Fun WI things WITH Kids
- Milwaukee Zoo. Buy a pass for sure, the zoo is great. The pass is well worth your money, buy one that covers admission and parking—it should be under $100. They also have “members only” events that are really fun. If you choose one pass to buy, it should definitely be the zoo. The zoo is great even in the wintertime, just let the kids run around inside the buildings (there are quite a few—it’s a huge zoo!)
- Mitchell Park Domes— near Miller Brewing. These are indoor botanical gardens that are beautiful. There are 3 “domes” that each have a garden—one is a tropical garden, one a desert garden, and one is their “show” dome, the exhibit changes. At Christmas, they usually have an amazingly huge miniature train city with working trains. Monday mornings 9-11:30 am were free for Milwaukee County residents—you just show your ID.
- Milwaukee Public Museum—it’s downtown. It’s way fun, and huge. I think it was 3 or 4 floors and they also have special exhibits. Monday's free with Milwaukee ID. They also have really fun members-only events, like a fun Halloween trick-or-treat around the museum.
- Betty Brinn Children’s Museum—also downtown, by the lake. (Note: Becky recommended NOT getting a pass due to preception that it is germy). But worth checking out once and getting a feel for it. Kids under one are free w/paying adult.
- The beach. Lake Michigan is gross—you really shouldn’t swim there (it’s been polluted!) unless you head way north. So, watch for an additional post with "swimming holes"!
- Swiss Turner Gym—a gymnastics place in West Allis—kind of southwest of Milwaukee (about a 20 minute drive I think). They have preschool open gym that costs $5-6 per kid, and they let the kids play on all the gym equipment, trampolines, etc. They also do birthday parties.
- Don’t miss out on the Menomonee River Parkway—it’s a great place for walks, the kids to explore, and a great running trail!
- A LOT of the parks in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa have wading pools in them. This list will be in the "Swimming Hole Post!"
- Barthel's Fruit Farm - a GREAT farm up north of Milwaukee (about 30 min north). They have strawberry picking in June-sih (depending on the weather), and tons of stuff in the fall—apples, squash, pears, a pumpkin patch, etc. It’s so much fun and the produce is a pretty good price—and great for making jam or canning if you do any of that.
- The Jelly Belly Factory—in Pleasant Prairie, about 45 minutes south of Milwaukee. They have a pretty fun "tour" and you can buy all kinds of seconds and try lots of different kinds of candy and jelly beans.
- Barnes and Noble at Mayfair Mall does a pretty good storytime.
- Red Arrow Park for ice skating- its free and they have skate rentals for $5.5o.
- The Elegant Farmer in East Troy for apple picking, hay rides and pumpkins plus their yummy produce and baked goods.
- Racine Zoo - free to kids under 3.
- The malls in Wisconsin aregreat! Take the kids in the winter just to get out of the house and let them run around. Mayfair Mall (in Wauwatosa) has a small play are by the foodcourt. Brookfield Mall is also fun (and closest Children's Place to date). Boston Store and Macy's at Mayfair are good stores where you can find serious clearance!
- (NEW addition- thanks Sonia!) Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets in Milwaukee: 7323 N. 76th St. They do birthday parties, play groups and even field trips! Fun way to just see some animals!
OK - this is certainly not the end of the list - more are on their way! I've got more ideas from Becky and Hope to share in future posts. So watch for: "Swimming Holes", "Fruit Farms", "To do WITHOUT kids", "Holiday Fun", "Good Eats", "Chicago Must-Dos" . And till then - feel free to share!