6 reasons to take a family getaway to Milwaukee

With the addition of a 7-month-old who isn’t a fan of long road trips yet, our family needed a getaway that wasn’t too far away. Located about an hour and a half away from Chicago with tons of family-friendly options, we thought Milwaukee would be the perfect destination. We’re no strangers to the Brew City (read about our last adventure here), and each visit has offered something new to love. Read on for ideas for your next Milwaukee adventure.


Palermo’s Pizza Factory Tour

As pizza aficionados, we were curious to learn more about Palermo’s Pizza, the frozen pizza company whose origins stem from Milwaukee, and go on a tour of the pizza factory. Not only did we learn tidbits about the family-owned business, including the history of the Palermo family, but we also watched the pizzaiolos hard at work on the production line. It might have been fun learning all about the pizza factory, but the absolute best part was devouring our huge slice of hand-stretched pizza baked in a wood-fire oven.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Even though we’ve been to Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in the past, it felt as if we were visiting a new museum because parts of the museum have been updated since our last visit. It was no surprise that my imaginative kids spent a majority of the time in the museum’s mini town. With a grocery store, auto mechanic shop, city bus, TV studio and even a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership, this was one of the best pretend towns that we’ve seen.

Milwaukee Public Museum

With so many fun activities for the family, a visit to the Milwaukee Public Museum warrants at least a few hours. We listened to the roar of dinosaurs and stepped back in time as we walked the streets of Old Time Milwaukee. We were in awe as we watched butterflies flying around us in the Butterfly Garden.

Milwaukee Art Museum

I’ve always been interested in visiting the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum located by the lakefront, and we finally got around to it during this visit. Although the museum is currently undergoing renovation and most exhibits are closed off, we were lucky enough to visit during the weekend of “Art in Bloom.”

Although we would have loved to see more art, we were happy to drop by the art studio and partake in a kid-friendly art project. My budding little artist fell in love with a borrowed art pack complete with colored pencils, paper, stencils and more. We can’t wait to come back when renovations are complete.

Tip: Check the museum’s website for special exhibits and to find out when renovations to different wings are complete.


Café Hollander

This Belgium-style café really blew our socks off. With bicycle paraphernalia and a fantastic beer selection, my husband was smitten with Café Hollander. And, quite frankly, so was I. With exceptionally friendly service, a bento-box style kids meal, good food and a fun atmosphere, how could I not? My husband went on a limb to declare it as one of his favorite cafes ever.

Tip: Try to make reservations at least two hours beforehand, or take a chance waiting in a teeny tiny area.

Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall

We visited Lakefront a few years back and immediately fell in love. Heck, who wouldn’t love polka, dancing, good food and a fantastic beer selection? Don’t let the name fool you. The Beer Hall is all about family. Once the polka band starts playing their infectious toe-tapping music and turns on the bubble machine, you can bet that kids run up to the dance floor and start boogying down.

Tip: If you’re visiting on a Friday for their fish fry, try to make a reservation early. Parking becomes harder to find later in the evening.

Have you been to Milwaukee lately? What is your favorite thing to do there?

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