There’s no denying that Wisconsin has a lot of great land to explore, but did you know that the metro Milwaukee area boasts some of the most awesome parks? You could almost hit a different park every day of the summer and not have the same experience anywhere. All without practically having to leave your own backyard.
This is in no means a collective list of parks in the area, but a condensed list of some of the favorite parks in the area to help a crazy crew of kids blow off steam. So if you’re looking to take the kids for a change of scenery – we encourage you to check out this list. Happy park hopping!
Atwater Park — Capitol and Lake Dr, Shorewood
This nautical themed playground is brand-spankin’-new as of 2015 and boasts a pretty spectacular view of Lake Michigan. If its a summer sizzler, you can stroll on down to Atwater Beach and let the kids splash around in the refreshing waters of Lake Michigan and play on some of the cool new equipment that is on the beach. Bonus? Take the stairs and wear the kiddos out! (don’t worry, there’s also wheelchair/stroller ramp).
Back Bay Park — 2315 E. Back Bay, Milwaukee
Perched along the hills of Milwaukee’s lakefront, this park is a favorite of mine because of its proximity to the lakefront, Colectivo on the lake, Beans and Barley, Whole Foods, and the East Side Public library.
Carver Park — 911 W. Brown, Milwaukee
Gargantuan isn’t a large enough word for this play system! Its enormous! This park is centrally located just minutes from downtown and boasts a splash pad.
Fox River Park — W264 S4500 River Road , Waukesha
Built around nature, this play area has super fun slides built into the hillside, a climbing web, boulders, a cool sandbox and more. Its also got some great paved trails if you want to bring along some bikes, scooters, or a stroller!
Grant Park — 100 E Hawthorne Ave, South Milwaukee
If you’re suffering from cabin fever, this park will surely cure that! Not only are there 4 playgrounds, but you can also hike the Seven Bridges trail and check out the beach. Its one of my kids favorite areas to burn energy while I take in the serenity of the gorgeous ravine and the streams.
Hart Park — 7300 W Chestnut, Wauwatosa
Designed as a tribute to the Menonomee River, Native Americans and the Schoonmaker Reef, this playground is filled with unique and traditional equipment as well as a splash pad. It backs up to the Menomonee River and some great trails that take you around the city.
Hartung Park — Corner of W. Keefe Ave and Menomonee River Parkway
Constructed on the site of the old Hartung Quarry, this park is a small gem. Aside from the super fun playset and spider-man like web, there is a pond and paths that wind through prairie grasses overlooking the Menomonee River. The park is also dotted with sculptures of the creatures that would have lived there when it was part of the sea.
Kayla’s Playground at Franklin Woods Nature Park — 3723 W. Puetz Road
Wisconsin’s newest all-inclusive and all-accessible playground where there is truly something for everyone. This playground was built in memory of Kayla Runte, “to provide a common ground to enrich social skills through play, create friendships for a lifetime and promote Peer Advocacy programs through collaboration with community partners.”
Playground at Malone —3953 S Casper Drive, New Berlin
This brand new all inclusive playground just opened in June of 2016 behind the New Berlin Police Department building. It was not only built by the community, but the students of New Berlin helped dream up the design. Bonus: There’s a Little Library here too!
South Shore Park — 2900 S. Shore Dr, Milwaukee
This park is a veritable gem any day of the week, but especially if you go on a Saturday, when you can multitask and roam one of the best farmer’s markets in the city. Not only does the playground (super fun with spinny seats) overlook the water, but there’s exercise equipment for adults. And a great little beach with the best skipping stones. And oh…there’s a beer garden.
Washington Park — 1859 N. 40th St.
This 100+ acre park that used to be the home of the Milwaukee County Zoo hosts a series of pocket parks with climbing structures, done in a nature theme. At the North end of the park, there is a large playground that includes handicapped accessible ramps (and an old fashioned merry-go-round!). Its also the home of one of the Urban Ecology Centers.
Do you have a favorite park not listed here? Please share in the comments below so our readers can check it out!