5 Wintry Things to do Without Snow (2023)

This Wisconsin winter has felt a little unusual for its lack of snow. But while you’re waiting for Mother Nature, we found some wintry activities that don’t require snow!


1. Grab a cup of cocoa

Blum Coffee Garden is a cozy spot for a cup of cocoa.

Snow or not, it’s still cold in Milwaukee. And hot cocoa can help with that.

There’s liquid chocolate at Goddess and the Baker in Brookfield, chocolate caliente at Dia Cafe in Greendale, and hand-ground European style cocoa at La Reve in Wauwatosa.

We found the 14 best spots around town for a comforting cup of hot cocoa.


2. Ice Skating

Some of the outdoor skating rinks have been closed a lot due to warmer weather, but the indoor rinks are up and running as usual.

No roundup of ice rinks for Milwaukee is complete without mentioning the Pettit Center, home to two international-size ice rinks and a 400-meter speed skating oval.

It’s one of only 30 indoor 400-meter Speed Skating Ovals in the world and it’s the sixth oldest. It’s also an ifficial training site for US Speed Skating.

Public skating times, rental skate fees, and occasional promotions are listed on their website. They also offer ice skating classes for all ages throughout the year.

The Wilson Ice Arena also offers public skate times, skating lessons, and occasional glow nights.

Plus, the Dinky Rink is open at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Read all about it.

Here’s the full list of the 10 best places to ice skate around Milwaukee.


3. Tubing

Local tubing destinations got a good base of snow earlier in the season, and have made their own snow to make up for the lack of precipitation.

Sunburst was named one of the top 10 tubing parks in the entire country by USA today, with 45 lanes of tubing chutes with a quarter-mile run and 90 foot drop. You can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Glow tubing is available at the Rock Snowpark on select Saturdays.

The Rock Snowpark is another local favorite, and they offer glow tubing on select Saturday nights!

See all of the tubing, skiing and snowboarding destinations around Milwaukee.


4. Visit the Museum

Discovery World is full of interactive, hands-on exhibits for kids.

The Milwaukee area is chock full of kid-friendly museums to explore on a cold day.

And there’s a brand new exhibit, opening this weekend at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

“Survival of the Slowest’ is a live-animal exhibit, where visitors will learn about species that have used their disadvantages to help them survive and thrive.

Survival of the Slowest kicks off at the Milwaukee Public Museum February 11th.

You’ll find 19 habitats with live animals and plants, including a two-toed sloth, green iguana, chameleon, and more.

There will also be live animal presentations and feedings with wildlife educators.

Milwaukee Art Museum Kohls Studio Wisconsin
The Kohl’s Art Studio is open on the weekends for family art projects.

Walk through the aquarium at Discovery World, have Storytime in the Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum, or visit the new Pet Vet exhibit at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum.

The Pabst Mansion offers family-friendly tours on Saturday mornings.

Other options that are off the beaten path includes the Pabst Mansion, running family-friendly tours on Saturday mornings, and the Bobblehead Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of bobbleheads.

Want more ideas? Check out these 20 Milwaukee museums your kids will love.


5. Play at an Indoor Playground

Winter is the right time to explore the area’s vast array of indoor playgrounds.

Our favorite play cafes include Little Sprouts Play Cafe (Shorewood and Mequon) and Bug & Goose Play Cafe (Elm Brook and Delafield). Their thoughtful play spaces are intimate and cozy, and they offer hot drinks for the parents.

Rockin’ Jump is a great place to burn off some energy in the winter.

Your kids will love burning off their energy at trampoline parts like Rockin’ Jump, Sky Zone Greenfield, and Urban Air.

There’s a new indoor playground called the New Berlin Activity and Recreation Center.

New indoor playgrounds in the area include the New Berlin Activity and Recreation Center, Nugget Nation MKE in Brookfield (opening soon), and Kids Empire, opening in the Summer of 2023 at Bayshore.

See the full list of 25 Indoor Playgrounds around Milwaukee.

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