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Wisconsin has all the things you cheese in life, and Milwaukee is no exception. But this city, and the article rather, isn’t only about cheese. It’s not about cheese at all. It’s a list of our favorite things to do in Milwaukee.
From historic sites and beautiful parks to tasty restaurants and lively attractions, there are plenty of other things unrelated to cheese to see and do in Brew City.
For a bit of history and learning for the entire family, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum have you covered while providing fun and entertainment for the kids.
For a bit of history and boozing, depending on the day, there’s the Pabst Mansion, which provides guided tours of the beer baron’s digs.
For outdoor adventures, explorations, and parks, take your pick. The Henry Maier Festival Park is home to Summerfest, which hosts over 800 bands and nearly one million fans over the summer.
Then there’s the Milwaukee RiverWalk, a nearly four-mile-long path through the city’s heart that runs along the Milwaukee River and is loaded with things to do and places to eat.
There’s also the Lakeshore State Park, Lynden Sculpture Garden, and, oh yeah…Lake Michigan. See where we’re going with this?
No matter what time of year you visit, there are so many things to do in Milwaukee that you’ll never run out.
Getting to Milwaukee is easy, with many major airlines offering direct flights from major cities throughout the United States. This small but mighty city will make an impression on all who visit. These are some of the best things to do when visiting Milwaukee.
Hit the ground running with a three-hour tour that hits top destinations and some hidden gems, too. The Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour is a great way to experience the city in one day. This is a small-group tour that promises a more personal experience.
Shakers is a historical bar and ghost tour located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is one of the only places where you can visit an old speakeasy with an amazing history. They are also known for their awesome happy hour deals and for being a hangout for serial killers, so if you love ghosts and booze, this place is definitely for you!
The Grand Walk is a self-guided tour that explores Milwaukee's history, architecture and art. This audio tour will take you from the Milwaukee Public Library to the Milwaukee Art Museum and along the way, you'll learn about the history of Downtown Milwaukee.
- Things to Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 1. Downtown Milwaukee
- 2. Pabst Mansion
- 3. Milwaukee RiverWalk
- 4. Henry Maier Festival Park
- 5. Boerner Botanical Gardens
- 6. Pettit National Ice Center
- 7. Grohmann Museum
- 8. Brady Street
- 9. Lakeshore State Park
- 10. Milwaukee Food Tour
- 11. Milwaukee Public Museum
- 12. Milwaukee Public Market
- 13. Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- 14. Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
- 15. North Point Lighthouse
- 16. The Harley-Davidson Museum
- 17. Lake Michigan
- 18. Discovery World
- 19. Milwaukee County Zoo
- 20. Lynden Sculpture Garden
- 21. Mitchell Park Domes
- 22. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
- 23. Milwaukee Art Museum
- What is the best thing to do with kids in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
- What are some fun things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
- Are there any free things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
- Most significant landmark – North Point Lighthouse
- Best park – Lakeshore State Park
- Free activity – Lynden Sculpture Garden
- Activity for kids – Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
- Activity for adults – Pabst Mansion
- Best food – Mander’s Restaurant
- Best nightlife – Drink Wisconsinbly Pub
- Place to stay – Aloft Milwaukee Downtown
Things to Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1. Downtown Milwaukee
A visit to Milwaukee wouldn’t be complete without a trip to its downtown area. This thriving city center is home to a variety of things to do, including restaurants, shopping, art galleries, and entertainment venues.
But where exactly is the downtown area? Well, depending on who you ask, you may get a few different answers about its boundary. But for our purposes, we’ll just say the areas of East Town, Westown, and the Historic Third Ward comprise “downtown.”
During the summer, Milwaukee, especially the downtown area, is bursting with fun outdoor events like fairs, concerts, and festivals for nearly every type of interest.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire, Chill on the Hill, Irish Fest, Jazz in the Park, Sounds of Summer, Bloody Mary Festival, Fresh Coast Jazz Festival, Mexican Fiesta, Petfest, Downtown Dining Week, and Festa Italiana are just some of the awesome events going on in Milwaukee throughout the summer.
