Visit Milwaukee

Visit Milwaukee Blog

Fourth of July 2016 in Milwaukee

Share This Story:

By Molly Nugent
Marketing & Communications Intern
VISIT Milwaukee

Fireworks over downtown Milwaukee.
With the Fourth of July approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how to ring in the nation’s favorite holiday in our favorite city! Start digging through your closet for all your red, white and blue, because Milwaukee has got a lot of exciting plans for you.
Downtown Fireworks & Fireworks Kite Festival: Why limit the celebration to just one day? Gift of Wings hosts a free Firework Kite Festival in Veterans Park on July 3rd that lasts all day long. Everyone is welcome to bring their own kites, or just come and enjoy as the sky is filled with beautiful colors. When the sun and kites both go down, it’s time for Milwaukee’s downtown fireworks show! Grab a seat with your friends and family to gaze in wonder as the sky is illuminated with colors to honor our nation’s independence.
4th of July Parade and Hometown Celebrations at Cedarburg: The morning of the fourth, make sure to head to Cedarburg to celebrate Independence Day with music, food and games. The award winning Carolina Crown, a drum and bugle corps will be kicking off the celebration by leading the parade down Washington Avenue. As the parade winds down, the excitement remains! Live music will be performed all day, along with entertainment for people of all ages. After a long day of food, music and fun don’t miss the patriotic concert by the Cedarburg Civic Band at 8 pm followed by a firework show.
Independence Day Celebration at Old World Wisconsin: For a unique and educational Fourth of July, Old World Wisconsin is hosting a 19th century celebration for the whole family. You can appreciate the holiday through history presentations and hands-on activities like ice cream making and the greased-pole contest. There will also be an old-fashioned parade marching throughout the village you can’t miss!
Wauwatosa Independence Day Celebration: Grab your friends and family and head on over to Hart Park in Tosa on the 4th for an exciting day of games, inflatables, live music and more. Kids will love playing on the playground along with a splash pad to beat the summer heat. Hart Park also has tennis courts, volleyball courts, baseball and football fields, along with a track, so there will be plenty for you to do here on the 4th! When the sun goes down, make sure to stick around to enjoy a firework show light up the sky.
City of Milwaukee Celebrations: For free, family fun check out all the patriotic festivities happening at parks throughout the city. This year’s theme is “Joining Hands for Peace.” There will be games and entertainment for all children and adults alike, including parades, picnics, talent contests, music and more! And, of course, fabulous fireworks to wrap up an amazing Independence Day!
Looking for more 4th of July fun? Find more events at!


Offbeat Date Ideas

Share This Story:

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Laser tag at Bounce Milwaukee

You aren’t the white tablecloth and candlesticks type. You’ve sent (or received) enough red roses to do your own American Beauty impression. You’ve eaten enough chocolates that you’re starting to feel like Augustus Gloop. Whatever the reason, you just aren’t feeling the tried-and-true options to say “I love you” anymore (if you ever were in the first place) – and that’s fine! Why not try one of these offbeat Milwaukee date ideas instead?

  • Relive your childhood with laser tag, inflatables, vintage arcade games (all on free play!), a rock climbing wall and more at Bounce Milwaukee. Best of all, Bounce becomes a 21+ adults-only playground on Friday and Saturday nights (and yes, they have a bar).
  • Romantic dinner? It’s been done. Progressive dinner? New and exciting! Instead of picking one spot for your date night, pick three. Start off with drinks and apps, head to a second location for your main course and finish off the night with dessert. This way you can assemble the ultimate dining experience. (Not sure where to start? Click here for some dining ideas and inspiration!)
  • This museum scavenger hunt was originally intended for families, but why not see if you and your partner can tackle it all? Milwaukee’s museums are fun for all ages, so get out there and start exploring.
  • No longer consigned to the basement, play some ping pong at Evolution Milwaukee. Unlike that underground rec room, this high-energy spot has a full bar, food and there’s no need to chase after rogue balls – a staff member will scoop them up and refill your bucket when necessary. Ping pong upgraded.
  • A date at a brewery doesn’t really seem “offbeat” to most Milwaukee residents, so take it from the locals – a brewery or distillery tour is way more fun than just grabbing a drink, and you might even learn something too.
Forget the diamonds and have a fun, creative date night in Milwaukee. (Looking for some more traditional romantic ideas? We’ve got those too!)


Shopping the Pfister Holiday Marketplace

Share This Story:

By Katy Deardorff
Communications Manager
VISIT Milwaukee

Shopping at the Pfister Holiday Marketplace

The Pfister Hotel is stepping up its holiday game this year with the addition of its first ever holiday market. The Pfister Holiday Marketplace, which is located on the first floor of the hotel, will be open through Dec. 24, 2015 – just in time for you to pick up some last minute gifts.

As I am in need of some local, handcrafted Christmas gifts, I skipped down Wisconsin Avenue to check it out last week. It turns out that the Pfister Holiday Marketplace has the perfect gift for everyone in my life. Here are my top choices:

For my botanical friends:

Planters at the Pfister Holiday Marketplace.

