By Lynn Armitage
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
In Wisconsin, there is always a reason to celebrate something—just take a look at all the festivals up and down the state throughout the year.
But which events are best for fun-seekers with big, extended families? We pulled together a list of Wisconsin’s top fests that offer something for every generation in your family.
Nothing brings a Wisconsin crowd together better 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.
Festival planners have infused plenty of kid-friendly activities into the festival. Don’t miss the art, sports and bounce zones, brat toss and race games, carnival rides, zoo animals and a climbing wall. Save some time to relax under the stars at the not-to-be-missed fireworks show on Sunday night.
If your teens are a little too old for giant slides, face-painting and princess events—which you’ll definitely find in Familyland at this June festival—they will enjoy spending time in Teen Village. A special place for young adults, it features a 30-foot climbing wall, an inflatable bungee run, henna tattoo parlor, a photo booth, and softball and volleyball tournaments.
Families can reunite at the main festival site for a meal at more than ten concession stands, or to enjoy an extensive showcase of musical performers throughout the weekend. For the ultimate bonding experience, enter the family fishing tournament!
Each June, everything comes up strawberries in Cedarburg. A berry-fun time awaits everyone in the family, from Arts on the Avenue, rubber-duck races and pony rides to the kids' marketplace and art contest, bounce houses and clowns.
For a real hoot—and some precious Kodak moments—enter your kids in the strawberry shortcake-eating contest or the strawberry bubble-gum-blowing contest. It all adds up to the perfect summer weekend with your loved ones.
This July celebration of flight truly offers something for every generation in your family. Look to the skies for exciting daily air shows, including aerial acrobatics by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.
Other highlights include an aviation museum, Kidventure—a hands-on activity center for children—concerts, a theater in the woods, a salute to female aviators, tributes to aerial conflicts the U.S. has been involved in throughout the years, and an extensive display of vintage and modern aircraft, including the latest drone technology. As far as family fun goes, the sky’s the limit.
Held in July, German Fest celebrates “all things German, for all ages.” Family-bonding activities include fireworks, a Dachshund Derby, inflatables for kids, a sports demo by the Milwaukee Bucks, arts and crafts-making and a create-your-own t-shirt area. Of course, brats and beer will be aplenty, too!
On Sunday, it’s all about the kids. Festival proceeds on this day will benefit four children’s charities: The MACC Fund, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Make-A-Wish and The Ronald McDonald House of Eastern Wisconsin.