Located on Lake Michigan, Kenosha, WI is a tranquil lakeside town north of the Illinois border with the lakefront development of HarborPark at its center. The town’s waterside parkland features beautifully manicured landscapes and blends perfectly with town’s historic downtown area, which is home to charming shops, casual cafés and eateries, an outdoor market, and art galleries. A vintage electric streetcar system connects the town’s attractions and entertainment. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, WI
© Anderson Arts Center
Established in 1992, the Anderson Arts Center is dedicated to the promotion of the arts, including fine art, music, dance, literature, and drama. Housed in an historic 9,000-square-foot French Tudor mansion, the center features six significant local and regional art exhibits every year as well as performances, educational workshops, symposiums, lectures, and special events. Visitors can enjoy a variety of fun activities such as music and art classes, ballroom dance classes, kids summer art camp, and special holiday events. The Anderson Arts Center also has a gift shop that sells a variety of items, such as handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, furniture, artwork, and more, and hosts the Twilight Jazz Free Outdoor Concert series on the lawn outside the center on select Tuesday evenings from June through August.
6603 3rd Ave, Kenosha, WI 53143, Phone: 262-653-0481
2.Civil War Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin
© Civil War Museum
The Civil War Museum is dedicated to showcasing the contributions of the Upper Midwest to the Civil War. Established in 2008, the Civil War Museum features an array of exhibits that focus on the personal stories of people involved in the war, such as U.S. veterans and soldiers who took part in various conflicts from the Revolutionary War to present-day wars. The museum boasts a variety of exhibits, displays, and a movie on the Civil War as well as hosts several educational programs, classes, and workshops throughout the year. The Civil War Museum also hosts SPARK! – a monthly program for people living with early to mid-stage memory loss and their care partners.
5400 1st Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-653-4141
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3.Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin
© Dinosaur Discovery Museum
The Dinosaur Discovery Museum is dedicated to the exploration and explication between modern birds and meat-eating dinosaurs. Established in 2006 and housed in a renovated 1908 Beaux-Arts historic landmark building, the museum is the only museum that focuses on the evolution of birds from non-avian dinosaurs and features the largest skeletal cast collection of theropods (meat-eating) dinosaurs in the country. The museum has a range of permanent and traveling exhibits, such as the interactive exhibit known as Little Clint: The Story of a Baby Dinosaur, which follows the journey of a juvenile T. rex from birth to fossilization, excavation, the lab, and finally the museum. The Dinosaur Discovery Museum is also home to the Carthage Institute of Paleontology, a gift shop, and a variety of complimentary educational programs for adults and families.
5608 10th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-653-4450
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4.Gateway Classic Cars, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Gateway Classic Cars is a national classic automobile museum that specializes in selling classic, collectible, and exotic cars for private sellers, collectors, and estates. The world's most significant classic and collector car company, Gateway Classic Cars has sold over 34,000 classic and collectible cars since 1999, with a massive inventory of classic cars and over 1,800 vehicles for sale on any given day. Knowledgeable sales staff are on hand to share their expertise with prospective customers, interested visitors, or automobile aficionados, and shipping assistance is available to US and international buyers.
9949 58th Pl #400, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-891-4253
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5.Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum
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The Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum is dedicated to cultivating an appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of the region’s local and natural heritage through a variety of environmental education and sanctuary preservation programs. The Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum features a nature center with several exhibits, displays and information boards, historic buildings for classes, clubs, and special occasions, and an arboretum with an array of fauna and flora. Guided group tours of the sanctuary are available for schools, groups, and nature clubs for a nominal fee.
880 Green Bay Rd, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-552-8196
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6.Historic Streetcars, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Kenosha’s historic streetcars are one of the city’s top attractions and provide a 2-mile scenic loop tour of the town, which includes two historic districts, the downtown business district, the HarborPark development, and the Lake Michigan shoreline. The beautifully restored electric streetcars are also known as electric trolleys and stop at the McCarthy Transit Center, 8th Avenue, 54th Street, and the METRA train station, allowing visitors to hop on and off at will to explore the city.
