Spring is here, and it’s time to start planning your family trips! There’s fun for all ages waiting for you in Milwaukee, from festivals to outdoor adventures. Whether you’re looking to spend a relaxed long weekend away with your preteens or plan a full week of fun with the kids, make sure you put these Milwaukee family favorites on your “to-do” list.
Milwaukee County Zoo
Always a favorite, the Milwaukee County Zoo offers hours of fun with more than 3,000 creatures representing 402 species, educational shows, and interactive fun like the SkyTrail Ropes Course, carousel, and beloved Zoo Train! Later this year, the Zoo will be opening a brand new west entrance complete with a new otter exhibit and “Bear Garden” (aka beer garden).
Baseball season is here! The weather is always perfect for a game under Miller Park’s retractable roof, so bring the whole family to root for the Milwaukee Brewers. Your kids will love letting loose in the KidsZone, an interactive play area featuring a mini-version of Bernie Brewer’s famous slide, and the whole family can cheer on the famous Racing Sausages when they take the field before the bottom of the sixth inning.
Milwaukee is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan, and the lakefront is definitely the place to be in spring and summer! Stop at Gift of Wings in Veterans Park to pick out a kite for hours worth of fun on the breezy lakefront. You can also rent paddleboats, kayaks, bikes, surreys, and more at popular spots like Lakeshore Paddle Sports and Wheel Fun Rentals. Or just hang out – Milwaukee is home to 1,400 acres of beaches and parkland adjacent to the water, including Bradford Beach, one of Travel Channel’s top 11 city beaches.
Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top living history museums and features more than 60 original structures from all over the state. Join in crafts, farm chores, games, and more interactive fun as re-enactors show you what life was like for Wisconsin’s early settlers. Take part in historical celebrations like a Fourth of July parade, watch vintage baseball games, and see beer made the true “old fashioned” way.
The world’s largest outdoor sculpture gallery returns to Wisconsin Avenue this summer! Sculpture Milwaukee features 20 pieces spread along Milwaukee’s “main street” and is a perfect way to get some fresh air and enjoy public art by nationally and internationally-known artists during your visit.
Reader’s Digest picked Summerfest as one of “10 Outdoor Festivals Your Kids Will Love This Year,” and the world’s largest music festival truly is fun for the whole family. In addition to major headlining acts in the evenings, during the day you can cool off with paddleboats and a splashpad, check out special kid-friendly crafts and activities, and enjoy family-friendly programming at the Northwestern Mutual Childrens Theater and Playzone.
Free outdoor music
Summer is the time for outdoor concerts in Milwaukee’s award-winning county parks. Starting in June and continuing through September, you’ll find free concerts almost every night of the week in one of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. From Chill on the Hill in Bay View to Jazz in the Park in the heart of downtown, bring a blanket, some camp chairs, and have fun! Click here to learn more about Milwaukee’s summer concert series.
Milwaukee Air & Water Show
The USAF Thunderbirds will headline this year’s sky spectacular on Milwaukee’s lakefront. This free family event features amazing performances on both land and water, showcasing the best of our nation’s armed forces. Definitely a must-see for all kids obsessed with planes!
Looking for family fun this summer? Check out our family-friendly guide to Milwaukee for even more tips and ideas!