Wow. Today was a quintissential, glorious Fall day in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, Autumn will soon be over and our brutal Wisconsin Winter will set in. Here are ten things to savor while you still can!
1.) Visit Swing Park - Located under the Holton Bridge on the east side of the media garden, this funky urban park offers all kinds of (surprise!) swings for you and your family to enjoy. This is just one of those Milwaukee things that you can't miss.
2.) Climb the Observatory Tower at Lapham Peak State Park - Lapham Peak State Park is in Delafield, just a short ride from the city of Milwaukee. The observatory tower is located on the highest point in Waukesha County, and the views are absolutely incredible. On clear days, some claim that you can see all the way to Holy Hill. While you're there, there are plenty of kid-friendly hikes, paved trails, and a butterfly garden to explore.
3.) Take a walking tour of the city - Milwaukee is home to statues and monuments that entertain us, inspire us & honor our heroes. There are also very unusual statues such as a monument to a duck and its ducklings. Take this two mile walking tour to explore Milwaukee's monuments and statues, or just visit one at a time.
4.) Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (November 1st and 2nd) - No, it's not the Mexican Halloween. But it is a holiday steeped in colorful tradition, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Milwaukee. Check out the free Dia de los Muertos parade in Walker Square Park or special Family Sunday event at the Art Museum.
5.) Explore Milwaukee Neighborhoods - VISIT Milwaukee organized this supercool GeoTour of all of Milwaukee's coolest neighborhoods from the shores of Lake Michigan to chic Brady Street to the Village of Wauwatosa’s historic downtown. Each geocache offers little-known facts about the area and fun things to do there. I mean, seriously, does it get more fun? All you need to get started is a GPS-enabled device, like your phone. Click here to find out more.
6.) Bike the Oak Leaf Trail - I'm so embarrassed. I've never done it. But I really, really want to. The Oak Leaf Trail offers over 100 miles of recreational paths through some of Milwaukee County's most beautiful areas. Find out more about this beautiful Milwaukee bike trail, and enjoy the Autumn splendor!
7.) Climb aboard a haunted ship - The S/V Denis Sullivan is the world's only re-creation of a 19th century Great Lakes schooner, and it's Discovery World's unique floating educational experience. This year for Halloween, the ship is turning into a haunted ship throughout the entire month of October, and the experience is appropriate for all ages. Step aboard to experience all the tricks and treats the captain and crew have waiting for you!
8.) Catch a Puppet Show at Swan's Corn City Puppet Theater - Swan's Pumpkin Farm in Racine County is exactly what you think of when you imagine your pumpkin picking adventure. They offer a petting zoo, corn maze, tractor-drawn hayrides, a barrel train rain, pedal-karts, and of course, pumpkins and gourds. Their puppet show in a barn-like theater is good old-fashioned fun at its finest. If Swan's is too far for you to travel, check out our list of pumpkin farms to find one closer to you.
9.) Enjoy a spooky movie - Marcus Theaters presents Flick or Treat Halloween Film Series throughout the month of October. See a movie for just $2.00 at 10:00 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 26th.
10.) Firetime in the rooftop tipi - Did you know the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park has a rooftop tipi? This almost makes me feel like I'm attending a rooftop party like back in my college days. Find out more about this awesome free event here.
There you have it - Our list of ten must-do activities before this Autumn splendor passes us by. Be sure to check out our Family Fun Calendar for more ideas.
And for convenient family fun ideas all year round, check out my new book, "A Mom's Guide to Milwaukee 2015." It has exclusive offers from Betty Brinn Children Museum, Discovery World, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and more!