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9 Kid-Friendly Festivals In August

Ozaukee County Fair (Free!)

July 31st – August 4, 2019

W67N866 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012

(262) 375-6185

Held each year in Cedarburg, the Ozaukee County Fair is one of the last free county fairs in Wisconsin. You’ll find games, rides, animals, fair food, truck pulls, demonstrations, and live music.

Wisconsin State Fair

August 1-11, 2019

Wisconsin State Fair is a celebration of agriculture and livestock, local delicacies, and fried food. The smell of corn on the cob (and manure) is in the air, and so is a sense of pride for all things Wisconsin. Every family seems to have small traditions in place around this event. If your family doesn’t, or you’d like some fresh ideas for your annual trip, read on.

Of the many barns and animals to visit, a must-visit stop is the Discovery Barnyard, where you’ll get to see cuddly baby animals of all kinds. There are also hands-on sensory tables for young kids and other child-friendly activities.

Outside of the wonderfully smelly animal barns, activities for kids are at every turn. The Kohl’s Activity Zone is a free area with a number of white tented booths offering children’s crafts, design projects, conservation-themed theater performances, and educational activities for kids.

Be on the lookout for strolling street entertainers who claim some serious talents from guessing your weight accurately to juggling fire. You might also catch a parade which take place daily and feature mascots, tractors, marching bands, and more.

It will be difficult to resist the big yellow slide, which has been around for over fifty years. Hop onto a burlap sack and take a ride down the 200 foot slide for $2.50 per person.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, the Wisconsin Expo Center offers higher-quality local fare like Door County cherry products and artisan jerky, as well as kid favorites like grilled cheese and pizza. But the more traditional fair food, and the more adventurous options, lie outside.

The Machine Shed will usually satisfy the latter, serving up the likes of donut cheeseburgers and deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. For old favorites, search for pork chops and corn on the cob, capped off with a cream puff.

Other areas to visit that are sure to offer plenty of fun for the kids are the WE Energies Energy Park, the K-9 Sports Arena, and the Farm and Family Building.

Helpful Hints:

-Check the State Fair’s website for Kohl’s Family Value Day, when all fairgoers receive discounted admission.

-Children five and under are free throughout the fair.

-Get a free identification wristband for your children near a main entrance or at We Energies Energy Park.

-Save money on food on Crazy Grazin’ Day. Check their website for details about vendors and specials.

Milwaukee Dragon Festival (Free!)

August 10, 2019

Lakeshore State Park

Vibrant colored boats race across the water during this exciting festival put on by the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center. The event also showcases traditional Chinese folk music, dance, games, martial arts, and lantern making.

Irish Fest

August 15 – 18, 2019

Henry Maier Festival Park

639 E. Summerfest Pl., Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 476-3378

Did you know that Milwaukee Irish Fest is the largest celebration of its kind, anywhere in the world?

Pick up a Pirate Paddy Passport and collect stamps throughout the grounds. You’ll be rewarded with kid-friendly activities and prizes at each stop. En route, you may catch a parade packed with Celtic Canines, pipe and drum units, vikings, and more.

One of the most beloved areas at Irish Fest is the Leprechaun Village, where families can explore tiny structures including a workshop, pub, performance stage, and bank vault.

Just beyond the giant rainbow, check out the Children’s Area with Lili-Putt mini golf, crafts, Highland games, and prizes at the Pot O’ Gold. Explore the Children’s Cultural Area on the playground, including a Children’s Tea Room, the Irish Discovery Zone, and interactive demonstrations.

The Celtic Canine area is another must-see, where you can meet and pet some of Ireland’s most popular dog breeds, talk with the Midwest’s top breeders, and learn about grooming, general care, and training. There’s also a demonstration area highlighting obedience, agility, and hunting skills.

Traditional Irish fare includes bridies (turnovers), sausage rolls, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and a variety of stuffed baked potatoes. For a sweet dessert, try Bailey’s cheesecake, shamrock cookies or Irish cream puffs.

Get in free: Children 12 and under always get in free, and the festival typically offers free admission on Sunday after attending mass or with a non-perishable food item.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a la Carte

August 15 – 18, 2019

10001 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53226

(414) 771-3040

Grab your lawn chairs and spend a relaxing summer evening at the Zoo. This annual event showcases the best flavors Milwaukee has to offer, plus top local and national bands performing throughout the grounds. Find your perfect grassy spot or picnic table, and try food from dozens of the area’s best restaurants. Parents can enjoy a glass of wine and live music in the Giraffe Village Wine Tent. Kids will love the arts and crafts projects and special animal exhibits. Zoo rides are available for purchase.

Mexican Fiesta

August 23 – 25, 2018

Summerfest Grounds

Discover Mexican culture at Mexican Fiesta. You’ll find upbeat mariachi music, vibrant folk costumes, and steaming tamales. You can browse authentic folk art for sale, and visit the impressive, colorful sanctuary honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Taste of the Islands

Saturday, August 25th, 2019 from 2:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202)

(414) 273-7121

The annual Taste of the Islands event at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts celebrates the ending of the Live at Peck Pavilion series. It focuses on a different island each year and includes live music and entertainment, themed food and beverages, and activities for kids such as crafts and face painting.

Indian Summer Festival


200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 604-1000

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