From interactive museums to sporting events and theatrical performances, Milwaukee offers a range of exciting activities for you to enjoy with your children. Don’t let Milwaukee’s reputation as an industrial city famous for beer mislead you, this is a city with a great diversity of experiences suitable for the whole family.
With Milwaukee being home to an array of festivals, including one of the largest music festivals in the world, Milwaukeeans make the perfect hosts and the city provides a fabulous buzz and welcoming atmosphere. So, join us today for some of our favorite things to do in Milwaukee with kids. And, while you’re here, why not take a look at our Iconic Milwaukee Tour, a guided Milwaukee tour suitable for all ages, taking in the city’s most famous locations.
The Milwaukee Public Museum
First established in 1882, Milwaukee’s Natural History Museum is an obvious first choice for places to take the kids. With over 4 million specimens and 150,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum offers an immersive journey across cultures and through time.
Highlights include the world’s largest dinosaur skull, a life-sized replica of a T. Rex, a butterfly house, Egyptian mummies, and reconstructions of historic streets — excite your children’s imagination in this fascinating, educational space.
Look out for the museum’s three secret buttons that bring exhibits to life! You’ll need to be eagle-eyed, but we can point you to the exhibit spaces: rainforest, bison hunt, and Exploring Life on Earth — good luck!
Milwaukee’s Mitchell Park Domes
Built in 1959, the three domes of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory are an iconic Milwaukee feature. Each dome is seven stories tall and encompasses a space around the size of three football pitches.
The Tropical Dome houses over 1,000 species of tropical plants from the Americas and Africa, while the Arid Dome houses species unique to desert landscapes.
The third dome, known as the Show Dome, features four seasonal displays and a special Christmas show. An exotic day out that all nature-loving kids are sure to enjoy.
Discovery World, Milwaukee
Creativity and curiosity are the driving forces behind this science and technology museum that looks to inspire the scientific minds of the future. Many of the exhibits are interactive and sure to keep the children amused while teaching them something new.
Particularly popular is the aquarium, which introduces kids to an array of fascinating underwater creatures and even allows them to pet a stingray! A must-see attraction for budding scientists!
Milwaukee Art Museum
Housed in one of the city’s most extraordinary buildings, the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) houses around 25,000 works and features art from the 15th to 20th centuries. Stimulate your children’s creativity while looking at works from masters like Monet, Rodin, Picasso, and Kandinsky. Local artistic figures are represented with works by Georgia O’Keeffe and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The museum building is enjoyable to visit, even from the outside. Two enormous fans, inspired by the wings of a bird, protect the building from the sun, and guests can watch them move into place each morning at 10 am (weather permitting).
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Milwaukee
Opened by three local women in 1995, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum has a straightforward mission statement: “Inspire all children to wonder and explore their world through play and innovative, hands-on learning experiences.”
Ideal for kids between one and ten, the museum is an accessible and inspiring space, particularly good for parents who are seeking educational activities. An outstanding choice for firing your child’s imagination and boosting their confidence in themselves through fun activities.
Old World Wisconsin
Located in Eagle, less than an hour’s drive from central Milwaukee, Old World Wisconsin is an open-air museum that uses reconstructions of historical buildings and streets to really bring history to life. The museum is the largest of its kind in the US and covers a whopping 480 acres of woodland territory.
Across 60 historic structures, the museum explores the lives of early immigrant populations, bringing to life their cultures and traditions. Included are sites dedicated to African American, German, Scandinavian, and Polish populations.
A captivating exploration of local history that can be enjoyed while walking out in the fresh air.
First Stage Children’s Theater, Milwaukee
Kids are often bored and disengaged when they’re dragged to attractions that are of interest only to adults. Well, you can avoid that by taking a look at the forthcoming shows put on by First Stage, Milwaukee.
Running from September through June, this professional children’s theater puts on about six plays each season. Their repertoire is packed with a fabulous selection of plays, and when attending a show you can take pride in knowing that you’re supporting an organization that has been invigorating and transforming young lives since 1987.
At First Stage, they ‘inspire, enlighten, and entertain’ — just what we want from the best child-friendly activities!
Attend a Milwaukee Brewers Game
As many will know, Milwaukee is famous for its history of beer production brought over by German immigrants in the 19th century, hence the name of the city’s iconic baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers play out of the American Family Field stadium, where you can take a tour of the stadium that gives you a behind-the-scenes look, including visits to the clubhouse and team dugouts.
If your trip aligns with a game day, we highly recommend attending! American Family Field is a modern ballpark and really child-friendly. The stadium is home to the US Cellular Power Playground, which is a children’s interactive play area, and most sections of the stadium offer kids meals. Children under two can attend games for free.
Harley-Davidson Museum, Milwaukee
From sport to technology and engineering. Do your kids have a fascination with all things mechanical? Then they will love this museum dedicated to one of Milwaukee’s most famous exports, Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Situated next to the Menominee River, the museum is jammed with exhibits, including the oldest Harley-Davidson motorcycle, dating from 1903 with the serial number 1. Elsewhere, children will enjoy the Imagination Station where they can rev the engine of a model bike and try on various bits of biker gear for a fun photo.
Even if motorcycles aren’t your thing, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of things to pique your interest in this impressive, modern museum.
This brings to a close our list of some great activities to do for children in Milwaukee. We hope we’ve inspired you to begin planning your next visit to this city that offers so much for the whole family. If you have any questions about this blog or our tours, please get in touch.