The new year is upon us, and there’s so much for kids and families to check out around Milwaukee. Here are five new places and exhibits to visit with your little ones:
1. New Cafe at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum inspires children to wonder and explore their world through play and innovative, hands-on learning experiences.
Families can have fun learning together in the Museum’s interactive exhibits, including Home Town, Science CITY, Word Headquarters and Pocket Park for children age 4 and younger.
Special programs, workshops and family events are offered throughout the year to spark exploration among children.
Now, there’s now a coffee shop inside of the museum called Betty’s Beans and Books, proudly serving Stone Creek Coffee. An assortment of snacks are also available for purchase.
Families can bring in their own snacks to eat and sit in the cafe when they need a break from the exhibits.
The museum also recently launched the Wonder Wagon which brings their signature brand of fun to kids around the city.
Pro Tip: The museum offers free admission for all on Neighborhood Night on the third Thursday of every month.
2. “Lightfield” in Cathedral Square Park
Making its Milwaukee premiere, “Lightfield” by HYBYCOZO is a free and accessible public art installation, available for public viewing between January 19, 2023 – May 5, 2023 in Cathedral Square Park.
“Lightfield” by HYBYCOZO presented by Johnson Financial Group will transform Cathedral Square Park into an immersive public art installation featuring the work of the Ukrainian and Canadian artist duo, HYBYCOZO.
The installation features eight ground sculptures and 16 hanging lanterns suspended from the park’s trees.
The installation offers interactive lesson plans for children.
On select winter nights, you can enjoy free programming, including free hot chocolate and roasting s’mores.
On January 19, join City leaders and project organizers for a ribbon-cutting at 5 PM at Cathedral Square Park. Afterwards, there will be an ice bar from 5 – 8 PM, DJ Gemini Gilly from 5 PM – 7 PM, a custom soundscape by SleeperSound from 7 PM – 8 PM, and roasting s’mores on an open fire throughout the evening.
For Gallery Night on Friday, January 20, there will be more winter fun, including an ice bar from 5 – 8 PM, DJ RONCO from 5 PM – 7 PM, a repeat performance from SleeperSound from 7 PM – 8 PM, and roasting s’mores on an open fire throughout the event.
3. “Survival of the Slowest” at Milwaukee Public Museum
Slow down or you might miss MPM’s newest traveling exhibit, Survival of the Slowest.
At this live-animal exhibit, visitors will discover often-disregarded species that have used their disadvantages to help them survive and thrive in a world where large, strong, and fast animals are often at the top of the foodchain.
This world-class exhibit will feature 19 habitats with live animals and plants, such as a two-toed sloth, green iguana, chameleon, and more, plus live animal presentations and feedings with wildlife educators.
4. “Plant-itary Orbits” Train Show at the Domes
The Domes’ annual Train Show has long been the biggest Show Dome event, and it’s back in 2023.
It’s opening on Saturday, January 14th at 9:00 a.m. and running through March 26th, 2023.
This year’s theme is “Plant-itary Orbits,” and it promises to be “an adventure like no other in the galaxy.”
Running on four tracks totaling 800 feet, G-scale trains will traverse the unusual plant orbits of miniature white azalea trees and Vietnamese cypresses, “Headliner Starry Night Burgundy” petunias, and into the deep blue space of the pansy matrix.
5. Zari the Owl at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Schlitz Audubon recently announced the addition of an adult female Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), Zari, to their Raptor Program.
The details of Zari’s young life are not fully documented, but she arrived at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital and was quickly deemed to be imprinted and unable to be released into the wild.
She was transferred to Anderson Humane Society in South Elgin, Illinois, where she was a part of their animal ambassador program for a few years. When their department was shut down, the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center staff reached out to take her in.
As a raptor ambassador, Zari will educate thousands of people about the wildlife of Wisconsin and inspire others to care for the natural world around them.
5 Top Weekend Picks for Kids
In 2013, Calie Herbst, a former teacher with three little ones, saw a need for a “One Stop Shop” for family fun in Milwaukee. So she founded Milwaukee With Kids. Her goal was to find the best this city has to offer families and share it with other parents. In one place.
In 2019, she published “Exploring Milwaukee WIth Kids”, a comprehensive Milwaukee travel guide for families and kids.
She appears regularly on WISN News, Fox 6’s ‘Real Milwaukee’, B93.3, and Wisconsin Morning News. She has been featured in Medium, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NPR, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, and on CBS 58 News.
Calie is available for hosting, moderating and media appearances.