Explore My City – Fun family activities in Milwaukee

Introducing guest bloggers Mike & Becca from MY Travel BF

When thinking of great cities to visit with your family, Milwaukee is not the first city that comes to most people’s mind. In fact, it’s probably not even top 5…or top 10. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit Milwaukee! 

Milwaukee is a fantastic under-the-radar city to visit, especially with kids. While it is often overshadowed by nearby Chicago, there is so much to do and see in Milwaukee. Plus, you can do it all at a much cheaper price than you could in Chicago or most other major cities in the United States!

This post is part of our Explore My City series – come and visit cities around the world through the eyes of locals

With Wisconsin winters in mind, the best time to visit Milwaukee is during summer because there are festivals happening every single weekend. That’s not to say that there is nothing to do in Milwaukee the rest of the year, but summer is truly when the city comes alive.

Each and every weekend during the summer there are different street festivals, ethnic festivals, or music festivals, to name a few. Some are huge and draw visitors from all over the world, like Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. Others are smaller neighborhood festivals with local band stages, food trucks, and local artists. Every Milwaukee summer festival has its own unique vibe, but they are all worth checking out and family friendly. 

Milwaukee Public Market

If you are staying near downtown Milwaukee, one of the best places to eat with kids is the Milwaukee Public Market. It’s filled with vendors selling everything from Mexican to Middle Eastern to vegan food. There will be something for everyone in the family. Grab food from a couple places and share, so you can taste everything!

Venturing a little bit off of the downtown area into Walker’s Point, there is a great new spot with food trucks, Zocalo Food Park, where your family can try a bunch of great local food!

And speaking of food, you will not want to miss these must-eat foods in Milwaukee! If your family is vegan or vegetarian, there are also plenty of vegan restaurants in Milwaukee for you to choose from. 

Milwaukee Food

Throughout Milwaukee, there are plenty of parks, museums, and kid-friendly breweries to see while exploring the city. You can take a family-friendly tour of Pabst Brewing Co, one of the oldest and largest breweries in the US! Head down by Lake Michigan to Veteran’s Park to relax or go a little south to South Shore Park for a smaller neighborhood park by the lake for a picnic.

Milwaukee also has the Oak Leaf Trail which wraps around the entire county and is a total of 108 miles. If you are avid bikers or just want to explore a little more, rent one of the city’s rideshare bikes, Bublr Bikes, and explore Milwaukee by bike for the day. One of the great things about the Oak Leaf Trail is that a lot of it is off the street and on a paved trail. 

If you are looking for some fun educational activities for you and your kids, check out Discovery World, Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, Harley Davidson Museum, or even the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame for something to do. These all have different levels of the educational and family fun. Discovery World is tailored more for kids, while the Art Museum is more for adults. 

Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee – Brew City!

Since Milwaukee is best known for beer, you will probably want to be having some during your visit to Brew City. Lucky for you, there are countless ways you can find great places to drink incredible beer in Milwaukee that are also kid-friendly.

Many breweries allow children in with their parents and have non-alcoholic options too. However, the best option is to go to one of the many beer gardens in parks around Milwaukee. Check out the Estabrook Park Beer Garden, one of the best things to do in Wisconsin. You can enjoy a beer outside in a German-style beer garden while your kids play in the park next to it. 

Milwaukee Sports

Another summer thing to do in Milwaukee is to go to a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game and tailgate. If you are from Wisconsin, you know what tailgating is. People here will tailgate for seemingly any event with the Brewers being the most popular one. 

If your family are baseball fans, go to a game and get there about 3 hours early and grill, eat, drink, and play games in the parking lot with thousands of other Milwaukeeans before the baseball game begins. 

After the game, grab some dinner, take a walk around the Milwaukee Riverwalk, or relax on a patio, like the one on the Riverwalk at Lakefront Brewery, and enjoy the evening summer breeze. 

Milwaukee River
Milwaukee River

While it’s not the most well-known, Milwaukee is a perfect travel destination for families. It’s super affordable, so you can stay at a nice hotel and do a bunch of activities in the city without breaking the bank. Being a small, major city, everything is also very close by so you won’t spend a lot of time getting from one place to another. All of these are reasons why Milwaukee should be your next family getaway!

About the Bloggers

We’re Mike and Becca, a traveling couple who loves to find the most authentic travel experience possible. We travel and eat our way all over the world and want to help you do the same while avoiding tourist traps!


With thanks to Mike & Becca for their contribution to our guest series.  You may also like to read about Duluth with kids, or take a tour around Columbus, Ohio with your family.

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