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FREE Summer Fun

Free Summer Family Fun in Waukesha County

Are you on the hunt for free fun this summer?  Summer 2020 is going to look a lot different this year as many of our favorite community events have cancelled. However, Lake Country Family Fun is an expert at finding free fun for your family, after all that is why we started this website! As long as your family is feeling well and acting responsibly, there are still lots of ways to have free fun this summer. Make sure you save and pin this guide for future reference when the dog days of summer arrive!

A few things to note about summer 2020:

Please say thank you to the 2020 Free Summer Fun Guide Sponsor

Bridges Library System Summer Reading Program

Bridges Library System

Your summer plans may look different this year, but at your local public library, the Summer Library Program is here for you! Each public library in Waukesha and Jefferson County is offering a unique virtual reading program to keep your kids busy and keep them learning all summer long. From magic shows to building challenges to earning reading badges, the library has a whole summer of fun and learning planned for your family.

Due to recent circumstances, your public library is going digital this year! Your child can log their reading times, earn virtual badges, level up, and win prizes on Beanstack, a free app. Just search for your library’s name at www.beanstack.com to get started or visit your library’s website to get their direct link. Most performers and programming will also be held online, though some may be offered in-person later in the summer. Check with your local library to find out how to participate and visit https://bridgeslibrarysystem.org/summer-library-program/ for more information on prize sponsors, performers, and more.

The Summer Library Program launches June 15 at all libraries, so mark your calendars and make the Summer Library Program part of your summer plans!

Free indoor summer fun

We love the summer reading programs! Reading is a great way to fill time on a rainy day or hot, hot afternoon inside in the air conditioning. It’s also great way to keep up all the reading skills learned throughout the year and earn summer fun along the way! See all the information above for how to participate virtually this year. 

Every child that you register, receives 2 FREE games of bowling all summer long!! The Kids Bowl Free is a nationwide program. Its purpose is to support communities and give children a fun way to spend their time throughout the summer. Wahoo!! This is perfect for rainy days or to escape the heat.

For summer 2020, please see the details through the link below. The program is being offered, but it it is up to individual centers to open or not open. The following are open:
Sussex Bowl
Village Bowl in Menomonee Falls
Alpine Lanes in Muskego

Register HERE.

Free outdoor summer fun

At this point, we are still planning for Hartland Kids Day. Although, it will look and feel different this summer. Stay tuned as we will make an announcement soon!
If we proceed, head to Nixon Park on Wednesday, July 29th from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm to preview local family businesses, kids activities, and entertainment throughout the day. Lake Country Family Fun will have a fun-filled day planned for you!

 

Free Summer Fun to Watch Outside

I don’t know about you, but I love being outside in summer (minus any bugs). I love looking forward to all the seasons, but summer is my favorite! Outdoor concerts are a great way to enjoy summer nights with your family and friends.

Music in Oconomowoc – From the AMERICAN LEGION BAND (cancelled in 2020) to BANDS AT THE BEACH (happening!) Friday night concerts you can’t beat the view while at City Beach watching music at the band shell. 

WATERFRONT WEDNESDAYS IN PEWAUKEE– Lakefront Park in Pewaukee is the perfect location for a picnic dinner with the family.  Grab your blankets and chairs and enjoy the scenic view and sounds every Wednesday through the summer. *Positively Pewaukee is a partner of Lake Country Family Fun.

NIXON PARK CONCERT SERIES – The Nixon Park Concert Series is held at the Fine Arts Center at Nixon Park in Hartland WI every Thursday June through September 2020! The planning is a week by week basis. 

WAUKESHA FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE– Every Friday night downtown Waukesha comes alive with stages places through the downtown business district.  This is a kid friendly event; also, it can easily be used for a date night, guys night or girls night out. 2020 concerts are TBD. The hope to begin at the end of June 2020.

TRIBUTE TUESDAY CONCERTS – Come and enjoy all your favorite songs as we pay tribute to legendary music performers of the past this summer at Tribute Tuesday Concerts in Waukesha in August and September 2020.

CIVIC BAND CONCERTS IN WAUKESHA – Come to Cutler Park to enjoy Civic Band Concerts on Thursdays throughout the summer! June and July 2020 concerts cancelled. August concerts are TBD.

Tunes on Tuesday – Bring your family to Elm Grove Village Park on select Tuesdays for their Tunes on Tuesday series. 2020 concerts are TBD.

BROOKFIELD NOON CONCERTS – Don’t miss this midday concert series in Brookfield all summer long! 2020 concerts are TBD.

BROOKFIELD EVENING CONCERTS – These only happen once a month! 2020 concerts are TBD.

Starry Nights at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts – Select Friday nights in June, July, and August. 2020 concerts are TBD.

CONCERTS AT THE BEER GARDEN, MENOMONEE FALLS  – Bring your family to these free concerts at Mill Pond Park that will have food and beverages on both Thursday AND Friday nights during the summer (weather permitting). 2020 concerts are TBD.

