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23 Fun & Best Things to Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin has all the things you cheese in life, and Milwaukee is no exception. But this city, and article rather, isn’t only about cheese. In fact, it’s not about cheese at all.

From historic sites and beautiful parks to tasty restaurants and lively attractions, there are plenty of other things entirely 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 heart of the city 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. And getting to Milwaukee is easy with many major airlines offering direct flights from major cities all over the United States. It goes without saying that this small-but-mighty city is sure to make an impression on all who visit. These are some of the best things to do when visiting Milwaukee.

Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour
1. Discover Iconic Milwaukee Tour Top Recommendation

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 Original Historical Ghost Tour
2. Shakers Original Historical Ghost Tour

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 A Self Guided Audio Tour through Milwaukee
3. The Grand Walk: A Self-Guided Audio Tour through Milwaukee

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.


  • Most significant landmark – North Point Lighthouse
  • Best park – Lakeshore State Park
  • Best free activity – Lynden Sculpture Garden
  • Best activity for kids – Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
  • Best activity for adults – Pabst Mansion
  • Best food – Mander’s Restaurant
  • Best nightlife – Drink Wisconsinbly Pub
  • Best all-around accommodationAloft Milwaukee Downtown

Best Things to Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1. Downtown Milwaukee

Downtown Milwaukee Night Lights

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 as to 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 faires, 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 during the other seasons as well. Lucky for us, some of the best restaurants, bars, and other attractions are open year-round. For food and drinks, you’ll want to check out the Milwaukee Brat House, Buckley’s Restaurant & Bar, Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria, and The Capital Grille. 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 away 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 of exploring Milwaukee.

See Related: Things to Do in Wisconsin

2. Pabst Mansion

Pabst Mansion Architecture
Sailko, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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 some 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 also a popular spot for exercisers, including runners and bikers. It’s not a bad idea to stay locally and get your daily exercise along the Milwaukee River. The Residence Inn by Marriott Milwaukee Downtown is centrally-located and right behind the RiverWalk.

4. Henry Maier Festival Park

Henry Maier Festival Park Aerial View
James Meyer /

Address: 200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

For those looking for things to do outdoors, the Henry Maier Festival Park is the place to be. 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 located 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 of the bands and dates, while planning your Milwaukee trip.

5. Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens Milwaukee
Management / Tripadvisor

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 are full of colorful blooms, fragrant flowers, and lush vegetation.

Visitors can wander through the various gardens, enjoy some 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 also 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

Pettit National Ice Center Building
Sulfur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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 the reason 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, there are also hockey leagues and recreational activities 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

Grohmann Museum Buidling
Tony Savino /

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 campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering, 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 focus mainly on depicting men and women working on the farm or at home, while 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 get straight into the museum to begin your 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 a myriad of international dining options, unique boutiques, bars, and cozy cafes. Its 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 American, and La Masa Empanada Bar for Latin American. For coffee or tea, check out Rochambo Coffee & Tea House. And for drinks or late-night fun, head to Nomad World Pub, Balzac Wine Bar, or the HiHat Lounge.

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.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Marinette, Wisconsin

9. Lakeshore State Park

Brideg at Lakeshore State Park
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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 heart of the city.

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 simply 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 the wintertime, 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 a bit of 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: Best 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 get an insight into the history of the city through its diverse culinary scene. During a food tour, you’ll have the opportunity to 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: Fun & Best 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 taking a step 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, at least for me, is taking a stroll through free-flying butterflies from around the world 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 ahead of time 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 own vendors and local chefs to nationally known cookbook authors.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Hayward, Wisconsin

13. Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Interior of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

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 throughout the world. 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 are sure to be an unforgettable experience.

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, which are 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 every week. Plus, the museum is conveniently located close to 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: Fun & Best Things to Do in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

15. North Point Lighthouse

North Point Lighthouse and Skyline
Sulfur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 2650 N Wahl Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211

The North Point Lighthouse, one of the oldest operating lighthouses in Milwaukee, is an iconic landmark of the city. Dating back to 1855, this historic lighthouse has been standing 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 pm to 4 pm, 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 the important role it has played 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: Fun & Best Things to Do in Madison, Wisconsin

16. The Harley-Davidson Museum

Harley-Davidson Museum Architecture
Dori, CC BY-SA 3.0 US, via Wikimedia Commons

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 and celebrates the history of the legendary brand 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.

It goes without saying that 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

Aerial view of the Lake Michigan shoreline and downtown Milwaukee skyline
James / Adobe Stock

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 months, there’s nothing better than taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and soaking up the sun.

Head to Atwater Beach if you want 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

Discovery World Building
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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. There are numerous other exhibits 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. Needless to say, Discovery World is sure to keep kids (and adults, perhaps) engaged and entertained for hours.

19. Milwaukee County Zoo

Elephant in the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Drake Fleege / Adobe Stock

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, make sure to include this attraction in your things-to-do list when you’re in the Milwaukee area.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

20. Lynden Sculpture Garden

Lynden Sculpture Garden Milwaukee Wisconsin
Management / Tripadvisor

Address: 2145 W Brown Deer Rd, River Hills, WI 53217

For unique Milwaukee things to do, you won’t want to miss the Lynden Sculpture Garden. 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

Mitchell Park Domes Architecture and Scenery
Sulfur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 524 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53215

The Mitchell Park Domes are a Milwaukee landmark that you won’t want to miss. This unique park houses three horticultural domes, each of which simulates 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 own 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. Plus, they often have outdoor movie screenings and special exhibits that change throughout the year. 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, make sure to 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

A horned owl at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
NaturesFan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 1111 E Brown Deer Rd, Bayside, WI 53217

When it comes to what to see in Milwaukee outdoors, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center certainly makes the list of must-see spots. Located on Lake Michigan, this nature center covers 185 acres of parkland and features 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 their own paper lanterns, then stroll along the center’s lit trails. There’s also 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 am to 5 pm 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.

If you’re interested in birding hikes, you’ve come to the right place. The center is home to a variety of habitats, so 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 a great variety of birds, including many warbler species.

Enjoy an afternoon of exploration, relaxation, and discovery at this Milwaukee landmark. No matter if you’re looking for an educational experience or simply some fresh air, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center is a great place to explore in Milwaukee.

See Related: Best 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, as well as Discovery World. Not only is it a great place to learn about the city, but also 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 more than 32,000 pieces of art including paintings, drawings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs, prints, video art, installation art, 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 of the 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: Fun & Best 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, exploring Discovery World, or visiting 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, and exploring Lakeshore State Park or wandering along the Milwaukee RiverWalk.

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Travel insurance is a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Cover yourself against illness, injury and theft, and protect the arrangements you've made with our flexible travel cancellation insurance. My favorite options for travel insurance are:

Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.

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Discover the Best Travel Tools
Be sure to visit our page on our favorite travel resources to learn how you too can visit over 10 countries in year.