On Saturday, September 22, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett will gather local businesses, community leaders, and citizens between the two bridge houses of the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge. There, he will ceremonially raise its steel structure and announce a mission to revitalize the street. Following the ceremony, more than 20 motorboats and sailboats will surge down the river and under the bridge, each decked out in Milwaukee-themed decorations and bright colors. Near the bridge, Historical Society members will stage a reenactment of the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845 and initiate a game of tug of war across the street; on the bridge, meanwhile, trainers from Gold’s Gym will lead lightly sweating groups through yoga poses.
Visitors drink and dine to the sounds of live music and multicultural dance performances as well as the sights of a one-act play on two stages on the Riverwalk. They can browse local vendors at a craft market, explore permanent sculpture installations, and stroke their chins while gazing at art pieces in paint, photography, blown glass, and other media from more than 50 local artists at booths along both sides of the river. As the crowd mills about throughout the event, artists from the Plein Aire Painters’ Association make art live, painting the beautiful city skyline and buzzing groups of people. A complimentary water taxi runs between both Riverwalks throughout the day’s festivities.
During Milwaukee Winter Fest, visitors of all ages can shake the snow from their sleeves inside a climate-controlled facility filled with festive lights and colorful decorations. There they can play in more than 50 attractions including inflated fun zones, carnival rides, and a 240-foot indoor zipline. Singers and musical acts take to the stage during scheduled events to inspire impromptu dance parties and prove once and for all that guitars can be used for more than just housing herb gardens.
America's Action Territory encourages familial bonding through amusements in session year-round indoors and seasonally outdoors. During warm weather, the park staff operates six outdoor activities, from bumper boats in a 75,000-gallon pool to paintball on a 20,000-square-foot inflatable field. Back inside, kids can enter the smoky, black-lit laser-tag arena to demonstrate who is most deserving of parents' love, or challenge their progenitors to skee-ball at the arcade. Between games, an eatery supplies patrons with refreshments such as sandwiches, chicken strips, and pizzas on crust made without gluten or lasers. It also offers a wine and beer list for adults, as well as free WiFi. For special occasions, Action Territory's team can also arrange birthday parties and organize group packages.
There may be several different structures for thrill-seekers to ascend at Aerial Adventures, but one thing's for certain: they'll find a bird's-eye view waiting for them at the top. If they choose the zipline, they'll soar through the treetops at heights of up to 45 feet. On the ropes course, adventurers clamber up rope ladders and teeter across balance beams, all the while safely attached to a belayer below. Whereas on the climbing towers, guests crawl skyward until they reach a door at the top of the towers for a breathtaking view of the surrounding foliage.
Recurring dreams can often be brief and haunting. But 6 miles west of Lake Geneva at a large theater in the center of 40 acres of wooded trails, Dana Montana happily watches her lifelong dream unfold. Here, she takes center stage to introduce up to 300 guests to her beloved purebred Arabian horses that majestically trot out to join her. They entertain audiences alongside expert acrobatic performers and trainers, whose resumés include stints with the Ringling Bros. Circus, Walt Disney World, and Arabian Nights. Garbed in sparkling bridles and feather-plumed headdresses, the magnificent steeds wow the crowd with dazzling footwork and quotes from Shakespeare’s lesser-known horse plays. Montana’s park also presents guests with an exotic bird show, a petting zoo, and a wildlife trail that blooms with fiery colors each fall.
Rink Side is part black-lit space terrain, part family game room, and part pizzeria. Buckle into a laser tag vest and prepare to be transported into another dimension—a darkened, 2,000-square-foot, neon-scintillating arena where you’ll blast beams at friend and foe alike in a tense match to see who is the laser prince. Or, if you’d rather putt peaceably amid glowing hues, opt for 18 holes of black-light mini golf. Rink Side’s mini golf is under-the-sea-themed, surrounding players with sharks, turtles, and treasure chests filled with cicada molts. When game time comes, update your away message for three consecutive hours of screen bonding.
In 2012, Jump America— located next door to Six Flags Great America— debuted more than 16,000 square feet of springy floor space—trampolines cover the floors and walls. A game of dodge ball gets an antigravity twist over two courts and jumpers can use a trampoline as a launching pad into a pit of foam. Guests aged 3 and up watch a safety video before embarking upon hours of bouncy play monitored by attentive staffers. Between cushy crimson borders, the trampolines send visitors flying into the air during open-jump hours or two-hour parties that come with all the traditional trimmings, such as pizza and birthday candles that reignite every time you try to lick them.