We are lucky to have so many wonderful splash pads in Lake County to help us keep cool during the dog days of summer. But if you’re looking to venture out of your typical boundaries, you won’t want to miss Kenosha’s HarborPark Splash Pad. My husband and I packed up the car and our three young daughters and headed up there on the first day it was open on June 10, and it just so happened to be 92 degrees, sunny, and really breezy. Just 45 minutes from Libertyville, HarborPark Splash Fountain is an easy drive and definitely worth the trip.
HarborPark is a beautiful neighborhood located on Lake Michigan. In addition to the splash pad area, there are condos, row homes, restaurants, a trolley, marinas, a lighthouse, an amazing farmers market, a public museum, and a civil war museum. This redeveloped lakefront oasis is a perfect spot to spend a few hours or an entire day. The splash pad is located right on the lake by the Southport Marina, and my husband and I really enjoyed viewing (and were quite envious of) all the amazing boats. It was bustling with children and adults yet there was still a good amount of space and even grass areas for picnicking or just spreading out to relax.
The splash pad is less of a traditional “pad” and more of a fountain park that fits the scenery of the harbor area — there are no bright colors or buckets dumping water on kids. The main part consists of simple fountains that spray up and out, as well as lower fountains that come out of the concrete decking. The fountains sit down about eight concrete steps from ground level in a circular area, much like a theater in the round. There are many steps for the adults (or anyone that doesn’t want to get wet) to safely sit while still keeping an eye on the kids. There are also two gazebos with benches for shade, and a few benches in the sun.
My five-year-old daughter and two-year-old twins just loved it. They went up and down the stairs in and out of the fountains so many times, giggling and smiling. At first this set up made me nervous (concrete stairs + toddlers = accident waiting to happen), but they did great. However if you have little ones that aren’t ready for stairs, you may want to stay at the bottom with them. Or you can keep them up top where there is a little splash pad area perfect for wobbly walkers and crawlers. Even though my girls are good with stairs, they all enjoyed the smaller fountain area as well.
The water was cold and the breeze definitely kept them cool, even with the air temperature above 90 degrees. After a couple of warms ups in sun with towels (and snacks of course), they were back at it again and again. It was a really fun time for all, and the scenery can’t be beat! Our family enjoyed our short trip across the border and will be back this summer to spend more time in this fun and busy lakefront park. We hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you think!
Harbor Park Splash Fountain
5501 Ring Road, Kenosha, WI
Hours: Daily during park hours
Fees: FREE for everyone!
*Open: Follows the public pool schedule, mid-June through mid-August, weather permitting. (It is NOT open on Memorial Day weekend like most pools and splash pads in Lake County.)
Parking: Southport Marina parking lot, at 57th Street and Third Avenue or limited street parking on 56th Street.
Restrooms: Real bathrooms located in a building just west of the splash pad.
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