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Check Out Milwaukee for Spring Break Fun

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By Margaret Casey
Public Relations Coordinator
VISIT Milwaukee

Still looking for ideas for family fun during the Spring Break week? Head to Milwaukee for easy, affordable fun and entertainment. Here are some activities that are sure to be a hit with your kids:

Transport your family to outer space in seconds in the virtual reality chamber at Discovery World, featuring interactive exhibits that fuse innovation, science and education. See the inside of a nuclear reactor, explore a reproduction of a Great Lakes schooner, lie down on a bed of nails, pet the sharks at the aquarium and pilot a virtual airplane.

At the world's only Harley-Davidson Museum®, families and kids of all ages have a blast viewing more than 350 motorcycles, using touch screen technology to hear the signature sound of Harley-Davidson engines, learning about early daredevil motorcycle racers, and viewing exotic customized bikes and a video collage of motorcycles through Hollywood movies. Younger children have fun at the Imagination Station Kids Area – complete with a coloring table, motorcycle-themed books and dress-up biker clothes. After you visit "hog" heaven, head to Motor Bar & Restaurant for some American Classic dining. Get the kids a Coney Dog or a "Souped Up" Grilled Cheese and enjoy Motor's award-winning chili, house smoked BBQ pork sandwich or the monstrous, bacon-stuffed burger.

See life-sized replicas of dinosaurs, explore a Costa Rican rain forest, view brilliantly-colored butterflies and ancient mummies at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Stroll down the Streets of Old Milwaukee on the way to a journey through the universe in Wisconsin's largest planetarium! Visitors to the current exhibit BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life will be fascinated by more than 200 plastinates—preserved human specimens, revealing the body in all of its stages of life. Special event for young teens on April 5: Body Worlds Late Nights for Young Teens.

Chop, ace and serve like a pro on one of the 12 table-tennis courts at Evolution Milwaukee, Milwaukee's ping-pong social club. After working up an appetite, the kitchen provides every kid's favorite foods such as macaroni and cheese, burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. Mom and Dad can enjoy adult fare such as pastas and steaks, and a wide selection of grown-up beverages.

The “wings” of the Milwaukee Art Museum invite you to view the current exhibit, "Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Art", featuring a selection of American paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, furniture and decorative arts from the Museum's collection of folk and self-taught art. These artists operated outside the established structure of the art world, creating work that was influenced by communities and cultural traditions. From 19th-century weather vanes to contemporary quilts, the exhibition celebrates this creative, independent streak in the history of American art. 

Checking out the only 85-foot-high, three-glass-domed conservatory in the world is an experience in itself, but once you get inside – the adventure starts blooming! Visit the jungle, the desert and see a blanket of spring color in a sea of tulips, all indoors at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, known by locals as the Milwaukee Domes. Thursday evenings, 6:30-9 p.m.,the Music Under Glass concert series presents local bands and a fantastic LED Light Show at the break and following the show. 

It looks like a 16th-century Sicilian villa, but it's actually the home of Palermo's Pizza, Milwaukee's only pizza factory tour. The tour takes you from Palermo's beginning as a small family restaurant to a national brand. Highlights include watching the machines that slice the mozzarella and pepperoni. The tour ends with a delicious slice of piping hot pizza at the Palermo's Pizzeria & Café.

Head to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum where children 10 and under have a blast exploring hands-on exhibits that make learning fun. Whether it's planning a news broadcast in a pretend studio, finding out how far a sneeze travels, or imagining what it's like to power a riverboat down the Mississippi, the Museum offers hours of imaginative play.

If you need a place to stay:

Have a great time in Milwaukee!

Brewing up a Great Break

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Monday, March 24, 2014

By Rachel Berkowitz
Millennial on the Move
VISIT Milwaukee

Spring Break: A full week of sunscreen, relaxation and drinking tropical juice out of coconuts. Alas, this was not in the cards for me this year – I would be staying here in Milwaukee. Determined to make the most of my stay-cation, my friends and I decided to take our first tour of Lakefront Brewery.