But don’t worry if you aren’t visiting during the summer, as there’s plenty to do in other seasons. Luckily, some of the best restaurants, bars, and other attractions are open year-round.
You’ll want to check out the Milwaukee Brat House, Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar, Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria, and The Capital Grille for food and drinks. For some of the best seafood with a view of Lake Michigan, head over to the Harbor House.
For places more drink-oriented, as well as nightlife options, you’ll want to visit the Old German Beer Hall, Taylors, Drink Wisconsinbly Pub, Third Street Tavern, Who’s on Third, McGillycuddy’s, or Major Goolsby’s.
For the best way to see the city, including the top attractions and hidden gems, we recommend hopping on this Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour. Participants on this tour will ride in an open-air, five-seat electric vehicle while thoroughly exploring Milwaukee with an expert guide. This tour comes in different lengths to suit your trip schedule.
When it comes to places to stay in downtown Milwaukee, you can’t go wrong with Aloft Milwaukee Downtown. This trendy hotel is just blocks from the city’s best attractions and features modern amenities like an indoor pool, fitness center, and stylish rooms. It’s the perfect place to rest your head after a long day exploring Milwaukee.
See Related: Things to Do in Wisconsin
2. Pabst Mansion
Address: 2000 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233
Pabst Mansion is a historical landmark located in downtown Milwaukee. This stunning home was built in 1890 by former beer baron Captain Frederick Pabst and has been open to the public since 1975. It’s an architectural gem and one of Wisconsin’s most beloved historic homes.
The mansion features over 30 rooms filled with furniture and artifacts from the late 19th century. Visitors can explore its grand halls, elegant ballrooms, and lavish bedrooms. It also displays a number of artwork and decorative pieces from around the world, including Chinese porcelain and Japanese lacquerware.
Thankfully, the Pabst Mansion offers a docent-led 60-minute tour of the house from the first floor through the third. They run nearly every day at various timeslots.
The mansion is also home to a number of events and specialty tours, including the Sunday Mimosa Tour, Fine Arts Tour, Blue Ribbon Happy Hour Tour, Love is Brewing at the Mansion Tour, and Milwaukee Museum Days, among others.
Pabst Mansion is the perfect spot to learn about Wisconsin’s history and explore astonishing architecture. Not only will you learn about the history of the Pabst family but also the history of the now-popular Pabst Brewing Company. This is a great activity for an unlucky rainy day during your trip to Milwaukee.
See Related: Things to Do in Racine, Wisconsin
3. Milwaukee RiverWalk
Address: 101 W Pleasant St, Milwaukee, WI 53212
One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Milwaukee RiverWalk. This 3.7-mile riverwalk runs along the Milwaukee River and is packed with things to do.
The RiverWalk ties together three of Milwaukee’s most popular neighborhoods: the Historic Third Ward, Downtown Milwaukee, and Beerline B.
The area has views of some of the city’s most iconic buildings and bridges, making it the perfect spot for a romantic or relaxing stroll. Grab a cup of coffee from Likewise Coffee on the southern end of the RiverWalk or the Canary Coffee Bar further north before wandering around.
Along the way, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and parks that showcase the city’s dynamic culture. Head to the highly-rated Beerline Cafe for some of the city’s best vegetarian food. For some excellent German food, check out Mader’s Restaurant. The RiverWalk is also home to a variety of sculptures, both temporary and permanent, so meandering in search of the coolest ones is an activity in and of itself.
Finally, the RiverWalk is popular for exercisers, including runners and bikers. It’s not bad to stay locally and exercise daily along the Milwaukee River. The Residence Inn by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown is centrally located behind the RiverWalk.
4. Henry Maier Festival Park
Address: 200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Henry Maier Festival Park is a place for those looking for things to do outdoors. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, this park offers dazzling views of the city skyline and plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy.
This 90-acre lakefront park also has a special place in Milwaukee’s history, as it was designed by famous architect Daniel Burnham, who envisioned the park as a place of celebration and entertainment.
