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13 free events for kids and families in January

Here are twelve free events for kids and families around Milwaukee this month!

1. Family Free Day at the Zoo

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

Free admission for all! Parking and concessions rates still apply.

2. Family Nature Hike at Havenwoods State Forest

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

10:30am – 11:30am

Havenwoods State Forest, 6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209,

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Are you good at solving mysteries? Take a hike with to find animal footprints, homes, scat, and feeding signs, and figure out who has been on the move. If the snow is deep enough, we will use Havenwoods’ snowshoes.

3. Ms. Jen & the Jellyfish Family Concert

Saturday, January 13th


Good City Hall Brewing Company (2108 N Farwell Ave Milwaukee WI 53202)

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Join Ms. Jen and Ms. Rachel as they bring their kindie-rock sounds and rhythms to the smaller stage! Families are encouraged to get their groove on with this child-centered musical experience. Jen and Rachel incorporate songs from the Music for Aardvarks early childhood music program along with other family-friendly tunes.

4. Dinner and a Flick – “E.T.”

Grand Hall – The Landing at Hoyt Park

Friday, January 12th

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool’s next movie in the Dinner & a Flick series will be the Steven Speilberg classic ‘E.T.,’ rated PG. Admission is free, and there will be food and drinks for purchase from The Landing’s menu. Bring your own folding or camp chair, or sit at a picnic table and enjoy a fun, relaxing, and funny evening. The movie will start around 7 p.m. and lasts a little under two hours.

5. Grand Opening Celebration – Goldfish Swim School

Saturday, January 13th

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

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Come celebrate the Grand Opening of Goldfish Swim School Brookfield with fun for the whole family. In addition to open family swim, there will be a balloon twister, character visits, arts & crafts, photo booth, refreshments, and much more! This event is FREE and all are welcome.

6. Winterfest at the Urban Ecology Center

Saturday, January 27th

12:00 – 4:00

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Get outside at Winterfest! If we’re lucky enough to get the weather we want we’ll have great winter activities like sledding and ice skating on the Washington Park lagoon. If the snow’s a no-show, we won’t let the weather ruin our fun! We’ll still be outdoors. Also enjoy arts, crafts, homemade pie and science activities. For everyone | FREE – donations appreciated

Younger kids can enjoy Winterfest for Afternoon Nappers from 10:30 – 12:00. (Not free!)

Don’t let your little one miss the Winterfest fun just because they nap in the afternoon! Come to the morning version of Winterfest exclusively for children ages 5 and under accompanied by an adult. Enjoy a craft, hike and puppet show, and still get home in time for their afternoon nap. Registration required. Please register all children. Space is limited.

Photo: Chris Von Briesen

7. Winterfest at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Sunday, January 21st

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Boerner Botanical Gardens Visitor Center (9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners, WI 53130)

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Boerner Botanical Gardens Visitor Center The Friends of Boerner Botanical Gardens invite you to conquer your cabin fever with winter nature walks (rain, snow or shine), indoor & outdoor games & activities, hot drinks and family fun! Free admission; $5 suggested donation for winter nature walks Concessions available from Zilli Hospitality.

8. Library Happenings

Family Yoga at the Library

Saturday, January 13th and 27th

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Villard Square – 5190 N. 53th St.

Join Kate Frkovich from Smile Yoga for a family yoga program. All ages and abilities welcome! No equipment needed.

Winter Cookie Making

Tuesday, January 16th

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Mitchell Street, 906 W. Historic Mitchell St.

Warm up by baking! Learn how to make a simple cookie recipe in the Makerspace Community Kitchen.

9. Recurring events at the Urban Ecology Center

Animal Feedings

Come one, come all! Help feed the Center’s resident turtles, snakes, fish and more.

Every Saturday, from 1:00 – 1:30 at Urban Ecology Center – Washington Park.

Every Saturday, from 1:00 – 2:00 at the Urban Ecology Center – Riverside Park.

EcoArt Wednesdays

Menomonee Valley (3700 W. Pierce, Milwaukee, WI 53214)

Every Wednesday from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Join us for nature inspired recycled arts & Crafts.

Little Explorers Morning Playgroup

Menomonee Valley (3700 W. Pierce, Milwaukee, WI 53214)

Preschool is the age of discovery and we’re here to help your kids learn and explore! Join us on the 2nd Friday of the month for our preschool playgroup. We have activities (including our secret slide) specifically designed to engage the senses of children ages 4 and under.

10. Free admission to the Milwaukee Public Museum

Free on Thursday, January 4th for all visitors.

Open 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

(Residents of Milwaukee County receive a $2.00 discount on general admission everyday with proof of residency.)

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11. Free admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum

Free to all visitors on Thursday, January 4th from 10:00-8:00 for all visitors. Check out an art pack and explore the galleries, or visit the Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio. The museum is always free for kids 12 and under!

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12. Free admission to Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Free to all visitors on Thursday, January 18th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. for Neighborhood Night. Join in for free admission, enjoy access to all of the Museum’s hands-on exhibits, and stop by the Be A Maker space to find tools, materials and techniques for endless ways to experiment and create. The Museum will celebrate the Muskego Way, Amani and Metcalfe Park neighborhoods in October, November and December with special entertainment and resource booths hosted by community agencies and organizations.

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13. Free admission to The Domes

Escape the cold! Enjoy free admission to the Domes on Monday, January 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th for Milwaukee County Residents with proof of residency.

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Digital Download:

250 Free Things to do Around Milwaukee (with kids!)

There’s more! All *starred events* on our calendar are free.

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