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Celebrate the Fourth of July in Milwaukee

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Friday, June 12, 2015

By Lauren Morton
Communications Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

In search of exciting plans for the Fourth of July weekend? Look no more! From brilliant, crackling fireworks displays to family-friendly activities in the city and everything in between, Milwaukee provides countless opportunities to celebrate Independence Day.

Downtown fireworks at Milwaukee's lakefront.

The Fourth of July falls on a weekend this year, giving you ample time to celebrate in the Greater Milwaukee area! Start your red, white and blue weekend at the Fireworks Kite Festival on Friday, July 3. Held in Veterans Park, this lively festival invites kite fliers of all ages to come fly beautiful kites and enjoy performances by the Giant Kites of Yves LaForest from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., then again at 7:30 p.m., until the downtown fireworks begin.

The traditional Downtown Milwaukee Fireworks at the lakefront are a special treat for Milwaukeeans! Don’t miss out on theincredible and vibrant hour-long fireworks display in Veterans Park, starting around 9:25 p.m. 

For those interested in sailing and a spectacular view of Milwaukee’s lakefront, check out the US Bank Lakefront Fireworks Sail on July 3. Presented by Discovery World, guests enjoy a leisurely sail on the S/V Denis Sullivan from 7:00-9:00 p.m. All boats return to the dock in time to watch the downtown fireworks from aboard the ship—ice cream included!

Looking for family-friendly events for the day of the Fourth? The City of Wauwatosa truly knows how to celebrate Independence Day. Wauwatosa’s Fourth of July Celebrations include an entertaining parade, family activities, a concert in Hart Park and fireworks.

Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, is a great go-to for those looking to cut loose during the Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy live bands, local delicacies and shopping at the Henry Maier Festival Park along the lakefront (plus a great view of the fireworks on the third!).

For a unique and educational experience, celebrate Independence Day weekend with your family at Old World Wisconsin. This weekend of historic fun will include making ice cream, pie-eating contests, tug-of-war and a lively parade through the crossroads village.

Wrap up your patriotic weekend with Brunch in the Beer Hall on Sunday at Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. Lakefront lox and other local dishes are served, and the Beer Hall offers excellent Bloody Marys with beer chasers. After your brunch, make sure to take one of Lakefront's famously hilarious brewery tours.

Looking for more to do in town? In addition to local parades and festivals, many area attractions are open on July 4, including the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Art Museum, Summerfest, Old World Wisconsin, the Mitchell Park Domes, the Harley-Davidson Museum and Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums. Or, take tour with Milwaukee Food & City Tours, get out on the river with a kayak rental from Milwaukee Kayak Company or rent a Segway, surrey bike or tandem bike to explore along Milwaukee’s lakefront.


Cheese & Spirit Pairings

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Wine and cheese? Of course. Beer and cheese? Sure! Honestly, if you ask me, cheese pairs quite well with…pretty much everything, because I just plain love cheese. This week, I was lucky enough to join in on a cheese and spirit pairing. Although I’ve happily enjoyed cheese boards at restaurants and parties (because, as previously mentioned, cheese and I are grand old friends), this was my first time doing a dedicated tasting with pairings.

 Spirits from Great Lakes Distillery with a plate of Clock Shadow Creamery cheese.

The cheeses were from Clock Shadow Creamery (with some from its parent, Cedar Grove Cheese) and the spirits came from Great Lakes Distillery. First up were the spreadable cheeses. Fresh chevre paired with Rehorst Gin and quark with Rehorst Citrus-Honey Vodka. Next we moved on to “Weird Sisters,” a water buffalo and cow milk blend alongside Rehorst Barrel Reserve Gin. This was my favorite pairing of the day, thanks in no small part to the deliciousness of each individual element. But they were even better when brought together, and a light bulb went off over my head: this is the point of pairings! The best qualities of the cheese brought out the best qualities of the spirit and vice versa. Amazing.

We continued with Donatello, a sheep’s milk cheese whose nutty flavor was complimented by Roaring Dan's Rum, and Banquo, another sheep milk cheese, paired with Kinnickinnic Whiskey. (And yes, your English major blogger was loving all the Shakespeare references.) Finally, it was time for a fresh cheese curd with grappa, one of the Artisan Series Brandies. Now, those of you who are in the know about the great Wisconsin tradition that is the cheese curd know that the squeak is the thing. A fresh curd will squeak between your teeth when you bite into it, and I can say beyond any doubt that this was the squeakiest curd I’ve ever eaten. Cheese curd fans: get yourself to Clock Shadow Creamery posthaste. They make fresh curds on Wednesday and Friday mornings. You want them straight out of the vat, just like these.

