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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.

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Have a great time in Milwaukee!

Celebrate Christmas in the Ward this Weekend

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By Margaret Casey
Public Relations Coordinator
VISIT Milwaukee

“Shopping local” has never been more fun than at Christmas in the Ward this Friday and Saturday in the Historic Third Ward. Where else but in Milwaukee would Friday night’s official tree-lighting program on Catalano Square range from the Milwaukee Police Band, to the Trinity Irish Dancers, to fireworks over the river, up to…wait for it…the Milwaukee Ukelele Club! Mrs. Claus and her live reindeer will be on hand for the kids, and Santa himself will be welcoming all and giving out cookies at Jolly’s Outdoor Gingerbread House.

Twinkling Christmas lights, decorative shop windows and horse-drawn carriage rides will provide more holiday magic and the music of brass bands and choirs will fill the air. From hot chocolate and apple cider to cocoa cocktails, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and festive fare in the many Third Ward restaurants, you’re sure to get in the spirit along the streets of the Ward. Check out the numerous locally-owned shops for special deals and discounts on all those unique holiday gifts from Milwaukee you’ll be proud to give.

Of course, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is at the southern end of Catalano Square, but have you ever been there? Take the opportunity to stop by this Friday evening and Saturday afternoon for the MIAD Student/Alumni Art & Design Sale. Find out more about this nationally-renowned arts school as you browse through paintings, photography, prints and sculpture for sale, with all proceeds going to the participating artists.

So if you’re visiting our city, looking for an extended holiday happy hour after work, or looking for a fun, outdoor activity for the kids, head to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward – where the shops and businesses will be spreading their own brand of Christmas cheer.

And your holiday season just wouldn’t be complete without sipping your hot cocoa to the strains of the Milwaukee Ukele Club’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” right?

Only in Milwaukee!


Christmas in the Ward
Friday & Saturday, Dec. 6-7

MIAD Student/Alumni Art & Design Sale
Fourth Floor Gallery
Preview Party: December 5, 6-9 p.m., $20
December 6, 5-9 p.m., Free
December 7, 12-5 p.m., Free

Around the World at the Holiday Folk Fair International

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By Margaret Casey
Public Relations Coordinator
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukee celebrates its ethnic heritage all summer long at Henry Maier Festival Park and Cathedral Square, but did you know that the forerunner of these festivals is 70 years old this year? The grand-daddy of them all – the Holiday Folk Fair International – will “Celebrate the Culture of Community” this weekend (Fri-Sun, Nov 22-24) at the Wisconsin Exposition Center.

Organized each year by the International Institute of Wisconsin, the fair features more than 30 dance groups, from Pomeranians to Polynesians, Bulgarians to Bavarians and many in between, performing in colorful costumes on various stages.

Along with the spectacle of the adult and youth ethnic dance groups, you’ll want to check out the 20 food vendors serving up everything from falafel to egg rolls, crepes, strudel, cannoli, Tikka Masala, gyros and more. The Callen Construction Chef Demonstration Stage will also feature a program of local chefs preparing traditional cuisine.

The music of mariachis, polka bands, Czech orchestras and Mid-East ensembles are among the many offerings at the Music Pavilion and World Café, and you can shop for unique jewelry, arts and cultural artifacts at the International Bazaar.

The Holiday Folk Fair has even teamed up with the Salvation Army of Milwaukee County for an “Around the World 5K Run/Walk” on Sunday, November 24th at 9:00 a.m.

So head out to State Fair’s Expo Center this weekend and celebrate the cultural mosaic that is Milwaukee. For 70 years the Holiday Folk Fair International has brought people of different backgrounds together through music, food, dance and art.  And a generation of Milwaukeeans has grown up knowing that that always guarantees a good time!

Holiday Folk Fair International
Wisconsin Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park
8200 West Greenfield Avenue, West Allis

Friday, November 22, 2 pm - 10 pm
Saturday, November 23, 10 am - 10 pm
Sunday, November 24, 10 am - 7 pm

$10.00: in advance
$12.00: at the gate
Discounts: Seniors, Military, Children, Families


Milwaukee Ballet’s Sexy, Thrilling ‘Romeo and Juliet’

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By Margaret Casey
Public Relations Coordinator
VISIT Milwaukee

(Headline from Huffington Post article by Carla Escoda, October 15, 2013)

I’ve been fortunate to see several performances by the Milwaukee Ballet over the years and one thing always strikes me. Besides the masterful dancers, choreography, sets and costumes, it’s the audience itself. There’s not a more eclectic collection of fans to be found. You see young and old, in everything from formal evening attire, to blue-jean-clad couples, to little girls all dressed up and cheering for their heroes on the stage. A palpable excitement fills the air; the strains of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra start up; the curtain opens and this diverse audience is carried away by the magic of the ballet’s storytelling power.

The Milwaukee Ballet’s season opener Romeo & Juliet (Thurs. Oct. 31 – Sun. Nov. 3) promises to be a dazzling spectacle. Shakespeare immortalized this timeless love story more than 300 years ago, and it is retold here through the glorious music of Prokofiev, the choreography of our own internationally renowned Artistic Director Michael Pink, and the powerful physicality and acting ability of a Milwaukee Ballet ensemble of 45 dancers including children.

Leading artists Luz San Miguel and Davit Hovhannisyan (and in alternate performances, rising stars Nicole Teague and Alexandre Ferreira) will bring the passion, joy and ultimate tragedy of these characters to life through dramatic movement and dance. The sensuality and intimacy of the balcony and bedroom (and according to Nicole Teague, “...lots of making out”) will tell the steamy tale along with colorful crowd scenes and fight choreography, all set to Prokofiev’s magnificent music.

There’s nothing elitist about the story of the “star-crossed lovers” caught between feuding families. It’s a universal story of emotions that still rings true today. My bet is there won’t be a dry eye in the house …

“For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

See this link for a preview video:

See this link for an article in the Huffington Post, where Michael Pink is interviewed:

Romeo & Juliet at the Milwaukee Ballet

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Friday, November 1, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, November 2, 2013 | 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 3, 2013 | 1:30 pm