Have you ever thought about visiting Milwaukee for your next family road trip? We recently visited and fell in love with the city. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Kalamazoo which makes it a perfect distance for a getaway. Plus, it’s another alternative to Chicago if you’re looking to experience more affordable great museums and family friendly activities with less crowds.
10 FAMILY FUN ACTIVITIES
1. Discovery World
Discovery World is a museum of science, technology and creativity with programs ranging from aquariums to total immersion virtual reality experiences. It also has TV and audio studios. This is one of my son’s favorite science museums. Kids will love all of the great hands-on activities, so make sure that you allocate at least 2-4 hours to enjoy all the museum has to offer. Our favorite exhibits included the flight simulator, aquarium, and HIVE 3D Environment. They participate in the ATSC passport program which is a bonus if you have a museum membership elsewhere.
2. Harley-Davidson Museum
The Harley-Davidson Museum is for the motorcycle lover in your family. More than 350 motorcycles are displayed, along with exhibits devoted to engines, racing, and customized bikes. It also covers the influence of motorcycles on American pop culture. I recommend purchasing the audio tour for an additional $4. It gives a narrative of the museum and greatly enhances the experience. Plan on spending at least 2 hours to see everything. Don’t miss the kids area where your child can sit on a pretend motorcycle. They even provide dress up clothes for your mini-biker. Hungry? Grab a bite at the MOTOR Bar & Restaurant which serves up the best of American culture in an inspiring setting.
(Milwaukee Art Museum-photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee)
(Milwaukee Art Museum)
3. Milwaukee Art Museum
Think your kids won’t love the Milwaukee Art Museum? Think again! Our family loved the Milwaukee Art Museum. Plus, kids under 12 get in free. It is a a “must see” just for the beauty of the building. They have a variety of great exhibits and excellent art work. We especially loved the kids station where you can check out free art packs, sketch pads, and other activity packs. The activity pack my son selected included colored draping and encouraged him to find various works of art throughout the museum and imitate the art. He had a blast and my husband enjoyed photographing him with his favorite art. You will want to allocate at least 2 hours to visit the museum.
(Milwaukee Brewers baseball at Miller Park)
4. Miller Park
Take in a Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park. No matter what the weather, it is always perfect for a Brewers game. The retractable roof is a super ballpark feature that ensures perfect weather for every game. There are numerous family activities such a slide, timed base racing, photo ops, batting and pitching, and more! There is a strong focus on making the games a fun experience for families, more so than any other major league stadium we have visited. Your kids will love the Bernie Brewer’s slide and will cheer on the Racing Sausages. Plus, you will be awed by all of the food options. They sell tickets in all price ranges and there is not a bad seat in the house. You will love how easy and accessible the park is from downtown or anywhere in the greater Milwaukee area.
(Milwaukee Public Market-photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee)
5. Milwaukee Public Market
This indoor marketplace showcases independent food purveyors of artisan food products. Plan a meal here and let everyone pick their own favorites from a variety of vendors. We recommend the St. Paul Fish Company for some tasty fresh fish and seafood. Or grabbing a sweet treat at C. Adam’s Bakery which has over 100 variations of pies, cookies, bars, morning pastries and 20 assorted cakes.
(Betty Brinn’s Children Museum-photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee)
6. Betty Brinn’s Children’s Museum
The Betty Brinn’s Children’s Museum is perfect for kids 10 and younger with plenty of hands-on exhibits and activities. This an excellent children’s museum with plenty for the kids to do.
(Schlitz Audubon Nature Center-photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee)
7. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, 15 minutes north of downtown. It is the perfect place to experience nature with the family. There are six miles of trails on 185 acres of unspoiled natural beauty. It is perfect for a a family hike.
(Milwaukee County Zoo-photos courtesy of Milwaukee County Zoo)
8. Milwaukee County Zoo
At the Milwaukee County Zoo, you can see over 2,500 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles in specialized habitats spanning 200 wooded acres at the Milwaukee Zoo. A bonus is the extra activities for the kids. Kids can try the standard ropes course, obstacle ropes course, a zip line, ride on a Safari Train and more. In the summer of 2016, the Zoo welcomes “BUGS! Larger than Life” sponsored by Sendik’s Food Markets as the special summer exhibit. Running May 28 through September 5, the exhibit will feature 13 animatronic bugs that swoop, flutter, crawl and even spray water.
(Colectivo on the Lake)
9. Tons of Food & Sweet Treat Options
You will love all of the interesting food options in Milwaukee. A landmark in Milwaukee, Kopp’s Frozen Custard is famous for their delicious frozen custard and equally tasty jumbo burgers. Founded in 1950, they have been serving up Midwestern treats ever since. Another area favorite is Purple Door Ice Cream. Your sweet tooth will run wild on gourmet ice creams featuring a locally sourced dairy. Try their signature ice cream flights of 4 flavors!
Another of our favorite dining options was Colectivo at the Lake. Built in 1888, the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station offers a unique cafe/deli serving sandwiches, soups and salads, plus freshly brewed coffee, espresso based beverages and bakery items.
(German Fest-photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee)
10. Summertime Fun
Visit during the summer and you’ll be amazed at the number of festivals taking place all summer long. There is something happening almost every weekend from June through August. You will love to visit one of the great ethnic festivals including: Greek Fest, Socttish Fest, Polish Fest, Irish Fest, and so much more.
The next time you are looking for a fun getaway or Spring Break alternative, try Milwaukee. We know you will love the experience!
Have a favorite place to visit while in Milwaukee or have an insider tip to share? Let us know in the comment section below.