724 54th St. Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-653-4287
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7.Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Founded in the 1970s, the Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm is a family-owned and operated business that has been serving the community for more than 40 years. Open mid-June through October, the Jerry Smith Produce Country Store sells a range of homegrown produce and pick-your-own produce (depending on the season). The farm also offers a variety of fun activities for the whole families, including hayrides, corn mazes, pick-your-own-produce days, a giant jumping pumpkin, a petting zoo, pony and camel rides, and a country store with freshly baked bread and cookies and delicious homemade goodies.
7150 18th St, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-859-2645
8.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kemper Center
© Kemper Center
Situated on the grounds of 17.5-acre Kenosha County Park overlooking Lake Michigan, the Kemper Center is a unique complex with a conference center, the Civil War-era Durkeen Mansion, a beautiful historic chapel, and the fine arts Anderson Arts Center. Dedicated to preserving the historic nature of the site and its buildings, the Kemper Center also offers a range of educational programs that focus on the region’s local history and its arts as well as several cultural, educational, and recreational activities for visitors of all ages. The Kemper Center is also home to the Griffin Observatory, which offers visitors the opportunity to see the universe and gaze at the stars using modern technology from within a historical setting.
6501 3rd Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53143, Phone: 262-925-8040
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9.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha HarborMarket
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Kenosha HarborMarket™ is an open-air, bustling European-style mixed market that hosts over 150 vendors each week during the outdoor season. Located along 2nd Avenue between 54th and 56th Streets in downtown Kenosha, Kenosha HarborMarket™ sells a wide variety of produce and products from fresh organic fruits and vegetables to eggs, cheeses, meats, and flowers along with a selection of deliciously prepared foods and beverages. Established in 2003, Kenosha HarborMarket™ is the city’s top market and, regardless of the season, is dedicated to providing both locals and visitors with top quality produce, freshly baked artisan treats, handcrafted soaps and candles, and other homemade goods.
514 56th St (Winter Location), Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-914-1252
10.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha History Center
© Kenosha History Center
The Kenosha History Center is a museum located on Kenosha’s harbor that is dedicated to showcasing the history of Kenosha County, ranging from its early settlement to its industrial past. Managed by the Kenosha County Historical Society, the Kenosha History Center is one of two buildings on the site, the first of which focuses on Kenosha County history, and the second – the Southport Light Station Museum –is a restored lightkeeper's home and lighthouse. Special exhibits and galleries at the Kenosha History Center include the Yesteryear Gallery, which highlights the settlement of the area to 1900, and the Rambler Legacy Gallery, which showcases how Kenosha’s auto-making legacy shaped its history.
220 51st Pl, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-654-5770
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11.Kenosha Kingfish Minor League Baseball, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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The Kenosha Kingfish are a minor league baseball team that plays in the collegiate summer baseball league known as the Northwoods League. Based at the Simmons Field in the heart of Kenosha, the Kenosha Kingfish provide a variety of fun-filled, family-friendly entertainment, which includes a dancing grounds crew, human bowling on the field, and toilet seat races as well as a kid zone for young visitors, including bobble-head ring toss, a sandbox, and a bounce house. The Simmons Field also features a variety of food and beverage concession stands, and a great selection of craft beers and the team store is open year-round and sells a range of gift cards and merchandise.
7817 Sheridan Road Kenosha, WI 53143, Phone: 262-653-0900
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12.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha Public Museum
© Kenosha Public Museum
The Kenosha Public Museum is dedicated to showcasing a selection of fine art, decorative art, and natural science specimens. Established in 1933 and opened to the public in 1936, the Kenosha Public Museum is situated at Kenosha's lakefront and features several excellent exhibits and collections, including a replica of the Hebior mammoth and the remains of the world-renowned Schaefer mammoth. Another outstanding presentation is the Wisconsin Story exhibit, which tells the story of Native Americans through time from the coming of Europeans to Wisconsin and a display of a Potawatomi village in four seasons. Exhibit galleries also house rotating works of art by locally known artists and famous masters.
