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Local family adventures for 2016

Make 2016 a year filled with new adventures for your family. Here are 52 local, fun things to do – one for every week of 2016!

Print this off and hang it on the fridge for inspiration.

  1. Ice skate at Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park, and roast a s’more afterwards.
  2. Paint your own pottery at Just Kiln’ Time in Menomonee Falls.
  3. Rev up a motorcycle (within the safe confines of the Experience Gallery) in the Harley Davidson Museum.
  4. Find all 15 geocaches planted in different Milwaukee neighborhoods by VISIT Milwaukee.
  5. Touch a sting ray in the Touch Tank at Discovery World. Or, enjoy a Winter Weekend Workshop just for families, such as Density Rainbows and Paper Pot o’ Gold.
  6. Feed the animals and reptiles at the Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park or the Menomonee Valley on any Saturday or Sunday.
  7. Play with the worms at Growing Power (Public Tours are held every day at 1 p.m.).
  8. See a bald eagle up close at Word with a Bird at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, every Saturday and Sunday at 1-2 p.m.
  9. Find the 85-foot Kapok tree in the Tropical Dome at the Mitchell Park Domes, or explore the Gingerbread Land Holiday Show in the Show Dome. (The Domes are free with proof of Milwaukee County residency every Monday morning from 9-12.)
  10. Tour the Milwaukee Art Museum with a free, self-guided Art Pack made for kids. (Admission to the museum is free all day long every first Thursday of the month.) Or, go to Storytime in the Gallery, held every Saturday morning.
  11. Visit Granny at the new and improved Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Or, explore the exhibits by flashlight at night during a museum overnight. There’s a different theme each month!
  12. Take a family yoga class at Haleybird Studio in ‘Tosa.
  13. Follow clues to find a letterbox (a hidden treasure with a rubber stamp inside) in southeastern Wisconsin.
  14. Go ice fishing in a Milwaukee County Park. If you have no clue how to ice fish, check out a free family workshop!
  15. Listen to storytime at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market, every Saturday morning running through April 9th. (Free admission and parking to the Domes!)
  16. See a kid-friendly First Stage show, or check out Bug in a Rug theater at Sunset Playhouse.
  17. Go to a Tales by the Fire performance at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.
  18. Visit the Let’s Play Railway exhibit, or go “grocery shopping” in the child-size Sendik’s store at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum (Get in for free during Neighborhood Night on the third Thursday night of every month).
  19. Find a fairy house in Humboldt Park.
  20. Hear a family-friendly symphony concert at a Pajama Jamboree at the Marcus Center or Symphony Sunday at the Pabst Theater.
  21. Check out a free family concert by local folk duo Fox & Branch. They perform at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company every few months.
  22. Visit each Milwaukee County Beach at least once. Check them out here.
  23. Go galactic bowling at JBs on 41 on Saturdays & Sundays at 6 p.m.
  24. Enjoy the view of Lake Michigan while eating an ice cream cone at North Point Custard.
  25. Pick out a book at a nearby Little Free Library.
  26. Slide down the Triple Dog Dare water slide at Country Springs Water Park.
  27. Fly a kite at a Gift of Wings Kite Festival in Veteran’s Park.
  28. Do a Family Fun Workshop or Garden Walk at Boerner Botanical Gardens.
  29. Take a day trip to Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan – it’s free!
  30. Attend a “Tuesdays in the Garden” event at Lynden Sculpture Garden in Brown Deer.
  31. Go on a free, guided family nature hike or Butterfly Quest at Havenwoods State Forest.
  32. Churn butter, walk on wooden stilts & meet the blacksmith at Old World Wisconsin.
  33. Explore the all-abilities playgrounds in our area – Possibility Park in Port Washington and Imagination Station in Oconomowoc.
  34. Slide down Bernie’s Slide before a Brewer’s Game.
  35. Visit the Saxe Brothers Movie Palace in the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear.
  36. Visit Asa, the new snow leopard, at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Family Free Days happen once a month in January, February, March, April, November, & December.
  37. Get your family passport stamped at Doors Open Milwaukee in September.
  38. Enjoy free kids programming at Milwaukee Central Library every Saturday for Saturdays at Central.
  39. See the model aircrafts at the Mitchell Gallery of Flight at the Mitchell International Airport.
  40. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the needy. For more ideas for kid-friendly community service, click here.
  41. Try falafel, schnitzel, and burek at the Holiday Folk Fair.
  42. Give yourself a break from cooking and eat at a local family-friendly restaurant.
  43. Bike along the Oak Leaf Trail.
  44. Fill out the family passport at Irish Fest and visit the Leprochaun Village.
  45. Tumble around at the Open Gym at LeFleur’s Gymnastics Academy in Germantown.
  46. Rollerskate at one of Skateland’s locations in Butler, Cedarburg or Waukesha.
  47. See a Rated K movie at the Milwaukee Film Festival in August.
  48. Have a picnic at Hawthorn Glen, explore over 23 acres of woodland and prairie, then visit their hands-on nature center.
  49. Slide down the big yellow slide and eat a cream puff at the Wisconsin State Fair.
  50. Pick your own organic apples at Peck & Bushel Fruit Company.
  51. See Milwaukee from afar from the Holy Hill Observation Tower or the tower in Lapham Peak State Park.
  52. 2016 will fly by and soon you’ll be ringing in 2017. Ring in the New Year the family-friendly way: at noon! The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum hosts a New Year’s at Noon party each year on the morning of Dec. 31. Or, check out The Domes annual family-friendly celebration.

Happy 2016, Milwaukee!

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