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:
- Experts weigh in on the risk of certain activities
- The Highway 83 bridge over Highway 16 will be under construction most of the summer. DETAILS.
Please say thank you to the 2020 Free Summer Fun Guide Sponsor
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:
Village Bowl in Menomonee Falls
Alpine Lanes in Muskego
Free outdoor summer fun
Hartland Kids Day 2020 will be a REVERSE EVENT! Stay tuned as we release all the details and how to participated!
The event will be at Nixon Park on Wednesday, July 29th from 9:00 am until 2:00 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. *2020 Season kicked off on July 8!
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 cancelled.
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 happening!
BROOKFIELD NOON CONCERTS – Don’t miss this midday concert series in Brookfield all summer long! 2020 concerts are happening!
BROOKFIELD EVENING CONCERTS – These only happen once a month! 2020 concerts are happening!
Starry Nights at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts – Select Friday nights in June, July, and August. 2020 concerts are happening with a slightly different format.
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 starting July 10!
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.
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.
- 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! This is a family favorite for Lake Country Family Fun!
- MOVIES IN THE PARK IN ELM GROVE –
Join the community and your family and friends to watch a movie under the stars in Elm Grove’s Village Park. Movies are happening in 2020!
- 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. MORE events TBD.
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 –
*They are hosting select shows throughout the Lake Country and Waukesha area in summer 2020. Newly added Foolery’s on Okauchee Lake shows 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 –
*July 6, 2020:
“The Muskego Water Bugs are back on the water. Our first show is Wednesday, July 8th at Idle Isle Park in Muskego. Free parking is available at Park Arthur, about a ¼ mile walk from Idle Isle. There is limited parking on the island, where the city collects $1.00 per car.
The show begins at 7pm. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs. Carry-ins are welcome. We don’t have a theme for our show this year, as practices were slow to resume and our membership is down, but we have a group of skiers who love to perform for you.
Thank you to everyone who supported the Water Bugs by viewing the fireworks from Park Arthur. Your contribution puts fuel in our boats so we can provide this free entertainment.
See you at the beach!!”
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 –
July 8, 2020:
“We’re baaaaack!! Our first show of the season “Exhibition Rodeo” 🤠 will take place tomorrow at 6:45pm. With all of the local precautions we have gradually been returning to the water for practices and are ready to share with our local fans.
*Be a cowboy*: wear your favorite mask and maintain social distancing by remaining one cow 🐄 apart from others while enjoying the show. If you come to the show and the crowd is crazy huge perhaps you can consider coming to a future show instead–or come early, catch our “pre-show” skiers at 5:50pm including adaptive skiing at 6:30pm and guarantee yourself a spot!
Ski y’all 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 SUSSEX – June 20, 2020
Cars and Coffee Waukesha – At Black Canyon Coffee in Wales, this event meets the third Sunday of the month. Happening in 2021!
Okauchee American Legion Car show – scheduled for July 11, 2020
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 Cookouts – 2020 CANCELLED
SHOREHAVEN CAR SHOW – 2020 CANCELLED
CRUISIN’ THE GROVE – Elm Grove’s Own Classic Car and Motorcycle event. 2020 CANCELLED
Enjoy the Active Outdoors with your Family
Nature is OPEN!
One of our favorite walks in the Fowler Lake Walk in Oconomowoc. 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.
Another fun walk is the Storybook Trail at Brandt-Quirk Park in Watertown. We tried it out in early June 2020 and they just switched the story to a bilingual story! The trail is located in Brandt-Quirk Park. Park in the baseball diamond lot, and head straight back towards the railroad tracks.
PRO TIP – it’s buggy when you walk through the woods – so arrive well clothed or bring bug spray.
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.
Other Lake Country communities with Splash Pads planning in motion:
Sussex – OPEN!
Pewaukee – coming soon!
Eagle – coming soon!
Elm Grove – coming soon!
More details on the 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!
New in 2020: The Grove at Village Park in Sussex is open, complete with a splash pad!
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.
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