One way to describe our visit to Kenosha is “whirlwind global tour”. You’re thinking now, “Huh? But you only went to Wisconsin!” True, but we experienced way more than the stereotypical cheese and bratwurst. In fact, there is quite a bit of culture going on in Kenosha.
It started for me at the Kenosha HarborMarket. I’ve been to my fair share of farmer’s markets around the Midwest, but this one takes the cake! It was like the United Nations of food. I was introduced to African tiger melons…
Lucia begged for a Greek “pizza”,
and I drooled over the baklava….
We bought fresh, homemade ricotta from Mia Famiglia…
…in addition to countless fresh baked goodies and handcrafted clothing accessories. And because that isn’t enough culture for one spot, a few different musical acts can be found performing at the market. We were treated to sounds from a lovely string trio. Depending on the day of your visit, you may even catch a live chef demo. Kenosha HarborMarket = highly recommended!
Along the harbor, across 54th Street from the Market, is the Kenosha Sculpture Walk. Described as “an ever-changing exhibition”, the Sculpture Walk is privately funded and features sculptures by various artists. I recognized one immediately, Leap of Faith by Terrence Karpowicz, because I’d seen another of his pieces – a similar one – at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We strolled along the harbor, checking out the sculptures, coming up with our own stories behind the works of art. It was a great time to allow Lucia’s imagination to wander, and a perfect spot for her to run freely and get some exercise. When she was tired of that, she lay down in the grass “to watch the clouds”.
After a full day of walking and exploring, we were hungry and ready for some German food and some German beer (well, The Working Dad and I were; Ms. Lucia prefers wine). So we paid a visit to a Kenosha institution, House of Gerhard, which has been serving up authentic German cuisine and American favorites since 1964. We arrived at 6:00pm on a Saturday with no reservations, which means we had to wait for a table. It was not a very long wait, though, and the hostess and other staff members did everything they could to get our family seated in a comfortable spot, as quickly as possible, since we had a hungry toddler on our hands. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating, and the meal surely didn’t disappoint! House of Gerhard allowed The Working Dad an opportunity to get in touch with his German heritage, and it allowed the both of us to give our daughter a little taste of Germany. All around, a win-win situation.
Speaking of getting in touch with one’s heritage… I did just that in a big way at Tenuta’s Italian Grocery & Delicatessen. HOLY CANNOLI, Tenuta’s is an amazing place! It is the largest Italian grocery I’ve ever seen outside of Italy (this coming from an Italian-American girl who grew up in Chicago’s Little Italy). Aisles and aisles of olive oil and coffee and canned tomatoes and porcini mushrooms… And don’t even get me started on the deli cases! Several of them just filled with deliciousness, some of which we took to go and had a picnic lunch at Simmons Island later on. The portobello panini was amazing and the cannoli were the best I’ve ever had! I will drive back to Kenosha JUST to shop again at Tenuta’s. Oh, along with all the Italian goodies, Tenuta’s also has quite an impressive craft beer selection. I did not expect to see that in an Italian grocery but I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
There are plenty of global goodies to be had in Kenosha. But, when you visit, if you want to stick with the cheese and bratwurst, there’s always the nearby Mars Cheese Castle and the infamous Brat Stop.
My family’s trip to Kenosha, including accommodations and meals, was provided by the Kenosha Area CVB and its partners. All words and opinions, however, are my own.