DOUSMAN CONCERT IN THE PARK – Select Saturdays in June and July – Come to Three Pillars for their free concerts! CANCELLED in 2020.

Riverside Rhythms –  Take in some musical selections every Wednesday during lunch right on the riverwalk in downtown Waukesha. CANCELLED DUE TO CONSTRUCTION in 2020. The series hopes to be back in 2021.

TOSA CONCERT SERIES – Bring your family out for the Tosa Tonight Concert Series! Free Family-Friendly Music starts at 6:00 pm. CANCELLED IN 2020.

**We know for sure that New Berlin’s Movies in the Park Summer Series has been suspended.**

This is another family favorite of ours!! Watching a MOVIE OUTSIDE surrounded by friends, snacking on kettle corn, and snuggling up with my little ones, is a favorite memory of summers past! In 2020, many spring traditions have changed and summer traditions will look different, too. 

While not “free summer fun”, we do know that there are two ticketed outdoor movie drive-in theater experiences happening. You can read about them HERE and HERE.

  • MOONLIT MOVIES IN OCONOMOWOC   
    **YES!! These events are happening as a DRIVE IN in 2020!!

    Join the community and your family and friends to watch a movie under the stars at the Oconomowoc High School parking lot! Snag your FREE ticket in advance.  This is a family favorite for Lake Country Family Fun!

  • MOVIES IN THE PARK IN ELM GROVE  
    **Waiting on information regarding 2020 events.

    Join the community and your family and friends to watch a movie under the stars in Elm Grove’s Village Park.

  • OUTDOOR MOVIE IN VILLAGE PARK IN SUSSEX  
    Friday, August 28, 2020

    Bring the whole family for a free, fun family event. Concessions will be available including free popcorn.

  • THE CORNERS OF BROOKFIELD 
    **TBD If this fun family movies series in the Square will be coming back in 2020. In past years, movies have been shown in July and August.

     

  • Movies at the Park – Springs Water Park
    This was a new fun event in 2019 and they are bringing it back for 2020! **Not free** 
    They will be showing Dolittle on Friday, June 12, 2020.

**We are waiting to hear confirmation if these Water Ski shows will be happening this year. We are following them closely and at this point (May 28), there are no scheduled ski shows for the 2020 season.**

Watching a WATER SKI SHOW is a family favorite of ours! My little ones are amazed at all the tricks and lifts of the skiiers, and by the three motors on the back of the boat 😉

  • BADGERLAND SKI SHOWS – 
    *May 28, 2020: “Season update: Due to continued gathering restrictions in the city of Waukesha, we are unable to perform this summer at Frame Park. We hope to return for the 2021 summer season!

    We are working with the city of Oconomowoc about our couple shows on Fowler Lake which have been canceled for the month of June so far, and we have a couple local small traveling shows still on, so there’s still a chance to catch us perform, but we will not have our regular weekly shows or practices this summer.

    Frame Park in Waukesha is the location for these amazing ski shows, as well as a few at Fowler Lake Park in Oconomowoc.  Tricks, formations and more all to keep the kids entertained.  If the kids lose interest, this is the perfect park for a walk to the park or to explore the gardens (if in Waukesha)!!

  • WATERBUG SKI SHOWS – 
    *May 22, 2020:
    “In a normal year, this would be the 3rd week of practice for the bugs and we would be anxious to perform our first show next Wed. Like so many other things our season is also in question. We are in constant communication with USA-WATERSKI and our local authorities to decide what, if anything we can do as a team this year. The current recommendations within the waterski communities is to only practice and perform individual acts, meaning no pyramids or other acts that have more then one person behind a boat. We are currently on hold with all activities, but will have a better idea in the next week to ten days. We miss seeing our loyal fans and look forward to when we can be back together.”
    Stay tuned on the 2020 decision.

    Come to Idle Isle Park on Little Muskego Lake for a fun night out with family, friends, and co-workers, watching a ski show. 

  • PEWAUKEE LAKE SKI SHOWS  
    May 18, 2020:
    Under normal circumstances we would be less than one week away from our season opening show on Memorial Day. The entire team would be getting really excited about getting back on the water and being our kick-off to summer in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this year is quite different. The Covid-19 situation we all are facing is affecting our ski show as well. While we do not know when or if we will have any ski shows this season, we will communicate as best as possible as we get more information as it is available.

    We look forward to seeing our great fans and sponsors very soon!”

    Bring your family to watch the Pewaukee Lake Water Ski Show every Thursday.

What says summer like classic cars on a warm night? Find more car shows HERE.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT CLASSICS – New 2019 and 2020 location at Seven Seas on Nagawicka Lake. Starts June 10, 2020

CLASSIC CAR CRUISE NIGHT IN SUSSEXJune 20, 2020

Cars and Coffee Waukesha – At Black Canyon Coffee in Wales, this event meets the third Sunday of the month. Tentatively set to occur on June 21, 2020.

Okauchee American Legion Car show – Tentatively scheduled for July 11, 2020

JOE MAMA’S CRUISE NIGHTS – The second Monday of the month, starting possibly in July 2020! See why they won best local fish fry 3 years in a row!

