It’s that time of year again…temperatures are rising, the sun’s coming out, and it can only mean one thing – it’s festival season in Wisconsin! Every summer, families across the state pack up their crew, hop in the car, and head out to celebrate…well, just about anything!
Strawberries? Sure! Airplanes? Yeah! Brats? Yep, pass the buns, we’re hungry. There’s a lot of events to choose from, but these five summer festivals are sure to keep everyone in your family happy, full, and, most importantly – having a great time.
Nothing draws a Wisconsin crowd faster than the smell of brats sizzling on the grill. Enjoy four days of non-stop food and fun at this popular extravaganza in Madison over Memorial Day weekend.
Busy kids will love the full lineup of activities, including a bounce zone, brat toss, carnival rides, kid’s painting class and much more. Be sure to stick around until evening for one of the highlights of the event: the fireworks show! Catch it on Sunday night.
Can’t Miss: The music! Bratfest is a fantastic music festival in its own right, and features over 100 bands of a variety of genres. They’ll keep your whole group singing, dancing, and working up an appetite (for another brat, of course.)
If your teens are a little too old for face-painting and princess events—which you’ll definitely find in Familyland at this June festival—they’ll enjoy hanging out in the Teen Village. Designed specifically for young adults, it features a 30-foot climbing wall, giant inflatable obstacle course, henna tattoo parlor, photo booth, and softball and volleyball tournaments.
Families can reunite at the main festival site for cheese curds, walking tacos, or a walleye dinner and enjoy live music on one of four stages. For the ultimate bonding experience, enter the family fishing tournament!
Can’t Miss: Animal fans, be sure to check out the Wild World of Animals stage to see live alligators, pythons, macaws and more!
Each June, everything comes up strawberries in Cedarburg. This popular fest draws thousands of strawberry-lovers each year, gathering to taste all sorts of strawberry foods (have you ever had a strawberry brat?), browse art by hundreds of Midwest artisans, and, of course, celebrate their 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 we ask from a summer weekend?
Can’t Miss: The CedarQuacker 500! Hundreds of rubber ducks fill the river for this race, which is a family favorite every year.
This July celebration of flight truly offers something for every generation in your family. Look to the skies for jaw-dropping daily air shows, including aerial acrobatics and a performance by the U. S. Navy Blue Angels.
Other highlights include the aviation museum, Kidventure—a hands-on activity center for children—a theater in the woods, and an extensive display of vintage and modern aircraft, including a centennial celebration of aircraft from the Royal Air Force. Prepare yourselves for a full day of fun – the sky’s the limit!
Can’t Miss: The Twilight Flight Fest. See acrobatic aircraft light up the night sky with a thrilling display of turns, flips and tricks!
Grab your lederhosen and get ready for a good time at German Fest, a celebration of “all things German, for all ages!” You’ll find plenty of activities set up just for kids, including a German fairy tale parade, live Glockspiel show, German language games and more.
Be sure to drop in for one of German Fest’s most popular (and cutest) events - the Dachsund Derby – and of course, authentic German fare and beer will be aplenty, too!
Can’t Miss: Let loose and get your polka on at one of the many live concerts! These bands are loud, proud, and ready for a party, and audience participation is highly encouraged.
For more tips on the top places to visit with your family this summer, check out these family getaways!