You are renting a beautiful room at a Door County bed & breakfast and you’re not on the water. You have a kiddo in tow (or maybe three) and you’ll be eating out. You want the Door County experience, but you have to keep in mind that the kids will be restless if you choose too many adult-satisfying activities. What do you do? This is why I love Sister Bay.
Head to this town for the day to enjoy family-friendly activities that will keep kids, teens and adults happy. There’s something for everyone.
Sister Bay Playground
Sister Bay has one of the best children’s playgrounds in Door County. Nestled in a group of old Oaks, it boasts equipment for every age — toddler to grade-schooler. Not only that, but the playground is surrounded by food, beverages, a beautiful beach, a grassy park, and shops — lots and lots of shops (some of the best mind you) to keep mom and gramma happy.
The adjacent Waterfront Park has plenty of park benches for the family to chill out on, and if you bring a blanket and snacks, the weed-free grassy surroundings will welcome you. Dad, mom, gramma or grampa can head over to the outdoor beach hut (Bier Zot) and order an adult beverage (if you happened to forget to pack a cooler).
Bring towels just in case your kiddos want to put their feet in the water. And… if you head to the playground you might also want to pack your swimsuits just in case because…
Sister Bay Beach
Who doesn’t love the beach? Sister Bay Beach is the largest public waterfront in Door County. The best reasons to hang all day at the Sister Bay Beach are…
- lots of room for spreading out on the beach
- a pier to jump off of
- a floating dock in the summer
- a little foot shower
- clean restrooms
- kayak and paddleboard rentals
- lots of grassy area for throwing balls
- a children’s playground nearby (see above)
- picnic tables
- a gazebo to hide under in case it decides to suddenly rain
- an outdoor hut serving pretzels, dogs, beer and more
- Wild Tomato Pizza within feet
- Beir Zot within feet
- lots of parking
Sister Bay Library
Library on vacation? Why yes! The Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Library is a great place to get out of the sun (or rain!) and chill with your little ones for a bit. The Sister Bay Liberty Grove Library is across the street from the Waterfront Park, about a block up the street. It has a beautiful children’s area, lots of skylights and an outdoor garden area as well. Outside, kids can bring books for a chance to read in the sun, or they can play a life-sized game of chess. There is also a small prayer walk or labyrinth, nothing too fancy but cool enough for kids to find an excuse to run in circles. This gives moms and dads a chance to relax too with a large selection of magazines and newspapers. The Internet is great here, but of course, you’re not checking your email on vacation, right?
Door County Eats
There are several kid-friendly restaurants in Sister Bay. My family favorites are Bier Zot, Wild Tomato, Door County Creamery, Husby’s (if you like sports and pub food), and Roots.
While you’re waiting for your hot and delicious pizza at Wild Tomato, don’t forget to watch the sunset along the bay. Don’t miss this spectacular array of colors. The cloud formations, the reflections on the water, the amazing scene of late-night swimmers performing against the warm backdrop — all of it is a slice of heaven on earth.
Concerts and Movies in the Park
Sister Bay hosts dozens of musical acts throughout the summer. If you find there is a concert going on, bring a blanket, snacks, and even a board game while you and the family chill out to live music. Typically the live music is scheduled for Wednesday nights.
On Saturdays, there are outdoor movies playing alongside the village hall in the Waterfront Park. Don’t miss this fun outdoor opportunity. Kids can run around or cuddle up with you while munching on snacks. Kids often show up in their PJ’s with their animals in tow. What a great way to spend an evening under the stars.
Door County Ice Cream Factory
Hands down you won’t find a better, more flavorful, creamy and delicious ice cream in Door County. You simply MUST stop here after dinner. My son and I have made this place a family tradition: showing up in PJs with a Madlib notebook or UNO game in hand. Deaths Door Chocolate is incredible (and I’m not even a chocolate ice cream fan!) as is Door County Cherry and Chambers Island Fudge. If you don’t stop here, you will be missing one the of the best delights Door County has to offer. It’s located on the north end of town, however, they have a small pop up shop in the downtown area. The smaller shop is great, but if you have time, get the family to the main location for more flavors. You’ll thank me later.