The Lakefront experience is so reasonably priced, I could hardly believe it. For just $7, visitors get a sample glass and four beer tokens. The tokens can be redeemed anytime throughout the tour, whether it is before, during and/or after. The plastic sample glass (six oz.) that they give you can be exchanged for an awesome Lakefront pint glass – a true collector’s item – after the tour is over.

Our tour guide, John, was great. He talked us through Lakefront’s unique brewing process, all the way from hops plants to bottling. With only 16 of us there for the 3 p.m. slot, it was a very personal and educational tour. They have an extensive schedule online, and certain tours are actually led by Jim Klitsch, Lakefront co-founder.

My favorite Lakefront beer is the Fuel Café, their coffee stout. Not only is it my top pick at Lakefront, it’s actually one of my preferred beers anywhere! Lakefront tries to keep their ingredients local, and the coffee in this brew comes from Milwaukee’s renowned organic Fuel Café, located at 818 East Center Street.

With many tokens still jingling in our purses, we knew that we wanted to stay after the tour ended. We each selected another beer from the tap and cracked open the Beer Hall’s menus. Oh, did I mention their incredible food menu? Because I’m pretty sure it changed my life. We ordered their Smothered Fries, which is a basket of french fries covered in shaved parmesan cheese, chili flakes, chimichurri sauce and drizzled in garlic ranch. It’s hard to describe it without closing your eyes reverently. The three of us demolished the basket and were more than content.

The brewmasters and tour guides came over and chatted with us as we sipped and ate, clearly emphasizing that time spent at Lakefront is meant to be enjoyed. Fun fact: If you go on the tour before 3 p.m., you also get a coupon for a free Lakefront beer at another location in the city before 6 p.m.

We left that day with new pint glasses, full stomachs and a whole new level of knowledge about this local brewing company. The tour was one of the highlights of my spring break, and I strongly encourage you to check it out. For any out-of-towners heading to Milwaukee for the NCAA Tournament: Check this Brewery out – you will be very hop-py you did.

Milwaukee Tourism Tournament makes way for the real thing

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By Bill Prange
Web Marketing Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

As a way to celebrate the upcoming NCAA Tournament games to be held in Milwaukee on March 20-22, we recently held our own tournament to determine the best tourist attraction in the city. Sixty-four Milwaukee-area attractions were put into a bracket, just like you'd see in the NCAA Tournament, and fans were asked to vote for a winner in each matchup. The attraction with the most votes advanced to the next round, and voting continued until we were down to our final matchup – the Pettit National Ice Center against the Milwaukee County Zoo. After voting completed, the Pettit Center collected the most votes and was named the winner of the Milwaukee Tourism Tournament!

Just like we'll see in the NCAA Tournament, there were many upsets during the competition. The Pettit Center was given a 14-seed, yet they bucked the odds and continued to beat higher seeded attractions, eventually winning the whole thing! Other examples of upsets during the competition include the Safe House taking down the Harley-Davidson Museum, and Milwaukee Food & City Tours topping Colectivo Coffee. We can't say that we're that surprised – we know that Milwaukee is a city blessed with numerous fantastic tourist attractions, and any one of them could have won the tourney.

Now that our tourism tournament has wrapped up, it's time to welcome the real thing to town. Last night during "Selection Sunday" the eight teams that will be playing in Milwaukee were announced. We're thrilled to host Michigan, Oregon, Texas, BYU, Arizona State, Wofford, American and of course, the Wisconsin Badgers, in our great city for the second and third rounds of the tournament. While we can't say that we won't cheer extra loud for the Badgers, we're excited to see fans from all over the country gathering in Milwaukee to support their teams.

Get your brackets ready Milwaukee – the Big Dance is merely days away!

