Hartford, situated in southeastern Wisconsin, is home to about 14,000 residents, as of the 2010 U.S. census. Visitors flock to downtown Hartford to experience the restored shops and stores from the early 1900s. If you're looking for activities to keep your kids busy in the Hartford area, you'll find an array of entertaining options.
Enjoy time in the outdoors with your kids at the Kettle Moraine State Forest -- Pike Lake Unit (no website; 3544 Kettle Moraine Road, Hartford; 262-670-3400). You can go camping, do some fishing in the lake or take a hike on some of the trails to see whether you can spot some wildlife. Surprise your kids with a visit to Shalom Wildlife Zoo (shalomwildlife.com), 25 minutes away in West Bend. Covering 100 acres, this zoo offers wagon tours that will take you through the property, where you'll see animals like bison, elk, wolves, deer and cows. Attend special programs throughout the year, like a Scavenger Hunt or Springtime Adventure.
Check out the activities that the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department (no website; 125 N. Rural St., Hartford; 262-670-3730) has to offer. You can take your kids swimming or sign them up for one of the programs available. Preschoolers can go to Summer Preschool Activity Time, Dino Days, Tot Sports or Tots-A-Lot. School kids can sign up for golf lessons, camps, cheerleading or an art class. Teens can go for the Teen Lock-In or attend a summer teen trip, such as the one to Six Flags Great America or the Noah's Ark Trip.
Get your kids involved in one of the sporting activities offered near Hartford. Kids can participate in baseball through the Hartford Orioles (ballcharts.com), from second grade through high school. The Richfield Youth Baseball Softball Association (rybsawi.org), 20 minutes away in Richfield, also has baseball and softball leagues for children. If your kids are more interested in soccer, check out the Hartford Sideliners (hartfordsoccer.org), with the Hartford Soccer Club. Kids can play from the U-6 level through the U-14 level through this club.
If you have a child interested in dance, you can sign her up for classes at the Dream Center Dance Studio (dreamcenterwi.com), where you'll find a variety of classes to choose from. Children can take ballet, tumbling, hip hop, jazz, tap or a combo class. Kids can audition to be part of the Energizers Dance Team, as well. Your kids could give martial arts a try at Dukatz's Academy of Martial Arts (dukatzacademy.com), 25 minutes away in West Bend. Classes are offered to children 4 years old and older and address physical fitness, mental fitness, goal-setting and social skills.