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10 Things to Do in Milwaukee, WI

Theaters, museums, sports and nightspots highlight life in Milwaukee

By Kevin Litwin on November 12, 2014

Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee / Henryk Sadura

With nicknames like Beer City and Brew Town, Milwaukee deserves a toast for its many interesting and fun attractions. Here are 10 of our picks for fun things to do in Milwaukee:

1. Start your engines at the Harley-Davidson Museum

More than 450 motorcycles and 100,000 artifacts are displayed at Harley-Davidson Museum, which pays tribute to the company’s successful 112-year history. A total of 300,000 visitors annually view exhibits like The Motorcycle Gallery, Harley-Davidson Journey, The Engine Room, and Clubs & Competition. Also on site is a restaurant and gift shop.

2. Go for a show and sip at The Alchemist.

An unusual cocktail lounge and theater in the posh Bay View area is The Alchemist Theatre, an intimate 64-seat venue that stages shows ranging from family-friendly plays to scary and sexy productions. The Alchemist is known for low ticket prices and a stage that is smaller than most people’s living rooms.

3. Shop ’til you drop at Southridge Mall.

Spanning 1.2 million square feet is Southridge Mall, the largest shopping complex in Wisconsin. The two-story destination in suburban Greendale has 101 stores, including anchors JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears and Boston Store. Southridge Mall is also known for its easy accessibility from the surrounding east-west artery roads.

4. Spark your imagination at Discovery World.

Focusing on innovation and technology, Discovery World is filled with 14 interactive exhibits along with two theaters, a Reiman Aquarium and a Denis Sullivan Great Lakes sailing vessel. Most displays are linked to Milwaukee or the Great Lakes, with exhibit names like Great Lakes Future, Les Paul’s House of Sound and City of Freshwater.

5. Cheer on the Brewers at Miller Park.

Home to Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park seats 41,900 for ballgames and is considered one of the most fan-friendly stadiums in sports. Besides the game, activities include a famed Sausage Race in the middle of the sixth inning, and Miller Park has the only fan-shaped convertible roof in North America – which opens and closes in 10 minutes.

6. See why Pabst Mansion deserves a blue ribbon.

Once home to 19th-century business tycoon Frederick Pabst, who founded Pabst Brewing Company, Pabst Mansion is open to the public with daily tours. Restoration experts have renovated and preserved several portions of the spacious estate, including the master bedroom, sitting room, and a Regency Room where Pabst often hosted parties and business meetings.

7. Catch a show at The Rave/Eagles Club.

Formerly known as The Eagles Club, The Rave/Eagles Club is a top concert venue that books bands from around the world. Acts that performed on the building’s Eagles Ballroom stage have included Bob Dylan, The Sex Pistols, Green Day, Pearl Jam, The Smashing Pumpkins, Rihanna, Kesha and Maroon 5.

8. Gamble and eat your way around Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

With 100 table games and 3,000 slot machines, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is also known for its high-stakes bingo games that pay a minimum of $70,000 each day. Also in the building are a 20-table Poker Room, Off-Track Betting Room, and restaurants like Dream Dance Steak, Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, and Menomonee Valley Food Court.

9. See the animals at Oceans of Fun.

Trained seals and sea lions are among the flippered entertainment stars at Oceans of Fun, located within Milwaukee County Zoo. The aquatic attraction offers daily presentations during the warm-weather months, and visitors get close-up views of several marine animals and learn about training and conservation programs. Children can feed and touch several of the animals.

10. Learn about Les Paul

One of the best guitarists ever – Les Paul – hails from Waukesha, so a new exhibit called Les Paul: The Wizard of Waukesha has opened at Waukesha County Museum. Besides guitars and artifacts owned by the famed musician, a Les Paul Sound Lab allows children to experiment with sound in 10 fun projects.

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