Staying in Milwaukee this summer? If it’s your first summer in Milwaukee, or you never really got out much in summers past, I’m here to help give you some ideas of things to do and places to go.
First off, I’m sure you are all aware of the giant music festival that is Summerfest. You can go see tons of bands for between $8-$15. There’s dancing, food, beer and a beautiful lakefront to sit on and relax.
Also at the Henry Maier Festival Grounds are all of the cultural fests like Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta, German Fest, Polish Fest, Irish Fest, Arab World Fest, Pridefest and Indian Summer.
Speaking of fests, don’t forget about the State Fair. It’s hard to resist the cream puffs and other delicious delights. Not to mention it only comes once a year!
Other places close by you could go to include the Art Museum and the Public Museum. It’s always fun to go to the IMAX on stormy summer days. However, on nice days you could hit up the zoo. This summer, a new exhibit is opening called “Wings From Down Under” that features thousands of Australian parrots, including species like cockatiels and parakeets.
For cheaper ideas, you could also go to fests and fairs around the city, like the East Side’s Summer Solstice, that has bands, dodge ball and tons of people all on the longest day of the year. The South Shore Water Frolics is also a fun time to sit by the lake and watch fireworks. They also have music, a fish fry, a movie on the beach and did I mention fireworks!? It might be fun to go for bike rides, or even do some bike racing in the Historic Downer Avenue Bike Race.
In addition, try out some events in nearby Westown. River Rhythms takes place Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Pere Marquette Park. Pere Marquette also has River Flicks, which is held the first four Fridays of August at dusk. This year’s films include “The Sandlot,” “Annie,” “Kung Fu Panda” and one of my personal favorites, “The Princess Bride.” Westown also holds a weekly farmer’s market in Zeidler Union Square on Wednesdays.
In East Town on Thursday nights is Jazz in the Park, held in Cathedral Square. You can sit with friends and enjoy the swaying tunes as they travel through the warm summer air. Don’t miss out on Bastille Days, either, which are also at Cathedral Square. You’ll see some great things and be ready to try excellent food.
As the end of the semester quickly approaches, I can’t help but think of all the things I love doing in the summer, even the ones that don’t require me to leave home. Make sure you find time to grill out with friends and watch as many fireworks as possible. Find a parade on the Fourth of July. Go to the lake front to read a book or even just sit with friends.