For my MKE downtown dwellers:

Map print at Pfister Holiday Market

For my bird lovers/travel enthusiasts – because if I can’t buy my own airstream, then at the very least, my finches should have one:

Airstream trailer birdhouse at Pfister Holiday Marketplace

For my many dinosaur enthusiasts:

Painted creatures at Pfister Holiday Marketplace

To check out all of the amazing handcrafted gifts by local artists, make sure to check out the Pfister Holiday Marketplace before it’s too late! Do note that the market is not open all of the time, so check your watch before heading over on a lunch break.

From Nov. 28 – Dec. 21
Thursdays – 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Fridays – 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays – 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sundays  – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Christmas Week Hours
Tuesday, Dec. 22 & Wednesday, Dec. 23 – 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve / Final Day –10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Happy gifting!


Milwaukee Holiday Round-up

Share This Story:

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Old-School Bar Scene

‘Tis the season for holiday fun! If you’re in Milwaukee this December, there are so many options for making your spirits jolly, whether you’re in the mood for a classic holiday show, something new and a little snarky or getting outside to enjoy the winter air! We’ve rounded up 20 great ways to celebrate the holidays in Milwaukee this month – how many will you do?
  1. Take in the Holiday Lights Festival with a ride on the Jingle Bus or on a walking tour led by your very own holiday elf!  
  2. Taste the treats on a holiday food tour
  3. See a holiday show like the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s A Christmas Carol (celebrating its 40th anniversary this year!)
  4. Or Black Nativity
  5. Or The Nutcracker
  6. Or Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue
  7. Or A Wonderful Life: The Musical
  8. Or A Charlie Brown Christmas
  9. Or A Twisted Carol
  10. Or An L.M. Montgomery Christmas
  11. Or Christmas in the Basilica
  12. Or Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays
  13. Go ice skating in the heart of downtown at Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park
  14. Experience a Victorian Christmas at the Pabst Mansion, halls thoroughly decked for the season
  15. Go even further back to Wisconsin’s immigrant past for an Old World Christmas at Old World Wisconsin
  16. Dine with Charles Dickens at the Dickens Dinner at the Grain Exchange
  17. Visit the Kooky Cooky House, a Milwaukee holiday tradition reborn at Discovery World
  18. Enjoy a stunning light display in the Miller Valley at MillerCoors Holiday Lites
  19. Take a drive through Wisconsin’s largest outdoor drive-through display, Country Christmas
  20. Ring in the New Year with The Crystal Method at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Still craving holiday cheer? Find more events on!


Celebrate the Fourth of July in Milwaukee

Share This Story:

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.


6 Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Milwaukee

Share This Story:

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.


5 best ways to break your New Year’s resolutions

Share This Story:

By Jennifer Posh
Content & Copywriting Specialist
VISIT Milwaukee

With the month of January almost over, the excitement and promise of the new year can seem far away. Even those with the most iron wills are starting to hear the siren song of all the things you turned away from when you promised to "get in shape" and "eat right."

If you're still staying strong, you should probably leave this blog post right now. Why not check out some of the great ways you can stay active in Milwaukee?

Still here? Here's the thing: if you're going to break your resolutions, you might as well make it worth it. With all the treats Milwaukee has to offer, giving up your resolutions is totally understandable. Here are our top ways to say goodbye to resolve and hello to delicious in 2015.

  1. Chocolates. Indulgence Chocolatiers: the name says it all. Sample their signature gourmet truffles or go all out with a flight of pairings (chocolate and scotch, anyone?).
  2. Pizza. Whether it's the infamous mac n' cheese pizza from Ian's Pizza or the iconic thin-crust 'za at Pizza Man, there's a reason everyone from elementary schoolers to office workers loves a pizza party.
  3. Cheese curds. Deep fried pieces of cheesy heaven. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find a bar around town that doesn’t serve them, but the ones at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub come with an extra dose of Milwaukee history since they’re served inside the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, one of the former Pabst complex buildings.
  4. Frozen custard (and/or ice cream). Yes, it's cold. But it's never too cold for delicious, creamy frozen custard. If you head to Kopp's, you can try a different flavor every day. Same goes for the myriad inventive flavors of ice cream you can find at Purple Door. Now that's a resolution worth keeping.
  5. Beer. This most Milwaukeean of beverages is often the first on the chopping block when someone decides to start cutting drinks out of their life. But, c’mon.  If you’re in Brew City, you can’t miss out on one of our delicious craft brews. It just wouldn’t be right.


12 Days of Foodie Christmas

Share This Story:

December 5, 2014

By Kyle Cherek
Host of Wisconsin Foodie

With the bounty of the Great Lakes on one side, lush Midwestern soil on the other, and its mélange of Eastern and Northern European heritages, Milwaukee is an incredible food town. And discerning visitors know that the holidays are one of the best times to visit the city.

For years, friends and fans of the show Wisconsin Foodie have inquired about where I seek out my meals, merriment and ingredients during the holidays. Though not in any particular order, here are my Twelve Days of Foodie Christmas.

