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14 *free* summer festivals


The season of festivals is underway! Here is a roundup of 14 festivals that offer free admission to families. Check out the entire list of festivals here. Sun Fair

June 2-4, 2017

The Sun Fair will span from S. 7th St. to S. 11th St. along historic Mitchell Street, making it the south side's largest street carnival! The Sun Fair will feature carnival style rides and games for the whole family. As well as a beer tent, food and gift vendors and more!

Locust Street Festival of Music & Art

June 11th, 2017

Over 15,000 people will pack East Locust Street between Humboldt and Holton to enjoy six outdoor music stages and a multitude of artists, vendors, a drumcircle, participate in childrens activities and 11 different food and drink vendors.

Greek Fest

June 23-25, 2017

Throughout the festival, guests will be entertained by traditional Greek music and dancing, along with a Greek Market full of imported goods and artifacts! A wide variety of fresh, authentic Greek food will be available, including gyros, Greek chicken, lamb, saganaki, souvlaki, baklava and loukoumades. Games and rides for children of all ages will be available. ($5.00 parking)

Summer Soulstice

Saturday, June 24th, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to Midnight

Largest free showcase of top local bands along with visual artists, makers of Milwaukee's arts/crafts scene curated by the Waxwing, creation stations, East Side restaurants, dodgeball and BMX stunt bikes, family-friendly activities, a climbing wall and more!

Strawberry Fest

June 24-25, 2017

More than 100,000 people visit Cedarburg annually for this free, family-oriented festival, a favorite for arts, crafts, delicious food, children's activities and of course everything strawberry-related! Festival favorites include the "Original" Strawberry Brat, Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry Pie, Strawberry Crepes, Strawberry Slush and Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Kids' activities will run all day in Cedar Creek Park. Highlights include an interacive, kid-friendly rock concert, the Cedarquacker Duck Race, a photo booth, fire safety, a petting zoo, a crawling maze, giveaways, dancer, clowns and more.

Fireworks Kite Festival

July 3rd, 2017

11:00 a.m. - 9:25 p.m. when the fireworks start!

Veterans Park

This is a fun fly and all are welcome to participate. The sky will be filled with kites! Times from 11:00 am until 6:30 PM, then 7:30 PM until the fireworks start at 9:25 pm. There will be a huge area of Veterans Park set aside just for kitefliers. So fly a kite and get the best seats in the house for the fireworks show!

Bastille Days

July 13-16, 2017

Milwaukee’s popular French festival and one of the nation’s largest French-themed celebrations attracts over 250,000 visitors annually who enjoy live music, an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, French and Cajun cuisine, roaming busker entertainment and a signature 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica offering hourly light shows. Kids' and Family Day at Bastille Days is Saturday, July 15th. Kids' Activities kick-off at 10am.

South Shore Frolics

July 14-16, 2017

Sometimes one firework show just isn’t enough. At South Shore Frolics, each night of the festival is capped with a firework show. But that’s just the grand finale to a grand festival. The festival, dubbed one of Milwaukee’s oldest, includes a car show, art, live music, a fish fry and games for the kids. A permanent smile just might be in order.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show

July 15-17, 2017

Milwaukee's lakefront will be roaring with special aircrafts during the Air & Water Show, and it's free to watch from afar! The Blue Angels will be there! (You can also buy tickets for a VIP experience.)

Waterford Hot Air Balloon Festival

July 21-23rd, 2017

This year marks the 7th annual Waterford Balloonfest, one of about 100 hot air balloon festivals around the country that balloon enthusiast come to visit each year. The event, which takes place on the school grounds of Evergreen Elementary in Waterford, WI, features hot air balloon activities (including competitions, launches and night glows), food, craft & business vendors, a beer garden, live entertainment stages for kids & adults, helicopter rides, tethered balloon rides, an outdoor movie, kids activities & more. Admission is free!

Art & Chalk Fest

July 29-30th, 2017

Museum of Wisconsin Art

The Museum of Wisconsin Art’s inaugural Art & Chalk Fest is an outdoor juried fine arts and crafts festival to be held on MOWA's new cultural campus. The festival will offer artist vendors, music, food, face painting, art projects, a kids chalk contest, and live street chalking by professional chalk artists.

Brady Street Festival

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Brady Street will be rockin' the night and day away with 4 stages packed with live entertainment, including some of our fav local bands. Visit the Kohls Color Wheels Art Station and Adventure Rock Climbing Wall.

Milwaukee Dragon Festival

August 12, 2017

Veterans Park

9:30-3:30

The Milwaukee Chinese Community Center presents this festival filled with food, music, dance, martial arts and Dragon Boat Races - vibrant colored boats filled with men and women, working as one, racing to cross the finish line first. Don't miss this thrilling event!

IndiaFest

August 19th. 2017

11:00-9:00

Humboldt Park

A free day of culture, collaboration, history, diversity and inclusion. Yes, it is an entry-free festival for you to enjoy. Experience “Mini India” – Savor your sights with colorful traditional dresess to gorgeous Indian outfits; tingle your taste buds with authentic spices and delicious curries; fill your ears with music from classical to contemporary versions; Swing and dance with unforgettable Indian beats.

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Do you know of any other free festivals that are kid-friendly? Drop a comment below!

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