The park has several attractions, including an open-air amphitheater, picnic areas, and even a giant chessboard for some friendly competition. Visitors can also explore its walking trails or stop by one of the many public art pieces around the park.
Throughout the year, this park also hosts a variety of events and festivals that attract thousands of people. The most popular event is Summerfest, which hosts over 800 bands and attracts over a million visitors every summer. Stay up-to-date on the upcoming Summerfest, including all the bands and dates, while planning your Milwaukee trip.
5. Boerner Botanical Gardens
Address: 9400 Boerner Dr, Hales Corners, WI 53130
Located on the grounds of Whitnall Park, Boerner Botanical Gardens is another great outdoor attraction. This beautiful botanical garden covers over 60 acres of land and features 12 stunning gardens, including the English Garden, Native Plant Collection, and the Rose Garden.
Boerner Botanical Gardens is located just 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee and is the perfect spot for a short day trip. The gardens offer visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The grounds contain colorful blooms, fragrant flowers, and lush vegetation.
Visitors can wander through the various gardens, enjoy birdwatching, or take in breathtaking views of Whitnall Park’s lake. The gardens are also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, amphibians, and mammals.
In addition to its stunning gardens, Whitnall Park is home to the Wehr Nature Center, a 220-acre nature park with 5 miles of trails, and an outdoor amphitheater with a fire pit. The nature center hosts nature-themed educational programming and special events throughout the year.
Some of its best events include Maple Sugar Days (March), Brews & Botany (July), Bug Day (September), Halloween Haunts (October), and Pop Up Nature (Multiple dates), where a naturalist leads a session of exploring nature, followed by self-guided activities perfect for the whole family.
6. Pettit National Ice Center
Address: 500 S 84th St, Milwaukee, WI 53214
When it comes to fun things to do indoors, the Pettit National Ice Center is an absolute must-visit. Home to some of the best ice skating and hockey facilities in Wisconsin, this center is an excellent option for both beginners and experienced skaters. Skate rental is available, too, making it easy to drop in and join the fun.
The Pettit National Ice Center was dedicated in 1992 and has since been prized as one of Milwaukee’s most famous attractions. The primary draw at the center is its 400-meter-long ice track, which is part of why Pettit is an official training site for the US Speedskating Team. Visitors can take in the stunning beauty of this track and cheer on world-class athletes as they soar their way around its curves.
For those not keen on speed skating, hockey leagues, and recreational activities are available at the center. Visitors can learn to skate or join pick-up games with local teams for a thrilling experience.
There are also plenty of things to do off the ice, including a snack café and fitness room where visitors can take a break and stay active.
7. Grohmann Museum
Address: 1000 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202
For art lovers or those looking for something to do on an unfortunate rainy day (though this is a great place even on sunny days), head to the Grohmann Museum.
Located on the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus, the museum houses a poignant collection of more than 1,700 paintings and sculptures from 1580 to the present. A variety of artistic styles are featured herein that showcase the evolution of art throughout the centuries.
The museum’s earlier paintings mainly depict men and women working on the farm or at home. In contrast, later pieces depict people such as blacksmiths, chemists, cobblers, cork makers, glassblowers, and taxidermists. A skip-the-line ticket is a great way to beat the busy campus crowds and enter the museum to begin exploring.
In addition to its extraordinary collection of paintings, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, including A Time of Toil and Triumph: Selections from the Shogren-Meyer Collection of American Art, David Plowden: The Architecture of Agriculture, Gallery Night & Day, and Architecture of Agriculture: A LEGO Building Workshop.
8. Brady Street
Address: E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Known by locals as the prettiest street in Milwaukee, Brady Street is the perfect place to wander and explore. This well-preserved area in the historic East Side has many international dining options, unique boutiques, bars, and cozy cafes. It is also known for its unique architecture, which includes an eclectic mix of old and new buildings.
