Milwaukee, also known as Brew City and Beer Town, clearly has a rep as a city built for beer lovers, which might make you think it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of kid-friendly activities. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Milwaukee if you know just where to look. From family-friendly favorites like the zoo and the children’s museum to more off-the-wall activities like citywide scavenger hunts and even a super-secret restaurant for spies only, there are enough things to do with kids in Milwaukee to keep you busy year round
The largest city in Wisconsin is also one of its cultural capitals, making it a great place to sneak in a little learning while you explore with the kiddos. Take in some history, modern art, or maybe something a little funkier. Here’s a quick list of some of our top spots:
Okay, so it’s not the snappiest name, but this science center is chock full of fun exhibits for kids including a flight simulator and a touch tank filled with sharks and stingrays.
Pose for a pick with a replica of the founders, rifle through the vintage toys in the Discovery Drawers, and check out the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the world at this cool museum.
Instead of looking at antiquities of the ancient world, how about checking out the technology and decor of the average American of yesteryear? Kids will love getting a feel for how people lived in the early part of the 20th century.
Milwaukee Art Museum
The building’s stunning architecture is a sight in its own right, but inside you’ll discover paintings by the likes of Picasso and Kandinsky plus exhibits on photography and American decorative arts.
Discovery World is 120,000 square feet of educational adventure designed just for kids. The center focuses on the ever-evolving worlds of technology and freshwater sciences as well as how the two intersect. Their goal? Easy—”to light the spark of curiosity in your kids.” They hope to do that through their plethora of exhibits. Check out a few of our can’t-miss faves:
Physics & You: Kids learn the fundamentals of physics through practical application, which only sounds like work until you realize that means launching rockets.
Milwaukee Muscle: Future gearheads can get their start here, where they’ll learn about motors and engines and can even pilot a virtual plane.
The Challenge: This replica of a 19th-century sailing vessel was thought of as the “semi-truck of the Great Lakes” and here kids can climb aboard to see it up close.
You might be thinking there’s no way a brewery tour could be kid friendly, but Sprecher isn’t your ordinary brewery. Instead, they offer a tour that welcomes the whole family, nondrinkers included. While parents sip a sampling of Sprecher’s 16 different beers which run the gamut from abbey triples to mango radlers, kids can try any of the brewery’s nine sodas. Not only that, but the refills are unlimited so while you learn all about the brewing process together, they’ll enjoy sips of cherry colas, cream sodas, and more.
It might seem odd that to get to the best restaurant for kids in Milwaukee, you’ll have to lead them down an alleyway to what looks like a rickety warehouse door. But trust us, this is no wild goose chase; it’s Safe House, a restaurant and pub that takes its spy theme very seriously. Menu items get in on the act with fun names like the Mission Impossible burger and the C4 cheese curds, but that’s hardly all. Check out some of the restaurant’s coolest quirks below:
Pro Tip: Make sure you bring your kids during the daytime—from 8 p.m. onward, it’s 21 and up only.
Kids sports probably sends images of soccer balls and softball practices running through your mind, but that’s not what you’ll find at Adventure Rock Climbing. Instead, kids as young as 5 years old can try their hand at scaling rock walls and learning basic techniques. While rock climbing can seem more independent than other sports, kids can still learn teamwork by joining one of the gym’s youth climbing teams. There, they’ll get the best of both worlds! Still not sure? Adventure Rock Climbing has a perfect 5-star rating from our customers with more than 2,500 reviews.
“Such a fun place to climb! Great challenge from beginner to advanced levels (5.5 - 5.12). Very friendly and helpful staff. Awesome sense of community!” – Katherine S.
“This was a really fun and stimulating experience! There's something for all skill ranges, the staff is friendly and helpful, and you have the opportunity to learn a lot. The Groupon is an awesome value.” – Christa W.
“Adventure Rock is the best gym in Milwaukee!!! I started going to Adventure Rock for a new way to work out. I tried a regular gym experience and honestly it was boring. I am very active and love the outdoors. This sport mixes those two things perfectly.” – Scott W.