Our daughter Lauren and her fiancé (not used to that yet!) Corey came home this past weekend. I wanted to plan an itinerary that was sure to be fun. I mapped out a day in Milwaukee doing things that we hadn’t yet explored. It’s amazing how many places we’ve never been even though we’ve lived only about 25 miles from Milwaukee for the past 20 years (and even closer prior to that). We discovered 6 fun things to do in Milwaukee.
It’s funny how we forget to look in our own backyard when we’re making plans for a one or two day adventure. There is nothing I like more than spending time with my children. Now that our nest is empty and our girls no longer live close to us, spending time with them takes some planning to be sure every minute is spent making memories. I think the day definitely created memories.
6 Fun Things to do in Milwaukee
Our first stop was Purple Door Ice Cream. It’s a small artisanal scoop shop that makes creative flavors of ice cream along with traditional favorites. What I loved about it was that we could order a flight of ice cream and try more than one flavor. I think every ice cream shop should have this option! They had flavors like whiskey, jelly donut, salted caramel, and malted chocolate chocolate chunk. You’re sure to find many flavors you want to try. Plus every purchase of Purple Door Ice Cream supports the Milwaukee community. Purple Door’s Milk for Milwaukee program works with area homeless shelters to provide fresh milk for the residents. How cool is that?!
Then, we stopped for a quick cocktail at Twisted Path Distillery. They are a small distillery that makes certified organic spirits from scratch. If you know me, you know my favorite cocktail is a Brandy Old Fashioned. They don’t make brandy, but they made me their own take on this beloved Wisconsin cocktail made with their dark rum. It was delicious!
Next stop, Koz’s Mini Bowl. Truly a super fun game to play and if like me, you’re not a good bowler, you’ll get a huge boost of confidence with this game. I’ll never forget the time my older brother took us bowling as a Christmas gift and I scored a 9!! Yep, they didn’t have bumper bowling back then. But mini bowling…heck yeah! I scored 236 in my first game! I even got a turkey. We all did!! This south side of Milwaukee institution is a must for your bucket list. The lanes are 16 feet long. Just palm the small ball and throw it down the lane. Then watch the pinsetters quickly reset the pins for you.
We made a quick stop for a beer at Holler House. This bar has been an institution for more than a century. We didn’t meet the owner who is in her 90s, but her daughter was tending bar and was happy to share the history of the bar. Everyone in the place was friendly. We didn’t leave our bras, but you’ll see hundreds of them hanging from fixtures in the tavern. They boast the oldest sanctioned bowling lanes in the country in the basement. After mini bowling, the lanes looked like they went on for miles!
We then headed to Bay View for dinner at Cafe Centraal. They have a great variety on their menu and the food was delicious. It’s got a terrific atmosphere. If you’re a beer drinker, they have a huge menu of Belgian & Dutch beers to choose from.
Our final stop was Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge. We had been here once before, but I wanted to share the experience with Lauren and Corey. Think Mad Men sexy and swanky. Vintage looking wallpaper, loungy booths barely big enough to fit four adults, low lighting. Our booth may have been a bit small for four tall adults. We were pretty squished together, our knees all touching, but it’s all part of the experience! Bryant’s is the first cocktail lounge in Milwaukee and is believed to be the first cocktail lounge in Wisconsin. The history of Bryant’s is a fun read. Today it is still a highly frequented lounge. Drinks here are made to order. I could have opted for my favorite, Brandy Old Fashioned, but, I had to have a Pink Squirrel even though I’d already had my fill of ice-cream earlier in our day! After all, Bryant himself is credited with inventing the Pink Squirrel.
It was a perfect day full of fun and new experiences. I’m already planning for our next time one or all of our girls come to town. I know I will not be a stranger to any of the places we visited this time. They’re all worth going to again! Don’t forget to look in your own backyard when you’re looking for something fun to do!
If you’re from the Milwaukee area, share some of your favorite places to go. I’ve got a lot of exploring to do.