I live in a great city! For many it is most famous for beer and cheese, or for those great duos Harley Davidson and Laverne & Shirley…but Milwaukee is so much more (especially for this beer-averse vegan). It is a city of music festivals, great food, cultural experiences, professional sports teams, parks and beaches. Each time an out-of-town guest comes to stay with us they leave saying, I had no idea Milwaukee was such an interesting place.
For families like ours, Milwaukee is easy to navigate by foot or bike, with miles of paths moving through the city. There are interactive museums, environmental centers, and playgrounds galore. Restaurants are kid friendly – even the fancy ones – so you don’t have to worry if your bring a little one along. It has been a wonderful place to raise our daughter.
This week on Entertaining Family, as a love letter to my hometown, I have composed a gallery of my favorite places and spaces. I hope you might find time to visit. Enjoy!
Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center (UEC) is a place where city residents can learn about the natural environment around them.
You can observe native animals and learn about their habitats.
There are plenty of things to keep kids busy…from games to an indoor/outdoor slide.
When we’re visiting, we have to construct our favorite 3-dimensional butterfly puzzle.
Milwaukee’s winters can be harsh, but there is also a lot of fun to be had (despite what that face might tell you)…sledding, skiing, snow shoeing, skating and hiking are just some of the fun winter activities.
Here is my daughter running up a snow covered hill to go sledding on the other side.
The Historic Third Ward offers a wide array of shops, restaurants and theaters.
The gorgeous Schlitz Audubon Nature Center offers miles of hiking trails and an education center.
Inside the education center, there is always an opportunity to learn about plants and animals.
Hiking in the woods is one of our favorite ways to bond as a family.
In fact, in Milwaukee, I’m always a short distance from the most beautiful natural settings.
Sometimes our Great Lake seems like a great ocean….
With miles of pristine shoreline and beaches, Lake Michigan is a great summer destination.
We have beautiful blue skies….sometimes…
The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) has world class traveling exhibitions as well as incredible permanent collections.
When at the MAM, we love the chance to relax in the atrium designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.
A Dale Chihuly glass sculpture welcomes guests.
And, thanks to funding from Kohl’s, the museum always offers interesting art projects for families.
Looking north along the Milwaukee River, you can see the famous Usinger Sausage Factory.
From there its a nice walk to the Public Market – one of our favorite places to shop for great food and wine.
Thief Wine offers my favorite bottles of vino – and the owner always remembers what we enjoy most. That’s service!
We can’t stop at the Public Market without a sampling of specialty vinegars.
A bird’s eye view of the different specialty shops housed under one roof.
The St. Paul Fish Company offers fresh seafood daily and has a wonderful restaurant and oyster bar.
Historic buildings add scenic charm to our Midwestern city.
We take weekly walks to the Milwaukee River.
Standing along the banks, we feel so appreciative for the natural beauty our city offers.
Milwaukee has one of the best zoos in the country.
The carousel is always our first stop.
The spaces are designed to give visitors amazing views of wild life that they wouldn’t otherwise get to see.
Okay, we do live in the Dairy State…so of course there is a bovine for kids to play upon.
Milwaukee has beautiful parks throughout the city.
Swinging has been one of my favorite pass times since I was a kid. I feel like I live in a city of swings.
Hide-and-go-seek in an urban park brings out the kid in all of us.
Milwaukee’s play spaces are fun, inviting and well cared for.
The arboretum along the river allows us to be surrounded by nature.
I love that my child can been in the middle of the city, and feel like she has the world to herself.
Watching Ryan Braun at a summer baseball game is bueno!
Miller Park is one of the best baseball stadiums in the country.
Jonathan Lucroy is a Milwaukee favorite.
It’s fun living in a city with professional sports teams.
Milwaukee is known as the “City of Festivals”…I was happy to have managed one for several years, Skyline Music.
De La Buena is one of my favorite Milwaukee bands. On any given day in summer, you are certain to find at least one music festival taking place.
Our city is warm, inviting and down right fun.
Look at that view of the skyline.
In Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood, Centro Cafe is one of our favorite eateries.
In summer, we love to grab a table outside where we can sip wine, eat great food, and watch the people go by.
The board in front of Cafe Centro advertises the daily specials.
My husband’s favorite dish is gnudi with wild mushrooms and truffle oil.
I’m distracted by a cat in a nearby window.
Here is my favorite…pasta pomodoro with plenty of garden fresh basil.
A great photo of Milwaukee’s City Hall.
This is one of the walking paths in Red Arrow Park, a green space in the center of downtown Milwaukee. Its design is more similar to an Italian piazza than a typical American park.
So those are just some highlights of the city – I could have posted a million more but had to edit myself (which isn’t always easy). Milwaukee makes a lot of special appearances on Entertaining Family. If you’re interested in seeing more of this beautiful place, check out Family Field Trips or Using Nature to Inspire Your Tablescape. I plan on writing a city guide in the weeks to come.