  1. The old threat of coal in my stocking has never held much weight, but now, because of the cleverness of the Troubadour baking folks at Colectivo Coffee, there are delicious, edible bags of coal with which to fill those stockings. They released the first batch on Dec. 5.
  2. Many wake up to St. Nick leaving small goodies in stockings or shoes on Dec. 6, but in 1933, that was also the day America woke up to the repeal of prohibition. The Iron Horse plans to celebrate in style.  Signature cocktails and beer from Milwaukee Brewing Co, all at near 1933 prices.  A burlesque show helps ring in the anniversary. No doubt the dancers will be wearing holiday colors. 
  3. On Dec. 7, great cuisine will abound in Milwaukee, leaving me torn about which table to take my seat.  Sanford Restaurant, the fine dining destination of national prestige, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Founder and former chef/owner Sandy D’ Amato and his wife Angie will return to cook at the dinner, as well as half a dozen guest chefs, including current chef/owner Justin Aprahamian, Gerard Craft of St. Louis, Dan Fox of Heritage Tavern in Madison; Joe Muench of Maxie's, Blue's Egg and Story Hill BKC; Giuseppe Safina of Tutto;  and Nick Burki of Coquette Cafe. Wines will be from Hobo Wine Company by owner Kenny Likitprakong, maker of Folk Machine and Banyan wines.

    The same night, just 20 blocks or so to the south, more of Milwaukee’s best chefs are also gathering for The Plate Collective Dinner.  Chef/husband Dan Jacobs and potter/wife Kate Riley come together to bring you an interactive dining experience. Chefs from different restaurants, including Dan Van Rite of Hinterland, Thomas Hauck of Circa 1880, Shay Linkus of Vanguard and Paul Zerkel of Goodkind, join together to prepare a coursed dinner, plated on dishes custom-made by Kate.
  4. No holiday is complete in our household without a pilgrimage to Larry’s Brown Deer Market, the first purveyor of fine specialties foods in Wisconsin. The shop’s century-long history is, in essence, the history of specialty foods in Milwaukee. Each year, Larry’s receives a prized allotment of some of the best cheeses in the world. Hook’s 15-year aged cheddar and Tall Grass Reserve from Landmark Creamery are my picks this year.
  5. My family always looks forward to visiting the Christmas lights display at Cathedral Square, then heading across the street to Elsa’s on the Park for a view of their annual avant garde Christmas tree, some rich for warm cocoa for the children and hot toddies for the grown-ups. 
  6. Tea at the Pfister is a special, seasonal tradition. Hosted in the Blu Lounge, on the 23rd floor, one can experience a beautifully refined tea service with all the trimmings, while enjoying one of the loveliest panoramic views in the city.
  7. The French invented pastry, and their gift to the world should be yours for the holidays. The holiday tart in particular is a thing of beauty in form and taste.  Moreover, you have not really had a hot chocolate until you have had one at Le Rêve Patisserie and Café, with true French chocolate and homemade marshmallows floating in the rich drink.  
  8. I don’t know why but at some point during the holidays I look forward to tasting pickled herring, specifically, Ma Baensch’s. I’ve had other herring in fancier restaurants, in roadside taverns, in the north woods, but Ma Baensch’s has got it; that ineffable something that says Midwest Christmas to me. Swing into St. Paul Fish at the Milwaukee Public Market to pick some up, and pair it with saltines and a Pabst on tap. It’s the holidays after all.
  9. If you are like me, the time for champagne is always.  However, the holidays seem partial to champagne like no other time of year.  Though champagne must come from the region known as Champagne, not all bubblies from that region are alike.  To learn why, Thief Wine does a particularly smart champagne tasting on Dec. 16 and 17. 
  10. Milwaukee, with its deep Eastern and Central European heritages, is historically famous for its sausage. It gets that avenue right more than any other culinary road it has ever gone down. For the holidays, I always visit and pay homage to a master.  Frank Jakubczak, now in his mid 70s, has owned his own sausage-making shop for over 40 years, and is a living link to the way things have always been done best…with humility and true craftsmanship.
  11. As a young teenager delivering papers, one of the surest signs that the holidays were in full-swing was the warm glow of “Tom and Jerry” signs in the windows of restaurants, bars, taverns or pubs. A traditional eggnog drink flavored with brandy or rum, I can still remember my first warm, sweet, frothy sip, given to me by my Aunt Valerie one Christmas. Bryant’s, America’s first free-standing cocktail lounge, carries on the Tom and Jerry drink tradition with aplomb.  One sip of their batch, and I am 9-years old again, handing a warm mug of holiday cheer back to my favorite aunt.
  12. Now in its fifth year, Great Lakes Distillery celebrates the only holiday event  a show “about nothing” could produce.  Festivus For the Rest of Us is held in the distillery on December 23. Feats of strength, Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots and, of course, the pole are all there. Not to mention Great Lakes Distillery’s exquisite spirits.



Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›