50 Day Trips for Milwaukee Families

50 Day Trips for Milwaukee Families

While Milwaukee has enough entertainment to last a lifetime, sometimes a road trip is in order to break up the monotony.  A change in scenery and places can can cure the biggest case of “island fever.” Here is a list of a 50 (okay, 51) day trips from Milwaukee.

Chicago Area 

(approximately 90 minutes)

Cloud Gate1. The Bean in Chicago (90 minutes) – Take funny pictures of you and your kids in front of the bean. Walk around the lakefront and enjoy some great scenery. Be sure to grab a Chicago hot dog from a stand near-by, and don’t dare order ketchup on it.

2. Chicago Botanical Garden (One hour and ten minutes) – Chicago’s Botanical Garden’s are set in-between Milwaukee and Chicago. There are family friendly evenings, pepper Sunday’s, and plenty of events to keep the little ones entertained.

3. Field Museum of Chicago (90 minutes) – This museum has awesome exhibits, both included in general admission and there are extra ticketed ones. Located on the museum campus next to the Solider Field, you can visit the Shedd or save that for another day.
4. The Museum of Science and Industry (90 minutes) – A wonder for adults and children alike, this museum has so much to offer. Rooms upon rooms offer different interactive exhibits to experiment and play with.
5. Navy Pier (90 minutes) – They offer a day’s worth of entertainment. Enjoy a ride on the huge ferris wheel, or take a tour of Lake Michigan on a boat. Enjoy the shops and food as well.
6. Lego Land Discovery Center (110 minutes) – Lego Land displays Chicago built using Legos, an exploration room, a building room, a roller coaster and other rides – just to begin with. You can also see a 4D movie. If that doesn’t tire the children out, walk around the mall for a bit. 

Volo Area

(approximately 60 minutes)

7. Volo Car Museum – Enjoy a museum devoted to all different types of cars. Kids and parents can explore and see all sorts of different models.

Gurnee Area

(approximately 60 minutes)

8. Great America – Who doesn’t want to go to Great America? If roller coasters aren’t your thing, spend the day at their water park. Got little, little ones? Within Great America is a kid’s area with several smaller roller coasters kids under 54 inches can ride. Still not impressed? The food and games should keep you entertained while your kid rides the Goliath for the 15th time.

9. Gurnee Mall – One of the bigger malls in the area, you can break up your day with lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. After that, walk around some more and buy something for yourself. 

10. Lambs Farm (75 minutes) – This is a unique place situated between Chicago and Milwaukee. They offer a farmyard for kids to play in while surrounded by horses, potbelly pigs, llamas, goats and more. Afterwards, have fun on their carousel ride and play a few games of miniature golf. 

Racine/Kenosha Area

(approximately 45 minutes)

11. North Beach in Racine (40 minutes) – But, remember to buy the family a kringle first. Then go enjoy one of the top-rated beaches in the U.S. It’s designated as a “Blue Wave Beach” which means it’s on one of the most environmentally friendly beaches. There’s also a play area for kids, burgers at the restaurant, and plenty of space to run around and zap some of that energy.

12. Racine Zoo (40 minutes) – With over 100 different species, enjoy the zoo’s 28-acre zoo. They also have “Zoovie Nights” where you can eat some popcorn and catch a family friendly flick. 

13. Jelly Belly (40 minutes) – Feel like stocking up on candy? Jelly Belly in Pleasant Prairie offers a huge selection. You can take a free train tour in their old distribution center while you’re there. Children (and adults) can sample any flavor of Jelly Belly, along with their delicious fudge. They also have a great selection of gift shop items for someone whose birthday might be coming up.

14. Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall (40 minutes)  – Feel like shopping? This mall offers a plethora of shops to choose from. Spend time at Carters, Coach, Old Navy, Puma, or any other number of stores.

15. Apple Holler (30 minutes) – It’s not just for Halloween. Apple Holler offers a huge entertainment area for children. It’s a jungle gym on steroids. After the kids have exhausted themselves, have lunch at their awesome restaurant. They are also home of the famous Apple Pie in a bag.

16. Bristol Renaissance Faire (50 minutes) – Near the border of WI and IL lies a whole other world. Explore Ren Faire and eat a turkey leg while the kids run around and enjoy pirates, shows, and they can even complete a quest. They’ll hone their skills and defeat all sorts of evil villains and enemies.

