So, the kids have more energy than you know what to do with. It's a good thing Milwaukee’s indoor and outdoor playgrounds are here to run, slide, bounce and climb to the rescue. Some even come with views that are bound to recharge those drained parental batteries.


The Northwestern Mutual Community Park sits in the heart of the Summerfest grounds along the Lake Michigan shore. The wheelchair-accessible playground is built on a soft surface, and has a designated toddler area in addition to sensory rooms for children who might need a calmer environment. This scenic play place is open year-round, regardless of festival schedule, subject to weather conditions.

VM_HarborFest_27Harbor View Plaza hugs the edge of Lake Michigan in front of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences. Climb to the top of its lookout tower for a sweeping vista of Port Milwaukee, downtown Milwaukee and miles of lakeshore. Kids will love the tower’s tall corkscrew slide, and they can make their own tiny stream by pumping water into a miniature creek bed.

Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee is directly accessible via The Hop streetcar, making it a convenient respite from a busy day in the city. Its soft-surfaced playground includes a swing set, musical instruments, and tons of green space for running around.

The expansive, fully inclusive and accessible Kayla’s Playground is nestled in the southwest Milwaukee suburb of Franklin. You’ll find swings, slides and climbing equipment galore, as well as picnic tables, a pavilion and trails for exploring the natural beauty of Franklin Woods.

AR_MKE_JAN17_web-3320Adventure Rock caters to rock climbers of all abilities, even complete climbing novices. They are kid-friendly, and you can rent whatever gear you need. The North Avenue and Brookfield gyms have soaring roped, auto belay routes ranging in difficulty from beginner to Spider-Man. The Walker’s Point location is specifically for shorter bouldering climbs. You could easily spend an entire day at Bounce Milwaukee’s indoor amusement center. Kids will love jumping and sliding in the giant inflatables, getting in a game of laser tag, or scaling the rock-climbing wall, among other activities. Parents can kick back in one of the massage chairs or connect with their inner lumberjack at the axe-tossing cages. You’ll also find video games, pinball machines, foosball, air hockey and a full-service restaurant and bar.


Family-Friendly Bites


At AJ Bombers, watch as bomb-shaped canisters filled with peanuts fly to a drop zone near you, then enjoy delicious burgers. If you’re in the mood for something a little more mysterious, visit the SafeHouse for a meal accompanied by espionage-themed fun. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discover the entry password. I scream, you scream, we all scream for… custard! Head to Kopp’s Frozen Custard for a scoop of vanilla, chocolate, or the delicious flavor of the day.