Milwaukee is one of those cities that is perfect for people who don’t really like vacationing in cities. It’s small, friendly and affordable, with plenty of cool stuff for kids.
Only 90 miles from the Loop, Milwaukee is an easy day trip from the northern suburbs. But if you’ve got the time and younger kids, consider an overnight stay at the Milwaukee Hilton City Centre. It’s a grand old hotel with the ultimate in kid vacation features: an indoor water park in the basement (although it’s best for younger kids).
The Hilton is conveniently located within walking distance of one of Milwaukee’s best family attractions, the Milwaukee Public Museum, a terrific natural history museum. Don’t miss the two-story Puelicher Butterfly Wing that’s always a hit with kids. Also housed in the downtown Museum Center Complex is the Humphrey IMAX Dome Theater and the $2.6 million Daniel M. Soref Planetarium.
A few blocks away—it’s within walking distance on a warm day, but on a blustery one when the wind whips in off the lake, you might choose to drive over and park nearby—is the fantastic Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. The place is filled with things kids can push, pull and play pretend with and it’s across the street from the Milwaukee Art Museum. There’s not all that much for kids at the art museum, but if the children exhaust themselves playing at the Betty Brinn and fall asleep in the stroller, it’s a great respite for parents.
If there’s still time, make one last stop. Discovery World, the city’s science and technology museum, is a fairly new museum that offers something for all ages. Kids can lie on a bed of nails to learn about weight distribution, interact with stingrays in the touch tank and feel the dips and dives of flying an airplane. Top it off with a picnic on the shores of Lake Michigan, just outside the museum, and your trip is complete.
Milwaukee Convention and Visitor’s Bureau