Milwaukee With Kids: What We Didnt Do
I had a lot on our to-do list, but with only two days in the city we didnt get to several things. We wanted to do a kid-friendly brewery tour. We had heard great things about the Harley-Davidson Museum. And we were told to search out Ians Pizza, the Comet Café, Clock Shadow Creamery and Leons Custard. Plus we still need to go to the SafeHouse. A good list to start our next visit
Things To Do In Milwaukee Wi With Kids
When thinking about places to visit in the USA with families, Milwaukee might not be high on most lists. However, it should be!
Perfect for summer and yes, even perfect for those cold winters, as most of the attractions are indoors!
Museums are a-plenty for those growing minds, and great for those winter days. The Milwaukee Public Museum is one of the best in the area. Discovery World is a great interactive science and technology experience, and the Milwaukee Art Museum is free for kids under 12 so no excuse not to go!
The little ones even get their own museum with the Betty Brinn Childrens Museum. It’s where kids can be anyone they want to be!
Did you know that Milwaukee is surprisingly green? Come summer kids will love playing in the many parks scattered around the city, and with the city on the shores of Lake Michigan, you cant go past attractions like the 185 acres of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center – amazing kids fun in nature with hikes and wildlife!
A true family friendly city in this great country!
Community Park At Summerfest
Henry Maier Festival Park, Enter Through Mid-Gate
The brand new Northwestern Mutual Community Park officially opened at Henry Maier Festival Park in June, 2021. This entirely redeveloped entertainment space for families offers inclusive and accessible play for children ages 2 12 years of age, including those who may experience a variety of challenges.
Located adjacent to the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds is access to Lakeshore state park trails, a small beach, and accessible paved trails that link to Milwaukees other lakefront parks and the Hank Aaron State Trail.
Check the Milwaukee World Festivals website for current hours.
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Noel Indoor Light Park & Christmas Market
Noel Indoor Light Park & Christmas Market, the largest indoor Christmas light park in America,runs now through January 2nd at the Wisconsin State Fair Expo Center. The event features more than 1 million lights, larger-than-life winter displays, a Christmas tree forest, a 250-foot interactive light tunnel, and a family-oriented Santa village. Guests will also enjoy live music, festive food and beverage options, shopping in the vendor market, and much more.
Tickets at the box office start at $20 during the week and $25 on weekends. Order online in advance and receive a $5 discount. There are ticket discounts for seniors, military, children ages 4-17, and students. Children 3 and under are free. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas day. Check out ticket options here.
The Covered Bridge Studio Tour
FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY | CEDARBURG MEQUON AND PORT WASHINGTON
This is a unique self-guided tour to connect with accomplished local artists, painters jewelists and photographers in the Milwaukee Area. The artists are members of the Cedarburg Artists Guild. The tour is completely free and is a great way to see how art is created behind the scenes.
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Visit The Joan Of Arc Chapel
TripSavvy / Chris Bacarella
The Joan of Arc Chapel, a 15th-century French chapel located on the Marquette University campus, is a sacred place on campus for students, faculty, and staff alike. Remarkably, the chapel dates to the early 15th century, but it didn’t always live at Marquette. The chapel was dismantled and shipped to Long Island, N.Y., before it was gifted to the university and opened its doors in 1966. Tours are free, and mass is held when university classes are in session.
Rev Up The Fun At The Harley
Even if you arent much of a Harley fan, youll still appreciate the Harley-Davidson Museums well-thought-out exhibits with over 500 motorcycles.
It will be especially hard to tear the kids away from fun interactive areas such as dressing up in Harley gear, riding on a mini motorcycle, or even creating a customized motorcycle. Both kids and adults will appreciate the room full of Harleys waiting for you to hop on. The best part though for both adults and kids will be hopping on the bikes and pretending to ride off into the sunset!
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Watch A Game At Miller Park
A true Milwaukee experience isnt complete without sitting in the stands at Miller Park to watch the Brewers play baseball.
The sausage races alone are worth the trip, but the family-friendly atmosphere including a replica Bernie Brewer slide and clubhouse, pitching cages and batting cages makes it well worth it for families. The unpredictable Midwest weather wont put a damper on any of the games Miller Parks retractable roof guarantees games will play on.
Purple Door Ice Cream
Purple Door Ice Cream is located in Milwaukees up-and-coming Walkers Point neighborhood, and offers hand-crafted, artisan ice cream that is 14% butterfat. They use milk and cream from Wisconsin dairies whenever possible, as well as high-quality cocoas, liquers, coffee beans, and other flavorful ingredients. In their shop, youll find 20 flavors of ice cream.
