Milwaukee is an incredible place to raise a family – there’s always something to do! Whether you are a local or visiting the area, check out some fantastic spots to enjoy with your Milwaukee kids that will encourage learning and interactivity while making wonderful new memories!
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is a beautiful, interactive place in Milwaukee for kids to play and learn. Their mission is to “Inspire all children to wonder and explore their world through play and innovative, hands-on learning experiences.”
The museum was founded in 1995 by three moms who envisioned creating a place for Milwaukee families to learn and play together. The museum “features interactive exhibits and engaging educational programs that promote school readiness, including developing early literacy, beginning math and science concepts, and problem-solving, physical and social skills.” It also provides caregivers with information about early childhood brain development. They are committed to ensuring access for ALL families, offering outreach to low-income families and those with special needs.
The museum features exhibits like Let’s Play Railway, which promotes literacy and early math skills, and encourages children to share, take turns, communicate and solve problems together! Home Town is a kid-sized town that lets kids experience essential life skills while playing. They can open up a bank account and withdraw cash at the pretend atm or take a virtual ride on a motorcycle they’ve designed. If they want to fill a cart or check out with a pretend cash register at the market, they can! They can even change a tire on a kid-size car or report the news and weather in front of a green screen!
Science CITY has kids playing with STEM-based activities. A few examples are the following: discovering a periodic table of elements, solving puzzles that explore concepts behind coding, and experimenting with science that seems like magic (think rainbows, magnetism, sound, air movement, and more!)
They also offer sensory-friendly times so kids with autism spectrum disorder can safely experience the museum in a calmer, quieter space.
Bounce Milwaukee is a small, family-owned business developed by a former high school teacher. He discovered that many of his most rewarding experiences were team-building activities and trips outside the classroom with his students. As parents of 5 children, the owners wanted an excuse to play and be silly ALL the time and keep kids active during cold Milwaukee winters. Plus, they were looking for a place where they could play WITH their kids – not just stand by and watch! As such, they offer activities for every age and ability level.
Bounce Milwaukee’s Inflatable Sports Arena is over 700 square feet of space to bounce, throw, jump and score, encouraging friendly competition and play. You can choose from soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, boxing (18+ only), and sumo wrestling in custom inflatable sumo suits.
They also have a two-level, 360-degree laser tag arena. There are no age restrictions, so everyone can play! While the course focuses on team building and cooperation, you will still find yourself getting a little competitive with strategically placed mirrors to sneak attack your opposition!
There is a rock climbing wall with routes ranging from child-friendly to highly challenging. Don’t worry; it’s as safe as it is confidence-building. The Thrill Zone (inflatable) also has a climbing wall, twin slides, mini pop-ups, hoops, obstacles, and a bounce area. It’s excellent for relay races or head-to-head races!
The Blue room, flooded with blue light and blocks, encourages kids to make forts, art installations, and whatever their hearts desire. They also have an indoor playground with a ball pit and a vintage arcade with air hockey!
Bounce Milwaukee may be just what you need if you are looking for the right place to host a party for kids. They offer plenty of children’s party packages to meet your budget and group size. Their food is delicious and fun while being fresh, healthy, and locally sourced! None of their menus is deep-fried. They offer vegan and gluten-free menu options, which can accommodate other allergies and aversions. It’s the perfect spot to celebrate!
Discovery World is Milwaukee’s premier, non-profit science and technology center for the whole family! The facility has over 120,000 square feet of educational and interactive exhibits, meaning there is something for everyone! Their hands-on exhibits and programs focus on technology and freshwater sciences. They aim to inspire kids to be the next generation of engineers, scientists, innovators, leaders, and more – while making unique discoveries and having fun as a family right in Milwaulkee. They are committed to providing these experiences regardless of financial abilities and backgrounds and creating an inclusive and safe learning environment where individuals are respected and treated equally.
Their exhibits include an aquarium, where you can interact with beautiful creatures from around the world, pet stingrays and sturgeon, and meet adorable turtles, snakes, frogs, and more! If your child is into ships and boats, The Challenge replicates an 1800s Great Lakes schooner. Explore the boat while experiencing living and working conditions on this 19th-century sailing vessel. Explore music in Les Paul’s House of Sound, where you can immerse yourself in the theme of this Wisconsin native, exploring the guitars, techniques, sound, and technology he pioneered!
These are only a few of the exhibits at Discovery World. Check out their website for their complete list of programs and opportunities for your family to learn and play together!
The Mitchell Park Domes are also known as the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory and provide various ecosystems to explore, all in one place! With your kids in Milwaukee, discover a desert oasis, a tropical jungle, and spectacular floral gardens.
The Desert Dome features cacti, succulents, shrubs, and desert palms that will transport you to somewhere warm and dry, particularly during Milwaukee winters! The floral Dome displays five seasonal exhibits per year, so you always have a reason to come back to see something new. The Tropical Dome features over 1200 species of tropical plants and flowers, so you and your kids can imagine living in a lush jungle!
The domes feature exquisite architecture, and while the Horticultural Conservatory has been different over the years, it has been a horticultural destination since the late 1800s. A visit to the Domes can undoubtedly inspire the imagination and transport you to a different natural world!
We are fortunate to have a zoo like the Milwaukee County Zoo in our city. It is home to an incredible array of animals, like snow leopards, penguins, giraffes, tigers, lions, hippos, zebras, Western Lowland Gorillas, orangutans, African elephants, exotic birds and reptiles, and SO much more!!
The zoo is certified as sensory-inclusive and accommodating, providing a positive experience for those with sensitivity issues. There are plenty of restaurants for delicious pit stops throughout your day and various rides to experience. Some of the experiences include the following: a carousel, pony rides, a Safari train, Sky Adventure Zip Line, and a Sky Safari, where you can see the zoo as if you were a bird soaring high above!
The zoo also has its one-of-a-kind Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Experience, a fully immersive 360-degree live-action experience with motion platform seating to give an unprecedented look at mountain gorillas in their Rwandan natural habitat.
Perfect for kids, animal encounter tours let you get close to animals like red pandas, giraffes, moose, and more, right in Milwaukee! Learn about their species conservation and what it looks like to be an animal caretaker at the Milwaukee Zoo. They also have an entertaining seal, and sea lions show, where you can “ooh” and “ahh” over their impressive tricks! The Milwaukee Zoo has something for every family!
Another fun place to visit with your kids in Milwaukee is the American Family Field, the Home of the Milwaukee Brewers! In addition to taking in a home game, you and your family can also tour the stadium. This tour gives you access to behind-the-scenes areas like the playing field, visitors clubhouse, visitors dugout, Brewers bullpen, luxury suite level, press box, Bob Uecker’s broadcast booth, and more!
For something special, you can also try Bernie’s Slide Experience. You will feel what it’s like to be Bernie Brewer as he hits the giant slide whenever there’s a Brewers home run! It’s available before selecting games and gives you some fantastic photo opportunities!
They also have special events like the Field of Sweet Dreams, where you can bring a tent and camp overnight in the outfield! Watch an away game on the big screen, followed by a family-friendly movie. You can even play catch on the same field as the Brewers while enjoying an included dinner or breakfast buffet!
Step up your baseball game and visit the American Family Field website today!
Whether you have visited every location on this list or don’t know where to start, this gives you some ideas about what to do with your kids in Milwaukee to try something new! We are lucky to live in a city with so many opportunities to play and learn, regardless of the season. Check out these spots soon!
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