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Family-Friendly Milwaukee - From Museums and Laser Tag to Wild Urban Exploration

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You’ll find plenty of attractions for kids throughout Milwaukee, from the famous Milwaukee County Zoo northwest of city center to Lightspeed GoKarts and Laser Tag to the south, near the airport. There are also a plethora of family-friendly dining options, science museums, and outdoor pursuits that are sure to tire out even the most active little travelers.

Science and technology

 

Milwaukee's industrial heritage plays out for kids in hands-on museums devoted to showing inquiring young minds how things work. At downtown’s Betty Brinn Children's Museum, kids can role-play at their dream jobs, from bus driver to TV sportscaster, or try their hand at invention in the Be a Maker creative space. Discovery World, home to the 10-tank Reiman Aquarium that houses various ecosystems, and the Urban Ecology Center, expose kids to the secrets of the natural world.

 

Discovery World

 

With exhibits ranging from Les Paul's House of Sound (named for the Wisconsinite inventor who pioneered the electric guitar) to Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body, Discovery World has something for everyone.

 

500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee 53202Tel: +1 414 765 9966

 

Discovery World website

 

Urban Ecology Center

 

This free attraction aims to connect visitors with the natural world. You can join daily tours at Washington Park, Riverside Park, and Menomonee Valley including early morning birding hikes and animal feedings.

 

Riverside Park, 1500 East Park Place, Milwaukee 53211. Tel: + 1 414 964 8505

 

Urban Ecology Center website

Animal adventures

 

Animal lovers will find lots to do in Milwaukee, starting with the Milwaukee County Zoo, home to more than 2,000 animals and the Oceans of Fun Seal & Sea Lion Show, which runs from May through August. For a hands-on education in Wisconsin's agricultural heritage, you can drive 45 minutes west to Eagle and check out Old World Wisconsin. Here, you’ll find living history exhibits that introduce visitors to farmstead handicrafts, farming techniques, and animal husbandry.

 

Milwaukee County Zoo

 

Meet zoo residents, including giraffes, reptiles, and big cats, up close by following the feeding schedule posted online. Visitors traveling from October through March can take advantage of free admission on Family Free Days once a month.

 

10001 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee 53226. Tel: +1 414 771 3040

 

Milwaukee County Zoo website

 

Old World Wisconsin

 

This living history museum's 60 historic structures range from ethnic farmsteads to a replica of an 1880s village. These exhibits comprise one of the world's largest collections dedicated to the history of rural life.

 

W372 S9727 Highway 67, Eagle 53119. Tel: +1 262 594 6301

 

Old World Wisconsin website

 

Active pursuits for all

 

West of the city center, the Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park is a public swimming pool that’s open from May to September and includes a waterslide. Parents in need of some downtime can head to The Landing at Hoyt Park, a seasonal beer garden near the park's historic bathhouse. An 8-minute drive south of downtown, Bounce Milwaukee is a family fun center with a 700-square-foot inflatable sports arena, a rock climbing wall, and vintage games. You can also drive 10 minutes south to CMP Tactical Lazer Tag or Lightspeed GoKarts and Lazertag.

 

CMP Tactical Lazer Tag

 

Like a video game come to life, this adventure experience comprises 1.5 hours of laser pursuit for kids aged 8 and up.

 

4905 South Howell Avenue, Milwaukee 53207. Tel: +1 414 483 2222

 

CMP Tactical Lazer Tag website

 

Kid-friendly foods

 

Although many of Milwaukee's restaurants serve kids quite handily, if you’re looking for a family meal that's sure to please everyone, head to Maxie's Southern Comfort. The menu features kid-friendly favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato fries, and cheeseburgers, while parents can indulge in the restaurant’s fresh seafood options and soul food classics like jambalaya. For a sweet treat, you can head to Buddy Squirrel for a wide selection of chocolates and nuts.

 

Maxie's Southern Comfort

 

Specializing in fresh local fare, this restaurant is as ideal for kids craving comfort food as it is for parents looking to partake in the nightly happy hour deals.

 

6732 West Fairview Avenue, Milwaukee 53213. Tel: +1 414 292 3969

 

Maxie's Southern Comfort website

 

Buddy Squirrel

 

You can pick up gourmet candied nuts, popcorn, or chocolates from this Milwaukee mainstay. The flagship store on Bolivar Avenue also offers tours of their candy production facility, complete with free samples.

 

1801 East Bolivar Avenue, St. Francis 53235. Tel: +1 414 483 4500

 

Buddy Squirrel website