Clock Shadow Creamery and Great Lakes Distillery have done pairings in the past as special events, so keep a look out for the next time one comes up – or try out the pairings I mentioned here at home! Uber Tap Room at Wisconsin Cheese Mart regularly hosts events pairing cheese with beer, cocktails and more, and offers a menu of cheese plates specially chosen to pair with beer or wine every day. Cheese is great on its own (so great), but adding a special pairing to your tasting both enhances your enjoyment of both components and makes it all feel a little bit more special!


4 Ways to Get Active in Milwaukee This Spring

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April 8, 2015

By Rose Robinson
Marketing Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

After a cold winter (although it was rather mild compared to last year’s polar vortex), it’s finally time to emerge and enjoy the Milwaukee weather we know and love. With warm weather comes the luxury of spending time outside, and what better to do than start getting active? Put those New Year’s resolutions to the test after a winter of neglect with these activities.

  1. Running. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, the warm weather is ideal for exploring the city with a jog. Scenic trails are all over Milwaukee, offering you a variety of routes to suit your preferences. The RiverWalk along the Milwaukee River is a personal favorite of mine—say hello to the Bronze Fonz and give Gertie the Duck a nice rub on the beak on the way. Bradford Beach is also a popular route (the scenery of Lake Michigan and people-watching might even distract you from how far you’re really running!). As a reward, stop by Colectivo Lakefront for a refreshing iced coffee on the patio afterwards. Run for a mile, walk a few miles with a friend or, if you’re feeling very ambitious, start training for the half marathon or the 5k you’ve always wanted to do. Check out some of the races held in Milwaukee for inspiration!
  2. Volleyball. Spring may be a little too early for a dip in the lake, but it’s never too early to start working on your volleyball skills to impress your friends at Bradford Beach this summer. Get a group of friends together and make a team for a league at Bradford or the Horny Goat Hideaway, which also has sand volleyball courts.
  3. Biking. Grab your bike and hit the town! This is a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon and an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Take your bike, and the city is your oyster. Don’t have a bike? No problem. The new Bublr Bikes bike share system has you covered. With stations around the Milwaukee area, you can rent a bike and then return it when you are finished.
  4. Spectating. Okay, so you’re not active or sporty in the slightest. We can work with that! Watching others being active is fun too, and what’s better than watching the Milwaukee Brewers play at Miller Park? You may not be running the bases, but the sunshine on your face and a light spring breeze blowing through your hair is still enjoying the elements with minimal effort.


Family Fun on Spring Break in Milwaukee

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Friday, March 27, 2015

By Chelsie Layman
Communications & Social Media Assistant
VISIT Milwaukee

The kids are almost out on spring break, so why not use that extra time to take a trip around Milwaukee to explore spring fun? We’ve got you covered on some of the top things to do on spring break with kids of all ages.

Take a bike ride on Milwaukee's scenic lakefront

Want to bike around the lakefront and the Oak Leaf Trail, but don’t want the hassle of packing all those bikes in the car? Not to worry! Bublr Bikes just re-opened for the 2015 season, so riding is as easy as checking a bike out and going! This year also comes with a new and even easier pricing structure. 

Take a trip to the ultra-interactive Harley-Davidson Museum; even for non-motorcycle enthusiasts, this museum is a fascinating stop chock full of Harley history, as well as the American history surrounding the motorcycle and the evolution of travel in our country. You and the kids can even try a few on for size before leaving, go ahead – you know you want to. Worked up a full throttle appetite after roaring through the museum? Not to fret! MOTOR Restaurant, just steps from the museum’s front door, is sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites (we know that growing kids sure can eat…). We recommend the turkey burger or mac ‘n’ cheese washed down with some ice cold country lemonade.

If that’s not quite your speed (see what we did there?), the Milwaukee Public Museum has a wealth of fun for kids to explore, from the new permanent exhibit “Crossroads of Civilization” to the dinosaurs, plus enjoy movies and planetarium shows on the IMAX screen in the Daniel M. Soref Dome Theater. They also offer overnight trips for kids: book in advance here.