Whether you’re going for a leisurely walk or want to explore the area’s shops, there is plenty of entertainment here. The Brady Street Pet Parade is a family-friendly annual event that allows critters of all shapes and sizes to strut their stuff.
The Brady Street Art Walk is the perfect way to appreciate public art. And don’t forget Halloween on Brady, when it turns into an all-out block party that’s sure to bring a spooky-good time.
Another great way to explore the street is by trying out some of its restaurants. We recommend Casablanca for Middle Eastern food, The Diplomat for Americans, and La Masa Empanada Bar for Latin Americans. For coffee or tea, check out Rochambo Coffee & Tea House. Head to Nomad World Pub, Balzac Wine Bar, or the HiHat Lounge for drinks or late-night fun.
This stunning Brady Street vacation home is the perfect place for a family getaway. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a direct view of Lake Michigan, you can enjoy the luxury of home while still being within walking distance of downtown and all the best things to do in Milwaukee.
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9. Lakeshore State Park
Address: 500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Tucked away within bustling downtown Milwaukee is Lakeshore State Park. This gorgeous park is a great escape from city life and offers visitors a quiet oasis of nature in the city’s heart.
The park covers over 22 acres of land on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and visitors can take a leisurely walk along its boardwalk, enjoy some birdwatching, or take in the dazzling views of the lake. The park is also home to a variety of public sculptures, gardens, and monuments for visitors to explore.
There are a number of recreational activities to engage in at the park, like fishing, kayaking, and boating in the summer months. In winter, hiking, and snowshoeing are allowed in the park, but only the east trail is plowed. Bird watching is popular, with close views of many northern waterfowl that use the park’s lagoons. Snowy owls and snow buntings are also commonly observed during the winter months.
If you’re interested in exercise, the park’s lakeside multi-use trail connects to the Hank Aaron State Trail, the Oak Leaf Trail, and Milwaukee’s lakefront. The trail is open to walking, bicycling, skating, and pets. All trails are wheelchair friendly.
See Related: Things to Do in La Crosse, Wisconsin
10. Milwaukee Food Tour
Address: 1030 N Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53203
For foodies like myself, Milwaukee is the perfect place to indulge. From classic American pub fare to Italian restaurants and Asian eateries, this city is an excellent place to visit for foodies. On a food tour of Milwaukee, visitors can sample some of the best dishes from local eateries. There are various routes available, each offering a unique experience and showcasing different parts of the city.
Tourgoers will explore Milwaukee’s unique neighborhoods, sample regional dishes, and gain insight into its history through its diverse culinary scene. During a food tour, you can try some delicious local delicacies such as Klement’s sausages, Wisconsin cheese curds, and German-style pretzels. Be sure to try a frozen custard, Milwaukee’s staple dessert treat!
And of course, no visit to the self-proclaimed “Brew City” would be complete without tasting some of its delicious beer. From historic pubs to modern microbreweries, visitors can sample a variety of local brews and get to know the city’s rich brewery culture.
See Related: Things to Do in Baraboo, Wisconsin
11. Milwaukee Public Museum
Address: 800 W Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53233
The Milwaukee Public Museum is home to a vast array of exhibits and research areas covering anthropology, botany, geology, history, photography, and zoology, among others. Guests to the museum can explore a countless variety of both special and permanent exhibits.
Current and past special exhibits include Survival of the Slowest, Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family, Voyage to the Deep, Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition, and Spiders Alive!
The permanent exhibition space is displayed throughout three and a half floors and 150,000 square feet. Museumgoers will visit Africa, Asia, Europe, the Arctic, South and Middle America, the Pacific Islands, and a Costa Rican Rainforest.
Specific exhibits include stepping back in time with Streets of Old Milwaukee and European Village. You can go back even further with the exhibition The Third Planet to see the world’s largest-known dinosaur skull and a life-sized replica of Tyrannosaurus rex.
Perhaps the coolest for me is taking a stroll through free-flying butterflies worldwide in The Puelicher Butterfly Wing. Plus, the museum is home to an IMAX theater that shows educational films and documentaries.