5500 1st Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-653-4140
13.Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten, Kenosha, Wisconsin
© Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten
The oldest park in the system, Petrifying Springs Park is a 360-acre park with a network of wooded trails, an 18-hole golf course, playgrounds and ball fields for children, and picnic areas for families. The flagship of Kenosha County Parks and known as “Pets: to locals, Petrifying Springs Park is the oldest in the system and offers a wide range of enjoyment for people of all ages throughout the year. The park’s rolling landscapes include natural hardwood forests, a ball diamond, chess tables, and picnic areas with barbeque grills, lighted cross-country skiing and sledding hills, a dog park, a playground for children, sand volleyball courts, and modern restrooms.
5555 7th St, Pavilion #1, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-221-5040
14.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: R'Noggin Brewing Co.
© R'Noggin Brewing Co.
R’Noggin Brewing Co. is a small family-owned brewery that produces hand-crafted beer in a fun, friendly casual atmosphere. Located just off Interstate-94 on the East Frontage Road at 6521-120th Avenue, the brewery produces four barrels of beer per week on average and focuses on delivering a delicious, drinkable beer for both locals and visitors. R’Noggin Brewing Co. has a tap room where visitors can taste their brews as well as tuck into fare provided by food trucks during events. R’Noggin Brewing Co. is open Wednesday through Sunday at various times throughout the year.
6521 120th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53142, Phone: 262-960-1298
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15.Southport Light Station Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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The Southport Light Station Museum is a beautifully restored lighthouse and keeper's residence that is now a museum featuring local fishing and shipping exhibits. Built in 1866, the museum is the third lighthouse tower to have existed on the site, and visitors can explore the museum by climbing the 72 steps to the top of the lighthouse, which stands 55 feet above the lighthouse grounds and boasts beautiful views. Located at Simmons Island Park, the seasonal attraction now stands as a maritime museum with artifacts, maps, and a variety of information about Kenosha’s important 19th century harbor and lighthouse. The Kenosha History Center has a gift shop that sells a variety of souvenirs, items, and related gifts.
4th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-654-5770
16.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Tall Ship Red Witch, LLC
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The Tall Ship Red Witch, LLC offers thrilling and unforgettable and Lake Michigan sailing excursions aboard an authentic and beautifully restored wooden tall ship. Departing from Kenosha Harbor May through September, the tall ship Red Witch can be enjoyed on public tours of the lake during the day and evening and on sunset trips and also offers private charters for special occasions. The Tall Ship Red Witch is a replica of the Great Lakes working schooners from the mid-19th century, measuring 77 feet long and weighing 41 tons, and is equipped with the highest quality safety equipment and systems.
400 54th Street Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 312-469-0233
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17.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: The Buzz Cafe
© The Buzz Cafe
The Buzz Café is a casual, cozy café on 6th Avenue in Kenosha that serves breakfast, lunch, and house-roasted coffee along with a wide range of artisan craft beer and easy-drinking wines. The restaurant serves over 250 wines that can be enjoyed by the bottle or the glass, over 20 beers on draft, and over 161 package beer varieties along with a menu of gourmet sandwiches, paninis, wraps, fresh salads, and light snacks for breakfast, lunch, and appetizers throughout the day. The Buzz Café is open Monday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner.
5621 6th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-220-7782
18.Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Frank's Diner
© Frank's Diner
Frank’s Diner is an historic landmark and lunch car diner that has been serving authentic all-American fare for lunch for more than 80 years. The famous cash-only joint serves a menu of casual cuisine, such as juicy burgers and fries, freshly baked bread, stacks of sweet and savory pancakes, fluffy omelets, meatloaf, and the eatery’s signature dish – Franks Garbage Plate. The restaurant also offers breakfast specials every weekend and delicious homemade lunch plates, along with a variety of beverages and freshly brewed, house-roasted coffee. Also, on the menu are Bloody Marys, mimosas, and Screwdrivers for those who want something more than coffee.
508 58th St, Kenosha, WI 53140, Phone: 262-657-1017
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18 Best Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin
- Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, WI, Photo: Anderson Arts Center
- Civil War Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Civil War Museum
- Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Dinosaur Discovery Museum
- Gateway Classic Cars, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Courtesy of Bruce Shippee - Fotolia.com
- Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, Photo: Courtesy of David - Fotolia.com
- Historic Streetcars, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Courtesy of Africa Studio - Fotolia.com
- Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Courtesy of kwphotog - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kemper Center, Photo: Kemper Center
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha HarborMarket, Photo: Courtesy of Francesco - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha History Center, Photo: Kenosha History Center
- Kenosha Kingfish Minor League Baseball, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Courtesy of francis - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Kenosha Public Museum, Photo: Kenosha Public Museum
- Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: R'Noggin Brewing Co., Photo: R'Noggin Brewing Co.