Take a tour at Palermo's Pizza, Milwaukee's pizza factory

Another unique Milwaukee experience to enjoy with the whole family is the Palermo’s Pizza Factory tour. With multiple days and tour packages to choose from, there’s bound to be the perfect option for your family to see how Milwaukee’s only pizza factory operates (plus, enjoy a slice of pie in Pizzeria 3301)!

Though it has "pub" in its name and certainly serves up some incredible Milwaukee-brewed beers, Sprecher's Restaurant & Pub is a spot for families with kids of all ages. With a robust menu for the adults (and adventurous kiddos), there is also a kids menu to please even the picky eaters in the family. Rooty the Crow hats are also a must for the little ones to have even more fun.

There’s no reason to be bored at home with the family this spring break!


Crossroads of Civilization at Milwaukee Public Museum

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

This month, the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is unveiling a brand new permanent exhibit!  Crossroads of Civilization: Ancient Worlds of the Near East and Mediterranean explores both the literal and intellectual crossroads that existed between Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and the later cultures of the Near East and Mediterranean (Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Tunisia) over 5,000 years.

King Tutankhamun in Chariot at Milwaukee Public Museum

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Public Museum

When you first walk in, you’re greeted with a wall-sized interactive touch-screen timeline. This is definitely an exhibit that blends old and new; a classic MPM-made scale model of the temple of Pharaoh Ramesses III is a long-time visitor favorite, but now its detailed miniatures exists alongside a 360-degree digital rendering of the inner rooms of the temple. Throughout the exhibit, there are other fun interactive elements that let you dig even deeper. But rest assured, the addition of digital content has not in any way diminished the craftsmanship that the museum is famous for. Our museum is one of the only ones in the country with such talented in-house creators, and it shows in the exhibit’s fun and immersive design. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a life size recreation of King Tutankhamun in his chariot (pictured above). The boy king has been sculpted based on new forensic research done on his mummy, and the two horses that pull his chariot are so lifelike that you half expect to see them breathe.

Instead of being broken up based on which civilization an artifact is from, Crossroads of Civilization has six thematic areas: Construction, Communion, Community, Communication, Commerce and Conflict. This presentation gives you a different perspective on history, making it easier to draw connections and map the enormity of both the size and span of the ancient world in your mind. For example, despite looking very similar to the untrained eye Padi-Heru and Djed-Hor, MPM’s two mummies who are both on display in this exhibit, lived 400 years apart!

This exhibit is a permanent addition to the museum, so you don’t have to hurry there…but don’t you want to be one of the first to check it out? Crossroads of Civilization opens March 15, 2015.


6 Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Milwaukee

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Monday, February 09, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

A couple enjoying dinner at Milwaukee's Harbor House restaurant

Whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated meal, an offbeat adventure or still waving that “Singles Awareness Day” flag, we’ve collected some of the best ways to treat your special someone (or yourself) this weekend. Sit back, relax and let these Valentine’s Day date ideas lead you to the perfect celebration.

For foodies
The romantic dinner is a classic for a reason. There are so many great restaurants to choose from this Valentine’s Day, but if you’re looking for something extra special, try the Big Night Aphrodisiac Dinner at The Chef’s Table, an interactive dining experience featuring six courses guaranteed to stoke the fires of your passions. If bacon and beer are more your style, don’t miss the Brenner Brewing Co. dinner at the Harley-Davidson Museum.

For starry-eyed lovers
Take in the most romantic show in the universe. Valentine’s Day at the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum promises to be out of this world with a two-evening run of “Romancing the Stars.”

For quirky couples
So you and your partner aren’t so into gazing into each other’s eyes? How do you feel about racing through an inflatable arena or blasting each other during a no-holds-barred laser tag battle? The Valentine’s Day package at Bounce Milwaukee gets you dinner (including loaded tots!) and non-stop fun.

For a sweet tooth
If you love your sugar as much as you love, well, sugar, indulge in aphrodisiac-inspired chocolate and wine pairings at the appropriately named Indulgence Chocolatiers.

For artistic souls
A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Feel free to pull that one out to describe your darling this Valentine’s Day, but I was talking about a two-canvas couples’ painting you and your honey can make together at Splash Studio: A Painting Bar during their Red Hot Love Fest.

For singletons
If you’ve been bitten by love, shake off those blues at the Love BITES party at Miller Time Pub, featuring comfort food bites, special “hook-up” shots and a therapeutic “ex-destroying” contest. Or work out your frustrations with free ping pong and a “worst kiss” story contest at Evolution MKE’s Kiss & Tell Un-Valentine’s Day party.


Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Entry to Inspiring Beauty exhibit at Milwaukee Art Museum

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair at the Milwaukee Art Museum certainly lives up to its name. The “beauty” part is to be expected; how could it not be beautiful, with ensembles created by Givenchy, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Vivienne Westwood, Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint-Laurent, Bob Mackie and more? This fashion obsessive was swooning to be in the same room with these stunning pieces.

Most people never get a chance to see haute couture in person, much less from this close up, so I would heartily recommend that anyone who loves clothes check out the exhibit for that opportunity alone. The exhibit is carefully set up to allow you to view almost every ensemble from a variety of angles, and you better believe I was craning my neck to take in every last detail. Thanks to the Mount Mary University collection, visitors in Milwaukee will get the chance to see thirteen additional garments from the University’s signature Ebony Fashion Fair collection, an awesome opportunity that makes seeing the exhibit here, at the Milwaukee Art Museum, even more special.

But more importantly, the exhibit really shines when it comes to the first part of its name: “inspiring.” Upon entering the show, you’re greeted with an over-sized photograph of Eunice W. Johnson, the creator of Ebony Fashion Fair. Over its 50 year history, the Fair raised $55 million dollars for charity and featured all African American models. But when the show began in 1958, the European designers were reticent to sell their clothes to a black woman. There was a belief that bright colors didn’t suit dark skin, and touring through the south meant that models who wore the finest of haute couture were not able to eat in a restaurant.

The aspirational side of the Fair, highlighted in the exhibit’s themes of vision, innovation and power, can’t be underestimated. This event was about a change of beauty standards and empowering African American women. Eunice Johnson’s vision is the very definition of inspiring; as Camille Morgan, the guest curator of the exhibit, said, Eunice was “a fashion civil rights activist.” There’s more than one way to inspire people, and more than one field in which to make a difference.

Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair is on display February 5 – May 3, 2015. Learn more about the exhibit here.


Q&A with Christine Specht of Cousins Subs

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Monday, February 02, 2015

By Katy Deardorff
Communications Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukee is proud of its homegrown businesses, from breweries to sandwich shops! Christine Specht, president and chief operating officer at Cousins Subs, was kind enough to take a moment to chat with VISIT Milwaukee about what makes our city’s culinary scene so fantastic.

Q: How do you feel that food and a city’s culinary scene make an impact on a destination?

A: Most major cities offer a wide variety of food and culinary delights so it is important to differentiate from the rest. Milwaukee has a lot of fantastic restaurants that celebrate our German heritage as well as restaurants that speak to what Milwaukee was built on – industrious people who were looking to better their life through hard work. I’d say Cousins Subs certainly tips its hat to those folks. When travelers visit a region, they can learn so much about the people and culture through its restaurants. You can see the diversity of the residents as well as the generations that continue to build on the foundation. In my opinion, the culinary selection a destination has to offer is just as important as a museum, landmark or sporting venue. 

Q: How do you see Cousins making an impact? 

A: I’m proud to say that Cousins was founded right here in Milwaukee by my family and my dad’s cousin in 1972. We celebrate the best Milwaukee has to offer and we understand that the sub sandwiches we serve have to be better. Our products are a nod to the industrious work ethic the city was founded on by being heartier, fresher and more authentic. Our staff serves our guests as if they are an extension of our family. 

Q: Why do you think that Cousins is such a great fit for a traveler? Specifically a family? 

A: Cousins is great for travelers because of the portability of our product. You can very easily take our subs to go so that you get to see all of the fantastic Milwaukee sites. Of course we welcome our guests to visit one of our restaurants to enjoy a cheese steak hot off the grill and don’t forget to pair that with deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds – a dairy state classic. We are the perfect lunch and dinner spot for families because our subs are completely customizable and will accommodate even the most particular guests. 

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Milwaukee?

A: My husband and I love to eat at the fabulous restaurants found west of the city to downtown. Residents of Milwaukee are very fortunate to have nationally recognized chefs and specialty restaurants right in their hometown. Not only is it wonderful to experience their creativity but the service is nothing short of warm and genuine.  

Q: What is your favorite family vacation memory?

A: When I was a kid my family would hop in our van and drive to New Jersey for a few weeks each summer. My dad is from Atlantic City so when my grandparents were alive we would stay with them. We would visit my dad’s favorite submarine shop in Atlantic City (the inspiration for Cousins Subs) and we’d also hit the beaches and the boardwalk.  Good times!


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