Youll also find environmentally friendly features such as compostable spoons and cups, flooring made of 72% recycled content, and service counters made from hundreds of spoons collected from friends and family members throughout the world.
For a full list of family-friendly restaurants, click here.
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Th Winter Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association Show & Sale
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY | WAUKESHA COUNTY EXPOSITION CENTER
The 2022 antiques show and sale brings together more than 55 antique dealers from seven different states for a two-day event. Admission proceeds benefit grants for historical preservation in Wisconsin and Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Theyll also be serving food, including a Friday night fish fry dinner. Admission is $8 and valid for both Friday and Saturday.
East Troy Electric Railroad
2002 Church St., East Troy, WI 53120 642-3263
These historic rail cars travel a 10-mile trip through Southeast Wisconsin. Board at either the depot in East Troy or at The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago. Meander through the depot museum where kids can be a trolley motorman, discover the joy of model layouts and learn about electricity. The gift shop features a unique selection of railroad souvenirs for all ages. For more fun, try the ice cream at the Laubers Old Fasioned Ice Cream Parlor next to the depot or enjoy a meal at Ivans on the Square in East Troy.
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Visit The Milwaukee City Hall
TripSavvy / Chris Bacarella
Enjoy the wonders of the Milwaukee Art Museum, housed in a stunning Santiago Calatrava building that “flaps” its wings once a day. Building aside, the museum itself contains 30,000 works of art. It’s particularly strong in American decorative arts, German Expressionist prints and paintings, folk and Haitian art, and American art after 1960. Admission is free for all on the first Thursday of each month, while kids 12 and under, members, and Wisconsin K-12 teachers with valid school ID or a pay stub are always free.
Historic Third Ward Milwaukee Wisconsin
The Historic Third Ward is located south of downtown Milwaukee and is one of the top Milwaukee attractions. Originally a busy and rough warehouse district known as the location of frequent brawls, it used to be called Bloody Ward. Today it is the trendy Milwaukee’s Arts and Fashion District, with a number of popular restaurants, theaters, spas, galleries, and boutiques.
It is home to the Third Ward Riverwalk, the Milwaukee Public Market, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design , and the Broadway Theatre Center. Third Wards renaissance has attracted many locals who enjoy the unique atmosphere so much that they decided to buy one of the renovated warehouses-turned-condos. The Third Ward is fun, lively neighborhood to visit to do some shopping, see a show, or just stroll around.
219 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, Phone: 414-273-1173
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Explore The Milwaukee Central Library
TripSavvy / Chris Bacarella
Take in the amazing rotunda at the Milwaukee Central Library. Built from Bedford limestone, the main building combines French and Italian Renaissance architecture. Renovations and addition to the original building, completed in 1898, now take up the whole block. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After studying the impressive architecture, treat the little ones to free story time, or browse the on-site used bookstore.
Prohibition Ball The Great Gatsby
SATURDAY AT 9 P.M. | THE IRON HORSE HOTEL
Get ready to be transported to The Jazz Age as you walk into a speakeasy serving prohibition specialty cocktails and dance to the swing band, Nite Hawks live. Pull together your best flappers, mobster or moonshiner outfit to compete in a costume contest that could win you a one-night stay and a $100 food and beverage credit for a future date at The Iron Horse Hotel. Tickets range from $50-$75.
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Milwaukee Food And City Tours
A great way to really see what Milwaukee is all about is with the help of an insider. Milwaukee Food & City Tours will take you to the citys nooks and crannies that many locals do not even know about.
The company focuses on food, but it also offers tidbits of information and anecdotes about the city culture, history, and architecture while you sample the citys best pizzas or taste the most popular beers.
You can choose to explore on foot with one of the six tours through different neighborhoods and experience typical neighborhood foods German, Polish, Italian, or Irish. Or you can do it in the comfort of a luxury bus. In both cases, bring your appetite and be prepared for some serious eating. Milwaukee has a lot to offer.
2419 N 62nd St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Phone: 800-979-3370
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Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival
The 23rd annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is running now through January 1st. Take a stroll through the streets of downtown Milwaukee and view more than 500,000 lights, animated sculptures, interactive displays, and festive street decor. Displays can be found in Cathedral Square Park, Zeidler Union Square, and Pere Marquette Park. In addition to light displays, you can check out 100 evergreen Christmas trees decorated by area schools and businesses, and drop off your childs wishlist at Santas mailbox in Cathedral Square Park. Take a look at the event brochure for a full list of activities.
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Things To Know And Do The Weekend Of Feb 4
Winterfest at Washington Park is back this weekend, smores and all.
Its Friday in Milwaukee, and here are some things we think you should know about. If you would like your event to be considered for this column, please submit your news by.
