From warm days on the lake and summer sunsets, to cooking brats on the grill and enjoying an ice cream cone, summer in Wisconsin is something to celebrate. The state is dotted with all kinds of fun summer festivals—here are some kid-friendly kinds that the whole family can enjoy.
Strawberry Festival – Cedarburg
Cedarburg’s delicious Strawberry Festival draws thousands of strawberry-lovers each year, gathering to taste all sorts of strawberry foods, browse art by hundreds of Midwest artisans, and, of course, celebrate a favorite summer fruit.
For a real hoot—and some Instagram-worthy moments—enter your kids in the strawberry shortcake-eating contest or the strawberry bubble-gum-blowing contest. Live music, outdoor fun, and plenty of fresh, delicious strawberries – what more could you ask from a summer weekend?
Rotary Fly-In/Drive-In Breakfast – Reedsburg
What’s cooler to a kid than watching planes and helicopters fly through the sky? The Rotary Fly-In/Drive-In Breakfast in Reedsburg offers all-you-can-eat pancakes, scrambled eggs and coffee and is fun for the whole family with its classic car show, plane rides, bounce house and face painting. Held the first Sunday in June each year, breakfast is served in the airplane hangar, so you’ll all be up close to the action.
Ice Cream Sundae Thursday – Two Rivers
Did you know that Two Rivers is the birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae? Visit this iconic town for 25-cent ice cream sundaes, live music and plenty of children’s entertainment at this annual event. Get in on the action by participating in the ice cream eating contest that’s open to both kids and adults!
La Crosse goes all out when it comes to Riverfest, a volunteer-run festival that celebrates the beauty of Wisconsin’s Coulee Region over 4th of July weekend. This year will feature country artist Cooper Allen, as well as family-friendly activities, food and fireworks. Plus, proceeds go toward local groups and charities!
Northern Wisconsin State Fair – Chippewa Falls
The Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls always brings big-name performers along with plenty of other fun for your whole group like carnival rides, tasty food stands, livestock, educational exhibits and 4-H displays that kids will love.
“Get Your Deutsch On” at this year’s German Fest in Milwaukee, which features five stages of entertainment along with German food favorites, family activities, polka music, Sheepshead lessons, a Dachshund Derby and, of course, fireworks. Put on your best lederhosen or a dirndl and head out the door to enjoy this special Wisconsin event.
Sweet Corn Festival – Sun Prairie
Few things scream “summer in Wisconsin” more than sweet corn. This Sun Prairie festival kicks off with a downtown parade, and continues with a craft show, carnival rides, concessions, live music, a petting zoo, and plenty of sweet corn throughout the five-day event.
Roofing of the Goats Parade and Festival – Sister Bay
You may know about the goats that hang out on top of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, but have you ever been to the goat parade? Head up to Door County to celebrate this annual tradition by joining in the parade (fun costumes encouraged) and participate in the delicious pancake eating contest. After the parade, your family will love watching the goats be transported to the grassy roof for the summer season. This is one festival you can’t find anywhere else.
Dairy Days Celebration – Platteville
Wisconsin’s dairy industry is something to celebrate, and Platteville's Dairy Days Celebration features a parade, amusement park rides, an arts & crafts fair, live entertainment, and truck and tractor pulls. And of course, you and the family are sure to get your fill of delicious dairy treats!
Alpaca Odyssey – Two Rivers
Bring the kids to see adorable baby alpacas at this annual event in Two Rivers. Admission is one non-perishable food item for the local food pantry, so this cuteness is for a good cause! There will also be live music, llamas that the kids can feed, local vendors and even more animals from Wildlife of Wisconsin.