9 winter festivals for kids and families

Cool Fool Kite Festival (Free!)

January 1, 2018

Gift of Wings Kite Store in Veterans Park

1300 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 273-5483


This free annual kite festival held on New Year’s Day offers free hot cocoa and coffee, snacks, giant kites, ice artists, ice carving lessons, and hot food for purchase. You can bring your own kite to fly or purchase one at Gift of Wings.

Winterfest at the Boerner Botanical Gardens (Free!)

January 21st, 2017 from 10:00 – 2:00

9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners, WI 53130

(414) 525-5600


Conquer your cabin fever with Winter nature walks, indoor and outdoor games and activities, hot drinks, family fun, and FREE admission; $5 suggested donation for winter nature walks. The event is held in the Boerner Visitor Center. Call 414-525-5661 for more information Concessions available from Zilli Hospitality.

Waukesha Janboree (Free!)

January 26, 27 & 28, 2018


Get it? “January” and “Jamboree” are combined to create “Janboree”! This epic event opens with a special ceremony that includes a dance, live music, and fireworks outside on the Fox River. Activities throughout the weekend include ice sculpting demonstrations, a pancake breakfast, trolley rides, ice bocce ball, indoor ice skating at Eble Arena, ice fishing clinics, horse-drawn wagon rides, stargazing planetarium shows, nature activities, and more!

Winterfest at the Urban Ecology Center (Free!)

Saturday, January 27th from 12:00 – 4:00

Washington Park

1859 N. 40th St., Milwaukee, WI 53208


Get outside and have fun at Winterfest! Weather permitting, there will be sledding and ice skating on the Washington Park lagoon. If the snow’s a no-show, there will be other outdoor activities. You can also enjoy arts, crafts, homemade pie, and science activities.

Winter Carnival at the Lynden Sculpture Garden

Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from 10:00 – 4:00

2145 W. Brown Deer Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53217

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The Lynden Sculpture Garden’s annual Winter Carnival features outdoor art-making, studio activities, scavenger hunts, hikes, parades, ice skating, painting the pond, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and local artists who showcase projects and performances for all to enjoy.

Family Snow Day at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

Sunday, January 28th from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

1111 E. Brown Deer Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53217

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Bring the whole family for an afternoon of winter fun at Schlitz Audubon! Join us for guided nature hikes, Raptors, S’mores, snow shoeing – and more! Check out snowshoes to explore the trails.Make your own s’mores at Mystery Lake. Bring your snowpants and boot skate around on Mystery Lake. Warm up inside the building around the fireplace. Free with membership or admission. Parking is at Schlitz Audubon.

Winter Frolic at the Mequon Nature Preserve (Free!)

February 3rd, 2018

8200 W. County Line Rd., Mequon, WI 53097


Head to the Mequon Nature Preserve for a free festival that typically includes dog sled demonstrations, tractor rides, live music, a petting zoo, sleigh rides, kids crafts, ice fishing, bonfires, snowman building, and more.

Love Your Great Lakes Day

Discovery World, 500 N Harbor Dr – Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 765-8634

Saturday, February 10th, 2018


Love Your Great Lakes Day is an annual family-friendly event at Discovery World that celebrated the Great Lakes with hands-on and interactive activities. It’s packed with local organizations that are committed to sustaining the Great Lakes.

Winter Festival in Cedarburg (Free!)

February 17-18, 2018

W63 N641 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012

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Cedarburg is magical in the winter, and outdoor fun abounds at their Winter Festival. Delight in themed costumed bed races, ice carving competitions, parades, barrel rolling, sledding, ice skating, and even camel rides. Warm up inside, where you’ll smell the chili cooking and enjoy live music.

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