- Southport Light Station Museum, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Photo: Courtesy of johnsroad7 - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Tall Ship Red Witch, LLC, Photo: Courtesy of Toby - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: The Buzz Cafe, Photo: The Buzz Cafe
- Things to Do in Kenosha, Wisconsin: Frank's Diner, Photo: Frank's Diner
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of reb - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee
Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee is located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 35 miles south of Milwaukee. The venue, which is the twelfth of sixteen Gateway Classic Cars locations, opened in 2016. The brand new facility offers close to 40,000 square feet of showroom space, allowing for between 100-150 classic cars to be displayed on the showroom floor at all times.
Although a consignment-based dealer, the vehicles at Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee are a draw for visitors who are welcome to tour the showroom floor. Vehicles on site at the Kenosha showroom range from a 1919 Dodge Coupe, the oldest in the current inventory, to a candy apple red 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the most expensive in the current inventory at close to one half million dollars. Vehicles recently sold from Kenosha include a 1926 Ford Model T Coupe, considered the 20th century’s most influential car, and a 1934 3-window Ford Coupe, rebuilt as an iconic hot-rod with black pearl exterior, air-conditioning, power steering and a 3-speed automatic transmission. Some of the more unique cars on the property include a 1967 Morris Minor 1000 from Britain, a Clenet Convertible from 1980, built by Clenet Coachworks in Santa Barbara, and a rare, 1990 Suzuki Alto Works RS/R, believed to be the only such micro car in the United States.
If a car is listed as ‘Numbers Matching,’ it means the vehicle still has the original engine and transmission. This is sometimes difficult to prove as there were no identifying marks matching transmissions, engines and body parts on early cars. Many of the classic cars on the lot have been customized into ‘Hot Rod’ vehicles and updated with modern conveniences such as power steering and windows, air-conditioning, and automatic transmissions. The term Hot Rod typically refers to any classic American car with an engine modified for speed. Hot Rod may also be used as a technical term for any motorized vehicle with an engine not original to the body.
History: Gateway Classic Cars was founded in 1999 with its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the company has sold over 25,000 vehicles, and is now the world’s largest classic car dealer, with over 2,700 vehicles for sale at any one time. Selling via consignment, the company has become a seller’s choice by listing their vehicles on over 250 websites, garnering over 5.2 million views annually. By providing financing and global shipping, and by offering 16 showrooms across the United States, Gateway Classic Cars has succeeded in making the classic car buying and selling experience easier and more accessible for all parties. Gateway Classic Cars is privately owned by Sal Akbani, who serves as President and CEO. The company expects sales of over $60 million in 2018.
The Kenosha Visitors Bureau has named Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee a top tourist attraction for the Kenosha, Wisconsin area. The location takes pride in being ‘like a museum, but you can take the cars home with you,’ as one guest is quoted as saying.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Cars and Coffee takes place the last Saturday of each month from 9am to noon. Visitors are invited to show off their own cars in the showroom’s parking lot, enjoy a cup of coffee and browse the showroom floor to see the newest classic, exotic and collectible arrivals.
Past and Future Exhibits: Past events at the Milwaukee showroom in Kenosha have included the annual Holiday Party. The family-friendly event invited Santa Claus and offered free lunch to anyone who brought a toy for Kenosha’s Toys for Tots program. An annual Trunk or Treat event is a Halloween themed Cars and Coffee in October. Guests are invited to fill their trunks with candy for children, and display their personal classic vehicles. Neighborhood children are invited to trick or treat, and coffee and donuts are provided. Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio sponsored a summer hot rod cruise in July. At the first annual event drivers met up at Quaker Steak and Lube in New Berlin, Wisconsin for breakfast, then drove to Gateway Classic Cars for lunch and a tour of the showroom.