BALD EAGLE ANNUAL CAR SHOW – Date has been moved to August 2020!

DELAFIELD CLASSIC CAR SHOW – Every Tuesday at the Delafield Hardee’s CANCELLED FOR THE 2020 SEASON

Cars and Cookouts2020 CANCELLED

SHOREHAVEN CAR SHOW2020 CANCELLED

CRUISIN’ THE GROVE – Elm Grove’s Own Classic Car and Motorcycle event. 2020 CANCELLED

Farmer Markets are open! There are some changes and safety precautions in place. Find all the local Farmers Markets arranged by days of the week HERE.

Enjoy the Active Outdoors with your Family

Nature is OPEN! Take a stroll with the family around Fowler Lake in Oconomowoc. It is about a 2 mile walk to get around. We always seem to stop at the bridge at the dam between Fowler Lake and Lac La Belle and watch people fish and stop for a little bit of extra fun at Fowler Park and take full advantage of the park, tennis courts and the restrooms (if needed – but this year we are really trying to avoid any public restrooms and take short trips). We park downtown and follow Wisconsin Ave west, then north onto Main St., then right onto Lisbon Rd., then right again onto Greenland Ave, then right onto Oakwood Ave., then right again on Pleasant St. and that takes you back to downtown in the municipal parking lot by the boardwalk.

There are blue rain drops painted on the sidewalk to guide you around the lake. 

Also, be sure to listen for the Clock Tower Tunes as you walk past by City Hall in summer 2020.

**The Hartland Splash Pad has not yet made a decision as to when they will open in summer 2020. Stay tuned!**

The Hartland Splash Pad is a great option when the weather is so hot it’s unbearable.  This is a zero depth water feature, so even the littlest ones can play.  

*Our tip is to make sure your kids have water shoes on as the concrete does get slippery as the kids run around.

Nixon Park Splash Pad Hartland Wisconsin Lake Country Family Fun

Other Lake Country communities with Splash Pads planning in motion: 
Sussex – hopefully opening summer 2020!
Pewaukee
Eagle
Elm Grove

Find Milwaukee County Splash Pads HERE.

What is your favorite local park? Normally, we like to travel around and visit them all. Find the BEST LOCAL PARKS in our handy guide! *Please not that the CDC currently recommends not playing at playgrounds. Some playgrounds are currently closed. Find details through the link above.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi0JgrXgIIH/?hl=en&taken-by=lakecountryfamilyfun

Searching for painted rocks in outdoor public places has been renewed in spring and summer 2020. You can also paint your own rocks and put them out for others to find.

Where to find painted rocks in Waukesha County.

Free Summer Fun Just Outside Waukesha County

**Many of these attractions are still deciding if they can open, how to open, and under what new guidelines for safety in 2020. Please be patient as the information is updated. Thank you!

  • The North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee is an awesome historic landmark and kids 4 and under are FREE.
  • The Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners offer free admission the first Tuesday of every month during the summer to Milwaukee County Residents.
  • Visit Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, a book themed fairyland for kids. (Free admission, but donations are appreciated.)  Opening June 3, 2020.
  • Check out Cedar Creek Park in Cedarburg Friday nights during the summer for Summer Sounds, their free summer concert series.
  • Enjoy summer sounds with Music in the Glen, which is free and open to everyone located in Glendale (schedule here).
  • A little road trip, but the Madison Zoo is FREE.
  • Hit up a Beach – Milwaukee County beaches are FREE!!!
  • Top FREE Splash pads outside of Waukesha County include:
    • Kinderberg Park in Germantown
    • Hickory Park in Jackson
    • Bayshore Town Center’s Splash Pad
    • Hart Park Splash Pad in Wauwatosa
    • Oak Creek Splash Pad
    • Riverside Park Splash Pad in Janesville
    • Milwaukee County Splash Pads and Wading Pool list
  • Explore MILWAUKEE WITH KIDS

Don't miss out on the Free Summer fun!

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7 thoughts on “FREE Summer Fun”

  1. I am really impressed with this. I grew up in Pewaukee, and I am a few months shy of 50 and this web site is just wonderful. Whoever started it and the input is excellent. Family means everything, and enjoying life with our loved ones. We live in a beautiful area and I know we all want to keep it that way, as well as safe. Keep up the good work and thank you for your wisdom.

    1. Anne-
      I am so smitten with your comment, it warms my heart. I started on this website adventure in 2011 and it has been a joy. I am a mom of 4 kids loving life here in Lake Country and every second that I can with them while they are still little 🙂

  2. I love LCFF! Great resource for families, and full of helpful tips. I’m excited to visit this Madeline Park—my son loves trains.

  3. So many amazing things to do for free in the summer in our area! We love the Retzer Nature Center, Imagination Station, Pewaukee Beach, Frame Park, Friday Night Live (Waukesha), visits to the library (including visiting ones outside of our own city library), workshops at Home Depot and walking/biking the glacial drumlin trail – to name a few!

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