Free Activities in Milwaukee, Lakeside, Downtown and More

Milwaukee is a great place to live and a great place to visit with lots to do. If you’re on a budget, some of these things might seem expensive. So here are some free things to do around Milwaukee.

Library programs, author talks, story hours, and summer reading programs

Branches of the Milwaukee Public Library supply tons of free programming for children and adults. There are book clubs, story hours, LEGO clubs, Dungeons and Dragons marathons, film screenings, and author visits, to name a few. Check out his website to see what programs interest you and your family.

During the summer holidays and other school holidays, libraries usually offer additional programs and events. For example, the summer reading program offers children, teenagers and adults the chance to win prizes for the number of books read. And many of those prizes will get you more free stuff.

As part of the Summer Reading Program, the Milwaukee Public Library is challenging families to a public art scavenger hunt throughout Milwaukee. With the mapyou can search for this artwork even when summer is over.

In addition to programming at branches of the Milwaukee Public Library, there are only a few cool places to hang out. There is a secret garden Tippecanoe branch. The Branch of Martin Luther King has King-related art and artifacts. And downtown central library has a huge children’s area with a replica lighthouse to climb, a stage to relax in and a puppet theatre.

Milwaukee Tours

Every September during Doors Open Milwaukeenotable buildings offer behind-the-scenes tours, many of which are free.

Milwaukee is known as a city of neighborhoods. Learn more on some of these neighborhoods and then take a tour. The Milwaukee History App offers guided walking tours.

Many of the buildings in downtown Milwaukee are connected by footbridgesbut it is not necessary to wait until the weather is gloomy to walk there.

Milwaukee Lakeside Things to Do

Take advantage of Milwaukee’s location on a beautiful Great Lake by hanging out by the lake. You can picnic, swim and look for shells and rocks for free. To Bradford Beach and Grant Park Beach, you can also watch volleyball gamesor play yourself when the courts are not in use by the teams.

Experience one of the lakeside events – from kite festivals at charity walks Milwaukee Air and Water Show at the July 3 fireworks at various events taking place outside the Milwaukee Museum of Art and Discover the world.

There are also lakeside trails that are great for walking and rollerblading. Or you can fly a kite at Veterans Park, where lake breezes make for a great kite flying experience.

Free days at Milwaukee County Zoo and Milwaukee Museums

The Milwaukee County Zoo has periodically Free family days throughout the year. For the rest of 2022, these are October 1, November 5, and December 3.

Admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum is free on Kohl’s Thank You Thursdaysthe first Thursday of each month.

During Community Access Days — the third Thursday of each month — admission to the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is free from noon to 8 p.m. Advance tickets are recommended as there are capacity restrictions.

The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design has two art galleries that are free and open to the public.

Visit black cat alleyan open-air art gallery, to admire the murals.

Exit at Mitchell International Airport. The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is a nonprofit museum with exhibits dedicated to Wisconsin aviators, aircraft, and even the state’s ties to spaceflight. You can also watch the planes take off at the observation post on Layton Avenue.

Milwaukee County Parks, Playgrounds and Nature Centers

The Milwaukee County Park System has more than 150 parks, with walking and hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, historic sites and artifacts, volleyball courts, disc golf courses and just big open spaces for the kids to run around.

Visit to a nature center. There are great hiking trails, natural playgrounds and visitor centers. Wehr nature center (which charges a parking fee, but walking from adjacent Whitnall Park is free) and Retzer nature center are great options.

Milwaukee Festivals, Farmers Markets and Beer Gardens

Stroll through a community festival like Bastille DaysThe directory June 19 party or the Milwaukee Night Market. Or go to a church feast. These events don’t charge an admission fee, and even if you don’t want to spend money on food or rides, they’re great places to people watch and hang out. An added benefit is that many of these events offer free activities for children through mobile trucks and vans, such as those at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the art museum.

You can do the same to a farmers market Where beer garden. And many of these places are in parks where your children can play.

Stroll through small towns in the Milwaukee area and Milwaukee college campuses

Take a walk in one of these hallmark worthy of a movie the downtowns that we have around Milwaukee. lake geneva, Greendale and Cedarburg are excellent starting points.

Speaking of Cedarburg, check out its covered bridge while you’re there. And then go around other covered bridges in Wisconsin.

Local college campuses are also great places to walk around and people watch. If you are on the Marquette campus, you may wish to attend mass or visit the historic Joan of Arc chapel while you are there.

Hiking Around Milwaukee

There are several hiking trails in the Milwaukee area that are home to remnants of abandoned buildings, railroad tracks, and even luxury resorts.

holy hill is known for its beautiful views from the top of its 192 foot tower. But even without climbing the 178 steps of the tower, the terrain is beautiful for hiking.

The Ice Age Trail is truly a Wisconsin treasure – a 1,000 mile trail entirely within the state of Wisconsin that highlights several geological features that were carved out by the melting of a glacier 12,000 years ago. There are lots of ways to hike the Ice Age Trail, to challenge yourself to conquer it all or focus on certain specific segments each time the season is the most to your liking.

Take a walk on Milwaukee River Walk. In addition to beautiful views, you can salute the Bronze Fonz and the statues of Gertie and her ducklings.

Free outdoor movies and concerts around Milwaukee

During the summer months, many parks and communities host free outdoor movies.

It is the same for outdoor concerts.

Contact Amy Schwabe at (262) 875-9488 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @WisFamilyJSinstagram at @wisfamilyjs or Facebook at WisconsinFamily.

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