Amber Flanagan's grandparents moved to Milwaukee from Mississippi in the 1960s, bringing with them their culinary heritage and their firm belief in the importance of good eating. Today, Amber carries on their passion for gastronomical traditions by leading walking food tours of the Silver City District and the Historic Third Ward. Milwaukee’s history as a hub for immigrants from all over the world is reflected in the city's diverse ecosystem of restaurants: tours may bounce between Vietnamese, Peruvian, Thai, and Mexican cuisines on their journey. Some restaurant outings incorporate cooking demonstrations, which could otherwise only be glimpsed after donning an elaborate busboy disguise.
The casual dining room of Grande Lettys transports patrons to the heart of Mexico, surrounding them in painted murals depicting Mexican streets. There's just one more step needed to complete the teleportation: a bite of freshly made guacamole or a housemade tamale. And the eatery's enticing dinner or lunch plates deliver. Chefs cook enchiladas, burritos, and tacos with a choice of fillings, such as steak or a mixture of beans and cheese?which dexterous diners can use to make a sculpture of Pancho Villa. After meals, patrons aged 21 or older can stick around and play video casino games. Insider tip: order a container of a favorite salsa to take home.
A family walks down a lane cut into a sprawling field of corn, striding confidently until they reach a fork. After a debate, they turn left, and eventually left again. A wooden bridge leapfrogs them to a new path, lined with rows of eerily similar corn stalks. Luckily, it's a balmy day, the blue sky striated with wispy clouds, and they're not in a hurry to emerge from the green ocean of corn.
From an observation deck nearby, the 28-acre cornfield looks like a postage stamp inside the 450-acre farm, which grows soybeans, corn, and more than 50,000 Christmas trees. Homesteaded in 1840, the land is now owned and worked by a third generation of Richardsons. The family wanted to welcome visitors to the farm to enjoy the rural, outdoorsy fun that could only fit on such a sprawling space. They planted the corn maze?among the world's largest?and devised other attractions such as a zipline and paintball gallery. Visitors can also cheer on racing pigs, pet animals in an interactive zoo, and participate in different maze games. In autumn families come to pick pumpkins and in winter they cut their own Christmas trees.
The staff at 2K Adventure Gear lures explorers into its storefront with apparel, equipment, and accessories for warm- and cold-weather excursions, and helps keep like minds together by organizing a variety of fun, rough-and-tumble outdoor events. A selection of kayaks, paddles, and life jackets outfit aquatic travelers; snowshoes give trekkers the surefootedness of a mountain goat and the problem-solving savvy of a lab rat with a degree in public relations. Clients can load up backpacks and venture forth on one of the company’s weekly paddling events, held at sites around the Midwest. Beginners can take advantage of lessons that accommodate no more than 12 students, and more practiced paddlers can take group trips to Wisconsin, central France, or a whale’s dreamscape.
Single-seat Formula K go-karts sidle beside two-seaters on Kristof Entertainment Center's family-friendly driving track. After letting the wind tussle hair, friends and families compete on the 18-hole scenic miniature-golf course replete with challenging holes and flanked by waterfalls, fountains, and castles. In batting cages, baseballs and softballs hurl toward bat-wielders, and players send bowling balls careening toward pins across lanes during regular or cosmic bowling. Sports skills are further tested at seven billiards tables that leave ample opportunity for sinking in eight-balls, and the arcade's classic redemption games such as skee-ball facilitate fun and prizes. After exhausting all one's rounds of play, Kristof's Bar reenergizes visitors with Pepsi products and snacks while broadcasting sports on its many televisions.