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14 *free* events for kids and families in October

Here are some family-friendly events that are totally *FREE* around Milwaukee this month!

1. Free Family Fun Night

Tuesday, October 2nd from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Bay View Community Center (1320 E Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI)


Bay View Community center is partnering with the NASA Solar System Ambassadors program to bring Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) programming to youth 4 – 12 yrs. of age in a one evening event at the Center! There will be 12 activity stations related to space including a trivia area, make your own ice cream comets (Ice Cream provided by Purple Door Ice Cream for our comets), astronomy, planets, life on Mars, etc. Cash Concessions will be on hand. *Older and younger siblings welcome to attend!

2. Shorewood Fish & Feather Festival (Free!)

Saturday, October 6th from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Hubbard Park Lodge (6665 S Howell Ave, Oak Creek, WI)Website

Come down to Hubbard Park and enjoy a beautiful riverside setting with fall colors, salmon swimming upstream, fly fishing with Trout Unlimited, and live bird and reptile displays. Fun activities for the kids include free pumpkin and birdhouse painting and for the adults music, food and the Hubbard Park Beer Garden. The Shorewood Conservation Committee’s Conservation Fair will include home recycling collection and over a dozen engaging conservation booths. All events are sponsored by the Shorewood Waters Project and Village of Shorewood.

3. Snake and Turtle Fest

Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Havenwoods State Forest (6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI)


Meet Wisconsin snakes and turtles up close and personal, discover how they live, take a hike, and make snake and turtle crafts to take home. The festival is for all ages – rain or shine!

4. Vliet Street Fall Festival

Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Vliet Street between 54th and Hawley Road


The Second Annual West Vliet Street Fall Festival will be even BIGGER. Vliet Street will be closed between 54th and Hawley Road for a day of fun activities including pumpkin carving, a stage featuring musicians all day, face painting, a drum circle, tarot card readings, food trucks, artisans, makers, and more! Free and family-friendly!

5. Hallowings

Saturday October 20th-Sunday October 21st and again October 26th-28th. Saturday and Sundays from 11-8pm and Friday the 26th from 4-9pm.

Gazebo Park (5798 Broad Street, Greendale, Wisconsin 53129)


Gift of Wings and Greendale Park and Rec are excited to bring back the 3rd Annual “Hallowings” event. Carve and display a pumpkin for free all 5 days, and help light up the display at Gazebo Park. Enjoy pumpkin bowling, gourd golf, live music, Halloween Kites and Spinners by Gift of Wings, and see Winnie the Good Witch on Sunday, October 21st from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. & Sunday October 28th from 2-5 p.m. with fun crafts!

6. Fox & Branch Concert

Sunday, October 28th from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Anodyne Coffee (224 W Bruce St, Milwaukee, WI 53204)


Enjoy this kid-oriented folk duo while you sip on your favorite coffee drink at Anodyne’s Walker’s Point location.

7. Oktoberfest in Cedarburg

Saturday, October 13, 11 a.m.–8 p.m. and Sunday, October 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m

Downtown Historic Cedarburg


Oktoberfest means authentic German music and the entertainment plus a wooden dance floor for Polka fans. And, if you’ve never seen a live Glockenspiel Show (Cuckoo Clock), this delightful, goofy event will make you laugh as it reappears every two hours. You will find German foods and beers, wines and German desserts like Sauerbraten, Wiener Schnitzel, German Sausage Platter, Currywurst, Bratwurst and Hotdogs. A variety of Porsches is expected at this event, including some of the earliest models. Stroll along Washington Avenue absorbing the charm and historic ambiance of thriving downtown Cedarburg, chock-full of unique retail shops and restaurants. Founded in the 1840’s, Cedarburg was declared a National Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city is home to more than 100 restored and intact buildings of historic significance.

8. MYSO Playathon at Bayshore

Sunday, October 21 from 10:00am – 6:00pm at Bayshore Town Center


Experience the talent of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra in the Rotunda at Bayshore Town Center. Following student fundraising, the 1,000 members of MYSO (three symphony orchestras, seven string orchestras, a wind ensemble, two flute choirs, numerous jazz combos, and two steel bands) will perform. This is the organization’s only annual event that features every ensemble! This event is Free.

9. Great Pumpkin Festival at Old Schoolhouse Park

October 24 – 28, 2018 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

WFB Public Library, 5420 N. Marlborough Drive


Enter the Pumpkin patch, pick out a pumpkin and bring it into the carving tent! Prepare, design and carve your pumpkin at this family friendly event. They provide the FREE pumpkins, carving tools, candles, and table space. Design a jack-o-lantern, and it will be lit and on display every night. Each night will feature live local music and delicious food from Pandl’s Whitefsh Bay Inn.

10. G.I.R.L. Fest in Oak Creek

Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Forest Ridge Elementary School (2200 W Drexel Ave, Oak Creek, WI 53154)


Free fun for parents and girls! Join us to learn about our safe, no-limits program designed specifically for girls, where they’re inspired to seek out new challenges, build important skills, and take the lead. Featured hands-on activities include an outdoor scavenger hunt, conduct a science experiment, snack on a sweet treat, create an original art piece, learn a Girl Scout song.

11. Oktoberfest at Konkel Park

Sunday, October 6th from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Konkel Park5 (5151 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, WI 53220, USA)


Enjoy kids activities, a bouncy house, like music including polka, and food & beverages.

