Summer is here, and we know all the best places in Jefferson County to beat the heat! Cool down with an ice cream cone, relax on a sandy beach, or jump right in at a local pool! Keep on reading to add to your summer bucket list.
Only open March through September, this locally owned parlor specializes in soft-serve ice cream sold through a convenient walk-up and drive-thru window. With menu items including rainbow cones, banana splits, and even chocolate-covered frozen bananas, this is the perfect family-friendly activity during warm Wisconsin summers.
The Jones Dairy Bar has teamed up with another great local Wisconsin company, Cedar Crest Ice Cream, to bring you an array of small batch ice cream flavors that’s sure to please. The Jones Dairy Bar features hand-dipped cones, delicious ice cream floats and “Sundaes of the Month” spotlighting seasonal flavors and topping (July’s Sundae of the Month is Red, White & Blue: Blueberry Waffle Cone & Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry on top!) Bring the entire family, including your dog for doggie cones and fresh water in a dish to cool your pooches’ palate.
Now open for the summer season, Wedl’s is serving up another favorite Wisconsin ice cream, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream out of Madison. Try a unique “Wedl’s Creation” flavor like Chocolate Fruit Bomb, Peanut Butter Passion, or Cheesecake Paradise!
Timber Creek Pizza Co offers classic frozen treats like shakes, malts, and sundaes. If you’re feeling up for the challenge, the restaurant offers a menu item called the “Mountain Man Sundae.” This massive treat is seven, yes seven, scoops of ice cream with your choice of 3 toppings, banana, crushed nuts, and whipped cream.
CJ’s features three businesses in one location: a laundromat, tanning, plus coffee and ICE CREAM! Offering Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, CJ’s Coffee n’ Cream features delicious flavors and take-home pints.
Mullen’s Dairy Bar has been making homemade ice cream since 1932. Once a local secret, Mullen’s Dairy Bar ice cream can now be found in retail locations across Wisconsin. Stop by the ice cream shop for a sundae, root beer float, or an old-fashioned ice cream soda!
Rosa’s Pizza is located in the heart of downtown Whitewater. They feature pan, stuffed and double-decker pizzas, plus sandwiches, calzones and of course, ice cream! Visit for a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a take-home pint.
Ripley Park is an 18 acre park located on the west shores of Lake Ripley. The wide, sandy beach provides lots of space and access to swim the waters of Lake Ripley. The lake also has two public boat landings, so grab your fishing poles to spend a day out on the lake! (Fun Fact: The most common fish in Lake Ripley are Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye!)
Along with the beach, the park also features two tennis courts, a basketball court, children’s play structure, a 9-hole disc golf course, volleyball courts and so much more!
Extremely popular on hot summer days, the park offers a swimming beach, picnic areas, playground equipment, restrooms and fishing piers. Rock Lake is a crystal clear 1,371-acre recreational oasis, beckoning outdoor enthusiasts to its cool waters and tree-lined shores.
The 14 acre recreational lakefront includes two large swimming beaches, five sand volleyball courts, and a single lane boat ramp. Located on Rock Lake, the waters provide the perfect opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing, and boating.
The southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest has two swimming beaches, at Ottawa Lake and Whitewater Lake. Ottawa Lake’s beach has picnic and restroom facilities and grills, and even a special dog swim area by the boat launch to help your four-legged family member cool off. It’s also great lake to practice kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding on.
Grab a picnic basket, beach towels, and prepare for a fun-filled summer day at Whitewater Lake Beach. BBQ grills, hiking trails, jungle gym equipment, and of course a sandy beach are all here waiting for you and your family.
A Wisconsin state park sticker is required to access amenities.
Boat launches are also located within the Forest at Ottawa Lake, Rice Lake and Whitewater Lake. (Note: The use of gas-powered motors is prohibited on Ottawa Lake.)
Fun in the sun at Fort Atkinson’s aquatic center located in Rock River Park includes a zero depth entry, diving boards, six lane lap pool with a basketball hoop, a 175 foot water slide, sand playground, and toddler duck and whale slides. There’s also plenty of shade under the large umbrellas and frozen treats to go around, too!
Jefferson’s aquatic center calls Oakridge Park home, and activities include a zero depth pool, 148 foot water slide, floor fountains, overhead water raindrop, wooden sun deck, sand volleyball court, and more!
Katie Carey is a member of the Jefferson County Area Tourism Council and the Tourism Manager at the Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce. She's focused a lot of her efforts on building the JCATC's Instagram page and it shows! The page has grown immensely since she's taken it over. You'll also find a lot of her touches on the group's new wedding initiative as we explore ways of expanding the tourism to Jefferson County.