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12 must-do events in January

January has a tendency to be a little disappointing, amiright? With the holidays over, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to look forward to. But luckily, there are some really fun events happening for kids and families around town that celebrate winter and make the most of the snow.

Here are my 12 favorites.

Check out the Full Calendar for more ideas.

1. Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market (Free admission!)

Every Saturday in the Greenhouse Annex at the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) you can join nearly 50 vendors weekly for Milwaukee’s premier winter farmers market. This market features local produce, bakery, honey, meat, cheese, eggs, canned goods, handmade soaps, prepared foods, sweets, and more. There’s free parking and admission to the market, and story time for kids on most Saturdays.

2. Big League Fun Exhibit at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

All month long

The 2,000 square-foot hands-on experience features fun activities, simulated game experiences, and trivia challenges that promote important educational concepts for children and engage fans of all ages. From Spring Training to the World Series, explore the ins and outs of baseball season.

3. Create art in the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio

Every Saturday in January

Art Museum

Stop by the Kohl’s Art Generation Studio to create art inspired by the artwork in the Museum’s Collection and exhibitions.

This month, take a stroll through Nature and Opulence: The Art of Martin Johnson Heade and escape into the warm tropical landscapes and discover exotic plants and birds.

Then draw from live plants, study insects, and build a snow-white floral sculpture in the studio. Even add to a community mural that will be displayed at Penfield Montessori Academy!

Find out more

4. Parents Night Out at Bounce Milwaukee

Saturday, January 14thBounce Milwaukee (Bay View)

It’s not babysitting; it’s better. The second Saturday of every month, drop your kids off any time after 6pm, and pick them up again any time before 9pm.

Your kids get supervision (and fun!) provided by certified teachers – unlimited access to rock climbing, laser tag, obstacle courses, our inflatable sports arena, and small group games. They also get your choice of entree (wrap, pizza, or salad), beverage (soda, juice, water or milk), side (tots or salad) and dessert (a cookie, brownie or Purple Door ice cream).

Registration is suggested for children of all ages, but advance registration is required for potty-trained children under 7. $35 per child ($5 discount for additional children in the same family).

Find out more

5. 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration (Free!)

Sunday, January 15th

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

The only cities that have celebrated Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984 are Atlanta, Georgia and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Always taking place in the month of January, this event focuses on keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through an art, speech and writing contest.

In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall, truly demonstrating the excellence of our arts community. Some of the groups celebrating with us this year include United Indians of Milwaukee, Riverside University H.S. Swing Choir, Hip Hop Cellist— Malik Johnson, Hmong American Peace Academy, Milwaukee H.S. of the Arts student and Jazz singer— Kaprice Maxwell, the Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, and more!

The theme for this year is: “We Shall Overcome”

Find out more

6. Learn how to cross-country ski

January and February

Urban Ecology Center

$10 (Nonmembers: $15)

Head to the Urban Ecology Center and learn basic techniques for success in classic style cross-country skiing. Take one lesson, or multiple lessons to advance your skills. For ages 7 and older. Attend any one class or several classes.

Find out more

7. Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the library (Free!)Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King library branch

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Entertainment and activities for the whole family will be featured throughout the day, including live performances by Afro-Brazilian percussion group, the Kevin Hayden Band, and the Signature Dance Company.

Crafts throughout the day will include a King Day collage, button making, and dream books. You can also check out an interactive timeline that will feature the life and legacy of Dr. King and civil rights in Milwaukee. You’ll have the chance to write down and share your personal experiences with those events and how they have directly impacted your life.

End on a sweet note by decorating a peace cookie with family and friends.

8. Sledding the slopes of Menomonee Valley

Tuesday, January 17th

Urban Ecology Center – Menomonee Valley

Get outside for the perfect winter activity-an evening of sledding in three bridges park. Plus we’ll warm up with hot chocolate. If there is no snow we will go for a hike. This event if free for Young scientist Club Members, and non members are $5 per child.

Find out more

9. Family Owl Prowl at Wehr Nature Center

Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21st.

Join a naturalist for an evening with the owls. An interactive program will highlight the amazing adaptations of our nocturnal neighbors. Come prepared for a walk in the woodlands of Wehr in search for the great horned owl and Eastern screech owl.

Find out more

10. Winter Carnival at Lynden Sculpture Gardens

Saturday, January 28, 2017

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Lynden welcomes winter with a day of outdoor art-making, studio activities, scavenger hunts, tours and tree-walks,ice skating, painting the pond, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more. The Little Havana Express food truck will be serving Cuban cuisine–sandwiches, empanadas, and hot beverages from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Find out more

11. Winter Carnival at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Sunday, January 29th

All Members: $5Non-Members: Adult $10 | Youth $5

Scheduled activities include horse drawn wagon rides, lake and trail hikes, Kohl’s Wild Theater, Whiz Bang Zoom Liquid Nitrogen, and an Owl Meet and Greet. Drop-in activities (weather dependent and ongoing through the day) include

snowshoeing, live animals, snow bowling, sledding, winter crafts, the animal den and s’mores!

Find out more

12. Winterfest 2017 at the Urban Ecology Center

Saturday, January 28th


Celebrate winter in Wisconsin! Their skating rink and sledding hill will be open (weather permitting), and they will have music, crafts, homemade pies and plenty of hot cocoa.

Find out more

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