Arts & Entertainment
Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM)
The Milwaukee Art Museum is an architectural landmark, comprised of three buildings designed by three legendary architects: Eero Saarinen, David Kahler, and Santiago Calatrava. The Milwaukee Art Museum is home to 30,000 works of art. 350,000+ visitors a year. 125 years of collecting art. From its roots in Milwaukee’s first art gallery in 1888, the Museum has grown today to be an icon for Milwaukee and a resource for the entire state.The graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum completed in 2001, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. According to Santiago Calatrava, “in the crowning element of the brise soleil, the building’s form is at once formal (completing the composition), functional (controlling the level of light), symbolic (opening to welcome visitors), and iconic (creating a memorable image for the Museum and the city).”
Harley Davidson Museum
The Harley-Davidson Museum is near downtown, Milwaukee. The museum is a celebration of the more than 100-year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The 130,000-square-foot three building complex on 20 acres along the Menomonee River bank contains more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s 110 year history. The museum attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors annually.
Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM)
The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884; it is a not-for-profit organization operated by the Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc. MPM has three floors of exhibits and the first IMAX Theater in Wisconsin. Admission is free to residents of Milwaukee County on Mondays and to Milwaukee County jurors at all times. The museum hosts about one million visitors each year.
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is located in downtown Milwaukee. It is dedicated to providing interactive exhibits and educational resources that promote the healthy development of children in their formative years—from birth through age ten.
Discovery World Museum
Discovery World Museum focuses on innovation and technology, as well as Great Lakes education and conservation. Its building is filled with interactive exhibits, theaters, the Reiman Family Aquarium and Wisconsin’s official flagship, the Denis Sullivan, a fully functional sailing vessel modeled after a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner. The entire Great Lakes watershed, built to scale, addresses freshwater issues, stewardship, and our relationship with freshwater resources. Many of the exhibits have to do with Milwaukee or the Great Lakes, including a 3-D diorama of the Great Lakes.
The World’s Largest Music Festival and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration attracts the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites. The Marcus Amphitheater and 10 additional stages, along with a diverse selection of food and beverage vendors, marketplaces and interactive exhibits, are set against the Lake Michigan and downtown backdrops, creating a festival experience like no other.
Festa Italiana is the largest Italian-American festival in America and features Italian music, food and entertainment. Sponsored by the Italian Community Center, the festival is also known for its large fireworks and pyrotechnics shows put on by Bartolotta Fireworks.
Polish Fest is one of the largest Polish festivals in the United States, it attracts Polish Americans from all over Wisconsin and nearby Chicago, who come to celebrate Polish culture through music, food and entertainment.
Mexican Fiesta brings the sound, culture, and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee’s lakefront. The festival honors culture, tradition and family. Mexican Fiesta encourages individuals form all ethnic backgrounds to share in the beauty of Mexico’s rich history, art, music and food.
German Fest is billed as the “Largest German celebration in North America”and “Milwaukee’s Original Haus Party”. German Fest celebrates the culture, food, travel, and history of Germany, as well as Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol, and German-speaking communities around the world. Along with traditional music, many from the Europe also make the journey to perform and educate at the festival.
Irish Fest is the largest of the ethnic festivals held at the Summerfest grounds and the largest celebration of Irish Culture in the world. Festival highlights include: performances from local Milwaukee Irish Dance troupes, music from nearly 250 artists from around the world, sung in English and Irish, stages for Céilí dancing, and celebrations of Irish sport and culture. Irish people the world over come to see the festival from as far off as England, Scotland, Egypt, Pakistan and Ireland itself. Many of Ireland’s news stations will send reporters over to cover the festival.
PrideFest is an annual gay pride event held on the Summerfest grounds on the second weekend of June.
The Marcus Center for the Perfoming Arts
The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and The Milwaukee Ballets The Center hosts many different concerts, shows, and plays throughout the year. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is Wisconsin’s largest performing arts organization presenting nationally acclaimed guest conductors and artists in exciting live concerts at the Marcus and throughout downtown Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Ballet presents works that speak to our passions and emotions by choreographers who have fashioned ballets in the classical and contemporary styles.
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, founded by Mary Widrig John in 1954, as the Fred Miller Theatre Company, is located on the east bank of the Milwaukee River in the Patty and Jay Baker Theater Complex at 108 E Wells St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is home to an eleven member Resident Acting Company. The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally recognized theater company that presents a critically-acclaimed selection of compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-winning contemporary works, and lively cabaret shows on three stages from September through May.
The Pabst Theater
The Pabst Theater is a traditional proscenium stage theater with two balconies, for a total capacity of 1,345 people. It hosts approximately 100 events per year, including music, comedy, dance, opera, and theater events. Built in 1895, it is the fourth-oldest continuously operating theater in the United States, and has presented such notables as pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff, actor Laurence Olivier, and ballerina Anna Pavlova, as well as various current big-name musical acts.
The Riverside Theater
The Riverside Theater is probably the most graceful, if not the most opulent of Milwaukee’s theaters and it comes by its name, honestly, by fighting to keep the adjacent Milwaukee river out of its basement. The venue seats 2,460 people and hosts many different musical artists and shows.
Miller Brewery Tours
The Miller Visitor Center offers you an indoor/outdoor guided walking tour of Miller Valley, home to over 155 years of brewing history. Experience everything from Fredrick Miller’s arrival in Milwaukee to the high-speed production lines used today. Your free, one-hour tour seamlessly blends the rich history of Miller Brewing Co. with the modern technology of today’s brewing process.
Lakefront Brewery Tours
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. thought it was odd to wait until the end of a tour to drink a beer. They believe there is a direct correlation between attention span on beer tours and drinking beer. To meet their philosophy, the company provides beer at the start of the tour, shares jokes along the way, and still manages to explain the brewing process and history of Lakefront.
Wisconsin State Fair
Yearly features at the Wisconsin State Fair include a wide variety of vendors, many local and national bands, and a large assortment of food and drink, including cream puffs, which are one of the fair’s most popular attractions. The Main Stage features headline performance every evening of the fair. Many local bands can also be seen on smaller stages and pavilions located throughout the grounds. Agricultural exhibits of horses, cattle, sheep, chickens, and other animals are featured every year at the fair.