ADVENTURE OF THE WEEK!
It was an 85+ degree summer day in Wisconsin towards the end of August. In early summer, we kick off the season feeling adventurous and willing to drive to find cool new beaches and locations to explore, but tend to get a bit burnt out by the end of summer (no pun intended). I wanted something quick and close to home with low commitment and remembered I’d seen other people’s posts about a beach in Verona.
I grabbed my “adventure bag”, packed a quick picnic lunch, and made our way to Verona. Not really knowing anything other than it had a swimming beach, we were surprised by the big splash pad upon entering the park area. We’ve been to a number of splash pads around Madison but this was new to us – it was really big and spread out too.
The beach area was gated off but there were plenty of people and lifeguards milling around (I’m told you can apparently you can swim during off-hours without lifeguards, but I can’t confirm this). At noon, the beach officially opened and we were told by a lifeguard with a megaphone that patrons could check in for their reserved time slot at the concession stand. As a mom with two young kids, dressed in swimsuits, bags packed and eagerly waiting to swim, I panicked since I’d made no such reservations.
Fortunately, I played it cool and they allowed me to buy walk-in wristbands which allowed us 2+ hours of swim time. During COVID, reservations are recommended due to limited capacity. All the information, including a link to make reservations online, can be found here:
Fireman’s Park Beach in Verona website
It wasn’t too busy on the week day we visited and the kids had a blast swimming and playing in the sand. The water was clean, the sand was nice and the beach area big enough to spread out and had some shaded awnings. The lake has two different swim areas for depth and is based on swimming ability. The shallow area is roped off and has lifeguards during posted hours. Beyond the first rope, kids must pass a swimming test to swim out there alone or must have a parent with them in the water at all times. There was a popular diving board in the deeper area for the older kids.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this beach for a hot summer day – the splash park, playground and concession stands were popular as well so many others’ enjoy this place as much as we did! The wristband prices were relatively cheap for the beach, but the splash pad and playground are also free to enter. All these options would make it easy to spend an entire day.
Cost: $2-3 for Verona residents, $4-5 for non-residents
*Cash or check only, no credit cards accepted
A summer day at the beach isn’t complete without a stop for ice cream on the way home. Icki Sticki is located in downtown Verona and has ice cream, smoothies, shaved ice, coffee drinks and more. The kids were big fans…as was the responsible adult of the group. 🙂
Looking for other Madison-area adventures we’ve done this summer? Check out our other “Adventure of the Week” features:
Monona, WI: An Easy, Kid-Friendly Afternoon Outing
Cambridge, WI: Ripley Beach
Dodgeville, WI: Governor Dodge State Park
Sauk City, WI: Biking the Great Sauk Trail
Green Lake, WI: A Summer Saturday Day Trip
…. and more, by clicking on the ‘Places’ tab at the top of the blog!