West Bend Area

(approximately 45 minutes)

17. Shalom Wildlife Park – Want to see some more wildlife animals? This place offers wolves, sheep, bison, elk, and much, much more. Children can see animals in their most natural state with lots of open space around them. There is a gift shop, a children’s play area, and an Indian artifact museum attached to the park. 

Road TripsSheboygan  Area

(approximately 60 minutes)

18. Want to head North? Stop by the Kohler-Andrae State Park (60 minutes) and enjoy some great beach time. You can also enjoy their sand dunes and go for a nice walk. You can stay overnight if you want at their campsite, as well. It’s a great camping ground for people who may not camp often, or like it much. It’s easy access to the freeway and not far away from home. 

19. Bookworm Gardens (70 minutes) – Walk through a park with fairy tale characters and scenery for kids to play with. Big displays showcase different stories and entertain children.

20. Harrington BAS (50 minutes) – The Belgium area has one of the best beaches in the state. Enjoy miles of beautiful white sand. Build sand castles, have a picnic, take a walk, swim, or just enjoy the beautiful summer weather. 

Appleton / Oshkosh Area

(approximately 2 hours)

21. Maritime Museum (80 minutes) – Located in Manitowoc. Learn about settlers and play on steamship Elba. There is so much to do at this museum, you’ll be there all day long.

22. Union Star Cheese (100 minutes)- Watch a cheese-making tour in a factory and learn about a family that buys milk from local dairy farms.

23. Paper Discovery Center (100 minutes) – Kids can participate in scavenger hunts, create paper from wet pulp, and enjoy hands-on displays and interactive programs.

24. EAA AirVenture Museum (90 minutes)- Learn about old planes and history. You could get lost in this endless museum.
25. The Building for Kids (90 minutes) – Children can climb inside a 100-foot human heart, cure sick dolls at a hospital, or sit in a jet.

Two Rivers Area

(approximately 1.5 hours)

26. Point Beach – Feel like traveling further North? Point Beach offers six miles of sand and beautiful scenery to go along with it.

Green Bay

(approximately 2 hours)

27. Bay Beach Amusement Park (100 minutes)– Rides ranging from 25 cents to $1. There’s a large roller coaster along with other great rides. Lines aren’t too long and there is something for any age to do. You can also go go-carting next to Bay Beach.

28. Wilderness Sanctuary (100 minutes) –Down the street from Bay Beach  you can enjoy looking at different birds and species native to Wisconsin. 

29. Lambeau Field (120 minutes) – Grab a tour and learn about all the NFL Super Bowl Champions. Take a regular tour or a special one to see a few more things.

30. National Railroad Museum (110 minutes) – Take a train ride. Enjoy model trains of all sizes. Kids and adults will be amazed by the selection and detail in these trains.

Door County

(approximately 3 hours)

31. Door County – In addition to great stores, you can go cherry picking during the season. Kids will love climbing the trees and eating cherries as they pick them. Bring a bottle of wine (or 4) home with you for the evening(s).

Pewaukee Area

(approximately 30 minutes)

32. Buck Rub Outfitter’s Archery Range – This archery range will give you and you kids something fun to do for the day. Whether you’re a novice or a stunt person for the Hunger Games, you’ll enjoy archery at this indoor and outdoor range.

Mukwonago Area

(approximately 30 minutes)

33. Elegant Farmer (30 minutes) – Want to be entertained and be able to buy groceries? The Elegant Farmer is fun enough for children, yet offers a wide selection of food for parents. Stop by, grab food, and enjoy the activities they have for children. During Halloween, you can go apple picking, take a hay ride, and get some of their homemade donuts. Speaking of food–don’t leave there without buying an apple pie!
34. Old World Wisconsin (45 minutes) – Travel back in time and learn about immigrants who settled in Wisconsin. Learn how to churn butter, see an old school house, and learn about the daily chores children had all in this reenactment village. 

Lake Mills Area

(approximately 60 minutes)

35. Aztalan State Park – Want to enjoy some outdoors but still go somewhere educational? This park offers historical facts about an old Mississippi Indian culture that was around the 10-13th centuries. There’s a set of stairs leading up the largest mounds. 

 Waterford Area

(approximately 40 minutes)

36. Bear Den Zoo and Petting Farm – Do your kids love getting close to animals? Bear Den is smaller, but children will love getting so close to these animals. They usually have little baby animals of some sort you can hold and play with as well.

