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 fa?ade 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.
In 1996, a group of climbers wanted to create a safe space where they could regularly experience the adrenaline rush of scaling walls while sharing that passion with the community. In turn, they erected more than 8,000 square feet of climbing surface area at Boulders Climbing Gym. It's marked by steep overhangs and dappled with clay holds that are made in-house, which give the walls a sense of authenticity with respect to common holds made out of plastic or recycled cereal marshmallows. Able to accommodate climbers of all ages and experience levels, the gym’s walls facilitate three types of climbing ranging from roped-in lead climbing to bouldering, a more freestyle brand of climbing. Before beginners head to climb, Boulders’ expertly trained staff dedicate about 15 minutes to teach basic climbing techniques such as safely handling the ropes and executing flawless Spiderman impressions. Along with free-climbing sessions, Boulders also offers a host of programs and classes that include everything from yoga to team building to kid’s summer camps. Guests can also by book a party room to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
Shenanigans Family Fun Center deals in thrills. Its arcade entrances kids with flashing lights and games of chance, and laser tag and bumper cars offer an adrenaline rush. While patrons watch a sporting event on a 130-foot screen, an onsite sports bar serves pizzas and cheese curds.
The laws of gravity are a bit more flexible at Helium Trampoline Park, where visitors can launch themselves skyward while bouncing atop the facility's 130 spring-loaded trampolines. During open-jump times, guests can hop across a padded expanse with each bounce sending them soaring to new heights. They can also hurl themselves into a massive pit of blue foam blocks that provides a soft and safe landing place. Dodgeball matches let players to test their throwing and ducking skills while acrobatically jumping between trampolines on one of the separate court areas. The center also features two basketball hoops with their own trampolines, allowing aspiring all-stars to showcase their most highlight-worthy slam dunk. Helium Trampoline Park's climbing wall tempts harness-clad visitors with its crag-like surface, which provides a challenge as they strive to reach the top before safely teleporting back down to the ground.
In the 15 years since its opening, Adventure Rock Climbing Gym has upheld its objective of granting guests of all ages and experience levels a chance to learn how to climb. The staff meticulously maintains amenities including 12,000 square feet of textured climbing surfaces and bouldering caves. Sculpted ar?tes and cracks challenge forearms as intrepid wall-climbers chart a course up colored pathways to seek council with the sentient ductwork at the faux mountain's 35-foot peak. Under the helm of experienced instructors, students learn the ins and outs of ascension via climbing classes. As climbers scramble upward on more than 40 top ropes, air-conditioning keeps faux mountainsides from awkwardly perspiring geode sweat drops. While the indoor facility offers a controlled environment in which to learn and practice, Adventure Rock?s staff also unleashes patrons? inner adventurers via private outdoor climbing classes held at Devil?s Lake as well as portable rock wall rentals for all manner of party or event.
Be Active Outdoors organizes physical and recreational activities for adults and children of all fitness levels. Regular events challenge locals to break their sedentary habits with 10-mile bike rides, lessons on revitalizing waterways, and group adventure races. An annual river-basin tournament combines a focus on conservation with thrilling paddleboat and shoreline fishing. The Amped Up Adventure race complicates traditional adventure racing with urban elements including biking, running, paddling, and an obstacle course to get people moving in their home environments.