Exploring Milwaukee in December: Free and Festive Activities

Exploring Milwaukee in December: Free and Festive Activities


Milwaukee, often dubbed the "big city of little neighborhoods," offers a wealth of outdoor adventures, fantastic shopping opportunities, world-class museums, and a unique lineup of festivals and events that make it a year-round destination worth exploring. The best part? You can have a great time in Brew Town without emptying your wallet. Here's a rundown of fantastic free and inexpensive activities to enjoy in Milwaukee during the festive month of December.



1. Brewery Tours: Sip the Spirit of Brew City

Milwaukee and beer share a storied history, making brewery tours a must-try experience, especially during the chilly Wisconsin winters. Consider a visit to Copper Turtle Brewery and Taverne (330 E. Menomonee Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202), where you can explore their seven brewing tanks creating a variety of beer. While you're there, warm up with craft cocktails and savor handheld delights like Bavarian soft pretzels and pizza.  Another great choice is Lakefront Brewery, Inc. (1872 N. Commerce Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212) opened in 1987 they have grown to brew well over 46,848 barrels of beer and have received awards in most every renowned beer competition. Lakefront Brewery was the first certified organic brewery in America, the first brewery to produce a government-approved, gluten-free beer and the first indigenous beer using all Wisconsin grown ingredients.



2. Retail Therapy: Shop 'Til You Drop

For fashion enthusiasts, shopping in Milwaukee is a delightful pursuit, whether you're hunting for the latest high-street fashion or searching for unique Christmas gifts. Winter shopping ranks high on the list of enjoyable activities in the city.  Milwaukee is a shopper's paradise from trendy boutiques to hidden gem shops, Milwaukee offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. For a full list of shops go to visitmilwaukee.org

3. Historic Third Ward: Where Past Meets Present

Discover the Historic Third Ward, a vibrant district spanning 10 square blocks that seamlessly melds Milwaukee's past, present, and future. Once a rugged riverside locale, this area has resurrected itself twice over to become a hub of arts, culture, dining, and recreation. With its proximity to Lake Michigan and a rich festival scene, it's where history blends with modernity.

4. Immerse Yourself in Milwaukee's Museums

Milwaukee boasts an array of museums that cater to diverse interests. The Milwaukee Art Museum stands out with its futuristic architecture and an awe-inspiring collection of artworks. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Public Museum captivates nature and history enthusiasts with its downtown location, easily accessible from the Historic Third Ward. For a deeper dive into history, the Jewish Museum Milwaukee offers insights into the city's Jewish heritage. Motorcycle enthusiasts should not miss the iconic Harley-Davidson Museum.


5. Discover the Milwaukee Domes: A Tropical Escape

One of Milwaukee's unexpected treasures, the Mitchell Park Domes, beckons visitors even in the midst of winter. These horticultural conservatories transform the heart of the city into a tropical paradise. Stroll amidst 1,200 species of rainforest plants and vibrant floral gardens. The Domes host cultural events, exhibitions, and educational programs, adding to their allure.


6. Milwaukee County Zoo: A Feast for the Senses

Embrace the festive spirit with a visit to the Milwaukee County Zoo, where you can encounter your favorite animals. The zoo offers free admission on select "Family Free Days" annually, extending warm hospitality to Milwaukee County residents on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. With over 3,100 animals representing 400 different species, it's a remarkable destination for animal enthusiasts.

As December rolls in, Milwaukee comes alive with an array of free and festive activities that promise to enrich your visit. From brewery explorations to museum wanderings, retail therapy to tropical escapes, and delightful zoo visits, the city invites you to immerse yourself in its vibrant offerings without breaking the bank. So, embrace the holiday spirit and embark on a memorable journey through Milwaukee's winter wonders.