Free fun with Milwaukee Recreation

Every summer, the MPS Recreation Department provides our city’s youth with safe, supervised recreation and enrichment activities. Many of the programs are free or low-cost, giving children positive choices during the summer months.These programs are listed in Milwaukee Recreation’s Summer Recreation Guide, which was mailed to every city of Milwaukee household. The activities are also listed at Spaces are still available for many classes and activities. The public is invited to call (414) 475-8180 for details.

FREE SUMMER PLAYGROUNDSFree summer playgrounds will open June 18 for youth ages 6-17. The playgrounds provide supervised activities, including kickball, dodgeball, box hockey, champ bowling, basketball, field trips, art projects, and more. All playgrounds are also free meal sites. On days when the temperature is predicted to be 85 degrees or above, the city of Milwaukee connects industrial-strength sprinklers to several playground fire hydrants to create Cool Spots. Wading Pools (ages 8 and under) will also be open Monday through Saturday with extended hours. For details, see pages 34-35 of the Summer Recreation Guide or call (414) 475-8180.


Milwaukee Recreation operates seven Twilight Centers to provide free evening recreation programs for teens ages 12-18. The centers are part of an initiative called MPS C.A.R.E.S. (Community And Recreation Engaging Students), launched in October of 2016. Twilight Centers are open year-round with extended summer hours beginning June 18: Monday-Thursday (5:30-9:00 p.m.) and Saturday (5:30-10:00 p.m.). Activities include the popular Summer Stars basketball and soccer leagues, enrichment classes, swimming, video games, weight training, teen chat, and organized games. Twilight Centers will be open at the following community centers: Bay View (2751 S. Lenox St.), Madison (8135 W. Florist Ave.), North Division (1011 W. Center St.), Obama (5075 N. Sherman Blvd.), Pulaski (2500 W. Oklahoma Ave.), South Division (1515 W. Lapham Boulevard), and Washington (2525 N. Sherman Blvd.). For more information, see page 7 of the Summer Recreation Guide or call (414) 475-8180.


In addition to the free programs listed above, Milwaukee Recreation offers a wide assortment of low-cost activities. Popular programs include swim lessons, sports camps, art workshops, music, dancing, cheerleading, cooking, outdoor education, Summer Recreation Enrichment Camps (SREC), and Community Learning Centers. Every activity is carefully supervised and designed to allow youth to learn and grow in a safe, respectful environment. Everyone is welcome to participate, and accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities. For a complete overview of all summer programs, including an interactive map, visit All locations will be closed Wednesday, July 4.

Milwaukee Recreation is a department of Milwaukee Public Schools, established in 1911 to provide the entire community with affordable and enriching recreational activities. For more information, contact Brian Hoffer ( at (414) 475-8938 or Viviana Buzo ( at (414) 475-8499.

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