Cool Places to Go in Milwaukee

by Laurie Rappeport

If you're planning on spending time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you will find activities, cultural sites, educational venues and scenic locations in and around the city. Milwaukee is famous for its cold winters, but you can find plenty of cool places to visit in Milwaukee during the coldest winter months, as well as during hot summer days. Whether you want to kick back and enjoy a performance or find exciting interactive activities, Milwaukee has a lot to offer.

Educational Venues

Spend some time in Milwaukee's educational venues. The Milwaukee zoo (milwaukeezoo.org), almost 120 years old, exhibits approximately 2,500 animals, which represent 300 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. The Milwaukee zoo's new tropical indoor greenhouse allows visitors to encounter more than 500 butterflies, native to North America and the Caribbean, that exist in the habitat that the zoo has created to approximate the butterflies' natural home. The Milwaukee Public Museum (mpm.edu) provides another opportunity to learn about natural sciences in Milwaukee. The museum's planetarium allows visitors to explore the relationship between the sun, earth and moon, and the extensive dinosaur exhibit provides an overview of the era of the dinosaurs on Earth. The museum offers a cool Friday Night at the Museum option, which includes educator-led activities, access to museum exhibits, discovery hunts and a flashlight tour and refreshments. Night at the Museum guests receive an all-day admission to the museum for Saturday.

Unique Museums

Check out some unconventional Milwaukee museums. The Harley-Davidson museum (harley-davidson.com) in downtown Milwaukee celebrates the history, culture and technical aspects of motorcycles. The museum's exhibits tell the story of motorcycle history, personalities and motorcycle-related products. The exhibits depict motorcycles throughout the years and artifacts that give individuals a full understanding of the place that motorcycles have had in American life. If you're looking for an especially interesting place to go with kids, consider the Betty Brinn Children's Museum (bbcmkids.org). The museum, specifically for children 10 years old and younger, provides interactive activities that include visual, language and performing arts exhibits, board games, role playing, science experiments and more.

Brewery Tours

Take advantage of the Milwaukee breweries' tours to get an close-up view of the fascinating process of beer making. Pabst Brewery (pabstbrewingco.com) on Juneau Avenue offers tours by appointment at almost any time of the day. The Lakefront Brewery (lakefrontbrewery.com) on Commerce Street has regularly schedule tours each day on a first-come first-served basis. The Sprecher Brewery (sprecherbrewery.com) on Glendale Avenue in Glendale, eight miles outside of Milwaukee, invites visitors to join its regularly scheduled tours, but it requests that participants register for the tour first.

Music

Enjoy some great music venues in Milwaukee. The Chick Singer Night (chicksingernight.com) on South Second Street invites women to sing at an open microphone together with the house band. This gives women with good voices a chance to "be seen and heard" while you can hear great singers for a fraction of the cost of a professional concert. If you like country music, head to the Red Rock Saloon (edrockmilwaukee.com) where you can find food, drinks and live country music. Parents and teachers who want to expose kids to classical music can buy tickets for the Kinderkonzerts presentations, featured throughout the year at Milwaukee's Marcus Center (marcuscenter.org)