How often do you visit Milwaukee with kids? Do you head into the city often or mostly stay in our quaint suburbs enjoying the #lakelife? Previous to 2020, we had been venturing in to Milwaukee a bit more often and had been enjoying the short day trips, especially to the butterfly room at the Milwaukee Public Museum. If you are looking to explore the area around you, Milwaukee is not far away and is loaded with family fun. Here is Lake Country Family Fun‘s top picks for fun in and around Milwaukee!
The following are top spots for Milwaukee family fun:
- Milwaukee County Zoo
- Milwaukee Public Musuem
- Discovery World
- Milwaukee Art Museum
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
- Boerner Botanical Gardens (Hales Corners)
Fun Fact: We love our local libraries. The public libraries throughout Waukesha and Jefferson County are part of the Bridges Library System. You can rent things from one library and return at another. Except for the Library of Things. What is the Library of Things? Well, it’s things…like snowshoes and giant UNO cards and a Frozen shaped baking pan or a kayak…that you can rent for FREE from the library! Each library has their own “library of things”. You can learn more and search HERE.
PLUS – they offer passes to our favorites in Milwaukee, like the Domes and the Zoo, pictured above.
CHINA LIGHTS WISCONSIN RETURNING IN
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Visiting Milwaukee with Kids
This is the summer of outdoors for us! We haven’t ventured into Milwaukee County since quarantine lifted, but for those that are looking for ideas and live close in the eastern part of Waukesha County – there’s still so much to do!
They have beaches and plenty of area to walk along Lake Michigan in the outdoor air.
Here are some ideas from our past adventures, with updates for 2020 and 2021:
- Head to Discovery World, right on the lakefront in Milwaukee, and visit this hands on learning environment.
- View all the rules and policies for re-opening HERE.
- We visited in a couple springs ago and had a fun-filled day. Touching the stingray was the highlight of my little one’s day.
- Discovery World is best aimed for children at elementary school age.
- Lake Country Family Fun reader Heather S. suggests, “Consider purchasing a membership which has reciprocal admission to hundreds of museums around the country, including the Madison Children’s Museum, Building for Kids in Appleton, and most of the major museums in Chicago. This is hands down the best membership value we have found!”
- The Milwaukee Public Museum has their FREE admission days on the first Thursday of the month, this is a great way to visit the museum on a budget.
- The butterfly room is the best!
- My youngest loved the museum from ages 3 and up.
- We like to head down on the first Thursday of the month for Kohl’s free day, meeting up with some other mom friends and then heading home around lunch time. There is a cafeteria to purchase lunch or you can pack your own.
- We like to park in the Museum’s parking ramp to walk directly into the museum and not have to walk outside in the winter months/rainy days.
- Did you know the Milwaukee County Zoo is open year round?
- **View updated guidelines HERE
- During the winter there are various FREE admission Saturdays at the zoo, and during the summer there is always a special exhibit. Hello Dinosaurs!
- Plus, the Milwaukee County Zoo pass pays for itself in two visits!
- We love the big animals and don’t leave without a train ride!
- The zoo is great for kids of all ages, baby and up!
- Visit the Mitchell Park Domes and be transported to a tropical environment, or the desert in one location. They are definitely a tropical escape right here in Wisconsin!
- Brewer’s Games are always a fun pasttime from spring through fall!
- Plus, our kiddos love going to Brewers Games.
- If you head to a game on Kid’s Day, don’t forget to snag a free lunch and go down the slide.
- Miller Park is great for kids of all ages. There are lots of places to walk around for toddlers, plus slides and a playground outside of the stadium for bigger kids to play.
- Have you taken your kids to a summer festival?
- In summer 2017 and 2018, we took our kiddos to Irish Fest at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds) and they had a blast!
- Milwaukee summer festivals in 2020 were cancelled.
- The Milwaukee Art Museum has undergone renovations and is an iconic Milwaukee building.
- Snag FREE admission from July 16, 2020 through August 16, 2020 as the Milwaukee Art Museum re-opens. Details.
- Stop by the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio to create art inspired by the artwork in the Museum. Each month features a different theme, and the projects are always changing!
- Visit Sprecher Brewery and go on a tour. Yes, this is family friendly!
- All adults 21 (proof of age required) and older get 4 samples of beer (chosen from up to 20 beers on tap) and a beer tasting glass to take home.
- Tour participants of all ages get to sample all of their available sodas to their heart’s content.
- Find the Bronze Fonz and take photo and feel like you are hanging out with Arthur Fonzarelli on Happy Days which was set in 1950’s Milwaukee.
- We have!
- If you have little ones, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum should be on your list to visit.
- Kids can spend hours with the interactive exhibits.
- The Museum will be closed September 4-8, 2023. They will reopen on Saturday, September 9. Plan your visit.
- PNC Mobile Learning Adventure
September 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Staff is excited to host the #PNCGrowUpGreat Mobile Learning Adventure! Children can enjoy hands-on activities and a photo station in the Museum’s Atrium. While the PNC Mobile Learning Adventure is free to the public, standard admission rates apply for the Museum.
- Community Access Day
September 21, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Families can enjoy free admission on the third Thursday of every month. Just a reminder that they open a half hour later on Access Days.
- Sensory-Friendly Sessions
September 10, 5-7 p.m. and September 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Experience the Museum in a calmer, quieter space with these special playtimes. Learn more about our Sensory-Friendly Play Pass.
- In the winter, you can find the Door County Sled Dogs at Whitnall Park when the weather is favorable. Always check their website to find the status of rides.
- Visit Slice of Ice at Red Arrow Park, try ice skating with the kids at this outdoor skating rink during the winter months.