Graham Kilmer

Winter Chalets Return to South Shore Park

Heated chalets allow year-round use of South Shore Beer Garden.

By - Nov 18th, 2022 04:20 pm
Chalets at South Shore Park in 2021. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Chalets at South Shore Park in 2021. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The popular Winter Chalets are returning to South Shore Park on Black Friday.

The chalets look like small wooden shacks ringing South Shore Terrace, and they offer fans of the county’s summer beer gardens a chance to enjoy food and drinks al fresco despite the cold weather

The heated chalets fit up to six people, and they’re available to rent at $80 for 90 minutes. Guests receive a $40 credit toward food and drinks with each rental. The chalets are scheduled to welcome guests from Nov. 25 through Jan. 28.

Chalets are open for reservation on Friday and Saturday. Friday hours run from 3:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday hours are 1:50 p.m. to 8 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, the chalets will have extended hours from 12:50 p.m. to 12:50 a.m.

This is the third year that Milwaukee County Parks is running the chalet program. They were introduced in the winter of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that families want to get outside and enjoy the parks no matter the weather, and a winter beer garden has been a popular request for quite a while. With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Milwaukee County, however, it was essential that we find a way to operate for our staff and guests, and these chalets provide a unique and safe way to enjoy Lake Michigan views, and a meal, in the winter,” said County Executive David Crowley in 2020.

Along with a full bar and long beer menu, South Shore Terrace operates a full kitchen. Popular bar food staples like cheese curds, chicken wings and burgers are on the menu. But the terrace also runs a Friday fish fry and sells bratwurst, Polish sausage and a pulled pork sandwich among other menu items. In the past, the terrace has served more sumptuous menu items during the winter chalet season like a Friday night slow-roasted prime-rib dinner or truffle mac and cheese.

The parks system has come to increasingly rely on the services and amenities it charges for, like the chalets, to sustain its operation. Currently, more than 50% of the funds used to operate the entire system come from these programs like the beer gardens and golf cart rentals.

The chalet program has proven popular, and over the 2021-2022 season there were more than 1,000 reservations, the department said. So if you’re interested in reserving one of these cozy little shacks, you can comfort yourself with the thought that you’re not just eating and drinking, you’re also doing your part to support your local park.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us