Ultimate Fall Bucket List 2018 :: 100 Things to Do in Milwaukee this Autumn

It’s time for FALL – the season of pumpkin spice lattes, cute boots, giant leaf piles and so much more! There are so many things to do in Milwaukee this fall, and we can hardly WAIT to get started! We are famous for our festivals, fairs and fun so be sure to get out there and see what the Milwaukee area has to offer. 

For more great resources for fall in Milwaukee, be sure to check out our many guides to the best of autumn in the area: 

ultimate guide to fall

The Milwaukee Mom’s Guide to September

Milwaukee Area Pumpkin Farms

Our Favorite Milwaukee Apple Orchards

Our Favorite Milwaukee Fall Festivals

15 Fall Road Trips for Milwaukee Families

15 Fabulous Hiking Trails

Pumpkin & Apple Recipe Round-Up


This year’s bucket list offers 100 ideas of things to do this fall for every budget, interest, and age. We’ve even included some fun ideas for date nights as well as for when you get together with the girls. Think you’ve done it all in Milwaukee, think again! (Please note to check each event/business website for the most up to date information.)

  1. September is the beginning of Packer season! What a perfect time to put up fall decor and host a Packer party! More into college ball? Jump Around with BuckyPacker Party - Fall Bucket List
  2. Visit Holy Hill
  3. Join Milwaukee at the Zoo for Fall Family Free Days – October 6th, November 3rd, and December 1st. 
  4. Head to Apple Harvest Fest in Waukesha on September 22nd for a day full of hay rides, nature walks, and the star of the show, apples!
  5. Pack up your summer clothes and bust out the boots and scarves!
  6. Go to Harvest Fair (September 28-30) at the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds. Admission is free and you can enjoy live entertainment and fun family activities (some require purchasing activity tickets). 
  7. Run, walk, or tiptoe through a corn maze!
  8. Go to New Berlin’s Apple Fest on October 7th and tour the historical museum, ride the barrel train, and square dance in the barn. 
  9. Watch the Milwaukee River Challenge on September 15th. 
  10. Neighborhood Night at Betty Brinn Museum offers free admission on the third Thursday of every month from 5-8pm. 
  11. Rake a leaf pile…and jump right in!
  12. Settle in for a night of pumpkin carving and spooky stories. 
  13. Chill out at the 50th Annual Cheery Cherry Fall Fair in Menomonee Falls on September 23rd. Yara in the Leaves - Ultimate Fall Bucket List
  14. Put on your brave face and visit a haunted house.
  15. Check out the Maker Faire Milwaukee at the State Fair Grounds, September 28-3oth. 
  16. Take a Sunday drive through the fall colors
  17. Get a babysitter for the littles and have a date night at the Cedarburg Wine and Harvest Festival, September 15-16; because Mom and Dad need a fall celebration too. 
  18. Make a Halloween costume! 
  19. Go out with the girls to Milwaukee Oktoberfest held October 5th to 7th.
  20. Go trick or treating. 
  21. Take Fido (or Frida) to the 7th annual Barktoberfest and enjoy a Stein on September 15th. 
  22. Go to Fright Fest at Six Flags which runs from September 15th to October 31st. 
  23. Get down and dirty at the Tomato Romp on September 8th. 
  24. Take a hike at one of the many area hiking trails and do a nature scavenger hunt. 
  25. Take a tour of Lakefront Brewery for half the regular price every Monday from 4-8pm and also enjoy half price tap beer and cheese curds.
  26. Go apple picking
  27. Go for a hay ride
  28. Join Historical Downtown Delafield for the Fall Art Walk on September 21st. 
  29. Bake an apple pie. 
  30. Welcome fall with Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest grounds, September 7th-9th. 
  31. Spend the evening of October 19th at Kids Night Out with the Wisconsin Humane Society. 
  32. Drink a seasonal brew
  33. Sit back and relax at a backyard bonfire. 
  34. Explore MKE on September 22nd and 23rd with Doors Open Milwaukee: Make it extra exciting and let the kids pick where they want to go!
  35. Paint a teal pumpkin to make your house allergy friendly for trick or treaters. Check out these non-candy ideas to hand out!
  36. Head down to Downtown Historic Cedarburg for a perfect October (the 13th and 14th) weekend at Oktoberfest.
  37. Participate in International Peace Day on September 21st. 
  38. Come out for a Milwaukee tradition at Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk to support Children’s Hospital on September 15th. 
  39. Dress up for Boo at the ZooBoo at the Zoo - Fall Bucket List
  40. Take a group – the family, the girls, or a double date – and go to a painting bar
  41. See what’s new in the film world with the Milwaukee Film Festival happening October 18th through November 1st.
  42. Make your own caramel apple, take a train ride, or find your way through the corn maze at The Elegant Farmer for Autumn Harvest Festival.
  43. Expect trills, chills, and frightful fun at Halloween Spooktacular at MKE Zoo on October 19th and 20th. 
  44. Go to a pumpkin patch
  45. Visit the Third Ward for Gallery Night and Day for a Girls Night Out or a date night.
  46. Support our local home teams and take the family to a sporting event or a Friday night high school football game.
  47. Keep the pumpkin seeds when carving and toast them for a healthy snack.
  48. Donate to and/or volunteer at a local food pantry.
