36 Things to Do in Milwaukee in Summer
Summer is finally here and if you’re anything like us, then you want to make the most of the few warm months we have every year. Art, music, food, shopping, entertainment…you want to do it all! Well, consider this your Milwaukee Summer Bucket List. It features over 30 fun things to do in Milwaukee in summer. No matter what summer activity you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered!
Free Things to Do In Milwaukee
- Welcome the season at Summer Soulstice
Kick off the summer right with North Avenue's Summer Soulstice Music Festival. From noon to midnight enjoy live music from local bands, shop local vendors, eat, drink, dance and more - admission is free!
- Stroll along the Riverwalk
Only ten minutes from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, the Riverwalk is at the heart of downtown Milwaukee. If you’re a local, then you’ve seen it all before, but if you’re new in town then The Bronze Fonz is a must-stop selfie spot.
- Bop your head to the free music
Milwaukee has quite the little music scene and during the summer you can hear free music almost anywhere you go. Every Tuesday through Saturday, you can catch a free show at our Bar 360.
- Hike or bike and breathe in the fresh air
Milwaukee County has over 120 miles of paved trails and many more miles of nature trails. One of our favorites is the Hank Aaron Trail which runs right through our backyard. If you’re up for an adventure, this 14-mile trail will bring you to many of the city’s major landmarks, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Miller Park, and the Milwaukee County Zoo.
- Soak up the sun at Bradford Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Milwaukee, Bradford Beach is where folks go when they want to enjoy a bit of fun in the sun. Not only does the beach provide a beautiful view of the lake, you’ll also find tiki huts with food and drink service, sand volleyball courts, cabana rentals, and a concession stand. TMJ4 reports that there may even be a new restaurant there for you to enjoy.
- Celebrate summer with a bang
Do you love a good fireworks display? Well then, you should know that July 4th isn’t the only day we light it up in Milwaukee. Check out when and where to find the next fireworks show.
Fun for the Game Fanatics
- Take yourself out to an old ball game at Miller Mark
Tailgating a Brewers game is what summer is all about in Milwaukee and watching them play is made all the better by the fact that they’re having an amazing season. If you can’t make it out to Miller Park, then be sure to catch the game at the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill where specialty baseball themed drinks are served during each game.
- Play a few games for a chance to drive away with a Ford Mustang
At Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, we know a thing or two about games and while we have floors full of games for our guests to enjoy, we’re most excited about Mustang Summer, where every week 27 guests will have a chance to win $500 in FKC Reward Play, three guests will win $1,000 in reward play, two guests will win $2,000 in cash, and one lucky guest will get to drive off into the sunset with a Ford Mustang…or take home $25K in cash.
- Relive your childhood at Up-Down Milwaukee
Up-Down Milwaukee is new to the city, having just opened up last year, and offers a wide array of arcade games for your enjoyment. Now, these machines don’t have payouts but if you enjoy the nostalgia of old school arcade games, then this may be the spot for you. It’s only ten minutes away!
- Brush up on your poker skills before the big tournaments
We have two big poker tournaments coming up! The Mid-States Poker Tour is happening this summer and the World Series of Poker U.S. Circuit will be back at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in September. The potential winnings are huge, but you’ve got to have the skills. Qualifying tournaments for the Mid States Poker Tour are happening now through July 19 in our poker room. Get in on it!
- Drink and be merry as you enjoy a game of golf
There’s nothing quite like watching a leisurely game of golf during summer time. This year, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, in conjunction with Symetra Tour, is proud to present the fifth annual PHC Classic. Up-and-coming professional golfers will battle it out to take home their share of a $125,000 purse. If you’d like to watch the game, you can do it for free and enjoy Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Garden while you do! And we’d be remiss not to mention that getting into the golfing spirit might be beneficial since Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is planning to bring two Topgolf Swing Suite Bays to the property this coming fall.
- Find your new favorite game by trying something new
We know that branching out into a new casino game can be intimidating for some, but it doesn’t have to be! With so much to do in the city, summers tend to be a little slower for us which means it’s the perfect time for you to try out a new game and it’s so inexpensive to do so. We have penny slots, matinee bingo buy-ins are only $5, a bet in OTB will only cost you $2, and anywhere from $10-$100 can get you started on any of our table games depending on the game. Just ask one of our team members for guidance and let your dealer know you’re new to the game.
Fun for the Nature Lovers
- See the outdoors indoors at the Mitchell Park Domes
From our hotel, you can view the architectural landmark, the Mitchell Park Domes which allows visitors to experience a tropical jungle and desert oasis all in one trip. This summer, the Domes are exhibiting an “Under the Sea” Floral Show in their Show Dome, so be sure to check it out before fall arrives!
- Tour the Menomonee River Valley by boat or by foot
Our neighborhood has so much history, once a wild rice marsh inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe, turned into the manufacturing center of Milwaukee, Menomonee Valley is an interesting mix of nature, industrialization, and modernized commerce. Menomonee Valley Partners and the Milwaukee Kayak Company are partnering this summer to offer kayak tours along the Menomonee river and its canals to share this neighborhood’s history and progress. Newaukee is also hosting a walking tour of the neighborhood in July.
Fun for the Imbibers
- Tour the Miller Brewery
We’re not called brew city for nothing! Miller Brewing Company was founded in Milwaukee and offers guided brewery tours all year long with extended hour in the summer. With every tour you can also expect to receive a souvenir glass and beer.
- Enjoy a drink whenever the mood strikes
Have you ever had the pleasure of bar hopping in a single building? If not, then be sure to check out the three bars at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Between The Curve, Bar 360, and the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, you’ll find at least one of our bars open 8:00am – 2:00am. If you visit all three, two, or even just one, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Instagram with the hashtags #paysbig and for a chance to be featured.
