I think I’m still recovering from this weekend. Not from too many crazy nights out but from 3 full days of entertaining my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephews, ages 4, 7 and 8. I was in bed by 10 and slept like a rock every night this weekend.

Irish Fest Milwaukee

{Irish Fest Milwaukee}

Having guests is always fun and I don’t tend to see my family on my turf that often so I was excited to have them here, yet a little nervous. My stage of life is such that my close friends haven’t yet had children, or for the ones that have, the children are all under the age of 3. How am I supposed to entertain actual kids?!

My brother’s main priority was good food and going to IrishFest. The rest of the time, we did and saw a lot of local, Milwaukee-only things that appealed to kids and adults.

For any out-of-town guest, the best experiences are those unique to your city. Of course, age appropriate, but you’ll find that many ages can have all sorts of fun at the local attractions without having to cater only to one age group (don’t focus completely on the kids).

Here’s a run down of our 3 days in Milwaukee:

Estabrook Beer Garden

{Estabrook Beer Garden}


> The Harley Davidson Museum :: The museum boasts a great history lesson and sweet memorabilia on the bikes for adults, but the kids also get an activity book that sends them on a scavenger hunt around the museum. It keeps them busy and engaged. Plus you get to sit on a few bikes at the end. Who doesn’t like to pretend they’re speeding along on a Harley, no matter the age?

> Sprecher Brewery Tour :: Sprecher brews beer of course, but this tour is the best in town with kids in tow because they also make about 13 kinds of soda. Better yet? Bottomless samples of soda at the end of the tour. Quick tip – take the kids to a park (we went to one with a beer garden) to let the kids run the sugar off afterward.

> Estabrook Beer Garden :: Milwaukee is lucky enough to now have 2 traditional German-style beer gardens. The one we go to has polka music, liter and half liter steins of Haufbrau Haus beer selections, a small food menu and outdoor tables to gather around. They encourage you to bring your own food and the Estabrook Park beer garden is along the river, so you can enjoy good company and lovely views. Better yet? There’s a playing field, jungle gym and skateboard park all in view, giving the younger ones a variety of options to stay busy while the adults also enjoy themselves.

> Irish Fest (or any festival) :: Being of strong Irish descent and having lived in Ireland, IrishFest is obviously one of my favorite festivals. But any city has a good festival or two and there are always kid friendly activities available (not to mention good food and drink). My niece was especially intrigued by the Irish dancers. They also have a splash pad at the festival grounds, who doesn’t like a good run through the fountains?

Sprecher Brewery Tour

{Sprecher Brewery}


> The Comet Cafe :: This spot is one of our favorite local joints to eat, it would only make sense that we took family there. Plus, my brother’s been wanting to try their “Compact Turkey Dinner” since he saw it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This spot doesn’t technically have a kids menu, but there are plenty of homey, familiar dishes for the younger crowd.

> Via Pizza :: Another favorite spot that offers pizza (and also has a kids menu). Best part? This is not your typical pizza, so the adults have more sophisticated options from which to choose and the kids can enjoy as well. My favorite? The “Verde” – Spinach, Avocado and Onion with Garlic/White Sauce. Sounds weird, but it is soooo good.

The Safe House Milwaukee

{The Safe House}

> Safe House :: Ok, this restaurant experience was all for the kids. We took them to this spy-themed restaurant that is very kid-friendly, sending the kids on a secret mission while we waited for our food. The food itself? Not the best in town but the kids had a fantastic time, so it was worth the so-so meal. That’s all I can tell you about this place, the rest, you have to discover on your own. Note – kids are only welcome before 7 pm, afterwards it turns into more of a nightlife scene.

> Cafe Corazon :: One of our favorite places for Mexican food in town, this place is always packed. Since the kids typically bump up our dinner time, getting seated early is usually not a problem. Anything on Corazon’s menu is delicious but I particularly love their Chorizo Burrito and the Mussels. Oh, and the Margaritas.

A few extra stops along the way…

We didn’t hit everything in Milwaukee, Discovery World being one of them, but that simply leaves more for the next time I have little visitors in town. A few other stops on the way in and out of town worth a stop? The Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Mars Cheese Castle, Lambeau Field near Green Bay (if you’re going North), the Bristol Renaissance Faire and 7-Mile Fair, to name just a few more.

What are your favorite things to do you in your city when you have little visitors?

- Colleen McIntyre Wisniewski of Flee Fly Flown