  49. Have a contest to see who can make the best tasting s’mores – via bonfire or candlelight!
  50. Send notes to family and friends telling them why you’re thankful for them.
  51. Cut open an apple and use it as a stamp to make apple art!
  52. Make a gratitude jar and add a slip of paper each day leading up to Thanksgiving. Read them aloud before dessert!
  53. Make popcorn from a cob.
  54. Grab your little artist(s) and make a handprint turkey.
  55. Decorate trick-or-treat bags with your ghouls and goblins!
  56. Find your favorite fall scent in a candle. Heads up that MKE has some great local candle companies like Big White Yeti.
  57. “Boo” your neighbor with a random act of kindness and hope it catches on!
  58. Take your family photos outdoors. In need of a photographer? Check out some of our favorites on our home page!
  59. Remember to “fall back” on November 4th and curse when your kids wake up anyway.
  60. Break out your favorite cozy sweater. Don’t have one? Check out your favorite thrift store and find a new favorite.
  61. Start looking into indoor activities (as it is Wisconsin after all).
  62. Plant some autumn flowers.
  63. Check out Bay View Bash on September 15th – with or without the kids!
  64.  Head on over to the Great Pumpkin Run at Swan’s Pumpkin Farm on September 29th. You can do the 5K holding a pumpkin (if you want)!
  65. Introduce your kiddo(s) to your favorite childhood Halloween movie or special. Whether its Hocus Pocus or The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, chances are that they’ll love it too.
  66. Remember that it’s hockey season too and check out the Milwaukee Admirals Season Opener at the US Cellular Arena on October 13th.
  67. With three different distances for the whole family, check out the Trick or Trot Run/Walk in Greenfield on October 6th.
  68. The China Lights at the Boerner Botanical Gardens are back, panda-themed and would make a great date night anytime from September 21st and October 21st!
  69. Check out a fall-themed book at your local library or at a local free little library!
  70. Eat an apple cider doughnut while sipping apple cider (hot or cold, your choice).
  71. Knit a fall scarf with needles or try your hand at finger knitting.
  72. Hit up the NARI Home & Remodeling show for some inspiration or daydreaming from October 12th-14th.
  73. Enjoy your favorite warm breakfast. We recommend this Colectivo Copycat Baked Oatmeal! YUM!
  74. Build a blanket fort on a rainy day and take a family nap inside.
  75. Make a fun pumpkin-shaped treat. The options are endless! We’re thinking of pancakes, Rice Krispie treats, pizza or quesadillas.
  76. Break out your favorite stew or soup recipe. Looking for something new? Try this one!
  77. Make Bay View Gallery Night on September 28th your next date night.
  78. Can’t get enough of farmer’s markets? On October 24, check out the Maker’s Market at the West Allis Farmer’s Market.
  79. If you or your child(ren) are into cars, head on over to the 24th Annual Downtown West Allis Classic Car Show on October 7th.
  80. If you’re a fan of Chill on the Hill, check out Black Panther at Film on the Hill on September 24th.
  81. Make your own harvest trail mix using popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and fall favorites like candy corn (if that’s your thing).
  82. Take the family down to the Oak Creek Fall Festival on October 20th. It’s an indoor-outdoor event that celebrates “everything autumn.”
  83. Collect leaves and help your toddlers turn them into works of art.
  84. Fill your belly at Chili’n on the Ave on September 22nd in East Tosa.
  85. Support hunger relief in Milwaukee at the 20th Annual Empty Bowls on October 14th at MSOE’s Kern Center.
  86. Watch critters of all shapes and sizes take to the streets for the annual Brady Street Pet Parade and Pet Blessing on October 14th.
  87. Check out dance, drum and singing competitions honoring Native Americans at the Hunting Moon Pow Wow held October 19-21 at the Wisconsin Center.
  88. Have caramel apple sundaes one night for dessert.
  89. Find a tried and true pumpkin bread recipe and have a baking day!
  90. Make an extra loaf or pie for your child’s teacher to thank them for a great school year (so far).
  91. Check out fall-themed wreaths on Pinterest and give your favorite a try!
  92. Make some fall sangria and invite the girls over for a craft night so you can help each other out.
  93. Get one last trip in at your favorite playground…or check out a new one!
  94. Have some Halloween fun at the Ghosts Under Glass & Dia De Los Muertos celebration at the Milwaukee Domes on October 26th.
  95. Head on over to the Munchkin Masquerade at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Pleasant Prairie on October 28th.
  96. Go puddle jumping – rain, mud or both!
  97. Make October 5th a date night at the 2nd annual Breath of Courage Gallery Night Fundraiser held by Exploit No More.
  98. Have some Fall Fun on the Farms at Old World Wisconsin on weekends from September 8th through October 14th.
  99. Get a start on Christmas shopping (and maybe make a few dollars) at the Just Between Friends of Milwaukee Fall/Winter sales event from September 16th-22nd.
  100. Saving our favorite for last, join MKE Moms Blog as we celebrate our 3rd birthday on September 20th!

Show off your Milwaukee fall fun by using #mkembfall on Instagram

What fabulous activities would YOU add to this list? 


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