Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness of historic preservation and promotion of Milwaukee's built environment.The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours and boat tours on the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 100 buildings.
The signature ComedySportz show (Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m., typically $10–$12 per person) and ComedySportz Kidz show (Saturday at 3 p.m., typically $7.50 per person) squares off comedic squads against one another in a some-holds-barred refereed stage match that is surprisingly appropriate for all ages. In an effort to keep humor clean, referees and audience members can call for the brown-bag foul, which puts the offensive performer into a bagged timeout to think about both what they've done and what it feels like to be a grocery item. In between laughs, grab some fermented ales at the on-site full bar or snag an order of fresh eats from the Howie's Restaurant menu.
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
In the 1930s, big bands and lauded musicians played a famous bar called Weilers and would one day become Memories Dinner Theater. The music bounced off the very same 2,500-square-foot maple dance floor, tamarack log ceiling, and twin stone fireplaces that remain today, though Memories has since expanded its entertainment options beyond song and dance.
As guests feast on three-course meals, the theater's roster of top-notch actors tackle dramas, musicals, audience-interactive murder mysteries, and comedies. The laughs continue on Chicken Comedy nights, when funnyman Rob Haswell hosts renowned comedians whose jokes keep diners chortling in between bites not of rubber, but of broasted chicken and food from an unlimited buffet.
Every seat at The Beach House Restaurant and Bar gets a front-row view of the sun as it sinks below the other side of the lake. These nightly sunset shows make it easy to see why the space has been a popular hangout since the 1940s. Although The Beach House only opened its doors in 1995, it's still a haven for old-fashioned fish fries and traditional grilled steaks. The menu also showcases six varieties of salad, including ones topped with grilled salmon or king louis crab, perfect for those seeking a lighter option or extra lettuce to save for rabbit bait.