Admission prices are quite reasonable, and kids under five get in for free, which makes this a great place for a family outing. Stay up-to-date and plan your visit so you don’t miss out on the best exhibits.
See Related: Things to Do in Tomah, Wisconsin
12. Milwaukee Public Market
Address: 400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Milwaukee Public Market is situated on the outskirts of the Historic Third Ward and is bursting with unique, high-quality selections of artisan and ethnic products and freshly-made prepared foods.
Inside, you’ll find a number of prepared food stands that serve up dishes from around the world. Some of the best choices include Margarita Paradise Mexican Restaurant, Aladdin – Taste of the East, Thief Wine Shop & Bar, and the St. Paul Fish Company. For coffee, check out Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., a locally-owned small-batch roaster.
The market hosts numerous events throughout the year, as well as cooking classes in The Madame Kuony Demonstration Kitchen. Current and past classes feature instructors ranging from their vendors and local chefs to nationally known cookbook authors.
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13. Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Address: 212 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1959, has become an integral part of this city’s culture, and its reputation for excellence is renowned worldwide.
The symphony performs a wide range of classical music from famous composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, as well as contemporary works from living composers. The orchestra also performs songs from popular cinematic films like Harry Potter and Ghostbusters.
The symphony has a range of performances throughout the year, so it’s best to check out their calendar of events so you can stay up to date when planning your trip.
Whether you’re an avid classical music fan or just looking for something fun to do during the evening, the symphony’s concerts will surely leave a lasting impression.
14. Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
Address: 929 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is one of the top things to do in Milwaukee with kids. This interactive museum offers a variety of hands-on exhibits and activities, including the Let’s Play Railway!, Science CITY, Pocket Park, and Velocity, all designed with children in mind.
The museum also offers a number of family-friendly events, workshops, and programs throughout the year.
There are Community Access Days on the third Thursday of every month, Sensory-Friendly Sessions, Lunar New Year celebrations, Black History Month programs, and weekly programs, including Tot Time on Thursdays and Be a Maker Space, which runs several times weekly.
The museum is conveniently located near downtown Milwaukee, making it an easy stop for a family day out. And for a luxury stay near the Betty Brinn Museum, head to The Pfister Hotel. The hotel’s famous suites provide a beautiful view of the city and can be the perfect place to relax after an exciting day of exploring Milwaukee.
See Related: Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
15. North Point Lighthouse
Address: 2650 N Wahl Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211
The North Point Lighthouse, one of the oldest operating lighthouses in Milwaukee, is an iconic city landmark. Since 1855, this historic lighthouse has stood over 70 feet tall as a symbol of hope and guidance on the Milwaukee shores for over 150 years. Visitors can explore the grounds around the lighthouse and climb to the top for an unobstructed view of the lake and surrounding area.
The lighthouse is open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays year-round from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., making it the perfect spot for those looking for things to do on the weekends.
You can also take a guided tour of the lighthouse to learn about its history and important role in protecting ships from storms along Lake Michigan’s shores. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as there are 84 steps and a ladder to reach the lantern room at the top of the tower.
See Related: Things to Do in Madison, Wisconsin
16. The Harley-Davidson Museum
Address: 400 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53201
The Harley-Davidson Museum is the ultimate destination for anyone passionate about this iconic brand of motorcycles. Spread across 20 acres and two floors of exhibits, the museum contains a gallery of bike models from 1903 to the present day. It celebrates the legendary brand’s history and its long-standing commitment to craftsmanship and quality.
The museum has a number of cool, permanent exhibits on display, including Clubs & Competition, Custom Culture, the Engine Room, the Harley-Davidson Journey, the Imagination Station, Build a Bike, and much more. Some inspiring special exhibits include My Papi Has a Motorcycle, Off-Road Harley-Davidson, and the Tsunami Motorcycle Display.
The museum hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year. BBQ & Blues, Mama Tried Official Pre-Party, Thursday Bike Night Concert Series, Saturday H-D Museum Demo Rides, and Wild Ones: Vintage Motorcycle Rally are just a few of the events going on at this highly-popular Milwaukee venue.
