Family Activities in Milwaukee, WI
Everyone knows that kids love pizza – well on Palermo’s factory tour, inquisitive kids love learning the ins-and-outs of how frozen pizza gets made and shipped. The one-hour walking tour of the plant ends with a delicious slice of pan pizza – take your pick from cheese, pepperoni, sausage, supreme and even a breakfast variety. Grab your girlfriends and their kids to take advantage of Palermo’s group tour packages that also include take-home souvenirs like t-shirts. Kids under age 5 are free, but keep in mind that they won’t be eligible for the free souvenir. Luckily, Palermo’s has an on-site gift store and pizzeria selling pizza, trinkets and treats to help you pacify the tiny tots.
When your kids are walking around in a computer game haze, Milwaukee may seem like the last place you want to be. But Wisconsin’s biggest city has more to offer families than urban activities. Just 15 miles north of downtown, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center maintains 185 beautiful acres on Lake Michigan that are filled with wildlife. Pack your binoculars and take a family hike along the family’s six-miles of trails or get a aerial view of the fauna-filled landscape from the 50-foot observation tower. Animal-loving families can sign up for one of the center’s many programs that let you get up-close and personal with all sorts of creatures like snakes, owls and turkeys.
When the summer sun comes, backyard sprinklers can’t do much to cool you down. Thankfully the Milwaukee parks-and-recreation department has an aquatic center to beat the heat without breaking the bank. Tucked into Greenfield Park in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Cool Waters isn’t your typical public pool. Prepare your family for wild rides down body waterslides and tube slides, or opt for taking tricky trips as you balance across the water walks. Little tykes will delight in the park’s interactive water toys and zero-depth pool, while teens can show off on the sand volleyball court of simply hang at Cool’s Café. While the park is a steal at less than $7 a visit, smart moms who live nearby are better off investing in the summer pass.
Wanna slip a little education into your next family fun day? Trimborn Farm transports you back to the 1850s when agriculture reigned in Wisconsin. Take the kids on a guided tour or let them learn through curiosity as they explore the nine historic buildings. Maintained by the Milwaukee County Historical Society, the park holds dozens of events and festivals annually. While their arts-and-crafts shows, camps and concert series are always amusing, their historic encampments are the big draws. Spend a weekend watching Civil War battle re-enactments or take your family to shake their tail feathers at a 1940s-style USO dance at the WWII Encampment. If you can’t fit the special weekends into your schedule, take advantage of Trimborn’s drop-in programs where you and your kids can learn to play historical games and create vintage crafts.
Milwaukee may be Wisconsin’s major metropolitan area, but it’s still a Midwest city at its core – so a farm visit is an annual must for even the most urban families. Just 30 miles south of the city, Apple Holler creates the perfect agricultural experience year round. Pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides, sleigh rides, pony rides, petting zoo, corn mazes and hay bale play areas – Apple Holler has it all and so much more. Take in a show or get the kids involved in an interactive murder mystery experience at the Red Barn Theatre. Summers at the orchard are especially fun for families as kids enjoy rides on the wooden, Amish-built train, traversing the Cool Cow Maze and gobbling up Apple Holler’s tasty bakery and ice cream treats.