12. Trek n’ Treat

Sunday, October 14 from 1:00 – 4:00pm

Grant Park (100 Hawthorne Ave, South Milwaukee, W)


An educational trek for children through the 7 Bridges ravine, costumes optional, lots of treats and activities. Handicapped accessible route available. Families are invited to “view the haunts of nature” in Grant Park, South Milwaukee. Friends of Grant Park will sponsor an educational/fundraiser event called Trek ‘n Treat. Participants follow the trails through the 7 Bridges area to approximately 15 stations in the park, answer nature related questions, and receive treats along the way! The long route meanders through the ravine, the short route is an accessible option. In Shelter 5A there will be refreshments, pumpkin painting, birding information, and other activities related to the park and its unique habitat.

13. Hales Corners PumpkinFest

Friday, October 19th from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 20th from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Hales Corners Park (5765 S New Berlin Rd, Hales Corners, WI 53130, USA)


Join the Hales Corners Lions Club for two days of spooky family friendly fun! Carve a pre-cleaned pumpkin either day for free. Tasty treats and raffle tickets for sale in the pool house. Judging for all pumpkins starts at dusk on Saturday with ribbons and prizes for the judge’s favorites in each age category. Please pick up all pumpkins by 8pm Saturday or they will be turned into ecologically friendly compost.

14. Oak Creek Fall Festival

Saturday, October 20 at Drexel Town Square

361 W Town Square Way, Oak Creek, WI 53154, USA


Fall Festival is our harvest tradition in Drexel Town Square! It’s an indoor-outdoor event that’s our way to celebrate “everything autumn.” The Fall Festival has hay rides through Emerald Preserve, pumpkin bowling, a Halloween costume parade, and Drexel Town Square trick-or-treat. For the adults, our Harvest Market has crafts, snacks, and autumn décor. Don’t forget to bring your Halloween costume!

15. Pumpkin Pavilion

October 17 – 20 in Humboldt Park


The Bay View Neighborhood Association, along with Bill Rouleau, Pumpkin Pavilion Creator, would like to invite you and your family to this annual Bay View tradition. This four-day, family-friendly event brings over 2,000 Bay View residents and Milwaukee neighbors to Humboldt Park Pavilion. Guests come to carve pumpkins, admire the display of 1,000 lit pumpkins, enjoy live music, eat local food, and embrace the fun that is Halloween. This event is entirely volunteer-powered. Since it’s inception, the Pumpkin Pavilion has added attractions, displays and new events each year.

16. Trunk or Treat Waukesha

Saturday, October 13th

Waukesha County Courthouse (515 W Moreland Blvd, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53188)


Mark your calendars for the 5th annual Trunk or Treat! This is a FREE event for ALL children. Trunk or Treat has grown substantially over the years and we anticipate 2018 to be the best year yet! What is so special about Trunk or Treat is that ANY child can trick or treat without any obstacles. You also get to meet local law enforcement as they come out and decorate their squads. There will be a lot of fun things to do!

Library Highlights:

Pajama Storytime

Weekly on Monday, until Dec 18, 2018

Milwaukee Public Library East Branch (2320 N Cramer St.)

Families with young children are invited to come dressed in your coziest PJs and bring a stuffed animal friend for stories, songs, and rhymes designed to develop early literacy skills and encourage a love of reading.

Snack Hack

Thursday, September 13 from 3:30 – 4:00pm

Weekly on Thursday, until Oct 26, 2018

Milwaukee Public Library Mitchell Street Branch (906 W Historic Mitchell St.)

Enjoy a free healthy snack every Thursday afternoon from 3:30 – 4 p.m. in Mitchell Street’s Community Kitchen. All school-aged children 18 and younger are invited to make and eat a simple snack and learn how about the importance of snacking healthy! The Snack Hack series is generously supported by Pete’s Fruit Market.

Ongoing free events

Kids Workshops at Home Depot

The Home Depot near you hosts Kids’ Workshops every month recommended for kids ages 5-12. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron, and pin. All attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times.

Family Nature Hikes at Havenwoods State Forest

Pajama Story Time at Barnes & Noble Bayshore

(weekly on Monday)

Kids Hour classes at Apple stores

(through October 21st)

21 works by renowned artists on display along Wisconsin Avenue through October 21. Hop on the trolley with your kids and see the art from the window, or you can take a casual stroll down Wisconsin Avenue on a self-guided tour. Start at O’Donnell Park at the lakefront and move west down Wisconsin Avenue to 6th Street. Or start on the northeast corner of 6th and Wisconsin Avenue and walk east toward the lake. Or start anywhere in between! Each sculpture displays an informational plaque about the artist and the artwork.

Free admission to area attractions:

Milwaukee County Zoo

Saturday, October 6th


Mark your calendar for this special FREE day in 2018! Parking & concession fees apply.

Milwaukee Public Museum

Free on Thursday, October 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.)

Visit Website

Free admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum

Free to all visitors on Thursday, October 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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Free admission to Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Free to all visitors on Thursday, October 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.

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Enjoy free admission to the Domes on Monday, October 1, 8th, and 15th 22nd, and 29th for Milwaukee County Residents with proof of residency.

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Find more free events on our Calendar!

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