June 14, 2024
Open House Racine County

STT Spotlight: Open House Racine County Saturday

Racine Art Museum on Main Street

Johnson Wax Tower, just south of where Highway 38 begins
The Johnson Wax Research Tower, one of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings available to see during Open House Racine County.

A unique way to explore a county and its cities, towns, and rural features, Open House Racine County offers you the chance to explore over 55 attractions for free in a single day. You can explore and experience history, or tour futuristic creative labs. You can see one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s tallest creations or see the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes. You can gaze through a telescope at the stars or put a smile on your face with wine and kringle pairings. You can bring the kids to a zoo, a museum filled with puzzles, or bring them on the “World’s Largest Sleigh Ride.” And that’s just some of what awaits: Open House Racine County offers a very interesting and fun day of road tripping and exploring.

Quite a few examples follow, but if you’d like to hear more about it first, State Trunk Tour’s Eric Paulsen sat down with Real Racine‘s Paul Holley to discuss some particulars of Open House Racine County in this edition of our Podcast. You can stream right here:

Wind Point Lighthouse Tour

You can see whatever you want, of course, but to help narrow down options, some itineraries by interest area have been created.

The Racine County Courthouse

For Architecture enthusiasts, you can explore Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings like Wingspread and the Golden Rondelle and Johnson Wax Research Tower on the S.C. Johnson campus, as well as the classic art deco Racine Count Courthouse (right), the Masonic Center, and more.

For Artist admirers, the fantastic Racine Art Museum (“RAM” to those in the know) downtown and its Wustum Museum of Fine Arts nearby provide a wide array of artistic works to discover and enjoy. The Malt House Theater, a performance venue constructed in an 1800s brewery. The Haylofters – the performers – have the opportunity during Open House Racine County to get behind the scenes and save money on tickets for their upcoming performance of On Golden Pond.

Family fun can be had all day with events at the Racine Zoo along the lakefront, which cares for over 100 animal species from all over the world. The Racine Heritage Museum downtown offers interactive fun for kids and grown-ups alike. The Heritage Museum showcases and salutes everything from the city’s history with manufacturing to its sports heritage. Of particular interest is the exhibit on the Racine Belles (1943-1950), one of the original teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and winners of their first League Championship. A drive to Burlington’s Logic Puzzle Museum offers even more family fun and tests the quizzical nature of kids. Between Racine and Burlington near Union Grove, an out-of-this-world experience at the Modine-Benstead Observatory lets you explore some views high in the sky with their huge telescopes. For outdoor Open House Racine County fun, Caledonia’s Jellystone Park is offering rides on the “World’s Largest Sleigh Ride.” Kids can also get energy out on their jumping pillows and play on the mini golf course.

New Open House Racine County features this year, from factory tours to wine pairings:

Want to see the future of industry? New this year at Open House Racine County, head to Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson iMET (integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Technology) Center and see their Fab Lab. It’s an innovative “maker space” and technical prototyping platform for invention. You’ll find it just south of Highway 20 in Sturtevant, very close to where the massive new Foxconn development is just getting underway.

Also in Sturtevant, you can tour the Putzmeister America plant. They make massive equipment for trucks to help pump and convey concrete and other materials for heavy construction.

Also new this year, you can shop School Days Mall Antiques, which offers over 80 antique dealers and 300 individuals with available classics. Or explore two 19th century classics in Burlington, the Pioneer Log Cabin and the 1840s era Whitman School House. Train lovers can check out the rails at Sturtevant Rails, a small railroad museum housed in a Milwaukee Road caboose from 1958.

At the Real Racine Visitor Center just west of I-41/94 along Highway 20, the Spirits of Norway Vineyard will have wines for tasting and Racine’s famous kringle for pairing with the wines. Never heard of a wine-and-kringle pairing before?? Me neither. But it sounds delicious, and it’s available all day for Open House Racine County. The Visitor Center is also a terrific place to begin your journey, with maps and resources available all day.

Open House Racine County map

And we didn’t even cover HALF of what you can see! Open House Racine County is this Saturday, May 5th. From Racine to Waterford, from Caledonia to Union Grove, there’s definitely something for everyone to explore!

If you want to hear more on our Podcast, you can use the player above or connect to it here.

As we love to say on the State Trunk Tour, Pick Some Roads and GO!! So not only is I-41/94 a way to get there, but U.S. 45 and Highways 11, 20, 31, 32, 36, 38, 75, 83, 142, and a bunch of county and side roads can bring you to so many cool places throughout Racine and Racine County.

Happy Exploring!

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