Interesting and fun things to do and see around the Milwaukee area and surrounding communities this fall and winter
Whether you like to party or stroll along the river, Milwaukee is just the place for you. Much of the big city’s fame comes from its breweries, as it should, but that is far from all it has to offer. Events throughout the summer months have shifted Milwaukee’s identity to the "City of Festivals". That is largely due to one huge festival, Summerfest, which has been recognized as the World's Largest Music Festival by the Guinness Book of World Records since 1999. Outside of the music and beer, Milwaukee is also home to fantastic food, a richly diverse community, a vast number of great museums, and so much more. When setting off on your Milwaukee adventure, be sure to check out some of these places to see and things to do.
Henry Maier Festival Park
Often referred to as the Summerfest Grounds, this is where Summerfest and other festivals happen just about every weekend all summer long. Ethnic and cultural festivals comprise most of the events aside from Summerfest, and include Irish Fest, Pride Fest, Polish Fest, German Fest, Mexican Fiesta, and many, many more. Races and charity events are also common. The big concerts take place in the Marcus Amphitheater, which holds 23,000 people. The park sits on prime real estate being that it sits on the outskirts of the city and rests on the Milwaukee Bay, steps away from Lakeshore state park and the historic Third Ward. If you are in town during any prolonged intervals of sunshine, make your way over; there's sure to be a great event worth your precious leisure time.
I mentioned there is more to Milwaukee than its local beer scene. I wouldn't think of leaving out this formidable force, however. Local brewing is abound in this town, and the competition is fierce. There are plenty of different styles of pubs, as well as styles of brews around every corner, it seems, between Kilbourn Town and Juneau Town, along with a sporadic brewery or brewpub elsewhere around town. You can take tours of a lot of them, and most are cheap. These pubs won't be hard to find, but might make your hotel difficult to find afterwards, so take the necessary precautions and don't overdo it. It's hard to enjoy any city with a hangover.
There are several miles of waterfront walkways that combine the thrill of being in a big city with the aesthetic advantage of having a central waterway. The project began in 1988 and is ever expanding to combine local business opportunities with the chance to get some recess for the residents and visitors to the city. The vendors along the way will offer plenty to snack on or to bring home as a souvenir or gift. A stroll on the Riverwalk is a great way to experience Milwaukee. Look for the Fonz statue along the way. If you spot it, make sure to say "HEEEY" for me.
The only one of its kind, be sure to check out this special attraction with a complete collection of the world famous bikes. Artifacts from the very first Harley motorcycle ever built to the concept bikes of the future are here, along with everything in between. You don't ride? No problem. Anyone can enjoy the museum with all that it has to offer. There are extremely well-put-together exhibits that are as artful as they are informative. There are interactive exhibits as well for all ages. Go for a loved one who has interest, and find yourself being drawn into the wonderful history of Harley-Davidson.
Basilica of St. Josaphat
There aren't many like this in the world. There certainly aren't many like it in the United States. A beautiful structure that was built for worship in 1901 can be visited today no matter your faith. Sporting one of the largest copper domes in the world, the structure has charming details top to bottom. Even if you have been to Europe and visited the basilicas there, you'll find that this one has some credibility and stature all its own. This is not the kind of place you can let your kids run around; you should either make it a quick destination with the younger ones, or you can leave the little ones with a sitter and enjoy a peaceful afternoon wandering around and through the Basilica.
It's no secret that this place is more for the novel experience than it is for the food. Not that the food is bad (far from it), but you won't run into Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen. You may, however, run into a list of other celebrities, as they are known for stopping in from time to time. The spy theme is fun for kids and adults alike. For the kids, there is plenty to look at and play with. For the grown-ups, there is a dance floor in the basement. There are a lot of surprises here, and I don't want to ruin them. I will say that you better know the password. So, go looking for some fun - you'll be sure to leave with a big smile.