- Visit the nearest and newest breweries and bars
Right around the corner, you’ll find Third Space Brewing, a brewery with a bar and outdoor patio that allows you to enjoy some fun in the sun during the summer. In fall of 2018, Milwaukee Brewing Company opened up a new multi-use brewery, restaurant, and bar less than 10 minutes away. This new drinking spot was named the best new bar of 2019 by OnMilwaukee.
- Get happy at happy hour
Happy hours are happening all over the city during the summer. Not only can you enjoy $3 drinks at all of our restaurants and bars, you’ll find happy hours are on the move in the form of traveling beer gardens which can be found at parks throughout the city.
Fun for the Arts Lovers
- Get cultured at the Milwaukee Art Museum
Only 10 minutes from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, the Milwaukee Art Museum provides a host of activities for the art lovers. Not only is the building a piece of architectural art filled with pieces of art from around the world, the museum also hosts the Lakefront Festival of Art, film showings, trolley tours, and so much more.
- Vroom vroom away on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle
In Milwaukee, we know that Harley-Davidson motorcycles are as much art as they are functional and we’re happy to call the Harley-Davidson Museum our neighbor. All visitors have an opportunity to sit on one of these beautiful machines and on Saturdays, drivers with their motorcycle endorsement are allowed to take one out on the road!
- Enjoy a little Shakespeare in the park
Summit Players Theatre is putting on a play right in our backyard! This year, you can watch Romeo & Juliet in Three Bridges Park. Bring a blanket or chair and a picnic dinner to make a night of it.
- Watch a new classic in an old classic theater
Only 15 minutes away, you’ll find Milwaukee’s historic Oriental Theatre. The same team behind this theatre is also behind Milwaukee’s Film Festival, so you can be sure that their film curation skills are on point. When you’re ready to take a break from the world and escape into the fictional one, this is the place to go.
- Visit the edge with the Fringe Fest
The artists that perform during MKE Fringe Fest are living on the edge and bringing us art that hasn’t been accepted by the mainstream. If you’re the type who likes to say “I knew them before they were famous,” then this is the festival for you. This three day festival will take place at three different venues and have roving artists.
Fun for the Comedy Fans
- Get Bonkerz at Northern Lights Theater
We keep a steady stream of comics coming at Northern Lights Theater because we know how much everyone loves a good laugh. This season, we’re handing over the stage to Rocky LaPorte, Tim the Dairy Farmer, Chris Cope & JC Currais, Mark Curry (Hanging with Mr. Cooper), Murray The Magician, and Dr. Dave Hill.
- Fill up on laughs at Milwaukee Comedy Festival
If you love to laugh then you should probably check out Milwaukee’s Comedy Festival. Headliners include Todd Barry, Judah Friedlander, Beth Stelling, Ari Shaffir, and the full list of events should be published in the coming weeks!
Fun for the Foodies
- Eat your way around the world at festivals
If you often find yourself craving more than a typical American hamburger, then summer is for you. During summer, Milwaukee is home to Mexican Fiesta, German Fest, and Fiesta Italiana.
- Have a steak at Bella Italiana
Our steakhouse Dream Dance Steak is closed for the summer, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped serving up nice juicy steaks. If you’re shouting “Where’s the Beef?!” then head to Bella Italiana and try out our steak options.
- Keep it fresh and local at a farmers market
Summer in Wisconsin wouldn't feel complete without a trip to a farmers market. Fresh air, sunshine and plenty of locally grown goods? Sign us up! With dozens of markets throughout the Milwaukee area, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do your grocery shopping outdoors this summer!
- Enjoy a taste of the sea
Summer screams seafood and we keep the seafood options aplenty at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Whether you want seafood with an Italian flair or all-you-can-eat crab legs at our Buffet, or some of the best sushi in Milwaukee at RuYi, your seafood cravings will be satisfied.
- Test out one of Milwaukee’s new restaurants
Milwaukee has an epic food culture and new restaurants are always popping up. Eater recently reviewed the best new restaurants of 2019 in Milwaukee and Char’d, a Korean BBQ place we’re super excited about, is less than 10 minutes away!
Fun for the Music Fans
- Check out the biggest outdoor music festival in the world
Summer in Milwaukee is not summer without Summerfest, spanning eleven days, it’s said to be the biggest outdoor music festival in the world. This year, you’ll find big name acts like Willie Nelson, Billie Eilish, Snoop Dogg, Jason Aldean, and Jennifer Lopez.
- Get your groove on at Northern Lights Theater
We keep our summer music line up light but mighty and we look forward to seeing you all bust a groove this year at our Classic Soul Show at the Northern Lights Theater. Other acts this summer include Sara Evans, Dale Watson, and Macy Gray.
- Rock out at the Rave
Only 6 minutes away, The Rave / Eagles Club is a legendary music venue in Milwaukee largely bringing you alternative, indie, and pop-punk shows. Their summer schedule is jam-packed with shows.
Fun for the Big Spenders
- Browse for local goods at the Milwaukee Public Market
The Milwaukee Public Market has become an iconic landmark of the city for good reason. It's hard to find anything quite like the hustle and bustle of the Market anywhere else in the city. The people watching and window shopping are great, but the huge food selection makes it hard to resist treating yourself to something tasty while you're there.
- Treat yourself to beauty and relaxation
We’re opening a spa! Have you heard? Details will be coming soon, but with plans to open in the summer, our spa is definitely something to add to your list of things to do.
- Take a starlit stroll through a Newaukee Night Market
One Wednesday a month, June through September, Newaukee holds a Night Market on Wisconsin Avenue. open-air market showcases arts and crafts, food trucks, locally grown produce, live music, a beer garden and more - there's truly something for everyone.