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WATCH NOW: Wrap up your Spring Break with polar bears, Peeps and outdoor fun
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WATCH NOW: Wrap up your Spring Break with polar bears, Peeps and outdoor fun

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By our count — and remember, math was never our strong suit — you have just a few days left of this Spring Break Week, if you're following the Kenosha Unified School District calendar.

And if you're not desperately trying to entertain kids with a week off from school and the added excitement of warmer weather and longer daylight hours enticing them to get out of the house? Well, there's still never a better time than the present to meet the new polar bear couple at the Brookfield Zoo or to challenge yourself to walk all the way around Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie.

Here are other ideas to help you and your family to avoid sitting home and staring at screens:

Go wild

You can also find plenty of wild animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Racine Zoo, which are operating under COVID-19 guidelines.

And, we mentioned earlier, the Brookfield Zoo, located near Chicago, features two polar bears, Hope and Hudson, who have just started cohabitating. Hope, a 5-year-old female polar bear, arrived at the Brookfield Zoo in January from Utah. Hudson, the Brookfield Zoo’s 14-year-old male polar bear, finally met his potential mate after Hope was slowly introduced to her new home.

Now zoo visitors can see both bears in outdoor habitats.

Also at the zoo: Dinosaurs! The Brookfield Zoo's "Dinosaurs Everywhere" features more than 40 animatronic dinosaurs placed throughout the zoo grounds. The dinosaurs include the largest dino — argentinosaurus — that was estimated to measure more than 100 feet in length and weigh up to 110 tons. The dinosaurs will be there through Sept. 6.

The scoop: The Racine Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62 and older), $8 for youths (15 and younger) and free for children age 2 and younger. For more information, go to www.racinezoo.org. The Milwaukee County Zoo is open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Admission is $16.75 for adults, $15.75 for seniors (60 and older), $13.75 for kids (ages 3 to 12) and free for children age 2 and younger. For more information, go to www.milwaukeezoo.org. The Brookfield Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. Admission is $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors (65 and older), $17.95 for kids (ages 3 to 11) and free for children age 2 and younger. Note: All Brookfield Zoo tickets must be purchased online in advance at www.czs.org.

Get your Peep on

The Racine Art Museum's annual International Peeps Art Exhibition runs through Saturday, giving you three more days to celebrate the wonderful world of marshmallow artistry. (You do have to keep your hands off the colorful pieces, however; signs in the exhibit warn tempted visitors not to touch or eat the artwork.)

This year’s show features 138 entries from across the country, including several artists in this area.

Local artists with Peeps pieces on display include:

  • Carol Boehm and Brian Boehm of Pleasant Prairie: "Peep Erickson, Noticer of North America," which won an Honorable Peep Mention Award and was constructed using paper, cardboard, wood, copper and rope.
  • Marie Christenson of Kenosha: "Peep Kai," related to the Netflix series "Cobra Kai" and constructed using wood, foam, acrylic and cotton fabric.
  • Rachel Graham of Kenosha: "Up, Up and Away My Peeps," constructed out of paper.
  • Dale Mellor of Trevor: "Not Going to Sugar Coat It — Coronavirus has Broken our Heart.” The sculpture includes a wire hanger (to sugar "coat" it), foam and acrylic.
  • Liz Shanahan of Pleasant Prairie: "Jedi in Training," one of the exhibit's "Star Wars"-related pieces. It was made using cardboard, aluminum foil, fabric, artificial moss, dryer lint, grass and pipe cleaners.
  • Karen Stanlaw and Linda Noggle of Kenosha: "Protecting Our Peeps!" The diorama, which shows a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, contains paper, wood, plastic syringes, elastic and glass bottles.
  • Heidi Voelz of Kenosha: "Peeps Here and There," an acrylic piece.
  • Kendra Voelz of Kenosha: "Blooming Peeps," an acrylic piece.

While you’re at the exhibit, don’t forget to vote for your favorite piece. The winner takes home the coveted PEEPle’s Choice Award.

