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8 kid-friendly festivals in June

Locust Street Festival of Music & Art (Free!)

Sunday, June 9th from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Locust Street between Humboldt and Holton

Local music and art lovers will love the six outdoor music stages and dozens of artists and vendors featured at the Locust Street Festival. The festival also hosts a thunderous drum circle, children’s activities, and food and drink vendors.

Polish Fest

June 13-15, 2019

Henry Maier Festival Park (639 E. Summerfest Pl., Milwaukee, WI 53202)

Besides reveling in the lively polka, colorful folk costumes, and traditional polish sausage, you can head to the children’s stage that often features comedians, magicians, escape artists, dance shows, Kohl’s Wild Theater, and more. Stop by the Cultural Village to see demonstrations of traditional Polish crafts such as wycinanki (paper cutting), pisanki (decorated eggs), and wianki (floral head wreaths). The Maly Sklep (little store) sells traditional Polish pottery and other folk art. There are even live sheepdogs.

Did you know? Kosciuszko Park is named after Polish patriot Tadeusz Kosciuszko? He was an engineer and military mastermind in the 18th century and supported the American Revolution. In his will, he designated large funds to be used for freeing and educating African-American slaves. Polish Fest celebrates this national figure, and gives Milwaukee an opportunity to learn more about Polish culture.

Free admission for dads! Polish Fest is usually held over Father’s Day week, and dads are typically offered free admission when accompanied by their child. Check their website for other admission deals.

Juneteenth Day Parade (Free!)

2460 N. 6th St., Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 372-3770

Juneteenth Day is June 19th, and it commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. Today, it is a celebration of African American achievement. The celebration in Milwaukee includes a lively parade, a Miss Juneteenth Day Pageant, and food vendors.

Greek Fest (Free admission!)

June 21 – 23, 2019

Wisconsin State Fair Park (640 S. 84th St., West Allis, WI 53214)

Be entertained by traditional Greek music and dancing, along with a Greek Market full of imported goods and artifacts. Taste fresh, authentic Greek food including gyros, Greek chicken, lamb, saganaki (fried cheese), souvlaki (skewers), baklava (sweet dessert made with phyllo dough) and loukoumades (fried dough). Games and rides for children of all ages are available. Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for parking.

Summer Soulstice (Free!)

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 from noon – midnight

2122 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 272-5823

The trendy East Side hosts Summer Soulstice, a free showcase of local bands, visual artists, Milwaukee makers, creation stations, East Side restaurants, dodgeball and BMX stunt bikes, and family-friendly crafts and activities such as an adventure rock wall.

Top pick: Strawberry Fest (Free!)

Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Downtown Cedarburg – Washington Ave.

(888) 894-4001

If you can handle the crowds, you’ll find tons for the kids to do at Cedarburg’s free annual Strawberry Fest, and you’ll get to enjoy some tasty summer treats while you’re there. You can try the original strawberry brat, or some sweet strawberry shortcake, among seemingly endless options. Stroll down the street and explore the white-topped booths, or head over to Cedar Creek Park where the bulk of the kids’ activities take place. You’ll typically find kid-friendly live entertainment, a duck race, a petting zoo, lots of games, and prizes.

Cuban Day Street Festival (Free!)

Sunday, June 23 at 12 PM – 7 PM

New location: Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek

Each year, local restaurant Cubanitas hosts the lively Cuban Day Street Festival. It includes live music, free dance instruction, kids activities, and delicious Cuban food for sale.

Summerfest with Kids

June 26 – July 7, 2019

Every year Milwaukeeans of all ages flock to the Henry Maier Festival Park for one of the longest running music festivals in the world – Summerfest. And although your memories of this cream city tradition may not be kid-friendly, the festival itself most certainly is. Here are some of the best things to do with kids:

The Elizabeth “Bo” Black family fountain: Hopping around in this iconic splash pad is the perfect way to keep cool on a hot summer day.

Children’s Theater & Playzone: Visit the daily lineup pages for information on daily, family-focused performers and show times.

Kohl’s Captivation Station: This area lives up to its name, captivating children of all ages with hands on art projects, live theater and family friendly performers. Families can meet new characters and puppets and enjoy wildlife adventures and songs in conservation-themed performances by Kohl’s Wild Theater, part of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. You can also create a one-of-a-kind art project with Kohl’s Color Wheels, an extension of the Milwaukee Art Museum. For innovative design projects, stop by the Kohl’s Design it! Mobile Lab. You’ll learn techniques and methods from design professionals from Discovery World.

Ferris Wheel: The Summerfest “Wheel in the Sky” on the north end of the grounds offers spectacular views of Summerfest, Milwaukee’s downtown, and Lake Michigan. It operates from noon – 11:30 p.m. daily.

Paddleboat rides: Worried your kids’ little legs will get tired from walking around? Relax and take in views of the festival and downtown Milwaukee on a 30 minute paddleboat ride. Check it out from noon – 7:00 p.m. each day at the boat dock on the north end of the grounds. Boats can hold up to four people.

Skyglider: There’s nothing like your first ride on the sky glider. The gentle ride offers a scenic view of Henry Maier Festival Park, Lake Michigan, and the entertainment below.

Get in free: To save on admission and take advantage of food and beverage deals, check the schedule for Kohl’s Family Day and Children’s Fest Day.

Helpful hints:

-Be aware of the Lost Children’s Area near the Mid Gate for children who become separated from their parents. Children are brought to this secure area and checked in by a member of the Summerfest staff.

-Create an identification wristband for your child at any main gate.

-Nursing? No problem. Look for a Nursing Mothers Station in the Children’s Area and at the South Gate Information Booth. These pods provide a comfortable, private and convenient space for nursing moms.

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