17. Lake Michigan
One of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is a popular destination for those visiting Milwaukee. The lake has a variety of activities that are fun for the whole family, like kayaking, fishing, sailing, and scuba diving. And during the summer, there’s nothing better than taking a walk along the shoreline and soaking up the sun.
Head to Atwater Beach to hit the sand and relax, or go biking around McKinley Marina if you’re looking for an adventure. Bradford Beach is definitely the most popular public beach in Milwaukee and has even been voted as one of the top ten urban beaches in the country by USA Today.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a boat tour around Lake Michigan and exploring the nearby islands. You can also marvel at the city’s skyline from a distance or even take a ferry across the lake to get some truly spectacular views. No matter what you decide to do, Lake Michigan is an essential part of the Milwaukee experience.
18. Discovery World
Address: 500 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Another great Milwaukee attraction for children and families visiting the city is Discovery World. This science and technology center offers a variety of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and educational programs that help kids explore things like sustainability, marine biology, engineering, and more.
The museum has on display a number of different exhibits on various subjects like Les Paul’s House of Sound, where kids can learn about the life and work of legendary musician Les Paul through interactive displays, and Power On, where kids can discover how energy from the sun drives live the weather and our world.
Numerous other exhibits exist, such as the Great Lakes Future, Heroes of Science, Innovation Station, Milwaukee Muscle, Automation Everywhere, and so much more.
Inside, you’ll also find a state-of-the-art aquarium, where you’ll pet stingrays and sturgeon in their Touch Tank, as well as meet turtles, axolotls, ball pythons, poison dart frogs, and more. Discovery World will surely keep kids (and adults, perhaps) engaged and entertained for hours.
19. Milwaukee County Zoo
Address: 10001 W Bluemound Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226
Looking for something fun to do with kids? Then look no further than the Milwaukee County Zoo. This zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the city and features over 3,000 animals from around the world.
Here, you can find everything from exotic cats to majestic elephants, as well as a variety of educational exhibits and activities perfect for kids. Spend the day admiring the sleeping sloths or getting up close and personal with the playful penguins.
The Milwaukee County Zoo also includes many interactive experiences. From the Safari Train to Animal Encounters, your kids will have no shortage of options to let all their energy out. And if you happen to be visiting in the summer months, don’t miss out on the popular ZooBrew event! This family-friendly event includes food, drinks, and a variety of games and activities.
The Milwaukee County Zoo is a great way to experience nature and learn about animals up close. It’s an educational and entertaining day out for the whole family. So, include this attraction in your things-to-do list in the Milwaukee area.
See Related: Things to Do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
20. Lynden Sculpture Garden
Address: 2145 W Brown Deer Rd, River Hills, WI 53217
You won’t want to miss the Lynden Sculpture Garden for unique Milwaukee things to do. Located on the grounds of a former private estate, this stunning sculpture garden features over 50 large-scale sculptures set in 40 acres of parkland.
The sculptures are arranged to create a peaceful atmosphere, and visitors can admire them while meandering through woodland trails, serene ponds, and lush gardens. Visitors to the garden will have a chance to admire the works of renowned artists like Mark di Suvero, Tony Smith, and Ellsworth Kelly.
The sculpture garden also hosts various workshops and events throughout the year, including the Lynden Art Club for ages 12 and up, the Art + Nature Lab for ages 7-11, Art + Nature Lab for Small Children, and Lynden by Night 2023.
The Lynden Sculpture Garden is committed to creating a tranquil environment and is the perfect spot for an afternoon of peaceful contemplation. The gardens are open to visitors year-round, and admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted.
21. Mitchell Park Domes
Address: 524 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53215
The Mitchell Park Domes is a Milwaukee landmark you won’t want to miss. This unique park houses three horticultural domes, each simulating different climates and ecosystems. You can explore an arid desert in the Desert Dome, marvel at exotic plants in the Tropical Dome, or get lost in a forest full of exquisite flowers in the Floral Dome.