The museum, 441 Main St. in downtown Racine, is open noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for youths (ages 12-18) and senior citizens and free for kids 11 and younger, with a paid adult admission. www.ramart.org. Note: Can’t make it in person to the show? Check out the virtual tour, available to watch on demand on Facebook, YouTube and the RAM website.

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Take a hike

Now that the weather is warming up, try to enjoy some time in a park. There are 11 miles of hiking and biking trails at Petrifying Springs Park (on highways E and 31) in Somers and plenty of room to roam at the 300-plus acre Veterans Memorial Park, in Randall, 8530 352nd Ave., and Silver Lake Park, 27000 85th St. If you're in the beach area at Silver Lake Park, head off on the trail that leads off the beach area and heads through the woods and along the lakeshore. There are many more park options available; for more information, go to www.kenoshacounty.org/600/Parks

Challenge yourself to walk around Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie. The walking trail covers about 2.25 miles.

Here's a fun family challenge: In Pleasant Prairie, walk (or bike or jog) the 2.25-mile paved path circles Lake Andrea, 95th Street and 88th Avenue. After you complete the walk, head out for some ice cream. You deserve it!

Take a drive ... and a walk

If you're looking for a free place to explore with your family (or for a solo outing), head to the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W. Brown Deer Road near Milwaukee.

But don't try to visit today: The garden is open to the public for free walking from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Parking is also free.

As for your four-legged friends, they need to stay home unless it's the third Saturday of the month, when the garden hosts "Dog Days" and canines are welcome. Upcoming Dog Days are April 17, May 15 and June 19.

Note: There are no paths; wear sturdy shoes. And visitors are reminded NOT to climb on the sculptures. Getting there: The Lynden Sculpture Garden is about 50 miles north of Kenosha and can be reached via I-43, exit Brown Deer Road. Head west on Brown Deer Road (Highway 100) for about 0.8 miles. The sculpture garden is located on the south side of Brown Deer Road.

Literacy AND exercise

While a visit to the Lynden Sculpture Garden combines art and exercise, there are also three places in this area that add a storybook to a walk:

  • The Pringle Nature Center, located inside Bristol Woods County Park, 9800 160th Avenue, has a StoryWalk Trail, open through Sunday. Participants read the featured story, “Little Owl’s Snow” by Divya Srinivasan, posted at points along a short hiking trail. You can find the trail route marked on the front door of the Nature Center. Pringle also offers free virtual Easter-themed activities on its website through April 11 at www.pringlenc.org/egg.
  • Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, also features a spring StoryWalk, with laminated pages from the children’s book “Our Yard is Full of Birds” by Anne Rockwell attached to posts along the nature trail. The 0.7-mile trail begins behind the Visitor Center (which is closed at this time). The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is no cost to hike, but a state park vehicle admission sticker is required to enter Bong. Call 262-878-5601 for more information. Note: Dogs are not allowed on this trail.
  • Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, 880 Green Bay Road, also has a StoryWalk Trail, meandering through the woods. This trail is based on the children’s book “Taffy Time,” about two sisters who help their father collect maple sap and turn it into syrup. The trail is free, as is admission to Hawthorn Hollow. Donations are accepted. Hawthorn Hollow is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, go to hawthornhollow.org.

Reach new heights

If hiking and zoo visits are just too tame for the final weekend of your Spring Break, visit the Boundless Adventures aerial adventure park in Bristol Woods County Park, 9800 160th Ave.

The aerial adventure park, which opened in June of 2019, features nine different obstacle courses of varying degrees of difficulty that are woven through the trees at Bristol Woods County Park. The easiest courses (yellow) are near the ground; the toughest (black) is 30-40 feet in the air. Climbers are strapped into harnesses and clipped onto wires at all times as they move from platform to platform, crossing rope bridges, climbing over swinging logs, ziplining and navigating teeter-tottering planks.

If you're brave enough to tackle that black trail — high in the air — we salute you and your nerves of steel.

The course is operating under COVID-19 guidelines. There are no walk-ins accepted. Reservations and waivers must be completed in advance of a visit. Guests are also asked to bring a mask to be worn at check-in. The course is open to people ages 7 and older. To make a reservation and for more information, call 262-924-8781 or log on at https://boundlessadventures.net/wi-park

 

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