What’s Nearby: Kenosha, Wisconsin is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just over 30 miles south of Milwaukee. Additional attractions include the Southport Light Station Museum, a light keeper’s home from the 1860’s, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum, and the Kenosha Public Museum, which displays fine art, decorative arts, and artifacts of natural history.
9949 58th Pl #400, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-891-4253
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Attraction Spotlight: Anderson Arts Center
The Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin is housed in a 9,000 square foot estate on the shore of Lake Michigan. The private residence turned art center features over 25 exhibits of local, regional and national artwork each year in addition to arts education programming for youth and adults.
The French-Renaissance revival style home is surrounded by landscaped gardens and lawns on a 4.7 acre property. The stone and stucco 2-story house contains 30 rooms. Five bedrooms include a master bedroom of over 400 square feet. Some of the more unusual rooms include a gun room, a linen storage room, silver storage room, and flower arranging room. Two bedrooms, a living room and bathroom for servants are located in the west wing of the house. French doors at the back of the galleries open onto a large flagstone patio at the rear of the house, which overlooks Lake Michigan. The home’s interior preserves the craftsmen’s attention to detail in woodworking, with high ceilings and oversized windows.
History: Formerly the residence of the Anderson family, construction on the home began in 1929 and was finished in 1931. James Anderson, the home’s owner, was an executive with American Brass, while his wife Janet Lance Anderson was the grand-daughter of Z. G. Simmons, founder of the Simmons Mattress Company. The French-Renaissance revival house was built by architects Archibald Morphet and Ralph Milman of Chicago. Milman was considered a master of classic French design and one of the forefathers of modern French Art Deco.
The home was donated to Kenosha County in 1977 to become part of the Kemper Center campus. Janet Lance Anderson lived in the home until her death at the age of 96 in 1989. The home officially became part of the Kemper Center campus one year later in 1990. The Anderson Arts Center opened inside the home in 1992. The Anderson Arts Center is a non-profit organization supported through donations, gift shop sales, and rental income via letting the house and gardens for private events.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Summer camp programs are offered each year for children between the ages of 5 and 12, as well as a full range of after-school programming during the school year. Classes include puppet making, cartooning, drawing and painting, crafting and the fiber arts as well as sculpting.
Music education at the arts center includes guitar lessons for beginners of all ages, as well as ballroom dance lessons through Miss Geri’s School of Ballroom Dance. For more experienced practitioners, ballroom dances, featuring a live band, take place periodically on Saturday nights. The dances feature a cash bar and dessert buffet.
Special events include an annual summer Twilight Jazz series. The free outdoor concert series raises funds for the Anderson Center by way of a raffle. The Art of the Car show takes place each August, while October hosts Oktoberfest. The holiday season offers a Snowflake Jazz Concert, Christmas Ballroom Dance, and the Gallery of Trees, during which professionally decorated trees are auctioned off to raise funds for the Center’s youth programming.
Past and Future Exhibits: The Center’s 3-D Gallery hosts exhibits of sculpture. Past shows have included Linda Tump’s ceramics, Pat Kroth’s mixed media fiber installation called ‘Nest’ and the wood carvings of Joe Mrazek.
The Main, East and Upper Galleries are reserved for the work of regional artists. Past exhibits have included a group show by the Women’s Journeys in Fiber artist’s group. The exhibit included quilts, tapestries, and birds constructed of fiber. Shows have been mounted by the League of Milwaukee Artists, the Chicago Society of Artists, the Racine Art Guild, Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists and the Coalition of Photographic Arts among others.
Area Artist Group Galleries host the work of local artists while galleries in the West Wing are reserved for student artwork. The galleries show the work of students in area schools, as well as work completed at the Center’s summer camps and afterschool programs.
Juried shows take place annually. Prospectus may be found on the Anderson Center’s website. There are frequently cash prizes offered for winning works of art.
What’s Nearby: The Anderson Center is located within the Kemper Center campus. The 250,000 square foot campus is home to the Durkee Mansion, an historic house museum, Kid’s Space, a classroom space and artist in residence home, and the Kemper Hall Convention Center, an event venue and office space.
6603 Third Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53143, Phone: 262-653-0481
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