Each dome has its unique personality and will transport you to a different world. Here, you can take guided tours or attend one of their educational programs to learn more about plants and nature.
The domes also host seasonal events like the popular Music Under Glass series, which features live music performances on Friday evenings during the winter months.
They often have outdoor movie screenings and special exhibits that change yearly. Mitchell Park Domes is also a popular spot for engagement and wedding photos, so be sure to take some cute couple pics while you’re there.
No matter what brings you to Milwaukee, add the Mitchell Park Domes to your list of things to do. It’s an excellent way for visitors and locals alike to explore a variety of climates in one place. Plus, it’s also a beautiful spot to admire the beauty of nature and learn about horticulture.
22. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Address: 1111 E Brown Deer Rd, Bayside, WI 53217
Regarding what to see outdoors in Milwaukee, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center makes the list of must-see spots. Located on Lake Michigan, this nature center covers 185 acres of parkland and 7 miles of trails. A 60-foot observation tower is also available, providing stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscape.
The Schlitz Audubon Center has a number of educational programs happening throughout the year. The Illuminated Hike is perfect for families, where guests will create paper lanterns and stroll along the center’s lit trails. Raptor Saturday, the Geology Workshop, Word with a Bird, The Frozen Water Cycle, Star Search, and numerous other events and programs.
The center has several hiking trails, and they are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. For first-time visitors, check out the trail to Mystery Lake and then visit the center’s Observation Tower. Mystery Lake has a boardwalk that lets you get close to the frogs and turtles.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re interested in birding hikes. The center is home to a variety of habitats so that different species can be found all over the property.
The recommended route to start is to head to Mystery Lake, take the paved path down to Lake Michigan, and then walk back up to the building by following the North Lake Terrace Hiking Trail. During spring migration, this route should yield many birds, including warbler species.
Enjoy an afternoon of exploration, relaxation, and discovery at this Milwaukee landmark. Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or fresh air, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is a great place to explore in Milwaukee.
See Related: Things to Do in Minocqua, Wisconsin
23. Milwaukee Art Museum
Address: 700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202
The final stop on our trip to Milwaukee is the Milwaukee Art Museum. The museum is in an easy-to-access location along Lake Michigan in the East Town area. Nearby, you’ll recognize the Betty Brinn Museum and Discovery World.
It is a great place to learn about the city and provides amazing views of Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee. The museum is partially housed in a building that looks like a giant sailboat, so it’s definitely worth stopping by for the photo ops alone, if nothing else.
Nevertheless, this incredible museum houses over 32,000 art pieces, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs, prints, videos, installations, and textiles.
The museum features several rotating and permanent exhibitions throughout the year. Some highlights include Convoy of Wounded: An Artist’s Experience of War, Derrick Adams: Our Time Together, Native America: In Translation, and After Ashcan: The 14th Street School.
In addition to exhibits, there are numerous programs and events. Drop-In Art Making: Kohl’s Art Studio, Story Time in the Galleries, Play Date with Art, Coffee with the Director, and Drop-In Tour: Art by Artists of the African Diaspora are just a few ongoing events.
Stay up to date with the museum’s calendar. The Milwaukee Art Museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday, and kids under 12 get in for free.
See Related: Things to Do in Green Bay, Wisconsin
What is the best thing to do with kids in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
Kids in Milwaukee will enjoy the Betty Brinn’s Children’s Museum, explore Discovery World, or visit the Milwaukee Public Museum.
What are some fun things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
Some fun things to do in Milwaukee include visiting the North Point Lighthouse, touring the Harley-Davidson Museum, and exploring the Henry Maier Festival Park or the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Are there any free things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?
Yes, there are many things to do for free in Milwaukee, such as visiting the Milwaukee Public Library, taking a stroll through the Lynden Sculpture Garden, exploring Lakeshore State Park, or wandering along the Milwaukee RiverWalk.
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Tiana Thompson is a prolific travel writer based on Paris specializing in long-form articles, offering in-depth explorations on domestic United States and international travel.