Family-Friendly Summer Fun in Walworth County

Think you know all about Walworth County, Wisconsin, home of Lake Geneva? Think again! Local business owner Beth Tumas shares insider info and tips.

Summer’s almost here and for many Chicago-area folks (including me!), that means a trip to the Lake Geneva area in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Beyond the usual lake activities, Walworth County offers a variety of unique spots that will bring summer fun to a whole new and local level.

Here’s a guide to some of Walworth County’s best family destinations, each with its own distinctive flavor and charm, along with delicious local food and drink. Beth Tumas, owner of local favorite The Bottle Shop, shared her insider tips. As a frequent visitor to the area, I even learned about a few new (and old) spots to visit.

Delavan Lake Store & Lounge, Delavan

This one-stop destination offers everything from ice cream and candy to Wisconsin cheeses, beer and wine. “This is a charming store with a cozy atmosphere, perfect for families to unwind after a long day at the lake,” says Tumas.

The lounge has a full-service bar with board games available to entertain the kids.

Delevan Lake Stor and Lounge at Walworth County
Photo Credit: Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Insider tip: Looking for a souvenir of your trip, or a sweatshirt for a sudden chill? “Even though it’s not directly on the lake, it celebrates the region with Delavan Lake-themed apparel,” says Tumas.

Gus’s Drive-In, East Troy

East Troy is home to Gus’s Drive-In, a classic ’50s-style rock & roll drive-in restaurant. Famous for its burgers, gyros and Chicago dogs, Gus’s is a Midwest family tradition, says Tumas. The food is delicious and the family-friendly atmosphere is lively.

Gus Drive in at Walworth County
Photo Credit: Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Insider tip: Gus’s Saturday Cruise Night draws classic-car enthusiasts from all over, making it a special event for kids who love cool cars and parents who love nostalgia.

Annie’s Burgertown, Elkhorn

For another classic drive-in experience, head to Annie’s Burgertown. With an alcohol-free environment and an outdoor patio, this restaurant focuses on quality burgers and shakes to keep all ages happy.

“Annie’s is a local tradition,” says Tumas. “Plus, they are deeply involved in the community, providing food for local events,” says Tumas.

Insider tip: Annie’s root beer, made in-house for over 50 years, is a must-try in floats or alongside one of their delicious burgers. 

Big Foot Market, Fontana

Big Foot Market, named after Chief Big Foot, a Potawatomi tribal leader, sells lake-themed accessories, packaged foods and upscale swimwear. Plus, Big Foot Market offers exceptional indoor dining with local farm-to-table delicacies. 

Besides seasonal offerings, regional favorites like brats and Wisconsin cheddar are part of the menu. Or enjoy a custom barista-made coffee while enjoying the natural beauty of the Big Foot Lake Region.

Insider tip: As the oldest general store in the area (it opened in 1922), the market offers a glimpse into the region’s cultural past.

The Bottle Shop, Lake Geneva

The Bottle Shop in downtown Lake Geneva is more than just a wine bar. Families can enjoy its European-style patio that seats up to 130, comfortable lounge, live music seven days a week and a colorful selection of food and drink. 

The Bottle Shop at Walworth County
Photo Credit: Walworth County Visitors Bureau

“The Bottle Shop is the perfect place to relax. Many people think we just serve alcohol, but we have one of the largest selections of specialty sodas in the area,” says Tumas. “We have board games to keep the kids entertained while parents enjoy one of our wine flights. Or, you can try one of the 50-plus craft beers available.” 

Looking to eat on the go? The Bottle Shop will package a selection of custom snacks and drinks, many locally-sourced, for you to take picnic-style on your lake adventures. 

Patio Dog at Walworth County
Photo Credit: Walworth County Visitors Bureau

Insider tip: The Bottle Shop is extremely dog-friendly. “Bring your furry friends in for a special dog treat. We love dogs here,” says Tumas.

Pat’s Brew and ‘Que, Sharon

In the tiny, quaint town of Sharon, Pat’s Brew and ‘Que is a local favorite. This bar and restaurant provides mouthwatering barbecue and an array of fun events for families. Pat’s offers both indoor and outdoor dining options.

Insider tip: “If you are in the area for the 4th of July, don’t miss the famous Sharon tractor parade,” says Tumas.

Meggy Moo’s Dairy Ripple, Walworth

Meggy Moo’s Dairy Ripple has been a family favorite for over 50 years, serving seasonal treats and classic burgers in an outdoor setting. Family-owned and run Meggy Moo’s combines nostalgic charm with delicious menu items, making it a delightful stop for families craving something sweet.

Meggy Moo's Dairy Ripple family-friendly fun in walworth county
Photo credit: Walworth County Tourism

Insider tip: Treat the kids to a real old-school ice cream stand experience. “This is where the locals go,” says Tumas. 

Lucke’s Cantina, Williams Bay

Lucke’s is the place to gather and enjoy South of America cuisine, beverages and fresh guacamole. Kids and adults alike will find a wide variety of menu options to enjoy. And because this is Wisconsin, you will also find local favorites like a Friday Night Fish Fry and other regional specialities.

Lucke's Cantina Family-friendly summer fun in Walworth county
Photo credit: Walworth County Visitors Bureau

There’s plenty of room for the family to spread out, including a large outside deck for warm summer nights.

Insider tip: “You’ll love Lucke’s tortilla chips and fresh salsa,” says Tumas. “They are both made in-house.”

Bingg’s Farmstead Restaurant, Whitewater

Bingg’s Farmstead Restaurant pairs global cuisine with a rustic farmhouse setting. It’s a fresh addition to the local dining scene, offering a relaxed and refined atmosphere. 

Insider tip: “Take your meal to go and explore the stunning glacier formations nearby, or set up a picnic and enjoy the beautiful terrain,” suggests Tumas. “There is also a bike trail nearby.”

Railroad Museum, East Troy

For a truly unique family adventure, board the train at the East Troy Railroad Museum for a magical 10-mile journey to the delightful Elegant Farmer! This charming kitchen, deli and bakery market offers delicious farm-fresh treats like fudge, Wisconsin cheese and their famous apple pie in a bag. 

Insider tip: Reminiscent of a New Orleans streetcar, the open-air train winds through a peaceful forest, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of nature.

Visit one of the places above or visit them all. With great places to eat, drink and just hang out, Walworth County family memories are waiting for you!

For more information about family-friendly summer fun in Walworth County, Wisconsin, visit gowalco.com.

Jennifer Kales
Jennifer Kales
Content editor Jennifer Kales has been in the business of writing for more than 20 years creating advertising copy, blogs, books and everything in between. She loves helping Chicago Parent clients tell their stories in a way that resonates with audiences.

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