Generations At Play offers offers appealing options for both adults and children: parents can relax and chat with one another or plug into complimentary Wi-Fi while their little ones are engaged in entertaining, enriching activities. Those activities might take place in a 1,500-square-foot play area outfitted with a playhouse, slide, and toys, or in a classroom where teachers lead structured lessons. The center also offers babysitting services, giving parents a change to run errands or spend an evening on the town.
Inspired by the German Turnverein associations of the early 19th century, the Milwaukee Turners first came together in the mid 1800s, gaining their charter from the Wisconsin State Legislature in 1855. In 1882, the group constructed Turner Hall, and the building has housed the organization and its stockpiles of sweatbands ever since. Over the decades, the hall has welcomed in visitors with a mission to help them create sound bodies and minds.
Though they derive their name from “Turnen,” the German word for gymnastics, the Milwaukee Turners teach visitors much more than just how to lasso a pommel horse. In addition to the gymnastic school, the organization schedules classes for yoga. Their rock-climbing wall's top ropes take climbers up 26 feet where they practice climbing or belaying techniques. To strengthen minds, the Turners lead meetings such as the 4th Street Forum, which discusses issues crucial to the community, and host concerts within the Turner Hall Ballroom.
Now a national landmark, Turner Hall echoes the organization's rich history. Sprung from the mind of famed architect Henry H. Koch, the building's design includes an Italianate façade crafted with Cream City brick and panoramic paintings that make visitors think they're trapped inside a cartoon. The venue boasts a beer hall and two-story ballroom, making it an ideal locale for special occasions.
Bumper, Slick, Makaia, and Diego may sound like a team of superheroes, but at Oceans of Fun, they are the names of just 4 of the 12 sea lions and seals that inhabit the center's waters. Nestled in the Milwaukee County Zoo, the educational center focuses specifically on marine animals, educating visitors on their traits, their favorite places to play, and conservation strategies. Kids can feed the seals and sea lions buckets of fresh fish or build their animal-training repertoire during interactive programs; the animals also perform in shows four times daily throughout most of the year.
French, of course, for French Alliance of Milwaukee, Alliance Française de Milwaukee transplants the culture and language of the French-speaking world to the city's Lake Michigan shores. Several teachers help students learn the smooth, mellifluous language even if they weren't born with a Frenchman's velvet tongue, and a variety of events commemorate French history, from the joyous summer hours of Bastille Day to the annual release of the beaujolais nouveau wine each fall.
Marquette University's Department of Performing Arts beguiles audiences with uplifting main-stage performances. Extracted from the mind of Sally Nemeth, Holy Days sheds light on a tale of a close-knit, grief-stricken family from Kansas. Haunted by the aftermath of the Great Depression, Nemeth's characters hold fast to their ruptured farm while neighbors and friends flee for more prosperous lives as traveling game-show contestants. An all-student design team infuses Holy Days with a heavy dose of creativity, infusing the intimate 226-seat Evan P. and Marion Helfaer Theatre with an engaging sense of time and place.