1.The One and Only Dick Gregory: A documentary: Saturday, Feb. 5
Black Lens MKE and Milwaukee Film host this feature-length documentary examining comedian and self-described agitator Dick Gregory. You can catch the documentary at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5 at the Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave. for tickets.
2.Winterfest at Washington Park: Saturday, Feb. 5
Winterfest is here at Washington Park, where families can ice skate on the lagoon, play outdoor yard games, join a scavenger hunt and more. The free family festival will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St.
3.Ninth Annual Guitar Festival Concert: Saturday, Feb. 5
Latino Arts hosts the Ninth Annual Guitar Festival Concert, highlighting some of the worlds most talented guitarists, including Daniela Rossi and Ivan Resendiz, and winners of the Guitar Festival Competition. The festival begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Latino Arts, 1028 S. 9th St. for tickets, which are $10.
5.Nominations for the 2022 Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer Award: Accepted now through Feb. 25
BONUS: Black History Month events: All month
Bonus: 5 Places Worth The Drive From Milwaukee
Using Milwaukee as a home base? Willing to drive a little ways outside of the city? Then check out these five fun, interesting, and family-friendly excursions within a few hours of Milwaukee.
Bonus #1: The Dells – A stunning glacially formed gorge initially brought tourists to the Wisconsin Dells, and along with visitors came some great resorts, water parks, and theme parks for which this area is now better known. Options for younger and older kids abound here and the accommodations for families are outstanding. And the original draw to the area, including wildlife, trails, and parks, is still popular among visitors.
Bonus #2: Madison – Wisconsins capital city is a college town with fun shops and restaurants. Catch a football or basketball game at UW-Madison in season, tour the beautiful capital building, or stroll through the Dane County Farmers Market, Americas largest producer-only farmers market.
Bonus #3: House on the Rock – Numerous structures depicting a wide variety of themes – Christmas, carnival, yesteryear, nautical and more – sit atop Deer Shelter Rock in this unique slice of Americana. Parts of the house are inaccessible by strollers but team members are on hand to assist. If you want to make your visit into an overnight stay, there is a resort, spa, and golf course next door.
Explore a real-life Charlotte’s Web barn at Bookworm Gardens. Photo courtesy of the author
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Rhyme Time At Wauwatosa Library
Two Sessions: 9:30 am and 10:30 am Rhyme Time engages your child in early literacy development through interactive stories, song, fingerplays, and movement. Rhyme Time is designed for children birth through 2 years accompanied by an adult. This program is offered the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Registration for this program is required.
Have Fun On Lake Michigan
With Milwaukees ideal lakefront location on Lake Michigan, theres no end to what you can do during the summer months.
Love the beach? Flock to the popular Bradford Beach perfect for catching some rays or participating in a fun game of beach volleyball.
Is water more your thing? Explore Lake Michigan by renting paddleboats at . Interested in having someone else take you around? How about a relaxing journey aboard a 34 sailing yacht from Sea Dog Sailing or how about a European-style canal boat?
Milwaukee also boasts a Riverwalk where visitors can take a picture with none other than the Fonz!
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“Within the last week or so, and thankfully due to the common sense of mankind- we are now at a “mask optional” status here. Thank the lord. Membership renewed. Mildly awkward that a grown man is walking around barefoot in here, I guess they’ve relaxed some of their other previous policies? LOL! Still clean and lots of new toys- the kids are happy and that’s all that matters on a rainy day.”
Things To Do In Milwaukee With Kids
John Steinbeck once wrote that Wisconsin is full of surprises, and the state’s largest city, Milwaukee, is no exception. With a cosmopolitan feel and midwestern charm, and just an hour and a half drive north of Chicago , families looking for a new vacation spot should put Milwaukee high on their consideration list the next time they’re planning a trip.
Check out our list of 30 fun and interesting things to do with kids in Milwaukee . Whether you’re looking for the arts or the sciences, a great day outside, soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Michigan or a fun day in, sampling some of the country’s best frozen custard, you’ll find something for everyone in the family in Milwaukee.
1. Root for the home team aka the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Attend a game on select Sundays and experience one of the famous Sausage Races as Brat, Polish, Chorizo, Hot Dog, and Italian race the bases.
2. Get hands-on with art, science, history, and practical life at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Exhibits range from bugs and gardening to velocity and wordsmithing.
Even young ones can ride a Harley at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum.
3. During basketball season, head indoors to watch the Milwaukee Bucks shoot hoops. The league is building a brand new arena that should be ready for the start of the 2018 season, so seeing a game will be that much more enjoyable this fall.
30. Explore the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.
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