Janesville, Wisconsin, is in the southern part of the state. Home to the first Wisconsin state fair in the mid-1850s, today Janesville continues to be a city that offers plenty of wholesome family fun. If you are traveling with kids, Janesville has a lot to offer. Whether you are just passing through or are planning to spend the entire summer in the city, there are a number of fun activities kids can enjoy.
Main Street Entertainment Series
In the summer, the city puts on a series of free outdoor concerts every Tuesday evening under the title of "Main Street Entertainment Series," whose listings can be viewed at (ci.janesville.wi.us). In the case of rainy weather, the event takes place indoors at the Janesville Senior Center. Otherwise, the concert series takes place at the Lower Courthouse Park. The dates, times, and performers change every year, so check the city's website for up-to-date information.
Kid's Noon Time Entertainment
On Thursday afternoons in the summer, the city sponsors a series of Kid's Noon Time Entertainment (ci.janesville.wi.us) performances at the C.A.M.D.E.N. Stage at Palmer Park. These outdoor entertainers specialize in kid-friendly comedy, arts, songs, and more. During poor weather, the performances still take place but at Palmer Park west pavilion instead.
Totally Talented Tuesdays
If your kids are great singers, dancers, comedians, or have another hidden talent, let them shine with a trip to the city's Totally Talented Tuesdays (ci.janesville.wi.us) event. Anyone younger than age 18 can take the stage in a low-pressure, noncompetitive environment. All children interested in signing up must complete an application at the city's Leisure Services office, located at 18 North Jackson Street.
CSA Kids Sports & Arts Campus
For active families with active kids, CSA Sports & Arts Campus (csakids.com) offers gymnastics, swimming, dance, music and arts and crafts classes. Dance and competitive cheer also are offered. If you won't be around for a summer's worth of classes, there are drop-in activities suitable for children. Among these are open swim, open gym and Kidz Night Out, a program that provides supervised arts and crafts, gymnastics, swimming and pizza for your kids so you can enjoy a night out on the town. The CSA also can help to plan and host a child's birthday party, should your child's birthday coincide with your time in Janesville.
Janesville's many nicknames include "Wisconsin's Park Place" or "City of Parks." There are more than 53 parks within the city limits, as well as a number of nature trails and places to moor a boat. Among the 2,500 acres of parkland in Janesville (janesvillecvb.com) are the botanical gardens at Rotary Gardens, Traxler Park, and Rockport Park. But unlike many city parks, each has its own bustling center of activity. Traxler Park is usually the site of Independence Day fireworks and is also the practice area for the Rock Aqua Jays (rockaquajays.com) water ski team, which your kids may enjoy watching. Rockport Park is home to the city's swimming pool and Peace Park. Also of note is Palmer Park, which features a 9-hole golf course.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images