Probably the most common question I get while working at the restaurant is what is there to do up here? Being local to the area I have always felt like should have more information to share with our customers. But the truth is, before Lincoln, we didn’t get out much. Our summers have always been consumed by work and the winters months were always spent traveling between DoCo & Madison. When we were home we would rarely get to the other side of the Peninsula let alone across the Sturgeon Bay bridge.
Growing up here I spent almost every summer day at the Sister Beach with friends & family. We would usually do one camping trip a year and that’s about as touristy as we got. I’ve noticed over the years we have not been able to enjoy this county as much as I wish we could. Now that Lincoln is older I really wanted to make more of an effort to explore this beautiful county and share it more with him.
Here are our favorite spots to hang out during the summer & winter months!
Peninsula State - a classic 8 mile loop with tons of trees/grass/picnic areas/beaches and more.
Sister Bay Park - located in downtown, a great spot for us to go play
Ellison Bay Beach & Park - we usually take Lincoln here since features a bigger playground and little less crowded in the summer months
Pebble Beach- a hidden local spot surrounded by pebbles. Lincoln loves swimming and playing by the rocks. and I must say, way easier than brushing off sand in the car
Ephraim Beach - this all sand beach in perfect for building sand castle with the little ones. It does get pretty busy in the summer so get there early if you want to spend a full day there.
Sand Bay Beach - also a little outside of Sister Bay is a great spot to spend a day in the summer. With several sandbars in water, I think it’s great for taking the kiddos and getting them use to the lake
KID FRIENDLY COFFEE SHOPS
Lots kid friendly coffee shops in the Door County area, these are just a few of our favorites that we feel comfortable bringing the kids especially for play dates.
Blue Horse Cafe - we usually go here more during the winter months. Delicious sandwiches and yummy mochas.
Bearded Heart Coffee - great spot to grab a coffee to go and the walk over to the Baileys Harbor Park to play.
Base Camp - located in Sister Bay. Features a nice outdoor grass area to let the kiddos run around while you enjoy a cup of joe.
KID FRIENDLY BREWERY / BARS / RESTAURANTS
There are several kid friendly restaurants in the Door County area, these are just a few of our favorites.
CHOP & LURE - My opinion is a little biased since my family owns these restaurants, but they are both truly great places to get a delicious steak or fresh fish. We also have several kid menu options. If you are concerned about bringing a routy kid here, don’t stress. There is plenty of outdoor seating with lots of space for the kiddos to run around while you enjoy a great meal & a tasty craft cocktail.. Reservations always welcome.
P.C. Junction - Features a fun outdoor play area and an indoor train that delivers your meal.
Door County Brewing Company - This place is hot spot for tourist to visit in summer time so personally we enjoy bringing the family here for Locally Trivia nights on Tuesdays. (Side note: if you have a little between the ages of 6mo-2yrs that still fits in the Inglesnia High Chair definitely bring it along. The brewery has several high top tables that the high chair fits perfectly on. We love to hook Lincoln up with his chair so he can feel a part of the game while enjoying a cold root beer.)
Stabbur Beer Garden by Al Johnson’s - Fun place to get drinks while the kiddos can play yard cards in the beer garden. Lincoln loves to play with the giant Connect 4, Jenga and Bag Toss.
Wild Tomato - Great pizza! We love to get pizza to go during the summer and walk over to the Sister Bay Beach on Wednesday evenings for their live music after or go play at the park for a pizza picnic.
CRAFT & FUN
Skyway Drive-Theater - One of the few drive in theaters in the state and was one of my favorite things to do in the summer as a kid. Always a double feature and very affordable.
Clink DIY Craft Studio - Kid friendly crafts. We brought Lincoln here to make family Christmas ornaments. He wasn’t on his best behavior but the owners were so so sweet about it. Also you can have adult beverages while crafting.
Sister Bay Pavillion - Check out their music or movie nights during summer. We love getting to see Unity Band play. Lincoln has always loved raggae music!
YMCA- Great place to get kids together especially during the long winter months. We signed up Lincoln for swim lessons and kiddie kinetics classes. Memberships available as well as day passes.
Northern Door Children’s Center- Offers many summer programs for kids of all ages. Call ahead to see if there are opens during your summer visit.
The Farm - The sweetest baby goats you will ever see. The Farm is a great place to bring the kids in the summer. Day passes or season passes available
Edge of Park Bike Rental- We love to rent their bike buggy to take Lincoln for rides in Peninsula State Park. The trails aren’t too difficult, even for beginners.
Boat Rental - There are several boat rentals you can check out in the area to spend a day on the water. We personally love renting a pontoon boat and anchoring in Ephraim or Nicolet Beach to swim.
Seaquist Orchards - Love visiting the orchard in the Fall. This place is great to get some local goods and has a fun playground and mazes for kids to enjoy.
Washington Island Ferry -Take a day trip to the Island and check out the lavender farms and beaches. Lincoln’s favorite part is usually ferry ride.
Hill 17- Located on the 17th Hole of Peninsula State Park Golf Course is where we would spend all the winters tubing down the hill. I would recommend only staying near the bunny hill for small kiddos.
Almost all libraries have a kids section of books & free story time. If you have a rainy
SPORTS FOR MINIS
Bowling- Sister Bay Bowl or Apple Valley Lanes
Mini Golf - Johnson’s Park, Red Putter , Pirates Cove, Fun Park
Kayak - There are several kayak rentals available in the Door County area. Request a tour to take the little one out a calm morning.
Golf - We love to take Lincoln every year to the Peninsula State Park Short Course. Although Lincoln is still young and not quite swinging a club yet, he still really enjoys going out to watch us place a quick 6 Hole par 3 course. (Kids make great caddies)
Thanks for reading our favorite things to do here in Door County!