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.
An all-female, amateur, flat-track roller-derby league, the Brewcity Bruisers' mobile mayhem has dazzled audiences and has been digitally immortalized in the Nintendo Wii game Jam City Rollergirls. Take in a sensory assault of devastating checks and merciless puns in the bout between the Shevil Knevils and Maiden Milwaukee, where respective captains Anita Bier and Moby Nipps throw elbows against Bionika and Betty Clobber in a grudge match. Then stay for the second bout, where captains Blue Siren and Rhoda Ruin lead the Rushin' Rollettes to bang wheelie-spurs with Servin' Justice, Pabsty Cline, and Sharkira's Crazy Eights.
Milwaukee’s only women’s tackle-football team, the Wisconsin Dragons supply hard-hitting action for sports fans of all ages. The team faces a quartet of worthy opponents in four home games this season, bringing precise passes, forceful tackles, and footwork fancier than that of Fred Astaire's pet peacock. The included Dragons bandana keeps ardent fans stylishly supportive and doubles as a convenient wipe for excitement-generated sweat droplets.
A tractor rumbles along the rolling hills of Green Meadows Petting Farm's back 40 as it pulls hayride passengers toward the farm’s animals' barns and pens. There, hands of all ages can snuggle on the fuzzy fleece of a baby goat or sheep, brush against the bristly hide of the 700-pound Patty the Pig, or comb fingers into the soft mane of Lad the Pony. Farmers on the staff also share insights and anecdotes on the farm and its four-legged friends as guests roam the farm at their leisure. For Charlie and Mavis Keyes, of all the sights and sounds on a farm that's been in the family since 1964, the ones they enjoy most watching and hearing are from the children and parents who come to visit. It's a thrill, Charlie says, to hear the kids say that they had "the best day ever," providing a happy counterpoint to childhood days that include trips to the doctor's and punishments to file and catalogue a sister's dolls' dresses.
Watertown Bowl's sprawling lanes play host to up to six players during each two-hour outing. After lacing up complimentary kicks, parties can pluck neon-hued balls from orderly racks and snag a lane with or without bumpers. After striking down all 10 pins or splitting sibling pins from their perennial feuds, each player can sip pop or beer and munch a pizza slice decked with such toppings as cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and ground beef. Themed bowling events add excitement to each outing, and groups can schedule their trips to coincide with alley happenings such as Family Thunder Alley, which charms clans with glow bowl, festive lighting, and tot-suitable music. During Weekend Thunder Alley on Saturday nights, orb-slingers can bowl in the dark as music blasts, lights flash, and balls moonwalk down the runway.
At Xtreme Wheels Roller Skating & Family Fun Center's 30,000 sq. ft. facility, the rental center stocks skates as tiny as a toddler size 7. Here, skaters of all ages are welcome to take a turn on the rink. This is no big surprise, given the history of the father-daughter team who runs the rink. Dean Hohl has more than three decades of rink management under his belt, while his daughter Kimi started toddling on wheels as soon as she could walk.
They welcome families to make skating a part of their history on the rink's 17,000 sq. foot wooden floor during a variety of often themed open-skate sessions. They often host birthday parties in a fun family atmosphere in one of their five party rooms. During Kids Celebration Skate, parents get even the smallest members of the brood in on the fun by pushing their strollers around the rink, and packs can dress up for the Halloween costume contest or skate off excess caloric intakes at the Skate Your Turkey Off Thanksgiving event. To refuel after a day on the rink, skaters break at the concession stand to snack on pizza, pretzels, and hot dogs.