Special shout out to Milwaukee's own UWM Panthers for qualifying for the school's fourth-ever NCAA Tournament, and first since 2006! The Panthers have been chosen to play in Buffalo, NY, but we'll be cheering you on back home!

Get Green for St. Patrick’s Day

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Friday, March 7, 2014

By Jennifer Posh
Marketing Assistant
VISIT Milwaukee

Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so whether you hail from the Emerald Isle or not, you won’t want to miss the festivities in Milwaukee!

On March 9, participate in the 18th Annual Blarney Run/Walk in Wauwatosa. This event supports the Wauwatosa Historical Society and is great for families, featuring a 5k run, two mile walk and quarter mile walk for kids 10 and under. After participating, take your family down to the Mitchell Park Domes for Irish Family Day. This annual event is a mini festival featuring Irish dancing, music, demonstrations, displays and more.

The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin’s 48th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off at noon on March 15. This is one of the best St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country and the oldest in Milwaukee. Come out to see local politicians and celebrities, floats, bagpipe and marching bands and Irish and Celtic organizations. If you can’t get enough Irish fun, make sure to stop by the ShamROCK pre-party at the Miller Time Pub on March 14 (free to the public!) and the post-parade party at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center, featuring four stages of entertainment and food and beverages for family fun.



In the evening after the parade, popular Celtic rock n’ roll band Gaelic Storm returns to the Riverside for a show that combines traditional music and instruments with a rocking modern sound.

You can also enjoy Irish treats and libations at great local spots like Mo’s Irish Pub, Country Clare, McGillicuddy’s Bar and Grill and O’Lydia’s.

Take a trip to the shores of Éire without ever leaving the shores of Lake Michigan this year – Erin Go Bragh!

From Kegs to Classy

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Monday, March 3, 2014

By Rachel Berkowitz
Millennial on the Move
VISIT Milwaukee

I am not your average college girl. I have the hearing of an 85-year-old when loud music is playing. I’m horrendous at beer pong, and I don’t enjoy sipping cheap alcohol in a creepy campus basement. Don’t get me wrong; many people love those aspects of college parties – no judgments made here. But a girl can only choke down so many sips of a lukewarm Busch Lite before realizing that Milwaukee has so much more to offer. Luckily, I have an amazing group of girlfriends. We have similar senses of humor, a common disdain for these dirty parties and most importantly, a mutual love for wine.

We’ve been getting off campus lately and exploring new bars, lounges and pubs, determined to find a great happy hour that will be “ours.” Last week, seven of us headed to Hotel Metro (411 E Mason St.) to see if their Thursday night wine special was as good as it looked online.

Upon arrival, we were seated at a spacious high-top table near the window. With dim lighting, flickering candlelight and being tucked away in our own little nook, we were very impressed with the intimate atmosphere. Luckily, our good time did not stop there.

Hotel Metro’s happy hour lasts from 4-10 p.m. on Sundays-Wednesdays and from 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday nights at Metro are extra special, with half-priced bottles of wine and $5 artisan cheese plates. As a girl on a tight budget, I almost hugged our adorable server when she went through the extensive list of deals. We also sampled from their happy hour lounge menu, sharing the artichoke spinach dip served with toasted chunks of bagels. It was delicious.

There was no rush, and we sat for hours talking, wine glasses in hand. We determined it is definitely a happy hour we would return to, and I’m so glad we checked it out.

I’m looking forward to also trying Trocadero's happy hour in the near future. This gastropub’s happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m. They have specially priced wine, beer and cocktails as well as an amazing half-off appetizer selection – yum! Trusted sources have also named Mason Street Grill and the Belmont Tavern as other classy happy hours to check out.

With so many great options to choose from, I feel like I’ll never be able to try them all! Luckily I still have the rest of this semester, a summer in Milwaukee and my senior year left to continue to explore these great happy hour deals. Cheers!

Hotel Metro
411 E Mason St.