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Our friendly staff is available from 9 AM to 5 PM Central Time to help answer your Milwaukee questions. 

VISIT Milwaukee Visitor Information Center

Toll Free: 1-800-554-1448
Local Phone Number: 414-273-7222

Email: info@milwaukee.org

Located inside the Wisconsin Center
Inside main rotunda on First Floor
400 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203

 

PR Quarterly Updates

Hello and welcome to 2019! You might have heard Milwaukee will be hosting a small gathering called the Democratic National Convention in July 2020. We couldn’t be more thrilled to open our doors to such a large group, and Milwaukee’s business, attraction and hotel community surely feels the same. That’s why you’ll see quite a few openings, renovations and updates happening here between now and next summer. And, like always, we plan to keep you up to date with the most relevant travel and tourism-related news in our city. If you’re planning to cover the convention itself, we encourage you to create an account in our image and b-roll database, Crowdriff.

Hotel News

  • The new Drury Plaza Hotel Milwaukee Downtown is set to open in May.
  • The highly anticipated Saint Kate Hotel, which will feature a black box theater, artist-in-residence program, a Museum of Wisconsin Art gallery with its own exhibition schedule, plus a slate of new restaurants, opens early this summer.
  • Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s stunning new tower is still slated to open this summer. The new tower also includes a spa – the second hotel spa in the downtown area.
  • Between the Harambee and Sherman Park neighborhoods, a local developer is seeking to convert a former Sears department store into an 80-room hotel and conference center called the Ikon Hotel. The hotel is expected to be completed in summer 2020.
  • Also planned for a summer 2020 re-opening, the Milwaukee Athletic Club is getting a $70 million makeover that will include refurbished hotel rooms and new publicly available restaurants  - all with the help of Denver-based hotel and restaurant group Sage Hospitality.
  • The operator behind Milwaukee’s upscale Kinn Guesthouse announced plans to open a new 62-room, nine story boutique hotel in the heart of downtown.

Attraction News

  • A new gallery called Scout, complete with artist studios, opens on Mitchell Street in May.
  • Ultimate Farms Collaborative is coming to the former Growing Power garden/greenhouses, which was formerly run by MacAurthur Genius grant winner Will Allen.
  • The National Bobblehead Museum & Hall of Fame has officially opened! If you haven’t already stopped in to check out the space, it’s a delightful niche museum full of bobbling surprises.
  • America’s Black Holocaust Museum is slated to open this quarter.
  • A new wine bar Baccanera is coming to the city’s East Side neighborhood.
  • The breweries are coming! Sometime in the next couple of months, Dead Bird Brewing will open in our Halyard Park neighborhood and Indeed Brewing will open a Milwaukee location in Walker’s Point. Bailey’s Harbor, Wis.-based Hacienda Beer Co. is opening a Milwaukee taproom “by May.”
  • Press Waffles, an incredibly popular waffle food truck, is opening a physical storefront in the Third Ward in “spring 2019.”
  • The businesses surrounding the new arena, Fiserv Forum, are quickly opening and the “Deer District” is that much closer to completion. Local crafter Good City Brewing opened a massive new location in early February, and Punch Bowl Social opened earlier this month. Drink Wisconsinbly, a local pub that specializes in all things Wisconsin kitsch opened in late March.
  • Planning a trip with kids? If you haven’t stopped in New Berlin’s Helium Trampoline Park, we’ve got one question for you: what are you waiting for? The trampoline haven also features laser tag, human hamster balls, dodgeball (and even glow dodgeball) and whole lot more.
  • Later in 2019, a number of exterior walls in East Wauwatosa will be transformed into large murals within walking distance of each other, thereby creating a “mural district.” The project will be done in partnership with the city of Wauwatosa and the group behind the East Side’s Black Cat Alley.

Anniversaries

  • Milwaukee Ballet closes its season with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring musical accompaniment by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and the Florentine Opera artists (the Florentine is the sixth oldest opera company in the US). Looking ahead, the ballet is moving into a brand new school/rehearsal facility in the fall and kicks off its 50th season in October 2019.

Exhibitions & Shows

  • Each year, local floral designers participate in a competition called Art in Bloom to see who can create the best floral sculpture based on a work in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s permanent collection. It’s one of the museum’s busiest weekends of the year, for good reason.  
  • The Milwaukee County Zoo announced its new elephant exhibit, transforming one-fourth of the Zoo’s current layout, will officially open to visitors May 4, with a “grand reveal” and opening day activities at 10 a.m.
  • On June 7, Sculpture Milwaukee opens on Wisconsin Avenue and runs through October. This is an outdoor sculpture exhibition along about 1.5 miles of our busiest downtown street and will feature 22 world-class sculptures from local, national and international artists. This is the third year of Sculpture Milwaukee, and the sculptures change out each year. Remember, all the sculptures are for sale and the proceeds from those sales go toward funding the next year’s exhibition. In the last two years, a handful of sculptures have been purchased for private collections while others have been purchased and gifted to the city for all Milwaukeeans to enjoy. One of those is Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture that will be installed outside the Milwaukee Art Museum later this year.

Events

  • It’s officially beer garden season in Milwaukee! South Shore Terrace, one of our most picturesque beer gardens, opens April 10 and toasts the occasion with free beer. The Parks Department’s traveling beer garden sets off on May 8, Whitnall Park beer garden opens May 3, and Wauwatosa’s beer garden The Landing opens May 15. Check back here for opening dates for the rest of the beer gardens.
  • Newaukee’s ever-popular Night Markets return June 12, this time with more local beer than ever before.
  • Q2 means the kickoff to festival season! And we couldn’t mention festival season without mentioning The Big Gig, aka the world’s largest outdoor music festival, Summerfest. This year’s Summerfest runs from June 26-30, and July 2-7. Headliners include Wisconsin son Bon Iver, Lionel Richie, The Killers, Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival (Avett Brothers, Counting Crows, and more), Zac Brown Band, and more.
  • The inaugural Bloody Mary Festival-Wisconsin takes over the Fiserv Forum plaza June 22-23.