Lake Geneva Area

(approximately 60 minutes)

37. Green Meadow’s Petting Zoo (40 minutes) – If you’re the type of family that loves outdoor space and a cross between a farm and a zoo, you’ll love Green Meadow’s. Horse rides, farm animals, baby chickens, and a kitten barn are just the start of it. Bring some food and enjoy lunch there. This is a place you’ll definitely stay for hours.
38. Lake Geneva Canopy Tour (50 minutes) – Rather than hiking through the beautiful scenery, take a zip line through Lake Geneva. With beautiful scenery and adventure, this is sure to impress even the most doubtful person in the family.

Madison Area

(approximately 75 minutes)

39. Little Ammericka (65 minutes) – Basically, a Great America for kids. Purchase a wrist band depending on height of the child and spend the day. Big enough to keep kids entertained, yet small enough for parents to not feel too overwhelmed. Depending on your kids age, you can even sit in the middle of the park and read a book as they run around wearing themselves out.

40. Madison Farmer’s Market (75 minutes) – One of the largest in the state. It offers a plethora of food and entertainment to keep everyone occupied.

41. Olbrich Botanical Garden (75 minutes) – For a small $2 fee, enjoy 16 acres right off of Lake Monona in Madison. Enjoy over 16 acres of outdoor space to see wildlife in its natural state.

42. House on the Rock (120 minutes) – Housing the world’s largest carousel and other wonders unimaginable until you see it, you and your kids will marvel at everything a house can hold. The house itself sits on top of a rock and is an architectural marvel. 

43. Madison Children’s Museum (75 minutes) – Hands down one of the best children’s museums in the state. With two levels of fun and interactive things to do for children of all ages, you’ll have as much as they will. Their shadow room alone offers hours of entertainment.

44. Madison Skate Park (75 minutes) – Milwaukee has some pretty cool state parks, but if your kid (or you?) wants a change of scenery, Madison also has a great skate park. It features two bowls with over 2,000 square feet of space.

45. Madison Zoo (75 minutes) – Enjoy Madison’s free zoo and get up close and personal with animals. Their polar bear exhibit is awesome and they have a great tiger exhibit, as well.

46. Cave of the Mounds (80 minutes) – Enjoy a nice 50 degrees all year round, view crystal formations and various pools of water. The walk will take your breath away and is certain to entertain people of all ages.

The Dells Area

(approximately 2 hours)

47. Baraboo’s Circus World Museum (110 minutes) – Catch up on your clown history and learn all about the circus. Near the Dells, this museum will keep both the young and old occupied for a long time. 

48. Big Cat Rescue (120 minutes) – Enjoy a tour of the big cats about 40 miles from WI Dells. You can get a special tour with people sharing info about each cat, or walk around by yourself. Bring a picnic and enjoy lunch among some of the most beautiful creatures on this Earth.

49. Deer Park (110 minutes) – The Dells has so much to do, but the Deer Park, along one of the main drags, is a family favorite. Buy some food and enjoy as these beautiful creatures come up to you and eat it. Kids of all ages will enjoy this sweet interaction with the animals.

Marshfield Area

(approximately 3 hours)

50. Jurustic Park – A path of metal objects including dinosaurs and dragons. Follow a path with artwork created by Clyde Wynia and enjoy all sorts of creatures. Children will marvel at the shapes and you’ll marvel at how long it took to build these.

LaCrosse Area

(approximately 3 hours)

51. LaCrosse – Enjoy a pizza cruise on the Mississippi river. Yes, a PIZZA CRUISE. What child doesn’t want to take a pizza cruise? Enjoy the scenery while your kids gorge out on pizza. On a pizza cruise. 

 Whew! That’s enough to keep the gas tank empty and the photo albums full! What are your favorite day trip destinations? 


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4 Responses to 50 Day Trips for Milwaukee Families

  1. Nancy July 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

    Don’t forget Rock County, Wisconsin! The Rock County Historical Society has some amazing things to see and do…and that’s just one out of many places in the County

  2. Mark April 8, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    The Maritime Museum is in Manitowoc.
    Not the Appleton/Oshkosh Area
    Not far it the Two Rivers area where Point Beach is located.

  3. Kb April 11, 2017 at 10:19 pm #

    You forgot MONROE!! Not more than 2 hours from Milwaukee. ..lots to see in this Cheese Capital!


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