


1. Big Foot Beach State Park – 1550 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Geneva, WI

This is a great, smaller state park located just a mile south of downtown Lake Geneva. It 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.

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








Geneva Lake Museum2.Geneva Lake Museum of History – 255 Mill St. Lake Geneva, WI

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 stage coach, and much more and really get a feel for what life was like over 100 years ago. What I love about this museum is your kids are actually immersed in the 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.

**HMH Tip: I often find deals on Groupon for this museum

Popeye’s Restaurant
Scoops Ice Cream Shop

3. Downtown Lake Geneva

Downtown Lake Geneva has several streets of shops and restaurants to explore. The shops are a range from clothing and furniture stores to touristy t-shirt shops. It also 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. We also love to pick up Ice cream at Scoops Ice Cream shop. 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 view of Riviera Docks in Lake Geneva
Riviera Docks in Downtown Lake Geneva

4. Lake Geneva Scenic Boat Tours

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

5. Lake Geneva Shore Path

I love this 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 home owner 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

Lake Geneva Shore Path

I hope this list of things to do in lake Geneva will help your family plan a great weekend getaway. If you find other great places to visit please share in the comments. We can all learn together.

If you enjoyed this article please take a look at my blog post about Door County, Wisconsin.

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Top 5 Things to Do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Fun weekend getaway ideas including hiking, museums, shopping, boat rides and more.

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